Meet Our Team
Katie Sinclair (RVT) - Head Veterinary Assistant Instructor
- Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT)
- Fear Free™ Certified Veterinary Technician
Katie Sinclair, RVT, is the head instructor for the APC’s veterinary assistant program. She has been a part of the veterinary industry for 9 years, 7 of which as a Registered Veterinary Technician in the St. Louis area. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Equine Science from Otterbein College (Westerville, OH) and earned her Associate’s in Veterinary Technology from Sanford-Brown College (Fenton, MO).
She is currently expected to complete her MBA in Leadership from Lindenwood University (St. Charles, MO) in 2020. Katie joined the Fear Free movement in 2017 and is proud to be a Fear Free Certified Professional. In her free time, Katie rides and competes in dressage with her National Show Horse, Jack. She also is the proud mother to two parrots, Arthur and Simon Says.
Suzanne Veltrop - Dog Training Instructor
- ABC Certified Professional Dog Trainer
- Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)
- Association of Professional Dog Trainers Member (APDT)
- International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants Member (IAABC)
Suzanne Veltrop is an instructor for the APC’s dog training academy. She is a graduate of Animal Behavior College (ABC), earning a certificate as an ABC Certified Professional Dog Trainer. In addition, she attended the Professional Dog Training course at The Academy of Pet Careers (APC) and has successfully completed the Pet Empowerment program at the Academy of Pet Careers. She is also a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). In 2019, she became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and continues to advocate for positive reinforcement and fear free training methods.
With a passion for teaching and a lifelong love of dogs, Suzanne opened a successful dog training business with the goal to improve the relationship between pet parents and their dogs in order to create loving, lasting relationships through positive reinforcement training. However, upon realizing that there is great need for more positive reinforcement trainers in the world, she decided to return to APC as an instructor to train future dog trainers utilizing positive reinforcement and force free training techniques.
Jackie Brumfield - Grooming Instructor
Jackie began her grooming career in 2005. With over 10 years of experience as a groomer, she is a great addition to The APC instructor team. She is Fear Free certified and is a great leader in encouraging others to continue their education. Jackie is currently working towards her Master Certification through the International Professional Groomers.
Jackie is the first instructor that Grooming Students get to interact with and she is a warm welcome and the perfect fit to introduce new groomers to the industry!
Jan Starns - Grooming Instructor
- ISCC Certified Master Pet Stylist
- ISCC Certified Derma Tech Specialist
- Red Cross Certified in Pet First Aid and CPR
- Fear Free™ Certified Professional Groomer
Jan is the APC’s head grooming instructor as well as our grooming guru. With 17 years of grooming experience, Jan is one of the few Master Pet Stylists in the country recognized by the ISCC. Jan came to the pet care industry looking for a career change. She attended The Academy of Pet Careers and never left. Her favorite thing about the job is the animals, but she also likes that there is always something new to learn.
Jan currently owns a beagle and two mutts, but she has always had many animals. This includes birds, cats, fish, ferrets, and other rodents. Jan’s dream is to visit the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and to do wildlife rehab.
Michelle Charboneau - Animal Behavior Instructor
Jennifer Schifano - Director of Admissions and Student Services
Jennifer started working in the Pet Care Industry at Petropolis Pet Center, Chesterfield, as Customer Service Manager in 2015. When the role of Director of Admissions was available for the APC, she jumped at the opportunity to work with two passions of hers: people and pets. She focuses on creating a professional relationship with students before, during and after their schooling to help them succeed.
Jennifer helps students with the exit process and finding a job. While managing the Alumni Program and Seminars at the APC, Jennifer is involved in every stage of the student lifecycle. She is on the Board of Advisors for South County Technical High School and holds a membership with the MOCAC.
Karey Newton - Admissions Specialist and Event Coordinator
Karey Newton relocated to the Saint Louis area from Colorado over four years ago after studying education at the University of Northern Colorado. In her spare time, Karey loves to play recreational and competitive softball and go hiking and rock climbing! One of her favorite perks of the job is getting to bring along her pup, Daizy! Karey loves that she can help others pursue their love of animals and help them turn it into a ‘fur-ever’ career!
Joseph Schifano - Owner/President
Joseph Schifano is the President of The Academy of Pet Careers. His experience in the pet care industry spans over a decade. As a third-generation owner of Petropolis Pet Resort, Joseph has experienced every aspect of managing a pet business, from doggy day care to marketing and sales.
Above all, his goal is to educate pet professionals on how to provide a more empowering experience for their pets and how to succeed in this ever-changing industry.
Joseph graduated with a business degree from Elon University and quickly moved into leadership at Petropolis. His focus on business strategy, combined with his love for animals, has allowed him to successfully run a pet service business that earns seven figures in revenue per year and has earned the following recognition:
- “Best Large Pet Hotel in The Nation” – Groom and Board Magazine
- “Future 50 Business Award” – St. Louis Small Business Monthly
- “Best of St. Louis” – River Front Times