2019 Catsachusetts Speakers
Cat Behavior Associates
Pam Johnson-Bennett is the best-selling author of 10 books. She starred in the Animal Planet UK series Psycho Kitty, and is one of the most popular and sought-after cat behavior experts in the world. She is considered a pioneer in the field of cat behavior consulting and has influenced many practicing in the field today. Pam began making house calls to work with clients on cat behavior problems in 1982 and had her first book published in 1990. Since then, she has led the way as an inspiration and mentor to many in the cat behavior profession and her books have been used as texts for professional behavior courses.
Pam was vice president of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and founded the IAABC Cat Division where she served as its longtime chair for 8 years. She served on the American Humane Association’s Advisory Board on Animal Behavior and Training, was a member of the American Humane Association’s Cat health and Welfare Forum, served on the Advisory Board for Tree House Humane Society, and worked with the Winn Feline Foundation.
Pam’s ground-breaking Think Like a Cat approach to cat behavior has been featured and profiled worldwide through the years. To the cat behavior professionals in the field today, Pam has been a mentor and leader since she first paved the way in the early 1980s. Her books are considered the “cat bibles” when it comes to understanding felines and what makes them tick. Much of the information you read on the websites of shelters, animal welfare organizations and behavior experts as well as what you see on cat-related TV shows came from Pam’s books, articles and lectures. You can easily see her influence in the current books on cat behavior that are on the market today. Pam’s Think Like a Cat method has improved the lives of thousands of cats through her work with clients, shelters, her books, worldwide lectures and media appearances. Her book, Think Like a Cat, consistently remains the #1 best-selling cat training book on Amazon.
Pam makes numerous appearances on national television and radio. She has been featured on CNN, Fox News Channel, Fox & Friends, National Geographic, Animal Planet, AM Canada, Animal Planet Radio, and many more shows, as well as print and online publications.
Previously, Pam was the award-winning behavior columnist for Cats Magazine as well as ivillage, Yahoo, Cat Fancy’s Cat Channel, Kittens USA, the Daily Cat and Catster.
As the first author to address the unique needs of multicat households, Pam is the recipient of numerous honors including the Winn Feline Foundation Award, multiple Cat Writers’ Association awards, the IAABC Cat Division Award and the Cat Fancy Magazine Hall of Fame.
Pam owns Cat Behavior Associates, LLC, a private veterinarian-referred behavior practice in Nashville, TN.
Dr. Rick Kesler, DVM
Rick Kesler, DVM is a Senior Service Veterinarian with Royal Canin in the corporate affairs office. His duties meld well with Royal Canin’s philosophy of sharing knowledge to all breeders. He graduated with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1985. Since then he has practiced with a special interest in working with breeders of cats and dogs. He has lectured throughout the United States and also internationally, writing for journals dedicated to pets. He also has served as a consultant to two large veterinary distributorships in the United States. Dr. Kesler is a co-author of Best Practices for Breeders regarding Brucellosis published in 2016 by the USDA.
He lives with his wife Julie in Kansas and spends his precious free time cooking new dishes with Julie, bicycling and reading Civil War books.
Stacy LeBaron has been involved in animal welfare for over 20 years. She currently hosts a weekly podcast called the Community Cats Podcast where she interviews nationally and internationally renowned experts helping with the problem of cat over population and cat welfare.
Previous to starting the Podcast, she served for 16 years as President of the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society. Under her leadership, the MRFRS has assisted over 105,000 cats and kittens through a variety of innovative programs. Among the MRFRS’s programs are two mobile spay/neuter clinics, known as the Catmobiles, and an adoption center in Salisbury, MA.
During her tenure with MRFRS, Stacy also served as a board member and oversaw the MRFRS mentoring program, as well as co-chaired the organization’s Development Committee. growing the budget from $45,000 a year to $1.5 million dollars assisting almost 100,000 cats and kittens through lifesaving programs. The MRFRS mentoring program, which began in 2011, assisted 11,000 cats through its work with 77 different animal welfare groups in fourteen states. Stacy also facilitates two smaller coalitions in Massachusetts, the Boston Homeless Cats group and Merrimack Valley Partnership.
An expert in her field, Stacy is a current member of the Shelter Medicine Committee at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, Advisor to the Massachusetts Animal Coalition, Vice President of the Board for PAWSitive Pantry in Vermont, and committee member for HubCats Chelsea. She is a past board member and treasurer of the Massachusetts Animal Coalition and the New England Federation of Humane Societies. She serves as the current administrative trustee for the LeBaron Foundation.
Stacy graduated from Vassar College with a focus in Urban Studies, and also attended Boston University, where she studied City Planning and Urban Affairs. She now lives in Vermont with her husband, son, daughter and two cats.
TICA Judge, Europe South Region
Massimo Picardello has been a cat judge since 1988. He first became judge for the Independent Traditional European circuit, then a TICA judge in 1993, then also a WCF judge in 1994. He has been a TICA Ring, School and Genetics Instructor since 1998, and a member of the Genetics Commission since the same year. He has been a breeder of Persians and Himalayans since 1980, but has stopped breeding some years ago.
In real life, apart the hobby of cats, he is a university professor of Mathematics. He also teaches Computer Graphics and Photography. He does mathematics research in Harmonic Analysis and Discrete Potential Theory.
For what concerns cats, besides sharing his perception of their beauty and love, his mission is to help breeders and judges to consider the health of cats as the preminent issue, and act consequently. Most of his Genetics Seminars and Judges Schools have this aim.