Meet our Team!
Meet Gina! Gina is our homegrown Office Manager - coming from the neighborhood of Mayfair Park. Gina the G has been walking one of our tiniest and oddly named pups since the beginning - Shoelace. Shoelace and Gina have a bond that's hard to break, mainly because that bond is Gina's hair in Shoelace's mouth. Shoelace LOVES chewing and Gina is trying to grow out her hair - basically they're a match made in heaven.
In addition to being a human chew toy, Gina volunteers at her local church and works with the blind and visually impaired by helping them learn to live on their own. On the real though, when Gina isn't saving lives she enjoys eating large pizzas and not going to the gym afterwards.
Abby recently moved from New York to Chicago with her husband and two adorable pups, Winky and Norbert! Before Smart Paws Abby was the Assistant Artistic Director of an educational children's theater camp in Connecticut. When not at the Smart Paws office, Abby loves exploring the city's restaurants and breweries, and curling up with a good book! While it is no easy choice to make, Abby's favorite Smart Paws pup is Great Dane Izzy, a gentle giant with a whole lot of love to give!
Ramona joins us from Chula Vista, CA! She’s been in the Windy City for 3 years, and when she's not here at Smart Paws she dabbles in some awesome art! Ramona is primarily a printmaker/ book maker, but as of right now she is trying her hand at conceptual quilting. When she’s not creating amazing things, she is diving into queer theory text and audio! If you want to follow her creating journey you can find her on Instagram at @tunalawsuit. Similar to her taste in art, she couldn’t possibly choose her favorite Smart Paws pet. A few highlights were Tabby, London, Jango, Ruby. After some contemplation, though, she decided her ABSOLUTE favorite doggo is Jupiter! She is so smart, funny, and cute! We get it, Ramona, we can’t choose either!
Owen joins the Smart Paws team from Grand Rapids, Michigan. When asked who his favorite pup to walk was, Owen nearly imploded from trying to pick - but decided his connection with Champ was just TOO real to ignore. They're both HUGE Batman fans (Owen rocks a Batman hat while Champ rocks a Batman collar), and they're both willing to eat just about anything! Okay, thank god Owen draws the line at poo though. LOOKING AT YOU CHAMP! Gross, dude. Despite this, Owen and Champ have become fast friends.
Outside of Smart Paws, Owen enjoys comedy writing and acting! He spent three years performing as part of his college's improv troupe, and occasionally dabbles in stand up. When he's not walking dogs like a pro or making people laugh like a pro he's probably binge watching Netflix and drinking unhealthy amounts of coffee. No judgement, Owen, no judgement. All the more energy to play with some pups!
Trevor hails from Grand Rapids Michigan and moved to Chicago about 2 years ago to attend college at Depaul University! When Trevor isn't out walking pups, he enjoys hanging out with friends and taking bike rides around the city. Trevor thinks that there's nothing like a nice cruise down the Lakeshore during Chicago summertime and we agree! He has two family dogs of his own (a Chocolate Lab named Luna and a Golden Doodle named Lily) who he absolutely adores and misses them endlessly while he's away at school! Good thing he's got his Smart Paws buddies to keep him company.
Trevor's favorite dog to walk with Smart Paws would have to be Leo Sexton. Leo is his top candidate because of his spunky attitude, and his gorgeous good looks! Trevor and Leo have enjoyed many an evening stroll together, and they look forward to many more.
Meet Jorie Perlman. Jorie is from Buffalo Grove, but now lives in Smart Paws territory - AKA Wrigleyville. Jorie has many regular clients that she walks everyday, but Barli, the gentle giant Bernese Mountain dog is one of her favorites. One rainy day while walking Barli, the two noticed a squirrel off in the distance. Barli is generally a slow, lumbering lady (it's hard to be a big dog, fa sho), but of course right as Jorie looked down to change the song she was listening to Barli JETTED off toward the squirrel. Jorie was pulled along with Barli - along with a huge golf-sized umbrella in her right hand, and her phone and the leash in her left hand - and both were sent tumbling in the mud! Was the squirrel worth it Barli, WAS IT? Needless to say, Barli will not be underestimated ever again.
When Jorie isn't going sprinting with Barli, she loves going to concerts and music festivals. She spends a lot of time listening to her dad's old records and cooking, and is currently applying for grad schools to pursue her Masters in Counseling Psychology!
That's right, Scaletta. You may recognize that last name because Gina, our Office Manager, is her big sister! What can we say, their love for the pups runs in their blood. Like her sister, Gillian was born and raised in Chicago.
Outside of work, Gillian is interested in sculpture and contemporary art. But mainly, she bores her friends with stories about the dogs she walks! In particular, she has had the pleasure of watching over our favorite foursome - Minnie, Coal, Payson, and Winston. Each of the four dogs definitely has their own distinct personality, but Gillian loves how Payson has started a ritual of sitting on the porch and watching Gillian and the other three dogs play! He just likes to look down upon his peasants, that's all.
Olivia joins the Smart Paws team from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She recently had her very first Chicago anniversary! She left behind her childhood home complete with three dogs coming here, so working with dogs was absolutely NECESSARY for her! When she isn't working for us and getting her fill of cuddles, you can find her killing her level five courses over at the iO Theater. She's also currently in rehearsals for Odd's Bodkins' production of Macbeth, where she plays all the young folks (Fleance, Donalbain, and Macduff's son). Can you say #FAMOUS?
Of course Olivia loves all her Smart Paws babes, but if she had to pick a favorite it'd be a toss up between Rebel the goldendoodle, Jakob (our newest Rottie puppy!), and Missy. In her own words, "they exude happiness and love". Clearly, Olivia is living her best life out here!
Kori lived in several different places before moving to Chicago 5 years ago! She was born in Wisconsin, moved to Florida, Arkansas, Arizona, and Indiana before finally landing in Chicago. Her hobbies are writing, doing puzzles and binge-watching British TV. Kori also works for a restaurant group full-time and enjoys trying new food and wine with her friends! Her favorite pup at Smart Paws is a tie between Abel and Simon (they may be opposite sizes, but have equal-sized hearts). She also couldn't help choosing the cutie Tina for her picture!
Jacob comes to us from southern Minnesota, and has been in Chicago a little over 6 months. His many hobbies include fishing, running, skiing, computer gaming, and movies! A true pug fan, Jacob's favorite doggos are Humphrey and Fiona.... because they're little puggly wuggly's! He just loves the way they snort!
Marina is from Orlando, Florida! She moved up to Illinois in May for an internship and a part time job and officially moved to the city in August of 2019 once she graduated from the University of Florida.
Some of her hobbies and interests include watching or attending baseball games, tailgating, singing or just listening to music, exploring new places and trying out new things. She also loves watching movies and hanging out with her friends and family!
Marina couldn't pick just one - she has 2 favorite Smart Paws pups... Fitz and Argo! They are so easy and fun to walk, and she loves Argo's energy, who is huge but acts like a puppy! He’s always fun to walk!
Anjali joins Smart Paws from Grand Blanc, Michigan. When asked to divulge her favorite Smart Paws pet she LITERALLY could not choose. Part of the beauty of this job is that you get to see SO many different animals each day. It's impossible to put one over the other! We feel you Anjali, they're all pretty perfect.
When she's not spreading the love for Smart Paws, Anjali is probably spending time with family and friends or in class! Since she's currently working toward her Masters in Public Health at Loyola, she's a pretty busy lady! Looking for a walker who can teach your pup a thing or two about the public health system while on a walk? Anjali is your girl!
Chicago has been Arielle's home for the past six months. She is originally from Bloomington, Indiana. Arielle loves spending time outdoors, and when she's not walking doggos she enjoys biking on Chicago’s lakefront trail and exploring national parks. There are so many wonderful pups to choose from, but Arielle feels that Rebel is one of the sweetest pups she has worked with at Smart Paws!
Maggie joins us all the way from Poland! She’s been in Chicago for 13 years, and has loved every second. When she‘s not snuggling all our pups, she studies Chemistry and Biology in the hopes of becoming a research scientist! In her free time, Maggie enjoys attending concerts and skating with her friends. She;s got an adorable little floof, Buddy. Even though he barks like crazy, we still love him! When we asked for her favorite dog, there's no way she could choose just one. Some star players are Taser, Sophie, George, Bleecker, and Tito!