Meet the Team
The Pro Club Community
You’ve seen our team at Purina events, and read our members’ names on the leaderboards. Now, you can get closer to our community than ever before. Through Pro Club, you can form deep connections with The Purina Breeder Enthusiast Team – and each other – on your paths to success.
Meet The Breeder Enthusiast Team
Meet The Breeder Enthusiast Team

We are competitors, trainers, breeders and handlers. And while we’re employed by Purina, we work for you. That’s why you’ll find us beside you; at cat and dog shows, field trials and sporting dog events. Cheering pets to victory and lifting them up after defeat.

Like you, we’ve bred pets to compete and to make homes complete. And because of these experiences, we understand how nutrition, training, support and guidance can make a huge difference in your pet’s journey. 

Dog Articles

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Area Manager, Sporting/Working dogs

Many programs and products we have today were tested and proven in the early years and supporting many of the world best dog owners and trainers is a real honor, resulting in countless recommendations and 1000’s of Purina fed Champions over the years  (Show and Sporting).

Working for such a great company that I have always seen displayed passion for the pet owners and their pets makes me proud to be part of their team.

Being a family oriented company has been another strong reason I love about Purina.

Professional Engagement Team

It’s a privilege to work for the best pet food company in the world!  Purina’s culture of excellence in nutrition and support of Sporting Dog events allows me to help promote the sporting dog world.  Purina’s support allows many events that otherwise would not take place or would be limited to flourish.  Through this job, I am able to give back to the sporting dog world which has been such a big part of my life for the last 20 years.

In her job as the Sporting Program Coordinator for the Purina Professional Engagement Team, Gail Inman meets owners, trainers and handlers of all kinds of sporting dogs. She coordinates the Purina Sporting Dog Award Program, which honors the top dogs in six sporting segments, and she has been instrumental in helping to develop Purina’s support of youth programs that encourage participation in dog sports.

Area Manager for:

  • Retriever Segments (AKC Field Trials, AKC Hunt Tests and HRC
  • National Shoot to Retrieve
  • National Bird Hunters Association
  • US Complete Shooting Dog Association
  • English Springer Spaniel Field Trials and Hunt Tests
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Cover Dog Trials

Dean has been with Purina over 7 years, since January, 2006.

As the Conformation Program Coordinator for the Purina Professional Engagement Team, Marilaé Perkins travels to some of the most prestigious dog shows in the country. These include the Westminster Kennel Club, Kennel Club of Philadelphia, and International Kennel Club of Chicago dog shows. Marilaé started working for Purina in 1994 in the Premiums Purchasing Department, switching to her current job in 1997.

My name is Marci Sale and I am the Plains Area Manager for the Breeder Enthusiast group.  I began my career with Purina as an Ambassador in 2006, exclusively attending Labrador Specialties. I retired as a registered nurse and moved into my current position of Area Manager in April of 2010.

I am a breeder/owner/handler of Labradors and have finished several champions under the kennel prefix “Larkspur”.  I have been involved in breeding and showing dogs for more than 25 years and specifically Labradors for 23 + years.

Field Promotions Representative

I have been showing dogs all my life beginning as a Junior. My first breed was German Shepherds. I have also had Afghans and Basenji’s but my passion has always been American Eskimo Dogs. I show both UKC and AKC. I have bred Multiple Best in Show and National Specialty winning dogs with both registries.

I have worked as a Veterinary Tech, am a Canine Behaviorist, and Canine Nutrition is another passion I have.

Corey Benedict, originally from Kansas City, began his love for the sport of purebred dogs at a young age in Kansas when he began breeding and showing English Springer Spaniels. 

Connie Wagner bought her first show Dalmatian in 1982 as a young mom with two kids. She finished her championship and bred her first litter in 1986.

In 1969 with the purchase of my first Great Dane, my love affair for dogs resulted in my career direction revolving around the sport of pure bred dogs and handling.  This soon resulted in a full-time career choice.

Ann Viklund, Director of Conformation for the Purina Professional Engagement Team, has contributed immensely to Purina’s support of the dog fancy. When Ann joined Purina in 1997 as a Field Promotions Representative, Purina was just beginning to partner with enthusiasts.

Hello, My name is Annie Balotti and I am the Purina Event Center Area Manager.  I have the great pleasure to work at Nestle Purina’s state of the art facility dedicated to the world of dogs.  We host several All-Breed dog shows, numerous National Specialties and various other ever expanding dog events.