12868 W. Goldenrod Ave
Boise, ID 83713
Mona Allison, Kennel Owner
Mona was born and raised in Baker City, OR. She graduated high school at the top of her class with 2 full–tuition scholarships. She had received numerous business student awards, and was known as the school artist as well. She chose Eastern Oregon College in LaGrande and later also completed an accounting course at Links Business College in Boise. She worked as a secretary at Anderson, Kaufman, and Anderson Law Firm and Provident Federal Savings before joining Intermountain Gas Co. in April 1957 for an 18 year career as Executive Secretary and Group Benefits Administrator. Mona and her late husband Lee turned their lifelong love of dogs into a business when they built and opened Gem Crest Kennels July 1, 1973.
Mona had always had dogs while growing up; a smooth fox terrier, cocker spaniel, collie, and a Pekinese. Her first German Shepherd Dog, Zack, was acquired in 1964 and excelled in obedience trials. This later led to a 30 year career in obedience training for Mona. Her devotion to this outstanding breed has continued all her life. She has bred and shown German Shepherd Dogs through the years, attaining championships and obedience titles. Ch. Gem Crest King Kamehameha C.D. (Kameha) received a dual title award from the German Shepherd Dog Club of America for getting his championship and obedience CD title in 1 year. Her breeding program has provided hundreds of people with cherished German Shepherd Dogs and that is her greatest joy.
Mona is a charter member of the Pet Care Services Association (formally the American Boarding Kennels Association), the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, and the Better Business Bureau. She has a son, Steven, and 2 grandsons. Her hobbies include dog shows, world travel, art in all its forms, music, and spending time with her family. She currently owns 4 German shepherds: Ch. Tazmanian Devil (Taz), Near Ch. Woodsides CK Kid (KC), It‚s all about Me (Meme), and Gem Crest the Diva (Diva). She also has 4 cats: Muffy (the house cat), Lily (the office cat), and Sammy and Gabby (the kennel cats). Gem Crest Kennels has been the most satisfying endeavor of her life.
Becky Korek, Kennel Manager
Becky began her career in animal care in 1991 as a volunteer at the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire. She volunteered her time after school until 1992, when she went to work at her family‚s pet store. She worked there off and on until 1997, but really found her niche in pet care when she got an after school job at a local boarding kennel. Becky worked at Sendaishi Pet Resort in Manchester, New Hampshire, from May of 1994 to July of 2003. While there, she received levels 1 and 2 certifications in pet care through the American Boarding Kennels Association, as well as traveled to and participated in dog shows with the kennel owners and their Alaskan Malamutes.
After graduating with honors from Goffstown Area High School in 1997, Becky attended the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire, with a major in pre–veterinary medicine. In 2003, she made the decision to move cross–country to Idaho and began working at Gem Crest Kennels in July of that year. In spring of 2004 she was certified in Pet First Aid through the American Red Cross.
In her free time, Becky enjoys live music, baking, skiing, hiking, camping, and anything else that keeps her outdoors. She also volunteers weekly at the Garden City Public Library. She shares her home with a German shepherd named Ajax, who was bred by Mona Allison, and her two cats, Butters and Wendy.
Christina Henning, Lead Attendant
Christina was born and raised in Southern California. She graduated from Highland High School in 1999. In 2005 she began working as a kennel attendant at Paws for Effect, a company that provides trained animals for the entertainment industry. She quickly moved up the ranks and eventually became manager at Paws, giving her the exciting opportunity to work directly with various celebrities on commercial, television, and Hollywood movie sets. Christina decided to move to Boise in late 2010 to be closer to her family and joined the Gem Crest staff in September 2011.
In her free time, Christina enjoys horseback riding, hiking, dirt bike riding, and playing video games. She also shares her home with her Chihuahua Kirby, 2 cats- Pebbles and Pablo, and a 5-foot ball python named Zen.
Spencer Haren, Kennel Staff
Spencer grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is a 2004 graduate of Cottonwood High School. In the fall of 2006 he moved to Boise, Idaho, where he immediately became employed at Pet City. He worked his way up to head kennel tech before joining the Gem Crest staff in July of 2008. Spencer received level one certification for pet care through the Pet Care Services Association (formerly the American Boarding Kennels Association) in June of 2009, and in September of 2012 was certified in Pet First Aid through the American Red Cross.
Spencer has 2 dogs of his own: a rat terrier named Tucker and a rat terrier mix named Taz. When not at work or spending time with his dogs, Spencer enjoys video games and spending time outside hiking and biking.
Deana Johnston, Groomer
Deana was born and raised in the Seattle area and is a graduate of Lynnwood High School in Washington. She relocated to Boise with her family in the early 80’s.
Deana began her grooming career when she started at Gem Crest Kennels in December of 1985. She had been introduced to grooming the prior year and chose to make a career of it. She learned on the job by apprenticing and eventually was employed as a full–time groomer.
Deana has 3 dogs: 2 miniature pinschers and a Jack Russell Terrier, and 2 cats. In her free time, she enjoys bowling on several leagues, cooking, and crocheting.
Val Biderman, Groomer
Val was born and raised in Illinois and is a 1977 graduate of Midwest School of Dog Grooming. Before joining the Gem Crest staff in 1999, she groomed in Illinois, Arkansas, Iowa, and Salt Lake City, Utah, as her family moved around before settling in Boise.
Val and her husband have 2 grown daughters and are proud grandparents of 2 little girls. They live with their Greater Swiss Mountain Dog mix, Andy, a shorthaired breed that requires minimum grooming! Val enjoys gardening, making jewelry, and spending time with her family.
Tiffany Crawford, Groomer
Tiffany began her grooming career in 2000 upon graduating from Timberline High School in Boise when she began apprenticing at Zamzows and later Petco. In 2002, she decided to be formally trained through the Petsmart Grooming School. Upon completion, she worked for Petsmart groom shops, locally, and in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, before relocating back to Boise. She was self–employed as a groomer for a time before joining our team in the spring of 2009.
In addition to her 3 daughters, Tiffany has 5 dogs: a collie, 2 pugs, a yorkie, and a Boston terrier mix, as well as 8 cats. She enjoys spending time with her family and is an avid reader.
Jasmine Rill, Groomer
After graduating from Twin Falls High School in 2002, Jasmine relocated to Boise. She joined the Gem Crest staff in May of 2006 where she learned all aspects of the boarding kennel. After the summer of 2007, she made the move to the groom shop where she worked as a bather while being a grooming apprentice. In July of 2008 Jasmine was hired on as a full–time, all–breed groomer, and her loyal client base is a testament to the quality of her work.
In May of 2009, Jasmine and her high school sweetheart were married. Jasmine gave birth to their daughter in March of 2012. They live with their 2 dogs: Vash, a German shepherd mix, and Mindi, a shih tzu, and their 2 cats, Baby Kitty, and Toakie. When not working or spending time with her own pets, Jasmine enjoys watching movies and cooking.
Christina Mellema, Kennel Staff
Christina was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ, where she graduated from Carl Hayden High School in 2005. She relocated with her family to Nampa in 2010. Her passion for animals has been evident all of her life and has only been reinforced by the love she has for her pit bull/Rottweiler mix, Dakota, her German shepherd/whippet mix, Libby, and her cat, Stormy.
Christina majored in pre-veterinary medicine at Arizona State University and began her animal career at CJ’s Pet Grooming in Glendale, AZ, where she was a dog groomer for 3 years.
In her free time, Christina enjoys just about anything outdoors- hiking, camping, fishing, and anything involving horses. She is the mother of a little boy, LJ.
Katelyn Byam, Kennel Staff
Katelyn began work at Gem Crest Kennels in the summer of 2007 and has worked there on and off between semesters at college. She moved around a lot while she was growing up, starting kindergarten in Georgia and graduating from Marysville High School in Marysville, Michigan, in 2007. From the time she was a little girl, Katelyn dreamed of being a veterinarian and was accepted to Michigan State University where she planned to enroll in their pre-vet program. However, in the summer following her graduation from high school, she made the decision to attend Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, to study Wildlife and Wetlands Conservation. She later changed her major and graduated in August of 2012 with a BA in History.
Now that she has graduated, Katelyn is at Gem Crest full-time. Before working at the kennel, she held jobs at two libraries, a deli, and a catering company. Her formal training in pet care includes college coursework in animal handling and husbandry. She has spent her life around all kinds of animals, and her family currently includes 2 dogs, 3 cats, 5 horses, and 15 chickens.
When she is not working hard at Gem Crest, Katelyn likes to spend her time reading, cooking, horseback riding, listening to music, dancing, hiking, camping, and doing other outdoor activities. Of all the places Katelyn has lived, she likes Idaho the best and hopes to continue exploring and discovering fun things to do here for years to come.