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PBA Announces Return of Beauty Pitch

Image: PBA

The 2016 Beauty Pitch event will be held during PBA Beauty Week on Saturday, July 23rd.

The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) and Cosmoprof North America (CPNA) have announced the return of Beauty Pitch, to be held Saturday, July 23, 2016. Hosted by CPNA, this one-of-a-kind, beauty-centric competition will be held in Las Vegas during PBA Beauty Week. This event provides entrepreneurs from all sectors of the beauty industry a way to connect with qualified investors and the industry at large.

“The Professional Beauty Association is proud to be hosting Beauty Pitch 2016. Helping beauty businesses grow and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit is at the core of our association. This competition allows us to add a new dimension to our efforts,” said Steve Sleeper, Executive Director of PBA. “We’re very excited to have Mark Cuban join us again, and we’re grateful for his ongoing support and expertise. Beauty Pitch is a unique event for our industry – the only event of its kind focused on connecting beauty companies with qualified investors. The competition opens February 1st, we encourage all interested beauty companies to consider applying.”

Startup and Established Business Categories
The 2016 Beauty Pitch competition is open to all beauty entrepreneurs from all sectors including prestige, mass, clinical, organic/natural and the professional salon/spa market. This competition allows entrepreneurs to apply in either the Startup or Established categories, depending on the company's stage of business. The Startup category is for small business' "seeding" stage investment candidates, seeking angel or venture capital. The revenue requirement for the Startup category is $100,000 to $5M. The Established Business category is for businesses with annual revenues exceeding $5M. Businesses interested in applying for this category need to be willing to work with private equity investment groups.

Application Information
Beauty Pitch applicants will need to prepare a two-minute video, complete an online application and submit a one-page executive summary. Three finalist companies from both the Startup and Established categories will pitch their businesses to a live audience and panel of judges on Saturday, July 23, 2016. Registration opens February 1st, 2016 at a cost of $250 for CPNA Exhibitors and PBA Members and $500 for other entrants. From March 16-April 29, 2016 the cost to register is $350 for CPNA exhibitors and PBA members and $600 for other entrants. Starting February 1st, applications can be submitted at www.beautypitch.com.

A press event will be held on Sunday, January 30th, 2016 during PBA’s International Salon and Spa Expo (ISSE) where more event details will be revealed.

Beauty Pitch 2015
The inaugural competition attracted a “Who’s Who List” of attendees, drawing industry executives representing retailers, distributors, investors and well over 350 members of the media. In total, over 1,400 attendees attended this unprecedented event. Five beauty entrepreneurs pitched their products to high-profile judges consisting of Mark Cuban, John Paul DeJoria and editors from Martha Stewart Living and INC.com. 100% Pure, the 2015 Beauty Pitch grand prize winner, received a one-year mentorship with Mark Cuban along with a $10,000 cash infusion from TSG Consumer Partners. Additionally, 2015 Beauty Pitch finalist, 18.21 Man Made took home the Audience Choice Award, which included a complimentary booth at CPNA 2016 and a one-year PBA membership.

For more details, please visit www.beautypitch.com.

Global Mentorship Program Reveals Spa Leadership & Spa Management Best Practices and Insights

Jean-Guy de Gabriac

The Global Mentorship Program recently released Mentorship Reflections: Guiding and Inspiring Spa Leadership for a Well World, a 96-page handbook packed with best practices and insights, which was compiled as a result of the 2015 pilot program.

Currently the only formal mentorship program serving the worldwide spa industry, the GMP is a peer-to-peer initiative that provides spa professionals with mentor-mentee relationships. By pairing experienced spa directors, as mentors, with spa managers, as mentees, the program offers aspiring leaders valuable lessons on how others have successfully navigated the world of spa management. Spa directors, meanwhile, are given an opportunity to pass down their wisdom, while raising the collective knowledge of the industry and learning new tricks from their mentees.

The 2015 program took place over two three-month mentorship sessions; mentors and mentees connected for up to 90 minutes twice each month via phone calls, video conferencing or face to face, and discussed a variety of subject matters, such as leadership and management, strategic and business planning, priority management and human resources. Participants represented a variety of arenas, including hotel and resort spas, club spas, independent day spas, mineral springs spas, and a health club owned by a nonprofit health care organization.

According to Deborah Smith, Principal, Smith Club & Spa, Co-Chair of the GMP and Regional Supervisor for the USA & Canada, questionnaires conducted by the Global Mentorship Program revealed the following:
• 100% of mentors and mentees believe the GMP benefits the spa industry.
• 92% of mentors and mentees believe their company could benefit from the program.
• 86% of mentees felt ‘absolutely’ more motivated at work after being mentored.
• 79% of mentees felt ‘absolutely’ more productive at work after being mentored.

The document is filled with honest feedback and revelations, such as:

“What I now understand is how to talk and connect to different personalities and be aware of how to approach them individually. In the spa industry you’ll find a variety of personalities, and it’s important for management to give empowerment to your employees by making them feel important.” (Mentee Jeannine Bourque, spa operations manager, Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria Resort, Maui, who was mentored by Angela Cortright of Spa Gregorie’s in Southern California).

“[The second topic] Paris assisted me with was how to increase retail sales in the Spa. After our mentoring session, I established 'on desk' monthly retail offers for our spa guests. When a retail offer is displayed on the desk, it is very easy to move to the 'sales process' when the guest is checking out from the Spa.” (Mentee Paula Myohanen, lifestyle manager, Talise Spa at Madinat Jumeirah Resort, UAE, who was mentored by Paris Kounoudis, director of spa, Ritz-Carlton Dubai, UAE).

“[With this handbook], we can create the biggest ripple effect as possible, in order to touch (and possibly improve) the daily lives of thousands of spa managers among the 130,000 spa managers/directors in the world,” said Jean-Guy de Gabriac, CEO and Founder, TIP TOUCH International, and Initiative Chair Global Career Development and Co-Chair of the Global Mentorship Program.

Following the success of the 2015 program, which included 17 mentors and 32 mentees in 22 countries, leadership is now preparing two six-month sessions for 2016, which will involve 50 mentors and 100 mentees.

Click here for the full handbook, which contains a foreword by Susie Ellis, Global Wellness Institute chairman and CEO.

Ardell Lashes Grace the Runway at the Annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Image: Getty Images/Kevin Mazur

Makeup artist Dick Page glammed up the models with gorgeous lashes before they took to the runway.

Ardell Lashes recently took part in one of the most anticipated annual televised fashion events, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. On December 8, nearly 10 million home viewers tuned in to watch names like Gigi, Kendall and Lily strut down the runway at the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Before these lovely ladies stepped into the spotlight, makeup artist Dick Page was busy behind the scenes creating his signature Angel Glow finished with Ardell Lashes.

"I chose Ardell Lashes for the Victoria’s Secret Show because they allow me to create everything from a simple accent lash to a full bodied flutter. Victoria’s Secret is about the natural glamour of each girl and Ardell Lashes enhance that perfectly."

This year’s particularly diverse cast of models inspired Page to keep the look soft, natural and glowing, accentuating the unique beauty of each woman. Page, who has created the makeup look for the annual show for the past four years, applied light foundation – just a hint to cover any imperfections and no hard contouring – with a slightly flushed cheek, shimmery cream eye shadow and Ardell Mini and Short Individual Lashes to add “heft to the lashline.” The final result is a youthful, sexy, no-makeup makeup look.

While most women won’t have the opportunity to wear a $2 million gemstone encrusted bra, every woman can recreate the naturally sexy, glow of an Angel using Ardell Individual Lashes for additional length and volume. Ardell’s Individual lash collection now includes Knot-Free Flares, Knotted Flares, Double Individuals, Chocolate Individuals, Soft Touch Individuals and Trios.

DAYSPA Founder Deborah Carver Speaks at Repêchage's Annual Champagne Power Lunch

From left to right: Lydia Sarfati, Deborah Carver and Dori Soukup

Industry leaders gathered to hear beauty business veterans discuss current and future spa and salon trends.

On Monday, December 7, beauty professionals from across the globe came together for Repêchage’s annual networking Champagne Power Lunch at the company's headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey. Attendees were treated to bubbly and brunch while they listened to industry pros dish on trends and ways to boost businesses and think outside of the box in the coming months and years. Guests included president of Intercoiffure America/Canada, Lois Christie; Dr. Joel Gerson, author of Milady's publications; and beauty pros from as far afield as Poland, Romania and India.

The morning kicked off with DAYSPA’s own Deborah Carver, CEO and founder of Creative Age Publications, whose Consumer Trends in Beauty and Spa presentation encouraged guests to think about how to cater to the millennial generation. “There are enormous changes taking place,” explained Carver. “The way we’re servicing people today is not the way we’re going to service people tomorrow and in the future.” Carver emphasized the importance of getting on the same page as the millennials by: staying current and reading trade and consumer magazines; learning celebrity trends; focusing on wellness and organic arenas, including cruelty-free products and environmentally responsible practices; and keeping up with technology and social media. “You have to talk to millennials in their language and capture them that way,” she stressed. “Millennials respond to visual cues. Get out your iPads and show them what you do, set up an Instagram account, and make sure appointments and deals are tech-friendly.”

Carver suggested further business-building strategies for spas and salons, including partnering with dermatologists, and yoga and Pilates studios; guiding millennials with their at-home regimens; offering quick “in-and-out” mini-treatments; and striving for decor that appeals to both men and women. Although Carver’s discussion focused mainly on the millennial generation, she also encouraged audience members not to forget about the baby boomer and Gen X clientele. “The millennials are your future, but remember where your bread-and-butter is coming from right now,” she says.

InSPAration Management president and CEO Dori Soukup offered up innovative and cost-effective marketing tips in her lecture, entitled Economical Marketing Strategies. “Marketing is No. 1 in my eyes,” she said. “If you don’t do marketing, no one is going to know you exist.” Soukup spoke of the importance of segmenting a business’s database by age group so that marketing can be tailored to each individual. She pointed out the power of leveraging social media such as Facebook, giving the example of contents and giveaways, which can drive traffic to spas’ and salons’ websites (and, if users have to input their contact information, generate marketing leads). Other tools she cited: team cross-marketing, and creating YouTube video tutorials and testimonials. “Dare to be different,” she urged. “There are so many economical marketing strategies that don’t have to cost a lot of money. If you implement these simple yet effective methods, you’ll be able to generate leads and turn them into clients without breaking the bank.”

To conclude the seminar, Repêchage founder and president Lydia Sarfati presented Beauty Trends and Creating the Ultimate Service Experience, which covered trends and fads, and how to connect with clients. She encouraged the audience to stay in the know about fads such as the so-called “vampire facial”, “fermented beauty” and gluten-free skin care, and trends that are here to stay, such as masks, pore cleansing and customization.

With the latter, she touched on the importance of tailoring each service to the specific area of the body and increasing revenue by multi-tasking and offering several treatments simultaneously. She explained that beauty pros must put a tray out in front of their clients with all product recommendations and let them know the essential three they must take home based on their skin conditions. “A healthy business has to be 50% retail and 50% service,” explained the industry veteran.

Sarfati finished the day by chatting about building a connection with clients, emphasizing that they should never be told “no” and that first impressions—and your staff—can make or break a business. “You must have a great team behind you—without it, it’s difficult to grow,” she says. “It’s like dancing the cha-cha, you take 10 steps forward and 10 steps back—you’re not going anywhere!”

Sarfati also spoke about the event's importance, saying, ”To educate, motivate and celebrate is what the Repêchage Power Lunch is all about. Each year, we look forward to providing our distinguished guests a chance to network with fellow spa and salon industry leaders and to learn from industry experts about the most forward-thinking trends and business strategies to explore and implement in the coming year.”—Molly Church

Dermalogica Celebrates the Graduation of its First FITE Future Entrepreneur Class

Image courtesy of Dermalogica

Dermalogica co-Founder and Chief Visionary, Jane Wurwand was in attendance at the graduation ceremony held in NYC.

Skincare brand Dermalogica hosted a graduation event to honor the first class to graduate from its FITE Future Entrepreneur program. Dermalogica, through its nonprofit arm FITE (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship), launched the program in New York City to create a pathway to entrepreneurship for at-risk young women who aspire to work in the professional skin care industry.

The graduation event, held at the brand’s flagship store in SoHo, welcomed more than 50 guests including friends, family members, program partners and media. Dermalogica co-Founder and Chief Visionary, Jane Wurwand was also in attendance, who spoke to the program participants and shared her own personal journey within the industry.

The graduation event marks the end of the first phase of the program, which was completing undergraduate education at the Dermalogica Academy. The women are now transitioned into the next phase of the program, which includes securing apprenticeships, shadowing experts in the field, and learning valuable retail skills. Additionally, these students are currently studying for the state board licensing exam, taking advanced courses at The International Dermal Institute, and actively interviewing at Dermalogica partner salons and spas in the New York City area.

FITE Future Entrepreneurs program combines the mission of Dermalogica, which is to help bring respect and success to the professional skin therapist, with FITE’s philanthropic commitment to champion and advance women and girl’s economic empowerment.

“For nearly thirty years, Dermalogica has empowered women in the salon industry,” said Wurwand. “The FITE Future Entrepreneurs program is an opportunity to bring a new group of extraordinary young women into the Dermalogica Tribe and train them not just for a job, but for a career.”

In order to be selected for the program, the FITE Future Entrepreneur class participants went through a rigorous application process over the course of several months that included multiple interviews, video segments, and essay questions. After the selection process was completed, 10 “opportunity youth,” young women, between ages 18 to 26, who were out-of-work and out-of-school, were given the opportunity to receive industry education and on-the-job training program over the next year. The scholarship provides vocational education, resources and supplies including a laptop computer, mentorship and business management training, childcare assistance, advanced course study, shadowing and job placement within a salon at the conclusion of the program.

Out of the ten young women selected for the class of 2015, 50% have no college education, with only one woman completing a college degree. Prior to the program, 60% of the women were unemployed, 30% were employed part-time and only one young woman was working full-time. Employment ranged from a minimum wage job at the airport to a cashier at a fast food restaurant. Thirty percent of this year’s program attendees are single mothers.

FITE Future Entrepreneur program partners include the Clinton Global Initiative, where the initiative was initially announced in 2014; Dell, which provided laptops and computer training for the students; banking and finance literacy partner Operation Hope; and ongoing support in social and therapeutic services from non-profit Grace Institute which has trained more the 100,000 underserved women in the New York area.

FITE’s model is scalable and will be rolled out to other cities across the U.S. in 2016, to support young women in developing the skills needed to achieve financial independence and in turn reach their full potential. The global expansion of the program has begun with partnerships supporting vulnerable women in emerging markets such as Cambodia and India, as well as in the United Kingdom and Australia.

FITE Future Entrepreneurs mentorship and coaching aids in building a strong community of likeminded women who support and nurture each other through their goals. The unique program provides not only an education and vocational training, but also gives more women the opportunity to own businesses, thereby changing their own lives and the communities in which they live.

Dermalogica/FITE has partnered with Grace Institute, Dell, Clinton Global Initiative and Operation Hope on this initiative. To learn more, visit www.joinFITE.org/ffe.

Naturopathica Opens Second Location in NYC

Image courtesy of Naturopathica

Barbara Close, founder and product architect of Naturopathica, brings her Healing Arts Center & Spa to New York City.

Opened in previews on November 20, 2015, Naturopathica Chelsea, located at 127 West 26th Street, marks the opening of the second Healing Arts Center & Spa for Naturopathica, following 20 years of legacy as a trusted destination for wellness in East Hampton, NY. Naturopathica Chelsea offers a 21st Century wellness experience that encourages personal transformation and a holistic approach to wellbeing through time-tested traditions, remedies, and rituals.

Naturopathica Chelsea provides a 360-degree approach to wellness, including a full-service spa with six treatment rooms, a Vitality Bar, a Remedy Bar and a Sensory and Meditation Lounge. The product line available at the center includes the full range of Naturopathica products for skin and body health, along with a signature collection only available at Naturopathica Healing Arts Centers & Spas.

“Naturopathica Chelsea is an urban destination dedicated to 21st Century wellness. Our goal is to encourage individuals to make wellness part of their everyday life and to experience the pleasure of healthy living,” says Barbara Close, founder and CEO of Naturopathica. “In a city like New York where everyone is in constant motion, I wanted to create a place where people can slow down, relax and experience the healing arts, as well as learn how to integrate healing rituals and remedies into their daily routines.”

Remedy Bar
Unique to the center, the Remedy Bar is an herbal dispensary featuring teas, herbs, tinctures, and essential oils. The Remedy Bar is a place for individuals to discover the benefits of traditional rituals for healing the mind and body. Combining the healing properties of plants with the aromatic pleasure of sipping a warming cup of tea, the Remedy Bar offers hand-selected loose leaf teas from the finest estates throughout the world, from areas such as Assam, Taiwan, the Fujian Province of China and the Shizuoka Province of Western Japan. Along with handcrafted teas, the bar has premium botanical bulk herbs, herbal tinctures (liquid extracts) and essential oils.

Therapeutic Massage and Holistic Facial Treatments
Naturopathica Chelsea spa treatments are inspired by Barbara’s passion for self-care and wellbeing. Treatments feature therapeutic oils with Kava Kava Root, Lobelia and Cramp Bark to target the needs of urbanites, specifically muscle and joint health, stress relief, natural immunity (and adrenal fatigue), women’s wellness and skin health. Naturopathica Chelsea estheticians and therapists are highly-trained professionals from around the world who work with clients to customize treatments, and offer at-home rituals that nourish the mind, body and spirit.

Vitality Bar
The Vitality Bar is more than just another morning stop for your daily juice. It allows guests to explore the healing benefits of house-made herbal tonics, elixirs, teas, cold-pressed juices, and kombucha on tap, as well as healthy grab-and-go snacks made with locally sourced, sustainable ingredients to improve vitality.

Sensory and Meditation Lounge
The Sensory and Meditation Lounge is a visionary experience where guests will reboot, refocus the mind, and reconnect with the breathtaking imagery.

For more information on Naturopathica Chelsea, signature treatments and offerings, please visit naturopathica.com.

OPI Announces New Global General Manager, Ron Anderskow

Image courtesy of OPI

Anderskow will oversee day-to-day operations at the renowned nail brand.

OPI Products, Inc. recently announced the appointment of Ron Anderskow as Global General Manager of OPI. Anderskow will oversee the day-to-day operations of the globally known professional nail brand. He joins Coty after successful International and Domestic general management and sales leadership roles in the beauty, oral care and professional divisions at Procter & Gamble, for nearly 30 years.

Most recently, Anderskow served as Senior Vice-President of Sales for Wella North America, where he led the multifunctional customer business development organization and reinvented the Go To Market organizational structure to better serve the salon professional industry across the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico. Under his leadership, the business experienced unprecedented growth and became the best-performing region in global Wella Salon Professional in just 18 months. Prior to this role, Anderskow worked in Geneva, Switzerland leading the Global Wella Sales Organization.

“The professional industry leads the beauty business in innovation, speed-to-market and customer relationships, and OPI is one of its most exciting brands,” explains Anderskow. “Leading OPI, the world’s number one professional nail brand, across the global marketplace is an exciting challenge for me. I am extremely happy to join the OPI and Coty leadership team and to help create the new beauty powerhouse.”

Anderskow is known for merging big-business discipline with entrepreneurial passion to create dramatic sales growth and profit growth for his customers, while delivering inspirational leadership to his organization. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana’s business school, Ron lives in Los Angeles with his wife Dung and children Mitchell, Elizabeth, Thor and Carinna.

Los Angeles Spa Invites Guests To A Galaxy Far, Far Away with Star Wars-Themed Treatments

Larchmont Sanctuary Spa will offer an array of Star Wars-infused treatments through the month of December.

Self-described "Star Wars nerd" and owner of Larchmont Sanctuary Spa in Los Angeles, CA, Tina Figueroa, is celebrating the December release of the latest film in the Star Wars franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens with spa treatments infused with the Force.

Available for booking through the end of December, the treatment packages, designed by the spa’s owner, celebrate the characters and locations featured throughout the blockbuster movie series. Ideal for the Jedi or the warp-lagged who need a special power boost, the treatment packages feature ingredients and products such as "healing mud from Alderaan, salt from Tatooine, a Restorative Waters Bath from Dagobah, the finest Kashyyykian Beer".

Other Star Wars-themed treatments include:
“The Lightsaber Lifesaver Detox Retreat” Illuminating Detox Treatment (90 min) + Alkalizing Foot Detox (30 min) $199 - Remove atmospheric debris with a stimulating, full body salt scrub from Tatooine. Relax under a thermal blanket as remnants of impurities are absorbed by Alderaan healing mud, rich in nutrients and minerals for your skin. End with a Swedish massage application of a Shea Butter and algae cream to replenish moisture and restore balance. The foot hydrotherapy foot bath featured in the package is most known for reducing acidic conditions in the body.
“The Forest Moon Retreat” Couples Stress Away Warm Stone Massage (60 min) + Champagne Bath for Two (20 min) $279 - If your personal starship is suffering from burnout, enjoy the healing energy of a warming massage to soothe away stress. This treatment combines hot stones to massage the body, a scalp massage to relieve tension, and the healing powers of Aromatherapy to promote deep relaxation. Sip champagne and reconnect while enjoying a warm healing bath together. Saving the Universe will have to wait.
“The Yoda Retreat” Force Awakening Massage (60 min) + Superfruit Vitamin C Facial (60 min) $223 - You’ll be broggled by this massage combining light, medium and deep pressure strokes to eliminate stress and tension. Revitalize, balance and harmonize mental, physical and pranic energies. Stimulate new collagen production, brighten and create a lasting luminous glow with this medical strength Vitamin C treatment. Eliminate oxidative stress, environmental stress, and free radicals from the skin - great for hyperpigmentation, dull and photo-damaged skin, making it feel as smooth as the surface of a neutron star.
“The Skywalker Retreat” Dock and Repair Massage (60 min) + Dagobah Healing Waters Bath, with the finest Kashyyykian Beer (aka Hot Bath, Cold Beer) (20 min) $167 - This massage therapy was designed for the Jedi, who is just plain overworked, worn out and longing for home. It's ideal for working out knots and tightness with moderate to deep pressure that still encourages you to fall asleep on the table. Saving the Universe can create tension in the head, neck, feet and internal organs, so this therapy includes a warm oil scalp massage and foot reflexology.

“In today’s busy world, we all want to escape,” says Figueroa. “Even if you can’t travel to a land far, far away, a brief spa retreat can make all the difference in a coping with the stresses of everyday life.”

Larchmont Sanctuary Spa is located in one of L.A.’s most historic neighborhoods and formerly known as Le Petite Retreat. Located at 331 N. Larchmont Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90004, the spa is closed on Tuesdays; open until 9 pm Wednesdays through Fridays, and 7 pm the rest of the week. Book online at www.larchmontsanctuary.com or call 323.466.1028.

Spa News: CCL Holdings Acquires Two Bunch Palms

The California-based resort will continue to emphasis healing and wellness under new management.

Hospitality and real estate private investment company CCL Holdings has acquired California's Two Bunch Palms resort. The old leadership team, including Kevin Kelly as chief executive officer, John Trudeau as managing director and Rianna Riego as executive director of brand and communication, will remain in place as the resort is transferred to its new management company, JRNL Two Bunch Palms, an affiliate of CCL Holdings.

The iconic, 75-year-old resort was recently rebranded to emphasize healing and wellness, including the location's healing waters, a multi-million dollar renovation and the addition of a farm-to-table restaurant, and a brand-new, 550 KW, 3.5-acre solar farm, making Two Bunch Palms fully carbon neutral. Additionally, Kevin Kelly revealed plans for a new world-class spa and wellness centre, a second hot mineral springs grotto and swimming pool, and additional hotel rooms in early 2016.

Says Tim Chun, vice president of CCL, “We’re very excited to share the vision that has been started by the previous owners and move forward with the next phase of expansion.”

“Two Bunch Palms is leading the industry as the first sustainable wellness resort of its kind in the country, and we are thrilled that CCL is committed to promoting sustainable wellbeing,” said Kelly.

Two Bunch Palms was recently named best Corporate Brand Committed to Sustainability in the Green Spa Awards.

2015 Successful Hands Grant Program Winners Announced

Image courtesy of Performance Health Brands

Biofreeze, Massage Envy Spa and Bon Vital' have announced the winners of the second annual grant program.

Biofreeze, Massage Envy Spa and Bon Vital' are pleased to announce the winners of their second annual collaborative Successful Hands Grant Program. This year’s program, launched in February, supported the professional massage therapy student in their educational pursuits. Students applied for one of eight $1,000 grants. In addition, each winner’s school receives a $1,000 grant package. All applicants were asked to complete a 200 word essay on “What being a successful massage therapist means to me.” The submission process closed on October 15, 2015.

“I am truly confident that our profession’s future is in very good hands based on the passion and professionalism reflected in the grant applications,” stated Lynda Solien-Wolfe, Vice President Massage and Spa, Performance Health. “With over 850 submissions, choosing just eight winning essays was a difficult yet rewarding assignment for our selection committee. It’s an uplifting experience to read what our students are striving to do to make our world a better place. I am delighted and honored to announce this year’s winners, and they are…"

  • Kelly Berry; Body Therapy Institute, Siler City, NC
  • Melissa Furtado; SpaTech Institute, Plymouth, MA
  • Brittney Hawk; Cortiva Institute of Massage Therapy, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Sarah Huseby; Minnesota School of Business, Blaine, MN
  • Tyler Kragerud; East West College of the Healing Arts, Portland, OR
  • Bailey Leighton; Madison College, Madison, WI
  • Stacy Siddle; Cuyahoga Community College, Highland Hills, OH
  • Bridget Todd; College of Southern Maryland, La Plata, MD

“It has been truly gratifying to help develop and support this program again in partnership with Performance Health,” added CG Funk, Vice President, Industry Relations and Product Development, Massage Envy Spa Franchising. “As Lynda mentioned, it wasn’t easy for our selection committee to choose only eight winners—sincerely the best of the best. But we gave this task to five ‘best-of-the-best’ reviewers. We are very grateful for their willingness to serve on our review committee and for their talent and passion. Thank you all for making a difference in these students’ lives.”

The review committee members were:

  • Kathryn Feather; Senior Associate Editor, Massage Today
  • Julie Keller Callaghan; Editor-in-Chief/Publisher, American Spa
  • Mae Manacap-Johnson; Editor, Pulse; International SPA Association
  • Karen Menehan; Editor in Chief, Massage Magazine
  • Scott Dartnall; President and CEO, One Concept

“The 850 plus applications represented 304 massage therapy schools and/or programs. Because of this overwhelming response, I’m pleased to announce that we’ll be implementing the program again in 2016. We will share all the details in late January and will begin accepting applications in February,” continued Ms. Solien-Wolfe.

“Thank you to all the students and schools who participated this year,” concluded Ms. Funk.