Theresa and Bill Armour
In the early 1980s, Theresa and Bill Armour shared the vision of bringing the luxury experience of a resort spa to the city. The husband and wife team opened the first Burke Williams in 1984, and urban day spa concept that would become synonymous with elegance, wellness and luxury. The brand is still family operated to this day, and the Armours have overseen the vision every step of the way. Drawing inspiration from world-class European day spas, Burke Williams combines the finest treatments with nourishing innovations to transport its guests from the stress of everyday life and treat them to the ultimate in relaxation and renewal. Three decades later, Burke Williams flourishes with 11 locations across California, featuring innovative massages and facials; world-class amenities; a results-oriented skincare line, H2V; and the BW Med+Spa, with locations in Woodland Hills and Mission Viejo.
Felicia Brown, LMBT, is owner of Spalutions, a firm that provides business and marketing coaching and consulting for massage, spa and wellness professionals. With appearances at national and international spa industry conferences, Felicia has become a sought-after speaker and educator; she also works as an expert witness in legal cases related to the massage and spa industry. She is the author ofseven books, including Creating Lifetime Clients: How to WOW Your Customers for Life and Free & Easy Ways to Promote Your Massage, Spa & Wellness Business. She has been a massage therapist since 1994 and owns of A to Zen Massage, an award-winning wellness spa in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Kim Collier is a holistic health practitioner, spa consultant and experience planner, international spa and massage therapy educator, organic lifestyle aficionado and adventurous traveler who has dedicated her body of work to natural healing methods and herbal remedies. The industry veteran is at the helm of Organic Spa Rituals and Collier Concepts, and she contributes to Blu Spas. Collier’s most recent work spans cannabis advocacy, vetting products for herbal healing and CBD educational events. She enjoys being a leading resource for the industry and contributing to the spa and wellness community.
Russian-born Tamara Friedman arrived in Detroit in 1975 with her husband and twin daughters, a nontransferable nursing degree, Russian training in esthetics and cosmetology, and $200. In the years that followed she became a day spa pioneer, gradually building her award-winning Farmington Hills, Michigan-based Tamara Spa into a 10,000-square-foot, full-service health and beauty spa. Tamara remains a force in the industry today, visiting spas across the U.S. and Europe to bring the best available treatments back to her clientele, and receiving numerous accolades from beauty and fashion magazines, trade publications and local business organizations.
Beauty expert Cynthia Malcom, founder and education director of Edgar Renee Aesthetic Education and Consulting Group, has been in the beauty industry since 1998. Starting as a nail technician, she opened Hand Candy Mind & Body Escape Day Spa in Cincinnati, at 24 years old. From there, she became a licensed esthetician and found her niche as an advanced skincare specialist presenting seminars throughout the U.S. and internationally. Combining her entrepreneurial spirit with her drive to continuously learn, the CIDESCO Diplomat has been instructing under the moniker Edgar Renee—a fusion of her son and daughter’s names—since 2010. In 2013, Edgar Renee became a brick and mortar company, educating individuals from New York, Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania, and Nicaragua, Barbados and the Bahamas. Currently, Edgar Renee offers state board licensed continuing education classes for instructors, estheticians, cosmetologists, manicurists, massage therapists, business owners and nurses. Resources, such as keys to successful business management and ownership, are also available.
For more than 20 years, Dawn Nooney has her passion for skin care and wellness with her clients and on the air. She has been featured on local Massachusetts lifestyle television program “Mass Appeal,” and for the past four years she has hosted her radio program, “Weekly Renew” on iHeartRADIO. The show focuses on how to nurture natural beauty, as well as skincare and wellness techniques to help listeners take better care of themselves. Renew.calm, the cutting-edge day spa founded by Dawn in 2001, was the first spa in western Massachusetts to offer body contouring, antiaging LED treatments and vascular blemish removal, and it continues to introduce new technology to solve face and body issues. As part of its holistic approach to well-being, renew.calm offers yoga classes and hosts educational events on topics such as The MELT Method, Reiki and nutrition. While growing her spa to 4,000 square feet, Dawn also developed and taught the Advanced Aesthetic Program at Chameleons School of Esthetics in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Aliesh Pierce, LE, is author of the textbook Treating Diverse Pigmentation (Milady, 2012) and director of education for her online beauty portal, AskAliesh.com. She started as a freelance makeup artist and transitioned to skin care after having worked almost a decade in the fashion industry between New York, Milan and Zurich. Aliesh eventually settled in Los Angeles, where she maintains a small roster of private facial clients and continues to create content for various brands. Her work supports training, marketing and product development. Through AskAliesh.com, she regularly features emerging brands by creating ingredient reviews, skincare articles and makeup tutorials, with a member-based education division slated to launch in Spring 2019.
Owner of Oasis Day Spas in New York City, Bruce Schoenberg opened the first seven-room location in 1998, followed quickly by a second location at One Park Avenue in 2001 after Oasis’ overnight success. In 2008, he opened a location in Westchester, the largest spa in the county, featuring an outdoor rooftop garden and event space. Oasis Day Spa has been named Spa of the Decade and Best Day Spa of Westchester by Westchester Magazine for 10 years in a row. Bruce is currently celebrating Oasis’ 20 years as top day spa, and is also a small-business consultant who helps new entrepreneurs, as well as companies needing marketing and operational guidance.
A respected authority in the spa industry, Alexis Ufland is the owner of Lexi Design, a spa consultancy firm that has developed premier spas and fitness centers across Europe, Asia, South America and the United States. She has written numerous articles on spa and fitness development, has been quoted in the top industry trade magazines and has lectured at national and international trade events. Alexis currently resides and works in New York City and is developing luxury day, hotel and medical spas throughout the United States, South America and Europe.
Tracy Whynot, MS, LAc, owner and principal of Place360 Health + Spa in Del Mar, California, specializes in pain and stress management, oncology, dermatology, women’s health and digestive disorders; her personal philosophy is to holistically enhance each person’s health and beauty via a fusion of Chinese medicine, massage and skin care. Tracy’s passion began at an early age with her first facial treatment, which resulted in a mentoring relationship that led to her initial massage therapy training at Desert Institute of Healing Arts in Tucson, Arizona, and Skin Care at Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics in Boston. Tracy is now a licensed, board certified acupuncturist with a masters of science in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and she trained and completed rounds in gynecology, dermatology, diabetes and Chinese medical massage at Chengdu Traditional Medicine Hospital in Chengdu, China. She was also trained in Thai Massage at the International Training Massage School Chiang Mai, Thailand. Tracy has traveled extensively throughout Indonesia, China, Tibet, Thailand, the Middle East, Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean, researching the best approaches to wellness. She’s previously practiced at some of the top destination spas, including Canyon Ranch Health and Fitness Spa, Miraval Life in Balance Spa, and Cal a Vie.