Speakers will include the industry’s leading owners and managers, as well as experts in related fields.
2018 Opening Keynote Speaker
Dr. Benn Konsynski, Ph.D.,
George S. Craft Distinguished University Professor
Information Systems & Operations Management
Emory Goizueta Business School
Benn R. Konsynski arrived at Goizueta Business School following six years on the faculty at the Harvard Business School where he taught in the MBA program and several executive programs. Prior to arriving at HBS, he was a professor at the University of Arizona where he was a co-founder of the university's multi-million dollar group decision support laboratory. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Purdue University.
He has published in such diverse journals as Management Science, Operations Research, Communications of the ACM, Harvard Business Review, IEEE Transactions on Communications, MIS Quarterly, Journal of MIS, Data Communications, Decision Sciences, Decision Support Systems, Information Systems, and IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. He serves on boards and advisory roles in public and private organizations.
2017 Speakers Included:
There are few in the hair and beauty industry with as much experience to share as the charismatic and fascinating Marcus. Louisiana-born Marcus was the man behind the phenomenal growth of Urban Retreat in London’s famous Harrods, possibly the largest single-unit salon business in the world, with 220 staff, 11,000 services a month and an annual turnover of £12.5 million. A trained hairdresser, he has an incredible track record of creating hugely successful businesses from scratch. He is now with the Refinery, which he has taken into the international arena. Marcus shares his experience and knowledge through education, helping promote professionalism and push up profit margins within the industry.
Founder/Education Director/Master Artist/CEO
Karie Bennett cut her own bangs on her 3rd birthday, the same day she taught herself how to read. Her official journey as a hairstylist began in 1981, and as a salon owner in 1997, when she opened her first Atelier in Los Altos. Opportunity knocked in 2002, when Aveda invited her to open the Bay Area’s flagship Aveda salon at Santana Row in San Jose, California. Fast forward to today, Atelier is 70 employees strong, between three salon locations in the Silicon Valley.
Growing up in Washington State Angel Ceasar graduated from Sunnyside Professional Beauty School in 2001. Shortly after being hired as a stylist she became a certified manager for Master Cuts for 4 years. Through Master Cuts she was able to train with top artistic design teams in cut & color, along with many different product lines such as Paul Mitchell, Biolage, KMS, Kenra, American Crew, Joico, Redken and many more. She is currently working for Aria Salon Spa Shoppe where she is now the Master stylist and Lead Educator at the Aria Salon Forsyth location.
Van Michael Salons
In 1984, Van and his brother Michael partnered and together launched the first Van Michael Salon, a full service Aveda Concept Salon in Atlanta, Georgia. To guarantee that they only hired the area’s top stylists Van and company devised their own intensive training program from which every person had to pass before being allowed to flaunt their creative skills. Now, every one of his stylists graduates from the training course with the best, becoming members of the Van Michael Artistic Team as well as the Aveda Educational Network. Van has won such prestigious awards as “North American Hairstylist of the Year”, “Avant Garde Stylist of the Year”, “Makeover Stylist of the Year”, as well as becoming a member of the Aveda Global Masters Team.
Global Artistic & Business Director of John Paul Mitchell Systems
Robert Cromeans Salons
Legendary platform artist and industry icon, Robert Cromeans’ innovative artistry and proven business strategies inspire hairdressers around the globe. Few have achieved such international acclaim, and fewer still have worked so hard to share the keys to success with others.
Denise has been the top revenue generating service provider for the past 13 years in all of the 10 Juut Salons and Spas nationwide. She is a woman phenomenon when it comes to consistently creating eye opening results without and assistant. With a focus on the business and keen balancing act of mind, body and spirit, she will show you how she achieves such legendary results. Denise believes in giving back and sharing her passion, knowledge, experience and insatiable drive with the industry that she loves.
MI3 (MI Cubed)
Tim Golden, M.Ed., is an award-winning educator and curriculum and human resources development expert who has consulted nationally with schools, human resource agencies, businesses and manufacturers for the past 40 years. Tim has been recognized with numerous awards for his modern approach to curriculum development using multiple intelligences and his leadership in teaching and training. MI3 (MI Cubed) has tested well over 100,000 individuals identifying their strengths and the motivations that drive them to excel – increasing engagement and retention.
Gary Harlan is a successful salon owner and colorist/designer with NColor Salon+Boutique2. He has been a sole proprietor for over 33 years in the Salon Industry. Gary is highly engaged in the management of his business and providing over 3,700 services and over $225K in retail to his clientele annually. Gary has taken from his experiences from traveling the world educating and listening to the clientele of NColor. He and his Team have learned from the experiences of 5 Star businesses outside of the Salon Industry to develop winning strategies for a profitable business and career opportunities.
Monty Howard is the General Manager of the Visage Group in Knoxville, Tenn., employing more than 170 people across six unique brands. For the last 10 years, Monty has been a presenter with the Strictly Business salon-training program, which shares the successful business practices Visage has employed over 30 years in business with salons from around the country. He is also a salon consultant with Summit Salon Business Center, working one-on-one with salons to establish sustainability strategies such as career pathing, education, customer service training and proper salon culture.
Partner and CEO
Hair + Co. BKLYN and Beauty 360 Consulting Group
Allyson is an executive who excels in growing profitable businesses, streamlining operations, expanding market share, acquiring top talent and developing high quality training systems for salons looking to take their business and their team to the next level. Her philosophy is sales through education and she believes that thinking big is just as critical to an organization’s success as creating real life training systems that teach not just the WHAT but the HOW while making execution simple. “Long-term success comes down to one “a-ha” moment, Allyson says. Everything I do is geared toward that moment. If I can create enough of those moments, the sales will follow; success will come.”
Bird Dog Capital Group
Jake LaJoie has a unique combination of private equity, operations, investment banking and corporate finance experience. Over the course of his career he has completed 15 principal equity investments totaling over $225 million in equity and $15 billion of M&A and corporate finance transactions. Jake’s primary private equity responsibilities include sourcing, execution, and post-acquisition management while focusing on companies in consumer and business services, with a particular emphasis on franchising, general industrials, and financial services. His senior operations experience entailed leading all finance, accounting, purchasing, and IT functions
Deeper Life Advocate
Write One Line
Scott has been a spiritual leader, pastor and entrepreneur for over 22 years in both the non-profit and for-profit world. His leadership journey has included many different experiences, including: pastoring at 4 of the largest churches in America, traveling abroad to work with people in India and Russia, and helping build one of the most successful health food supplement companies in the US. Scott’s life mission is to connect and inspire people toward a deeper, more meaningful life. In 2015, he founded his company, Write One Line, to maximize his leadership experience by helping others through corporate training/consulting, leading contemplative practice retreats and developing a line of inspiring retail products
President & CEO
Gene Juarez Salons and Spas
Scott Missad is the President & CEO of Gene Juarez Salons & Spas. He has been in the beauty industry for over 30 years in roles such as Sr. Executive for Maly’s and Beauty Alliance, Sr. Vice President of Sales of Redken, Founder of Strictly Business, a nationally acclaimed beauty industry business program, Founder of Sun Bum sunscreen products and is currently a Board Member for Gene Juarez Salons & Spas as well as ISBN.
Ginger Bay Salons
Not your typical salon/spa owner, Laura is not a licensed cosmetologist, but rather a licensed attorney in Missouri and Illinois. In her law practice, Laura specialized in the areas of real estate and construction litigation, along with corporate and employment law. Since purchasing the company in 2008, she has changed the culture at Ginger Bay overnight and allowed it to experience revenue growth and profitability, without layoffs or cuts in employee benefits. Laura has led her team to earn some well-deserved recognition, including Top 200 Salons (2009-2017) from Salon Today, 2012 Salon of the Year from Salon Today and Top Small Business Women Owners from 2008-2017 by Small Business Monthly.
World Class Salons & World Class Financial Services
Jim began his career in 1970 as a Clairol Salon Consultant before joining the Zotos team in 1980 and then becoming Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Education with Aveda in 1986. He became the Senior Vice President and General Manager at Caesar’s Beauty Products in Southern California in 1989 and in 1991became the President and CEO of Pacifico’s Beauty Products, the exclusive Aveda distributor for Colorado and Wyoming with a six-state region, grossing over 18 million in annual sales. He now owns World Class Salons, a group of seven Aveda Concept Salons in Colorado and Utah, as well as World Class Financial Services which provides accounting services to over 100 Salons and Spas throughout the Beauty Industry.
Owner & CEO
Brian Perdue was introduced to the salon industry in 1987 after marrying his hairstylist wife. Through her experiences, Brian quickly identified an opportunity to create consistency and provide career paths in the industry while feeding his entrepreneurial spirit. After earning his cosmetology certification and training with a top salon in Atlanta, the first Salon 124 opened in 1991. The 124 Group has grown to three brands encompassing six salon locations and one cosmetology school. With three boys at home and a love for fishing, Brian attributes the ability to balance life while successfully running a business to ZeeZor (and a great leadership team, of course).
Jamison Shaw Hairdressers
Nicknamed ‘The Balay Lama™’, Candy literally grew up in the beauty industry as the daughter of Jamison Shaw, a former world-champion competition hairdresser. Candy has been a hairdresser and educator all of her adult life with over 35 years of experience. Candy owns Jamison Shaw Hairdressers®, a fifty-year young, 5,000 square-foot, 50 chair salon in Atlanta, GA. Candy works ‘behind the chair’ full-time, and with the aid of between four and six assistants, sees up to 35 guests each day. In 1996, Candy founded The Academy at Jamison Shaw, an advanced training facility specializing in French Cutting and Balayage Highlighting. Today, Candy is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on balayage education.
Editor in Chief
Stacey Soble has been involved in the conversation of salon business for more than 20 years—as a reporter, a consultant and as the Editor in Chief of SALON TODAY, the professional beauty industry’s only business-focused media. Under her helm, SALON TODAY has expanded its SALON TODAY 200 program, which honors and celebrates salon and spa owners for their business acumen, fosters the sharing of successful ideas, and establishes important industry benchmarks. In addition, Soble has continued the brand’s SALONS OF THE YEAR décor competition and recently launched STAMP, a salon marketing program that shares best practices.
Founder & Owner
David Wagner is a hair stylist, entrepreneur, educator, author and “Daymaker." Innovator of the Daymaker Movement, David’s philosophy for living a life that changes the world - one person at a time - through simple acts of kindness, has captured the hearts of hundreds of thousands around the world. JUUT Salonspas, the original AVEDA concept salons, with nine JUUT locations in the Midwest, two in Arizona, and one in San Francisco's Bay Area that are continually voted "Best Salon" within their communities, employ over 450 staff and serve over 400,000 guests annually.
Frank & Jana Westerbeke
Gadabout & VerVe SalonSpas
Frank Westerbeke , Co-President
As a "rookie" stylist in training, Frank entered the Gadabout family 25 years ago as one of the first employees hired at a new salon owned by a talented young newcomer to Tucson — Pam McNair, who would become his mentor, his dear friend and ultimately his mother-in-law. The winner of numerous awards throughout his career, Frank channels his creativity by bringing out the personality of his guests through innovative style and color techniques. That same creativity allows him to develop cutting edge building and space design for the Gadabout & VerVe Salons.
Jana Westerbeke, President and Director of Guest Relations
Jana carries on the high standards of excellence instilled in her by her mother, Pam McNair. Legendary customer service continues to keep her award winning company strong and Jana inspires customer service programs that create the Gadabout experience. She empowers her team of colleagues to achieve their maximum potential in every aspect of their lives and to realize the positive difference they can make in other people’s lives through their work. Jana is inspired every day by their success. In 2010 Gadabout was honored as the Most Employee Friendly Spa by Skin Inc Magazine in their Best of the Best Awards