"It was an eye-opening reckoning to me and my wife that life is too short, which made us to decide to exit Wall Street and do something else."
"You can't talk about suicide prevention without talking about mental health."
"It was so powerful to see people affected in every way."
“I think moving gives you courage to ask, ‘Why not?’ and ‘What if?’"
"I had this list and wanted to cross out the items, trusting that in doing so, it would lead to a path in which I was most passionate about. Boy, it sure did!"
"For me, it was very different. It wasn’t my imagination at all. I knew I would be a massage therapist like I knew how to spell my name.”
"I was so inspired by the treatments I received at the spa I went to that I applied for a job!"
"When life was not what we wanted it to be, we sold everything and moved onto a sailboat to ‘reset’, spend more time together, and be closer to nature."
“My proudest accomplishment is making the decision to leave the world of Wall Street... to concentrate fully on developing and growing Brilliant Imports."
Greta Rose Zagarino
“I travel only when I have to. I'm a total home body! I schedule video chats with global clients and travel the ‘world’ from the comfort of my office.”
"I had such an early love for wellness that I embraced the services and loved figuring out how to promote them and become profitable."
"I had a rough childhood growing up and have worked hard to give my children what I did not have."
"I see connections between people, and I love business match-making. My friends call me the ‘mayor’ because of my ginormous social circle and the fact that so many people consider me their very close friend."
"Even after starting my business, I continued to moonlight by fixing fishing nets."
"I was a teacher with no business experience. But somehow, I succeeded in building a brand!"
"Ever since I was very little, I loved thunderstorms. Much to my mother’s dismay, I would sit out on our front porch as the thunder and lightning cracked all around me."
“I had been waking up every morning, looking in the mirror while I put my make-up on and thinking ‘Gosh, I’m getting older and my skin is starting to sag’ (I know, very critical thoughts)."
“My three daughters are my daily inspiration to be a better person, and also to shop more because they keep taking my clothes!”
"My mom was an opera singer, and I can remember going to rehearsals with her when I was young growing up in New York."
"I am passionate about wellness, luxury and community and really found the amazing combination of all of them when I opened The Remedy, which is the proudest accomplishment of my life."
“Sharing our story is something we love to do, and the potential for new accounts continues to enrich that story.”
“I am proud and honored to say I have had many various accomplishments in life thus far; from being able to say I am a Veteran, to serving on the Oregon Board of Certified Advanced Estheticians."
"I've been very fortunate in my career and have worked for large companies, as well as small independent companies. All have been a blessing."
"We all endure challenges in one way or another. In 2003, I was laid off from a company I had been with for 8 years."
"Two years into the position I became the lead massage therapist over 75 therapists and helped open Qua Baths and Spa at Caesars Palace."
“I can remember being very intrigued by everything. I thrived in an environment where I was working with incredibly talented colleagues whose only goal was to help people feel better through the power of touch."
“It wasn’t just my leadership that made Mii amo #1 – it was the years of experience held by the therapists, in addition to their exceptional talent and skill.”
"I've found that it is so important to be open to learning from my massage therapy students as they are all different, bringing fresh perspectives and methods."
"While creating facial and body care products, I developed the nail care system that I believed the spa industry needed."
“We really pride ourselves on the personal relationships that we develop with each property and trade show we work with.”
“I love what I do and all the people I have the chance to work with and support! I am so excited to continue to grow within the industry and be part of the evolution!”
"Every step along the way into the spa world was organic and karmic.”
“I am 35 years of age, probably amongst the youngest spa owners in the industry. I love waking up each morning and positively impacting the people around me.”
"I experienced an awakening where I tapped into the ancient goddess Aphrodite, that I was inspired to practice self-love and Serve The Goddess my Mobile Spa was born."
“The coolest thing I’ve done in Asia so was seeing baby sharks swimming in the waters of the Maldives."
"If you feel good on the inside, it is expressed that way both through the complexion, body and spirit."
“We are striving to become The Place in the Madison area, and I love being a part of something great!”
"It was my attention to the client experience and business that caught the eye and admiration of Mimi”
“I work with many young women and encourage them to continue their education and take chances in life."
“I enjoy helping people find ways to live more fulfilling, productive, and healthier lives"
Those characteristics led her to open her own dance school when she was just 19 years old.
"My favorite thing about my role... is the limitless opportunities to create a truly unique and indigenous experience for our guests."
Leslie A. Young
In her free time, Leslie is a scuba diving instructor and a cowgirl.
"One fun thing (about dating a royal), everybody bows to you wherever you go just like in fairy tales!"
Darrah Belle Le Montre
"I’ve always loved the spa and hospitality industry."
“I have always been creative and inspired about life, patterns and textures around me.”
One of his favorite adventures is the “Three Peaks Challenge.”
Jennifer Di Francesco
“I was based on loving the core of the work and how it affected who I am."
“My yoga spa secret – I actually can’t stand green tea!”
"Just like any proud parent loves their child, we love each other, our family and our company."
She has visited 133 countries on all seven continents and has yet to turn 30.
"Two of my favorite things in the world are my son's laughter and the sound of waves slapping up on the beach."
"Most college coaches never have an All-American in their career, but I was fortunate enough to have nine."
Alejandro is a globetrotter, having traveled to six different continents, Antarctica being the odd one out.
"Sometimes life gives you a chance to shake up your snow globe and see what comes of it."
John was a pioneering figure for the International SPA Association’s development, and has helped lead the Association to where it stands today, especially when it comes to education.
"Soon, I learned of a group of people wanting to form an association of spas. I jumped in!"
“Five years later, I set my sights on the next horizon, New York City. I sold what little I had and moved to The Big Apple..."
“As a businessperson, I have a commitment to my community to build the next generation of leaders."
“So, I thought, what and where can I go to ease the build-up of daily tensions and take a break from reality? The spa!"
“If it were not for some life events that transpired... I never would have humbly experienced the blessings of being in this field."
“In the lovely words of Gertrude Stein, ‘America is my country, and Paris is my hometown.’"
“One of the best things about traveling alone was that I could truly do whatever I wanted!"
She is known as cupid for her track record of successfully matching seven married couples. "I just love love."
“I have yet to have anything picked up by a big publisher or big artist, but this has become the goal."
“The ability to have consistent quiet time is a practice and if it's not cultivated, life shows up and takes it away."
“Often when on the road, I add a day or two of vacation so I get to experience the destination as a ‘real guest.’"
“Children are our future and we need to invest into them."
“I love that I get to plant the seed of inspiration."
“I have always been an inquisitive and artistic soul."
“I grew up with a single mom who worked three jobs to take care of my brother and me."
Jeff Kohl and Michele Kohl
As Michele puts it, she and Jeff have "joined together in life, love, and business."
The Peaks Resort and Spa
The Spa at the Peaks is the largest spa in Colorado and sits at the base of the Telluride ski resort.
James Paul Chenevey
How I got into the spa industry wasn't a direct path. I worked in the hospitality industry, where I oversaw Callaway Golf's International Division.
When I lost my mother I found that inside of spas I could take time for myself both physically and mentally.
I have watched the spa industry being formed, and grow from just "pampering" to offering natural and effective alternatives.
During college, I got a part-time job at a day spa. It was there that I found instant love.
I believe all people need balance, healing, and health as the foundation of their everyday lives.
During the retreat, the horses became our healers. They can remove energy blocks, make you laugh and cry and aware we are all connected.
When I was younger, I wanted to be like Dolly Parton when I grew up. She always had this glowing skin, big hair, makeup, and high heels.
I grew up in a resort town with hospitality in my blood and while I loved hospitality, I wanted real world business experience and to travel.
I love being able to make a difference in people's lives through fitness, so I continued to learn and teach more.
I want my fellow estheticians to be confident in investing in themselves - they are worth it.
You can't be bored if you are doing something that sets your soul on fire.
I have found my calling and I'm staying in the spa.
I was working on my MBA and decided I might want to open a day spa in Palm Beach, Florida.
If I can offer anything in this life it would be to invite people to slow down and give back to themselves.
Dr. Brent Bauer
I have found ISPA to be a leader in helping reclaim the voice of spa as an integral part of wellness.
I loved studying international law but I wanted to make a difference and help people reach their personal and professional goals.
I was overwhelmed with pure exhilaration when I reached the top of the South Rim!
I've always wanted to sing, so I gave myself singing lessons from a vocal coach starting one year before my 50th Christmas birthday!
Wisconsin has always been home...like all Wisconsinites, we love family, the outdoors, and of course the Green Bay Packers.
I have flaws and imperfections and I'm fine with that. It's my inner strength and heart that I follow.
After losing my best friend at a young age, I decided to live each day to the fullest, to balance my life, and be kinder.
I love working in an industry that is all about taking care of people.
I have never dreamt that I would go from a ballerina to globe-trotting...a big difference from a career as a physical therapist for injured dancers.
My experience in healthy living has also encouraged me to give back to others.
I travel nearly 15-20 days out of the month globally...everywhere I have been has something interesting about it.
The wild animals smelled the horses not us, so we could get very close. When I was young I just assumed that everyone grew up with wild animals
I have been an entrepreneur all my life and it has always involved having my family in the business.
I have so many memories of growing up in Paris, but also throughout my lifetime since I am fortunate enough to return there almost every year.
A successful hire to me boils down to genuine passion - passion for the craft and passion for the company and its vision.
Getting as far out of my comfort zone as possible, working with homeless kids not much younger than me was life-changing.
I was asked to help out in the spa because the Spa Director went on leave. That was 15 years ago. I love the spa business.
Coming into an industry in its infancy and under the guidance of a great leader was like being one of the first to work with Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.
Spa is increasingly part of new resort and hotel names, which proves its importance.
I play Mrs. Claus on ice every year, and we’ve raised thousands of dollars for Christmas gifts for foster kids. I’m fully booked next season.
So far it has been an incredible experience – Hong Kong is still an intoxicating mixture of passion and chaos.
I had decided to take the startup plunge and much as I loved it, Beirut wasn’t an ideal place for entrepreneurs.
I was interested in both the reconstructive and the aesthetic side. I got into medical school in Germany.
I get to be a part of the spa industry, but I also get to do that as a part of my profession, which is running associations.
I love this industry and I’m proud of what we have achieved, not just in terms of growing our company but in terms of making an impact on the spa world as a whole.
I remodeled it, created a journey and experience for clients, updated technologically, and built a solid team with a dynamic spa director who shared my vision.
Every decision we make in life is a learning opportunity. Everyone who has made a success of their life has dared to fail. Dream big.
I was living in Venice beach and wanted an organic sunscreen for the surfing market, but the organic formulas that I had created priced myself out of the surf market.
I travel the world and help businesses with their service culture and service standards. It’s not just the hotel and spa world that takes service seriously these days.
I gained invaluable experience in dealing with multi-cultural customers, which would have been impossible without leaving home. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
People come into our world from all kinds of backgrounds, but it’s probably fair to guess that most People of ISPA stories won’t start off in banking.
The key to our success was that my husband is in finance and so he had encouraged me to run FarmHouse Fresh with very clear financial boundaries.
There wasn’t an organic produce section in a supermarket, never mind in the drugstore or in the spa, wherever people were buying skincare products.
Just from seeing all the new spas that were popping up I knew it was a business to get into. I helped place lots of newly-qualified massage therapist's with resorts.
I learned a lot about leading people in the Army, a lot about mentoring people as a teacher, then a lot about motivating people as a personal trainer.
A friend of my father’s was an accountant and he had a rather nice life, which appealed to me. But what I swiftly discovered was that I didn’t particularly enjoy accountancy.
Real change means breaking down borders and barriers that are, more often than not, self-imposed. That’s just as true in the business world as it is on our personal lives.
I spent three years creating and selling customized scents and salts, learning about design and packaging, saving every penny I made from my business.
The cosmetic industry was already mature and it felt like the next step should be in spa as it was an emerging industry at the time. Spa was new and different.
I always knew that I wanted to work here. I was spending time at the spa as a guest and it was there that my journey of self-awareness really began.