ISPA Academy Articles

<<< Back to ISPA Academy

5 Must-Have Skills to Make It as a Spa Director

March 7, 2018

As former Health and Healing Director at Canyon Ranch, GM of Travaasa and successful Hospitality Consultant who has lead resorts, spas and medical organizations around the country, Kristine Huffman of Hutchinson Consulting shares must-have skills that every Spa Director should possess.

5 Powerful Takeaways from Simon Sinek

March 28, 2017

Leadership expert Simon Sinek closed this year’s General Session with a compelling challenge to the ISPA community: “Every single person in this room has the opportunity to be the leader you wished you had. So make a choice. Be the leader you wished you had.”

9 Steps to Creating the Perfect Social Media Plan in 2020

October 8, 2019

Do you want to maximize your online influence through social media? Start with these questions: Why you are on social media? Which networks are you using? Which are working?

A Conversation with Carol Phillips- Retail Is Not Dead: How to get your Products on the Shelf, in the bag and out the door

January 4, 2024

Pulse: When you take the stage at the 2024 ISPA Conference for a Knowledge Builder session, what topic will you present to ISPA members?

Carol Phillps: In this session, I will share tried and true ways to drive retail sales in a luxury spa environment.

Pulse: ISPA asks members to “Dream Big!” during the 2024 Conference. How does that idea tie into your work with spa business leaders?

CP: Since Covid, I have noticed, working with beauty businesses around the globe, that almost every beauty brand and spa is underperforming in the retail department by at least 25 to 50 percent. I believe to my core that if, as an industry or individually, those in leadership positions committed to high-quality education in product knowledge, selling skills and communication skills, our industry could double.

A Conversation with Claude Silver- The ROI of Leading with Heart

January 4, 2024

Pulse: As a Knowledge Builder presenter at the 2024 ISPA Conference, you will address the ISPA membership about “the ROI of Leading with Heart.” Share a little about what “leading with heart” means.

Claude Silver: Leading with heart is a transformative leadership approach with a far-reaching positive impact. Promoting others’ growth contributes to overall prosperity for your organization. Empowering employees through heart not only fosters a thriving team spirit, but also drives business success.


A Conversation with Dr. Bryan K. Williams- Leaders Serve & Servers Lead: Keys To Inspire Exceptional Service

January 4, 2024

Pulse: You’ve been a mainstay of the ISPA Conference for nearly two decades, and members remind us every year to invite you to join us at the annual spa gathering. This year, you will present a topic new to ISPA attendees, but one that has helped shape your own career. Is there a success story you’d like to share?

Bryan K. Williams: Absolutely! One of my fondest memories of “leaders serve and servers lead” is when I was a pool and beach attendant at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas. I was a senior in high school at the time. The general manager of the resort noticed my work ethic and called me to his office. He challenged me to come up with seven life goals, and then subsequently met with me weekly—in his office—to review the goals. After one year, he transferred to another hotel, but by the time I was 28 years old, I had done everything on the goals list.

A Conversation with Dr. Kristie Overstreet- Gender Identity: Serving Guests and Supporting Employees with Dignity Care

January 4, 2024

Pulse: As a Knowledge Builder presenter at the 2024 ISPA Conference, you will address the ISPA membership about transgender and nonbinary spa guests and employees. Share a little about your presentation.

Dr Kristie Overstreet: With increased awareness, education and visibility, transgender and nonbinary people will continue to come out as their true selves. Executive leadership, human resources, directors and managers must feel competent in ensuring their transgender and nonbinary employees and guests are treated with dignity. Spa service providers receive little if any training in working with transgender and nonbinary individuals. In this presentation, I will help attendees better understand identity basics, barriers individuals face in the spa setting and best practices. Attendees will leave the session feeling more confident and competent when working with guests and employees.

A Conversation with Erica Dhawan

September 14, 2023

Pulse: You are known for helping leaders inspire their teams to collaborate. When did you first recognize the power of innovation in workplace culture?

ERICA DHAWAN: Research has proven over and over that the romantic myth of the lone genius fails because it obscures the social, connected qualities of innovation. We can multiply our own knowledge, drive and insight “by the power” of others. Embracing this insight is a key aspect of getting big things done in life and work.

A case in point is the recent shift toward greater collabo[1]ration through peer-to-peer virtual communities. A few years ago, the CFO of a law firm noticed a decline in billing among their incoming associates. He discovered they had created a virtual Teams community to share information and advice about their cases. When someone had a problem or question, he or she would pose it on the forum and often immediately receive the answer from a peer. By collaborating with each other in this way, they were able to work better and far more quickly—across offices, practices and levels. For the first time ever, the firm’s leaders had to ask themselves, How can we learn about how to innovate faster and better ways of collaborating from our youngest employees—where horizontal collaboration is natural to them outside of in-person interactions? Today, they have created virtual peer-to-peer communities at all levels of the firm to increase social connections. To me, innovation starts by learning from others, collaborating in new ways and taking these lessons to maximize value and impact in organizations.

A Conversation with Justin Wren

March 7, 2024

Pulse: The principles of well-being and self-care are often associated with spa environments. How do they align with your own journey as an MMA fighter and humanitarian?

Justin Wren: Well, from the wrestling and MMA world, we always used saunas and ice baths and needed massage, so we always found ourselves in a spa environment. First, when we had no money, it was laying on the wrestling mats and our training partners rubbing out our shoulders, our hamstrings, our calves, our back and neck. Then when I got to the Olympic Training Center, we would have massage therapists once a week. We’d get in the ice baths, we’d always be in the sauna, especially before tournaments. And in the MMA world, whenever you’re fighting, you’re always finding the spa that had a gym, a sauna, a steam room, hopefully cold plunges, and then massage therapy that could really help you. I would say it changed from performance to taking care of myself later in my MMA career to now having four ice baths—or four cold plunges—and two saunas at home, and starting a podcast around the heat and the cold and the benefits those have for the body.

Scroll to Top