ISPA to recognize John and Karen Korpi as Dedicated Contributors

June 29, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Two spa industry leaders will be celebrated at the 20th annual International SPA Association’s Conference & Expo, Nov. 15-18, 2010 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in the Washington, D.C. area/National Harbor, MD. John and Karen Korpi will be honored with the 2010 ISPA Dedicated Contributor Award for their contributions to the spa community. The Korpis have been instrumental in the development of ISPA, industry tools and resources and hundreds of spas all over the world. They recently began their own spa consulting business, Korpi & Korpi and Associates.

“The Korpis are affectionately known as the “spa mama” and “spa papa” of the industry,” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. “It’s an appropriate title because they were present at the first meeting that led to the creation of ISPA. Since then, both have served as board members and pioneered groundbreaking spa textbooks and resources.”

The ISPA Dedicated Contributor Award is given to an active ISPA member who has contributed significantly to the growth of the association. The recipient will have demonstrated leadership and commitment to ISPA and has extensively assisted in the promotion of the association, as well as its mission and vision.

Upon learning of this recognition, the Korpis said, “Over the past twenty years of involvement with ISPA, our lives have been enriched with wonderful memories and lifelong friendships. We have been blessed that our professional circumstances have allowed us to devote significant time and energy to the advancement of the Association and Spa Industry. We are profoundly grateful for the thousands of volunteer hours contributed by other ISPA members and humbly accept on behalf of the collective efforts of everyone who has helped advance the mission of advancing the prosperity of all spas and the professional growth of spa professionals.

Their passion for spa began long before ISPA. John, a Minnesota native, moved from the hotel industry to the spa world when he joined Buena Vista Hospitality Group managing properties including French Lick Spring Resort and PGA National. Korpi then formed SpaQuest International, which dealt with executive recruiting for spas. Throughout that time he served as Chairman for the ISPA Board of Directors and the ISPA Foundation Board, as well as leading several ISPA Task Forces.

Karen, a California girl, jumped into the hospitality industry at the age of 11, working for her family’s hotel outside Yosemite National Park. Her professional career started in the Insurance industry and then she became Director of Human Resources for the Claremont Resort and Spa in Berkeley Hills, CA. When the resort opened its highly regarded spa, she became the spa’s Director for 10 years. In 1999, Karen was elected Vice President of Spas for Ritz-Carlton Hotel Corporation. She is responsible for developing and opening more than 50 spas around the world.

“The Korpis passion and dedication to the spa industry and ISPA has impacted numerous people through the years,” said ISPA Chairman Jean Kolb. “By serving as spa executives, volunteering through board service and sharing their passion with the spa community each and every day, this industry is much stronger as a result. We cannot thank the Korpis enough.”

The Korpis will accept the 2010 Dedicated Contributor Award during the General Session on Wednesday, Nov. 17. Other 2010 award recipients include: Doc Hendley, founder of Wine to Water, accepting the ISPA Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award; and Deborah Szekely accepting the ISPA Visionary Award during the General Session on Tuesday, Nov. 16. Registration for the 2010 ISPA Conference & Expo is open, and you can learn more about ISPA’s 20th Anniversary by visiting the Web site.

About the International SPA Association

ISPA is recognized worldwide as the leading professional organization and voice of the global spa industry by providing invaluable educational and networking opportunities to foster professionalism and growth. More details on ISPA are available on

Spas are places devoted to enhancing overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit.



A special thank you to our 2010 ISPA Conference & Expo Sponsors


Hay House Lifestyles

Precor Inc.


Iredale Mineral Cosmetics Ltd.

Murad Inc.






Germaine de Capuccini, S.A.


Skin Authority

Sothys USA Inc

SpaSoft/Springer-Miller Systems


American Massage Therapy Association

Conair/Satin Smooth

Pure Inventions

Universal Companies, Inc

Yon-Ka Paris

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