ISPA Touts Spa Innovators

September 3, 2014

The International SPA Association (ISPA) has announced this year’s ISPA Innovate Award winners. Due to the success in 2013, ISPA has expanded the ISPA Innovate Awards to now encompass three categories: business practices, experiences and products.

“Innovation is the driving force behind growth in the spa industry,” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. “Recognizing the innovation that is occurring within ISPA’s membership will encourage and inspire future ideas.”

With more than double the number of submissions from the inaugural year, voting by the ISPA membership determined the winners.

Business Practices Innovate Award winners are:

  • COOLA Suncare, located in San Diego, Calif. represented by Chris Birchby, founder and chief executive officer, focusing on “mobile POS for products and spa poolside.”
  • East Village Spa, located in Des Moines, Iowa represented by Cassie Sampson, owner, focusing on “employees with disabilities find perfect spa employment.”
  • Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa, located in Corona, Calif. represented by Brad Jensen, operations manager, focusing on “leadership development process ensures employee’s performance success.”
  • SpaEquip Inc., located in Calistoga, Calif. represented by Philippe Therene, founder, focusing on “the gift of spa experiences for all.”
  • The Spa at the Breakers, located in Palm Beach, Fla. represented by Amy Retay, director of spa operations, focusing on “measurement tool to reward service provider’s performance.”

Experiences Innovate Award winners are:

  • Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, located in Tallebudgera Valley, Queensland, Australia represented by Tracy Willis, marketing and public relations director, focusing on “sensory spa experience with live drumming.”
  • Montage Resort & Spa, located in Laguna Beach, Calif. represented by Michael Conte, spa director, focusing on “hand crafted experiences with organic garden ingredients.”
  • Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, located in Ojai, Calif. represented by Gloria Ah Sam, spa director, focusing on “safe treatment modifications for oncology spa guests.”
  • Spa Gregorie’s, located in Newport Beach, Calif. represented by Amanda Manwaring, spa manager, focusing on “inspirational letters inspire spa guests to pay it forward.”
  • The Spa at Pinehurst, located in Pinehurst, N.C. represented by Jennifer Roche, spa director, focusing on “contemplative sand painting: a mindful group workshop.”

Product Innovate Award winners are:

  • Belmond the Inn at Perry Cabin, located in St. Michael, Md. represented by Denise Haddaway, spa director, focusing on “honey-based, all natural bee products.”
  • Body Bliss, located in Sedona, Ariz. represented by Nick James, owner, focusing on “technology that makes authentic aromatherapy truly personal.”
  • Mio Skincare, located in Costa Mesa, Calif. represented by Mara Stern, marketing, focusing on “liquid yoga restorative bath soak treatment.”
  • Osea Skincare, located in Malibu, Calif. represented by Jenefer Palmer, chief seaweed officer, focusing on “skin and body-care made like fine wine.”
  • ResortSuite, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada represented by Frank Pitsikalis, founder and chief executive officer, focusing on “spa guest check-in and questionnaire tablet app.”

The ISPA Conference & Expo Innovate session will be held on October 15 at 3:30 pm at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., where a select group of award recipients will share their innovations with ISPA Conference attendees. Attendees can register for the ISPA Conference & Expo by visiting

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