Events in the Industry, Benefits and Awards

Neill Corporation Hosts Serious Business in New Orleans

For the eighth year, the Neill Corporation presented its Serious Business conference in New Orleans, hosting 1,200 attendees for a two-day program that featured experts in sustainable and progressive business practices. The highlight of the carbon-neutral event was the groundbreaking Hairdressers Unlocking Hope Benefit Hair Show, which raised almost $82,000 for Hairdressers Unlocking Hope, an organization that builds homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina with Habitat for Humanity. During the show, seven world-renowned hairdressers—Antoinette Beenders, Vivienne Mackinder, Nick Arrojo, Van Council, Robert Lobetta, Christiaan and Tim Hartley—took the stage to pay homage to the legendary Vidal Sassoon, each creating a personal interpretation of one of his classic haircuts.

Keynote and breakout speakers included Saatchi & Saatchi's Judah Schiller; author and founder of Noise Marketing, Noah Kerner; consultant, entrepreneur and author Matt Mason; customer service authority John DiJulius; Arrojo; Heath Smith, co-founder of the Jackson Ruiz companies, which owns Jackson Ruiz SalonSpas; coaching, team-building and entrepreneurial training expert Wendy Watkins; sustainable business development specialist Mark Wuttke of the Wuttke Group; New York City-based Aveda salon owner Scott Buchanan; Creative Director of the Neill Corporation Michael Baker; executives from Modern Salon & Spa Group; and Jeanine O'Neill-Blackwell, partner and chief learning officer of management company Beauty Basics.

Industry visionary Vidal Sassoon closed the event by recounting his rise to fame and the lessons he learned along the way, and by sharing his experience working with Hairdressers Unlocking Hope. —L.A.

Freestyle Systems Lends a Helping Hand

ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition, with the help of Freestyle Systems, created a home salon for hairdresser/mom Renee Giunta. Giunta had been unable to work since her husband, Paul, was seriously injured in a car accident two years ago, but host Ty Pennington surprised her with a practice salon. The dedicated team from Freestyle Systems not only made calls to other manufacturers to help get the salon fully outfitted with products and furniture, but also spent five days (and some late nights) at the house to help with the installation of Freestylist Dryer Support System pull-down dryers and the company's latest innovation, SpectraLights. This episode was the world premiere of the new lighting solution, which uses state-of-the-art LED technology for longer life span, perfect color rendering, an 80 percent savings in electricity use and a 90 percent reduction in wasted heat. —L.M.

Redken Elite Salon Celebrates Art and Hair

The first Evening of Art showcase took place in May at the Perez Salon and Spa, a Redken Elite Salon, in Chevy Chase, MD. Owner Roger Perez paired 35 of his original paintings with the fall fashion hair trends created by the Perez Artistic Team. Throughout the afternoon and early evening, guests were served complimentary cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Models walked down the catwalk, displaying the hairstyling talents of the Perez Artistic Team and the fall fashions by Simply Divine Boutique. "This summer we did something quite unique in the art world," said Perez, whose artistic team has researched and compiled hair trends seen around the globe. "It was truly an evening of art, creativity and beauty." —A.P.

Mark Garrison Gives Wig Tips for TV Show

Renowned stylist Mark Garrison of New York City's Mark Garrison Salon will appear on the DiscoveryHD and WealthTV show Planet Luxury, set to air this fall. Planet Luxury features a behind-the-scenes look at "the best of the best" everyday items, how they are made and why they cost so much. On this episode, which was filmed in early June, Garrison discusses how to style a wig and why it's so different than styling natural hair. Garrison demonstrates these techniques on Erica Luxembourg's line of high-end wigs. —L.M.

OPI Awards Computers and Scholarships to Employees' Children

This summer, 83 new computer systems and 18 $1,000 college scholarships were awarded to children of OPI employees at the company's fourth-annual Education Celebration. The company's executive vice president and artistic director, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, presented the computers and scholarships along with President and CEO George Schaeffer. "Education is such a high priority to us at OPI that we make every effort to encourage studying and to make learning easier for these deserving students," Schaeffer said. The event was hosted by OPI Products in conjunction with the Schaeffer Family Foundation. Eduardo Xol, star of ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition, was in attendance.

Extreme Makeover Home Edition's eduardo Xol
Extreme Makeover Home Edition's eduardo Xol

Since OPI's first Education Celebration, OPI has awarded a total of 260 computer systems and 74 scholarships, including those given out at the 2008 event, and OPI plans to continue its efforts to support education. "It is so inspiring to see how dedicated these deserving students are, and to know that we can help them to achieve their dreams through the power of education," Schaeffer said. —A.P.

Redken Elite Salon Owner Wins Local Award

Brian Perdue, founder of Salon 124 in Snellville, GA, was recognized as Small Business Person of the Year at the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce's annual Pinnacle Awards ceremony. Perdue, who won in the 100-Plus Employees and the Overall Small Business Person categories, was selected from more than 300 nominees and 25 finalists. The Redken Elite salon founder will now compete for the statewide title of Georgia Small Business Person of the Year.

"I entered this business to impact people's lives," said Perdue, who has five salons, a cosmetology school and more than 190 employees. His company posted earnings of more than $7 million in 2007, and expects to earn more than $8 million in 2008. —L.M.

ThermaFuse Increases its Distribution

ThermaFuse founder and CEO Van Stamey recently announced that the heat-styling product brand would be expanding to distributors in several new areas across the country. ThermaFuse product placement and salon customer care will be present in New Jersey and North Carolina through Color Mid-Atlantic, in New York via Unique Salon Concepts and in Northern California and Northern Nevada with Independent Salon Services.

"Each group is as committed to customer service as we are and has strong relationships with the spas and salons in their regions," Stamey said. Speaking about the companies' owners, Stamey said, "They are all stellar individuals with solid, highly professional teams behind them." —L.M.

John Allan Helps Build a Home With Hairdressers Unlocking Hope

In late June, men's grooming expert John Allan, who is celebrating 20 years as an industry pioneer in 2008, joined volunteers for Hairdressers Unlocking Hope in New Orleans to build an eco-friendly home with Habitat for Humanity. Hairdressers Unlocking Hope is an initiative founded by Vidal Sassoon and launched in New Orleans earlier this year, with a primary goal of generating funds to rebuild the homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

In October, Allan held a fundraiser in New York City called A Night in New Orleans, which raised nearly $100,000 toward building the home. "Disasters are immediate; relief should be the same," said Allan, who dedicates much of his time to philanthropy. Allan knows about the effects of devastation firsthand: his Downtown Manhattan men's club (one of four in New York City) was damaged in the September 11 terrorist attacks and had to be rebuilt. —L.M.

Chrystoph Marten's Underground Hair Show

Chrystoph Marten's fourth-annual underground hair show, Das Ideale Weib, featured hairstyles inspired by Berlin in the 1920s. Marten's elegant and sophisticated styles reflected the rich underground culture of that decade but were modern enough for today's tastes. Accompanying the styles were live musical performances—fusions of electronic music and traditional songs—that echoed the show's avant-garde vibe.

Marten first developed the idea to host underground hair shows while working at the Arrojo Studio in 2004. His previous shows, Dunkelheit, Funkstörung and Arlequins received rave reviews. This year's event was held at Marten's eponymous salon in Manhattan and was attended by magazine editors, hairstylists and clients. —A.P.

Murad Expands Distribution in Asia

Murad has entered into a 10-year partnership with Paua Group International to increase the doctor-branded skincare line's distribution in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. "The future of the Murad brand is international, and the Asian market is an important and growing one—one which is eager to embrace Murad's inclusive health approach," said Richard Murad, the company's chief operating officer. "Paua Group provides a range of experience and philosophy on wellness that matches Murad's." Paua intends to make Murad the number-one clinical brand in Asia. —L.M.

Nioxin Focuses on Fall Hair

Theodore Leaf, Nioxin celebrity stylist and a contestant on the first season of Bravo's Shear Genius, joined Nioxin founder Eva Graham and Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Grannan in New York City to present the brand's new styling products and demonstrate looks for fall at Nioxin flagship salon Manhattan Color Studio. Using Nioxin Volumizing Reflectives Spray and Smoothing Reflective Glossing Color Shield, Leaf showed beauty editors how to create modern finger waves accessorized with headbands and sophisticated half-up styles. —L.M.

New Faces, New Bases

PIERRE FABRE DERMO-COSMÉTIQUE has announced the appointment of Diane Biancamano as director of public relations for Rene Furterer, Klorane and Galenic/Elancyl and Hubert Bevelsborg as CEO of Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique USA.

MURAD announced the appointment of Fernando Braga Jr. as director of international business for Latin America. In this role, he will develop Murad's Latin America market and increase the brand's presence in key areas. Braga most recently served as regional director for Latin America for Dermalogica.

EMPIRE EDUCATION GROUP has appointed Carl Bridges as chief academic officer and vice president of education. He previously held leadership roles at Lincoln Education Services, Career Education Corporation, DeVry Institute of Technology, and the College of Business at Ohio University.

ATLAS WHOLESALE has appointed Marisol Villarreal as educational director. She will guide stylists in learning how to use both Johnny B. and Color Edge products in order to provide the best service, quality and design to their clients.

CND has announced the appointment of Barry Holmes as vice president of North American sales. Previously, he served as vice president of sales for L'Oréal Professionnel.