An Industry United

Just four months have passed since Hurricane Katrina destroyed countless salons and displaced tens of thousands of beauty professionals along the Gulf Coast. It will take years for the victims to put their lives back together.

 Mario Tricoci
Mario Tricoci

NCA members, state organizations and local affiliates have already donated more than $100,000 to the NCA Disaster Relief Fund/Katrina. In total, the beauty industry has donated more than half a million dollars to this 50-year-old fund, and while all of it has been distributed to Katrina victims, much more is needed. So to further benefit the NCA Disaster Relief Fund/Katrina, The National Cosmetology Association will host the first International Legends Ball on March 4, 2006, in conjunction with the Chicago Midwest Beauty Show (CMBS). "It celebrates our own for forward-thinking contributions to professionalism," NCA president Josephine Zeppieri says of the event.

Co-chairs for this premiere event are Lydia Sarfati, CEO and founder of Sarkli-RepEAchage, Ltd., and Michael Renzulli, chairman of Sally Beauty Company. Members of the NCA President's Advisory Council will serve as the International Legends Ball Committee. RUSK/BaBylissPRO is a Platinum Sponsor.

The ball will continue the NCA's efforts to raise money and give it to those salon professionals who need it to rebuild their careers, their lives and to ultimately rebuild beauty on the Gulf Coast. "So many in our industry have lost everything, including the ability to do the work that they love," says New Orleans native and NCA Disaster Relief Fund/Katrina chairman Sam Brocato. "By attending the International Legends Ball, we can all do our part to support the industry we love, and help our professional friends get back on their feet."


NCA member Mario Tricoci, founder of the Mario Tricoci Salons & Day Spas, is the ball's first honoree. Tricoci, who immigrated to the United States from Italy in 1960, participated in hairdressing competitions early in his career and served as an alternate to NCA's 1968 USA Hairdressing Team. He and his wife, Cheryl, are widely acknowledged for their contribution to the growth of day spas and esthetics in this country. By the year 2000, Mario Tricoci Salons & Day Spas had grown to 26 locations and merged with Elizabeth Arden & Red Door Spas.

Modeling a look by Mario Tricoci
Modeling a look by Mario Tricoci

The new Tricoci University of Beauty Culture provides customized education in cosmetology, esthetics, nail technology, advanced education and instructor training. Tricoci is president of La Foundation Guillaume for young professionals, serves on the Central Committee of Intercoiffure Mondial and is a member of Intercoiffure America/Canada, Cosmetologists Chicago and American Association of Cosmetology Schools.


The International Legends Ball will also include a tribute to the late Olive Benson, a longtime NCA member, who also began her career participating in and winning NCA-sponsored hairdressing competitions. An expert in relaxing and straightening hair, Benson was an NCA HairAmerica educator and was inducted into the National Cosmetology Association's Hall of Renown in 1991. She received awards from the International Beauty Show, served as NCA styles director and was the first African-American to receive a North American Hairstyling Award. She consulted with many manufacturers, was education director for Soft Sheen Products and created her own line of hair products—Universal Textures. Olive Benson passed away on June 26, 2005, and is survived by four daughters, two of whom are educators, one a hairstylist and one the coordinator/manager of Olive's Salon in Chestnut Hill, MA.


Tickets for the ball are available online at, or by calling 800-883-7808. The $175 per person ticket price also includes one ticket to CMBStyle, the couture/coiffure extravaganza on the following evening, March 5, 2006. This event will also benefit the NCA Disaster Relief Fund.