Expert Advice

American Association of Cosmetology Schools Annual Convention and Expo

Alison Alhamed | July 10, 2011 | 11:24 PM

The American Association of Cosmetology Schools Annual Convention and Expo kicked off Saturday in Orlando with hundreds of beauty school owners and educators in attendance.

Beauty Schools are the lifeblood of the salon industry—providing thousands of new and talented stylists each year—and the AACS convention is being presented against the backdrop of proposed Gainful Employment regulations, which could force hundreds of schools to shut their doors.

The American Association of Cosmetology Schools kicks off its annual convention and expo.

Throughout this event there are sessions geared at educating school owners about these regulations and the implications, and there continues to be ongoing discussions about how the entire beauty industry can mobilize to defend our schools. Look to Modern Salon to provide more information about what you can do to support your industry in the days ahead.

Still, in spite of the challenges, there was ample time for education on key operational issues (such as marketing, sustainability and advanced education) and celebration of some of the industry’s outstanding people and organizations.

Saturday’s highlights included presentation of the N.F. Cimaglia Award, the top honor in the beauty school industry. The Award is sponsored by Milday, the company founded by Nick Cimaglia. This year’s award winner was Dottie McKinley-Soressi, recognized for her 33 years in the beauty industry, and currently the Vice President of Industry relations for Empire Education Group, the nation’s largest beauty school chain.

It also included presentation of Modern Salon’s Excellence in Education school recognition program. Out of hundreds of entries, 48 exceptional beauty schools were recognized by Modern Salon’s publisher Steve Reiss for their outstanding accomplishments in areas ranging from placement, community service and use of technology to industry advocacy. Modern Salon media will be documenting the these exceptional schools all year across its media.

Modern Salon Publisher Steve Reiss presents an Excellence in Education award
to Bruce Schmidt, Executive Vice President of Empire Education Group.

Also part of the event was the AACS fundraiser, to support their Government Relations Committee, where more than 150 people were in attendance to support AACS’ legislative activities. The event included a special appearance by AACS' Beauty Changes Lives representative Ted Gibson. Beauty Changes Lives is an initiative to promote the positive impact  the beauty industry has on people’s lives and, as part of his involvement with the program, Gibson has been traveling the country providing education and inspiration. For more information on the event and how you can be involved, visit

American Association of Cosmetology Schools Annual Convention and Expo
Ted Gibson, celebrity stylist, with American Association of Cosmetology Schools Lynelle Lynch.

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