On July 31, during PBA Beauty Week in Las Vegas, Sara Jones, senior vice president and general manager of Joico, was feted at the annual Spirit of Life Award dinner and silent auction. The Spirit of Life Award is the most prestigious honor presented by City of Hope, the world famous hospital, cancer center and research facility. Along with the National Professional Beauty Council, the hospital selects the person who best represents its own values of compassion, dedication and a belief in the power of each person to make a difference and affect positive change in the lives of others.
Jones attended her first Spirit of Life gala in 1990 and saw two of her industry idols, Arnie and Sydell Miller receive the award. At the time, she says, she was struck by the generosity of the industry and pondered what it would feel like to receive the award. This year she found out at the reception, dinner and after party held in her honor.
Actress and comedienne Aisha Tyler made opening remarks and highlighted Jones’ many industry and lifetime accomplishments.
“ Sara is tenacious, compassionate and has fabulous hair color,” said Tyler.
The Sponsor Recognition address was presented by Ann Mincey-Jetton who said, “Sara has done it all. Tonight she is the First Lady of the Salon Industry.”
The evening’s guest speaker, Dr. Rahul Jandial, is a neurosurgeon at City of Hope who treats many breast cancer patients whose disease has spread to the brain.
“Cancer kills when it spreads like weeds in a lawn,” said Dr. Jandial who explained some of the research and treatment breakthroughs at City of Hope that are funded through Sprit of Life campaigns.
Jeff Schwartz, vice president of sales for Cricket Co., introduced Jones. Long time friends and business colleagues, Schwartz first met Jones when she proved to be a formidable opponent selling a competitive line of hair color. Schwartz said he was surprised and honored that, from her many friends and business associates, Jones selected him to present her with the award.
Jones began her acceptance speech with a copy of her own “all clear” mammogram letter from the imaging center where she has her annual test. “I want every woman to receive this letter,” she said adding that her yearlong Spirit of Life campaign, “Celebrate Beauty, Celebrate Life” was dedicated to supporting research and treatment of women’s cancers. Jones’ fund-raising efforts resulted in a gift of $1.2 million to City of Hope. She acknowledged the generosity of the Joico staff, all of whom were in attendance, and the many company donors, especially those at the Benefactor of Hope level: P&G Salon Professional, Sally Beauty Holdings, OPI Products, Shiseido and Jim Markham Enterprises.
“I don’t have a college degree,” said Jones. “The best thing a have a cosmetology degree and that turned out to be not a bad thing.” Jones worked in a salon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota before embarking on a sales career. She joined Redken where she met Wayne Jones who became her husband and greatest supporter, opting to put his career on hold as she expanded hers.
In addition to Wayne, Jones acknowledged her “great bosses:” Bob Miller, when she worked for Matrix, Rick Kornbluth when she worked at Wella and currently Ron Krassin, CEO of Zotos.
“It’s so wonderful to see a room full of competitors who have come together tonight to appreciate the joy and generosity of this industry,” said Jones. To hear Sara Jones’ live podcast, visit modernsalon.com/podcast.
Photography by Eric Hoffman
Actress Aishi Tyler hosted the Spirit of Life dinner.
Sara Jones, senior vice president and general manager of Joico, was named 2011 Spirit of Life recipient by City of Hope.
Sara Jones receives Spirit of Life Award from friend and colleague Jeff Schwartz, vice president of sales for Cricket.
Wayne Jones holds up the John Denver tape he bought for Sara early in their relationship.
City of Hope Dr. Rahul Jandial explains recent research and treatment breakthroughs in cancer at City of Hope.