Pamela Busiek is president and CEO of Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors, an association that helps entrepreneurial companies in the beauty and cosmetics industries strengthen their business practices and navigate the often confusing waters of government regulation.

Busiek spoke with MODERN SALON about the roles of ICMAD and why it is collaborating so closely with other industry associations. For more information about ICMAD visit icmad.org.

MS: WHO BELONGS TO ICMAD AND WHAT ARE THE MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS?

PB: Our member companies are mostly entrepreneurial in nature—Jim Markham of Jim Markham Enterprises and George Schaeffer of OPI and Aloxxi are long-time members of ICMAD. The association was started to provide support, education and business building opportunities for small and emerging beauty companies. I was a board member of ICMAD when I had CBI Labs, a skin care product manufacturing firm in Texas. ICMAD provides independent manufacturers with networking opportunities, wonderful educational programs, financial business development programs, due diligence guidelines for finding financial investors, succession planning and, in general, helping companies to steer in the right direction. ICMAD is an invaluable resource for companies interested in the export business. We serve as a conduit for them to create value and find a specific niche. Our board of directors comes from a who’s who of cosmetic industry executives and representatives from the research, legal and financial communities.

ICMAD regularly rewards innovation in all areas of cosmetic manufacturing and marketing. Innovation is such an important component of what our member companies do since they tend to be small to medium size and entrepreneurial in nature. Our annual City Awards recognize cosmetic innovation in a variety of product categories and our Young Designers Awards recognize innovation in cosmetic product packaging.

MS: TELL US ABOUT ICMAD’S COLLABORATION WITH OTHER INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS.

PB: We work with industry associations like the Cosmetic Toiletries and Fragrance Association, Personal Care Product Council, the Direct Selling Association and we are working very closely with Steve Sleeper and the Professional Beauty Association. Our motto is “together we are stronger.” There are so many issues facing the industry today, it is very important for us all to be on the same page. Cosmetic ingredients are frequently in the news and everyone must understand FDA regulations and current and proposed legislation. We are all part of the Safe Cosmetic Alliance, an industry group advocating for the support of the Cosmetic Safety Amendments Act of 2012 that will provide a greater role for the FDA to assess the safety of cosmetic ingredients. The bill would call for regulatory oversight to keep up with new ingredients and technologies without keeping our small- and medium-sized businesses from competing in the global economy. This bill would encourage more transparency at the FDA where cosmetic and beauty industry ingredients are among the safest product categories the FDA regulates.

MS: WHAT EVENTS DOES ICMAD REGULARLY PARTICIPATE IN?

PB: ICMAD joined with PBA to host a seminar at ISSE Long Beach exploring business expansion into the international marketplace. We purchased a booth at the Face & Body exhibit at America’s Beauty Show in Chicago and we held a reception at Cosmoprof Bologna in April. One of ICMAD’s goals is to help our members in exporting their products outside the U.S. At Cosmoprof, we reversed the process and partnered with PBA to host “Roadmap to Success in the U.S.,” a seminar to help international manufactuers succeed in this country.

We will be involved in Cosmoprof North America with an educational session, “It’s all in the Details: A Legislative Update.” Steve Sleeper of PBA and I will both be panelists. ICMAD is also supporting our member George Schaeffer at the Spirit of Life award presentation.

We are an other-centered organization with talented leadership that provides ethical support in helping our members develop the best business practices.