Making Connections: AACS Annual Convention

By Anne Moratto | 11/07/2012 9:38:00 AM


click image to zoomRyan M. WalshAACS: A busy show floor. THE EVENT: “Making Connections”, October 26-30, the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) Annual Convention held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.   Nearly 1,000 school owners, beauty and wellness industry leaders were there to share, strategize and celebrate.

click image to zoomRyan M. WalshMODERN SALON Publisher Steve Reiss presents "Excellence in Education" Awards THE DETAILS: Attendees spent the three and half days in classes and lectures and on the show floor, socializing and networking. 

Keynote Speaker Dr. Joe Pace discussed "Success Strategies for Effective Colleges and Schools", Steve Reiss, Modern Salon Publisher, talked about Beauty Industry Trends, and TIGI’s Tauri Laws-Philips spoke on Digital Media.  Pivot Point sponsored “Leading at the Speed of Trust”, a showing of the Leo Passage documentary and a discussion of inspiring leadership. 

Ryan M. WalshCimaglia Award Winner Cynthia A. Becher and Milady President Dawn Gerrain INDUSTRY HONORS:  Modern Salon’s 3rd Excellence in Education Awards were presented, recognizing outstanding beauty school achievement in eight categories with over 50 schools honored.  

The Spirit of Service Award was presented to Sally Samuels. Lynelle Lynch, owner and president of Bellus Academy, was honored with the Director of the Year Award in recognition of her dedication to and support of AACS and its board.

Milady President Dawn Gerrain presented the Cimaglia Award to Cynthia A. Becher from La’James International College in Fort Dodge, IA for her contributions to the industry. Cimilglia candidates are either past presidents of AACS and/or those persons with 25 years or more of outstanding performance and continuous service to cosmetology education and the beauty industry.

 “This industry changed me internally,” Becher said. “From the bottom of my heart, I can’t tell you enough how I appreciate this.”


The 2012-13 AACS Board of Director officers are:

  • Christine Gordon, president
  • Robert Passage, vice president
  • Don Yearwood, vice president
  • Lynelle Lynch, secretary
  • Joe Carretta, treasurer

click image to zoomRyan M. Walsh Ryan M. WalshAACS: A busy show floor.







Anne Moratto’s well-rounded beauty career includes years in beauty public relations, beauty marketing, beauty manufacturing, and now, with MODERN SALON, in beauty publishing. The through-line has been an intense interest in all things beauty and a sincere appreciation for the skilled artists and entrepreneurs who make the industry so vital, compelling and creative. Anne, a native of Wisconsin, lives with her family in Los Angeles, CA, and is MODERN SALON’s West Coast Beauty and Special Markets Editor. She can be reached at


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