Left side, top to bottom--Rhoda Olsen, Valorie Reavis and the panel on the "Generational...
Left side, top to bottom--Rhoda Olsen, Valorie Reavis and the panel on the "Generational Shift." Right side, top to bottom--Jeff Fromm, Steve Reiss, Paul Brown receives a gift of thanks for his service from Jason Volk and Rhoda Olsen and at the Farouk/CHI booth on the floor.

THE EVENT:  The International SalonSpa Business Network (ISBN) annual conference is currently underway at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida, May 3-May 5, 2015. New president of ISBN, Rhoda Olsen, the CEO of Great Clips, Inc., worked with her board members to identify a theme for the conference that impacts all businesses, not just salons, around the country---that of the multi-generational workplace. 

THE DETAILS:  The conference kicked off on Sunday, May 3, with an afternoon golf outing, followed by an evening President’s Reception near the ocean to welcome attendees. ISBN participants include family chains, upscale day spa chains, salons for men, department-store or retail-based salons as well as multi-unit blow-dry bars, massage chains, nail salons, hair extension salons and esthetic centers, along with manufacturers, sponsors and ISBN members.    

THE SPEAKERS: On Monday, the conference kicked off.  ISBN Executive Director Valorie Reavis and Olsen acted as moderators, keeping speakers on point and on time.  Jeff Fromm, the president of FutreCast, a millennial marketing consultancy, a writer for Forbes and the co-author of “Marketing to Millennials” gave the keynote address and spoke about how to engage millennial clients, retain millennial employees and broker trust between different generations.

“Millennials or Generation Y value transparency and authenticity,” said Fromm. “They grew up behind the scenes in a social culture.  They are looking for truth because that drives and earns their trust in your brand.”

ISBN Board Member Pat Neville of BeautyFirst moderated a panel on the “Generational Shift.”  The panel members who engaged in the discussion included Amiee Thomas, vice president of jcp Salons, Jared Nypen, director of talent acquisition for Great Clips, Laura Alexander, director of international development at Regis Corporation and Aditi Sharma, social media manager for Redken and Pureology.

The panel collaborated on the questions, all geared towards understanding the millennial.

Q: Take one of the negative words used to describe millennials –entitled, lazy, narcissistic, screen-agers—and debunk it:

“I’ll take the entitled word because I have heard it a lot but we’re not entitled, we just understand our value and what we’re worth,” said Sharma.

Q: What does your company do to attract and keep millennials?

“We try to engage across the generations," said Thomas.” We have training programs that leverage their expertise and provide them with extra development.  We show them that we are investing in them to really grow their career.”

Q: How important is it for millennials to understand other generations?

“The way people moved in their careers used to be a linear, long progression,” said Alexander. “I think it’s difficult for boomers to see that someone might have jumped right into a role and didn’t take that traditional path.”  

And for a final word on speaking to millennials where and how they live, Nypen said, “Embrace technology but keep it human. Millennials, just like any generation, crave that face to face time.”

Lunch was sponsored by Nufree finipil and President of Equilbal Labs Normajean Fusco spoke briefly to introduce everyone to their hair removal system, which includes a recently launched emphasis on men's services.


Prior to the ISBN Member’s Meeting, MODERN SALON’s Steve Reiss presented the findings of original research capturing the demographic, performance, preference and perception differences between renters and non-booth renters.  

“What booth renters miss is the education and training, as well as the marketing and promotional support,” said Reiss. “Most sited problems with their managers or senior staff as their reason for leaving their traditional salons.”

Also at the meeting, long-time board member Paul Brown announced he was stepping down and Jason Volk of Chatters and Tommy Guns Original Barbershops and Olsen presented him with a gift of thanks.  “Paul is the most kind, engaging person and the hairdresser of all hairdressers,” said Volk.

On the show floor, speed meetings were held between vendors and attendees.  In this beautiful hotel, among an elite group, in an intimate setting, there was a unique opportunity to meet and present in a meaningful way.

Another day of networking, knowledge and new opportunity continues on Tuesday.


For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.

Read more about