AACS has hired Adam Nelson as Executive Director.
AACS has hired Adam Nelson as Executive Director.

American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) President Christine Gordon announced that AACS had hired Adam Nelson as Executive Director to replace the retiring CEO Jim Cox. The announcement follows a nationwide search initiated following Cox’s 2015 announcement that he would retire in 2016.  “I want to acknowledge Jim for the exemplary leadership he demonstrated during his more than 17 years of service. He has navigated our association through turbulent waters, growing our membership through value added initiatives, education and partnership,” Gordon said.

Nelson will assume the position of Executive Director effective July 1 and will be working from Washington DC. He brings to AACS more than 20 years of non-profit and corporate experience in developing and executing award winning public affairs campaigns in diverse industries. The AACS home office will remain in Scottsdale, AZ.

“I look forward to working with such a strong board of talented directors, volunteers and staff,”  says Nelson. “Throughout my career, I have worked hard to achieve exceptional results including providing instrumental leadership to help pass legislation through Congress resulting in two campaigns that were signed into law by Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama.  I hope to bring those values to AACS as a means to create exceptional educational programming and impactful advocacy representation.”

Gordon added, “Unlike any other time, AACS faces significant legislative and regulatory burdens that are changing the face of the industry.  In order to thrive, AACS must successfully influence public policy at the state and traditional level through strategic partnerships and relationship building.”

AACS Background & History

Founded in 1924, AACS is a national, non-profit association open to all privately owned schools of cosmetology arts & sciences. Membership in comprised of cosmetology, skin, nail, barbering and massage schools.

AACS specializes in updating members with information about new teaching methods, current industry events and Washington, DC updates. They do this through a series of seminars, conferences and conventions held throughout the year. AACS members act as a family, often helping each other with addressing problems facing beauty education. This “networking” is often listed as the most important benefit to membership.

For those schools that participate in Title IV funding, AACS lobbies Congress and the Department of Education aggressively to protect the interests of private career schools. AACS is their representative in Washington, DC.


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