This phenomenal idea was the brainchild of two of my dear friends, Janet Gordon and Gina Dial. Many of you know Janet Gordon from many of the shows she has helped produced for our industry, and I've worked with her on the center stage for America's Beauty Show for many years. Gina also is a well-known consultants who works for John Paul Mitchell Systems. They both live close to Ft. Hood and wanted to create something meaningful for the spouse. To produce and direct the 300-person event they joined forces with Texas Hearing & Service Dogs President Sheri Soltes and Ingrid Allen and Louise Oliver, members of the Ladies of the 3rd ACR.

While our soldiers spend more than a year away in Iraq, their spouses endure hardships at home, single-handedly taking care of everything from childcare to home repairs to bill paying, while struggling to maintain their own identities and caring for themselves. They whole-heartedly support their soldiers during deployments, even though these are times of personal sacrifice when they often feel tired, lonely and scared.

Janet and Gina asked if I would be willing to donate my time and travel and develop a presentation that would motivate, thank and help the spouses with the awesome task of caring for a family. Once we got the ball rolling, something truly magical happened-My BIO became its own thing of beauty. 

On the Homefront
John Paul DeJoria addressing attendees.
On the Homefront
Back Row: 3rd ACR Commander, Colonel Reginald Allen; Gina Dial; Geno Stampora; Regimental Commander, Sergeant Major, Jonathan J. Hunt.
Front Row: Sheri Soltes; Ingrid Allen; Louise Oliver; Janet Gordon.
Kneeling: John Paul DeJoria

We enlisted as many industry members as we could. In addition to donating products, John Paul DeJoria from JPMS, agreed to come address the hundreds of thrilled participants. North Texas Armstrong McCall Distributor Dante Renzuli offered his help and donated products. Future professionals from Paul Mitchell The School in Pflugerville, Texas, enthusiastically donated their time to offer on-site support and consultations to attendees. Also contributing to the success of the all-volunteer event were SportClips, JP Pet, Sorme, Spornette, Paul Brown of Hawaii, Circle of Friends, Aquage, and Conair Corporation contributed BaByliss Pro Straightening Irons and Farouk System's Farouk Shami, Texas Democratic Nominee for Governor, supplied Chi Styling Irons. The surrounding community joined in support of My BIO. The Hilton offered us free accommodations and Hooter's Restaurant donated food.

On the Homefront
Future Professionals, Paul Mitchell The School, Pflugerville, TX & Geno Stampora.

As we applauded and thanked these unsung heros at home, they, in turn, blessed and thanked us with a standing ovation, many tears and even a few gifts from the group Brave Rifles. For us, it was a great feeling in the heart-an opportunity to give back and say thanks to people who so deserve it. No one does it like we do, and I am so proud of our industry-of who we are and what we do every day. 

I know Gina and Janet are continuing to explore production of future industry events, determining where and when they would most benefit consumers across the country. Their goal is to teach consumers that the professional beauty industry not only provides much needed services and quality products, but that it contributes immensely to the wellness of our communities and offers exciting and rewarding career opportunities. Should you ever have the opportunity to participate in one of these events, don't pass it up!

Find out what this event meant to the participants: Read Sheri Soltes' moving blog.

On the HomefrontGeno Stampora is a beauty industry consultant, author and motivational speaker. Throughout his career, he has served as a stylist, salon owner, distributor and academy owner. In 2009 he was named to NAHA's Hall of Leaders.

Read Geno Stampora's Blogs

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