“ROBERT CROMEANS—he really teaches that it’s up to us how well we do, and to strive to be the best we can not only through education but sharing information—which I think is so important. Also, he teaches us to be proud of our industry and just how limitless our earning potential is. He also reminds us to have fun and love what we do. Who wouldn’t want a career like that?” PATTI WILLIAMSON, Bloom (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada)

“GINA KHAN. She has a no-nonsense, no-ego approach. All stylists must undergo the same training regardless of their experience level. Her staff respects her and she has their best interests at heart.” RACHEL GLENN, Prink Salon (Chicago) 

“THE AVEDA CORPORATION. I enjoy their commitment to education, professionalism, quality products and the environment.” JEANETTE STEVENSON, Korea Aveda Salon, Spa and Boutique (Burlington, Ontario, Canada)

“JOHN PAUL DEJORIA. I was so impressed with the way he and Paul Mitchell started their business. I have carried and sold Paul Mitchell products since the ‘80s, not only because we love them, but because they never tested on animals and the company has an ongoing love of the environment. They have given back as much as any other company, and have been leaders in education.” DONNA MILLER, Donna’s Hair Studio and Spa (Ewing, New Jersey)

“MY INDUSTRY MENTOR IS MY FATHER. Although he was never a stylist, he told me when I was a young stylist, ‘If I ever owned my own salon, I would name it after myself.’ When I asked why, he then said, ‘I don’t know much about your business, but if you ever had trouble, I would fight for it.’ This was over 30 years ago, and my dad died 11 months later. I have now owned my salon for 22 years, and it is called Ian Marc’s. My dad’s middle name was Marc, as is mine, and I think about him every day. He never saw my success, but I know that every challenge I have had in business, I have survived it because of him!” IAN MARC SMITH, Ian Marc’s Salon (Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada)

“IF I WERE TO PICK ONE INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL I most wished I could be like when I grew up, it would be Michael Gordon. I truly idolize the way he grew his company, his people and his brand. The strength in what he did can still be felt in the Bumble organization—that in itself says something powerful. His collective contributions to the industry, to business, to art, to the creative world, to fashion, to hair care products and to the individual hairdresser are unmatched in my eyes.” JOE SNELL, Ziva Salon-Store (Portland, Oregon)

“WAYNE GRAND has been my mentor for my entire career. He is positive, motivated and full of energy. He truly wants to help our industry become more professional and successful.” Shelley Novakoski, Salon Pure (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)

“BETH MINARDI. She is an amazing colorist and a wonderfully accomplished businessperson.” JENNIFER RABIDEAU, Halo Salon & Color Lab (Fort Worth, Texas)

“MY FIRST BOSS IN 1973. She was a go-getter and really taught me about hairdressing and business—both the good and the bad. I learned a lot from her. She took me under her wing after I had been very discouraged at my first attempt at being a stylist. She and the other four women I worked with re-taught me everything from doing cuts, color, perms etc. I will never forget her, and I hope that someday I may be able to do the same for someone else.” LYNN HAMMOND, Harbor Hair Design (Kingston, Washington)

“MY FIRST MENTOR WAS EDWIN NEILL II, who introduced the novel idea that as a distributor, he wanted to be a partner for my personal and professional growth. Edwin also sincerely believed in the salon owners, often much more than we believed in ourselves, and this changed many lives, especially mine.” MARILYN IHLOFF, Ihloff Salon and Day Spa (Tulsa, Oklahoma and Kansas City, Kansas) 

“FLOYD KENYATTA, BECAUSE HE PAVED THE WAY for African-Americans to be top-flight educators in areas that were not open to us before.” ALONZO PALMER, Alta Moda Salon (Detroit)

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