Florida Spa Association
The Scoop
April 2016

"Wisdom is knowing the right path to take...Integrity is taking it!"

Are we on the right path? As I tackle my day-to-day projects and "to dos," I often stop and think about our message and purpose as the FSA, which is to unify and support the spa community.

With Florida spas being at the height of our season, our spa leaders are busy every day dealing with guests, staff, upper management, daily issues, and often drama. While trying to stay on top of our game as we solve problems and manage stressful situations, are we moving through the motions to just get it done, or do we tackle this with passion and integrity? Do we feel good about what we do and how we do it?

It is so important to have a culture of integrity in our organizations. Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on your values, rather than your gain. It needs to start with leadership demonstrating and communicating to their staff that without integrity they will not be successful. Leaders must lead by example. Trust is a very important asset in the business world and always needs to be earned. That value trickles from the top executive down to the locker assistants. When an employee feels they can rely on their leaders and work together as a group that has a climate of integrity, they will want to excel and grow their relationship with your team. This always results in a positive outcome to your bottom line and creates a welcoming, constructive environment.

As industry leaders, we should strive to create a community of spa professionals that dig deep into their passion and guide with integrity.

Happy April!!


FSA Phone App!

Download the FSA app for iPhones or
Androids to keep you connected on the go.

Distinct Vision in Education Has Entered the FSA Air Space!!

The Florida Spa Association is excited to announce the appointment of Co-Chairs for the Education Committee, Lynda Solien-Wolfe and Debra Koerner Both bring a wealth of experience to the spa, massage, and wellness industries. The newly appointed Chairs recently held their first meeting to discuss the upcoming initiatives that will benefit members of the FSA. Look for them in May as they will be attending the event at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. They are excited to meet all of you!

Meet the FSA's Newest Family Members:


Lynda Solien-Wolfe - LMT, BCTMB and Vice President of Massage and Spa for Performance Health.

Lynda also co-owns Massage Therapy Associates of Brevard, a day spa in Merritt Island, Florida. She is a licensed massage therapist and skin care specialist in the state of Florida. Lynda is the former chairman of the Florida Board of Massage Therapy. She calls the Space Coast home.



Debra (Koerner) K - Host, Journey into Wellbeing & Co-owner, imassage Inc.

Debra, a former Fortune 250 customer experience executive, launched her first business, imassage Inc., in the wellness industry in 2007, an education and consulting firm dedicated to building healthy teams of massage practitioners. She then went on to create the Journey into Wellbeing, a consumer platform dedicated to educating others on natural health and wellbeing.

The FSA is grateful to for the good fortune of welcoming these two powerful and talented Industry leaders who will surely elevate the spa community to a higher level of education. With the respect and professional stature that both Lynda and Debra have earned in the spa community, this will provide opportunities for growth for everyone and reinforce our extraordinary future of education and wellness!

Babies in the House!


Baby Coola has style!

We are so excited for the Birchy's, that's Chris and AJ of Coola Suncare, who just welcomed their gorgeous baby girl! She's already fashion chic and really COOL! Join us in welcoming Bellemy Joy Birchy, 7lbs 3oz., to the world! Congratulations!



Thank heavens... for little girls!!

Congratulations to Candice Graff, Spa Director for My Spa, Intercontinental Miami, and her husband for the arrival of an adorable baby girl into the world! We are thrilled to welcome Rylee Maria Rivera, born April 6th, at 9:19 pm. She was 7 lbs., 8 oz and 20" long. A picture of health! Best wishes!!

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow


Jamie Bowden proudly, but sadly, departed from his position as the Assistant Director for Spa and Wellness at the Viceroy Miami, and accepted his new role as the Associate Spa Director at The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando Grande Lakes. After working two and half years side-by-side and under the leadership of Alena Stavnjak, Director of Spa and Wellness for the Viceroy Miami, Jamie excelled in his role and accomplished major strides in his career, including having earned and winning the "Hospitality Leadership Award" from The Greater Miami and The Beaches Hotel Association. Jamie is grateful for the advancement that he received from having worked at the Viceroy.


Don't say goodbye - Say "Au Revoi"
Saying "Bye-Bye" to Jamie was not easy and as a going away fete, Alena Stanjak and The Viceroy Spa family gathered for an evening celebration to bid Jamie a fine farewell and to let him know how much he will be missed.

We wish Jamie the best of luck on his new venture, which leads to endless possibilities in his new role at the Ritz-Carlton, Orlando Grande Lakes.

Movin' on up to the Brickell Side


Yessenia Campos, most recently the Spa and Retail Manager at the Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne, has accepted a new position and has been promoted to Assistant Director for Spa and Wellness at the Viceroy Miami. Having worked together in the past with Alena Stavnjak, they will once again be reunited to rock their spa. We know that Yessenia will exceed expectations and be a welcome addition to her spa family at the Viceroy Miami.

The Wheel Goes Round in Circles


Vanessa Carter, previously the Spa Director at Bliss Spa South Beach, at the W Hotel, for over one year, has recently accepted the position as the new Spa Director at Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. Now, this opportunity does come full circle being that prior to her position at Bliss Spa, Vanessa was the Assistant Spa Director for 3 years at the Boca Raton Resort & Club to Spa Director Cindi Moreno, who recently left to join the Salamander Resort & Spa as Director of Spa. It's a small world in Spaville!!

Aloha (Farewell) and Maika'i Pomaika'i! (Good Luck)!!!


Recently, we said goodbye to our dear friend Sheila Bracewell, Spa Director for the Hilton Orlando, as she left Florida for a new and exciting opportunity in Hawaii, as Spa & Fitness Director at The Westin Maui Resort and Spa in Lahaina, Hawaii. We know that she will bring lots of value to the spa and fitness aficionadas. In Lahaina! We will miss her, but hope to visit her in lovely Hawaii!


Excitement is in the air..

Get ready for the FSA Spring Event at the newly-opened Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort on May 18th. With another SOLD OUT FSA event this year, and a large turnout of spa leaders, the climate is hot and ready for new connections, building relationships, viewing new products, experiencing innovative services, and gaining insight on spa operations from the best spa leaders in the industry. It's going to be lots of fun and tremendously inspiring! So prepare for the best of Florida and don't forget to kick off your flip flops and enjoy a Margarita!!

And don't miss the After Party!! We have oodles of fun surprises in store for you!


Washington Spa Alliance Symposium

On TUESDAY, MARCH 22, 2016, from 9 AM TO 7 PM, the Washington Spa Alliance symposium 6TH ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM took place at the NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, WASHINGTON DC.

Our visit to Washington DC started with a social gathering on the evening prior to WSPA's symposium at the Caudalie's City Center, where we mingled with friends and associates and caught up on each other with a glass of wine in our hands. It was great to see members of our spa family!


Following the WSPA Symposium, a phenomenal day was spent on the Washington Hill on March 23rd, visiting with Senators. Leaders in the spa industry gathered and attended 10 appointments with key wellness leaders in the House and Senate. It was a very productive and eventful day for the spa industry. Read More...

Thank you to Celeste Hilling, founder/CEO of from Skin Authority, for the acknowledgement on her facebook page.

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Michelle Stewart

With over 14 years of experience in the luxury resort spa industry, Michelle Stewart currently serves as Director of Spa at Eden Roc Resort, Miami Beach.

Recognized for her vigorous drive, passion, and extensive knowledge of the luxury spa industry, Michelle has brought Spa Eden Roc to new heights during her tenure through innovative partnerships, cutting-edge treatments and services, and a gold standard for customer attention and service. As the resort readies for the unveiling of Nobu Hotel, Michelle will utilize her luxury sensibility to deliver world-class and individualized service to the spa's expanded clientele by collaborating with ESPA and Natura Bisse in the creation of Nobu-inspired treatments and rituals.

Prior to serving as Director of the Spa Eden Roc, Michelle led spa initiatives and programming at The Well Spa at Miramonte Resort in Indian Wells, California, which was ranked the #1 Spa in North America and the Caribbean by Conde Nast Traveler.

Prior to this role, Michelle held senior level positions with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria, and Destination Hotels. Throughout her career, Michelle's creative approach toward well-being has been recognized in many print and broadcast outlets, including Palm Springs Life, Ocean Magazine, Nuvo, and Spa Magazine. Michelle has proven to be ahead of the curve in management and believes in team spirit and elevating her staff to achieve and excel in their goals. Driven by integrity and passion, Michelle brings the best out of those around her and is the force behind a success story taking place at the Eden Roc Spa.


Ugg, known for their super comfortable boots, has created loungewear to elevate your spa experience, that feels like nothing else. Expertly crafted from premium materials, UGG loungewear includes robes, tops, pants, and throws that softly wrap the body in luxurious comfort.

In 1978, Australia native Brian Smith, landed in Southern California with a bag of sheepskin boots and hope. He fell in love with the sheepskin experience and was convinced the world would one day share this love. The beaches of Southern California had long been an epicenter of a relaxed, casual lifestyle, a lifestyle that Brian felt was a perfect fit for his brand. So he founded the UGG brand, began selling his sheepskin boots, and they were an immediate sensation.


This vendor spotlight is for vendors that support the FSA.


Lessons Learned from Destination Spas

By Debra K, Host of "Journey into Wellbeing"


Destination spas are the original spas and are dedicated to the inner and outer wellbeing of their guests. They provide support for weight loss and proper nutrition, while offering a slew of fitness activities, workshops/classes, and spa services. They are sanctuaries for the soul. For the rest of us, there is much we can learn from these spas on how to offer another component of wellbeing to our guests.

Read On...


Have you ever walked into a store and something immediately catches your eye? It's just the right size and color. It makes you feel thinner, sexier, more confident. It has so many benefits, it resonates with you emotionally. You can't imagine NOT having it. It was made for you.

That's not an accident. Or great karma. Well, maybe a little bit of karma. But it is the result of great marketing by a company that knows their niche... their audience. And even though they have other products, this is their most important...their Core Offer.

Your Core Offer is what draws clients to you, and especially those in your niche. It can, and should, be a part of all your marketing communications. It's not your ONLY offer, but it's what all other offers (or services) revolve around.

Let's spend a minute on how you get to your Core Offer. We've talked about your Skills and your Niche. Now let's combine those two and see what we get.


Got Salt?

What is Salt Therapy?
Salt therapy is a modern variation of the Eastern European tradition of spending time in natural salt caves for health. Polish physician Dr. Boczkowski was the first to record the health benefits of salt caves in 1843, after observing the good health of salt miners in the Wieliczka salt mines near Krakow.

Many people believe that salt therapy benefits asthmatics, cystic fibrosis patients, and a host of other respiratory and skin ailment sufferers. It is a popular treatment for children with asthma because it is all-natural and some say it reduces the need for prescription medications.

The Benefits of Salt Therapy...

(As a growing new industry, salt therapy is gaining interest as a distinct business opportunity.)


Have a Question?

What do you want to learn about spa operations, the spa industry, leadership, vendor relations, wellness...? Each month, we will select one question and experts within the FSA team will share their insights in the upcoming newsletter. Send your questions to

This month's question is:

"How can I prepare for the slow season?"

We are all weathered to the seasonality of operating a spa in South Florida. Below are some ideas you may not have considered that will increase revenue and control expenses:

  • Look at peak operational times and shorten opening hours.
  • Change full-time employees to part-time during the slow season, hire seasonal employees, hire dual-licensed therapists, cross-train hourly employees.
  • Get organized. Review and improve operations.
  • Shop vendors for better pricing.
  • Make any menu changes.
  • Organize staff training for all services and vendors.
  • Hold a CEU class for therapists.
  • Take an inventory stock and create promotions around older inventory.
  • Increase marketing efforts to local clients.
  • Plan for next season.


  • April 1 - April Fool's Day
  • April 5 - Spa Buzz-Las Vegas
  • April 10-11 - International Congress of Esthetics & Spa - Philadelphia
  • April 17-18 - SpaTec-Austin, TX
  • April 22 - Earth Day
  • April 22-30 - Passover

Spa week
Spa Week returns again from April 11-17. It's time to book your appointment. Say bye-bye to winter and get ready for summer with these $50 treatments. Click here to find out more!

Asparagus with Hazelnut Gremolata
Gremolata or gremolada is a chopped herb condiment classically made of lemon zest, garlic and parsley, a dressing or garnish made with chopped parsley, garlic, and grated lemon zest, served as an accompaniment to meat or fish.

Although only a side dish, this recipe is packed with nutrients. Asparagus is an excellent source of folate, and hazelnuts contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.

  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed, then peeled if skin is thick
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped toasted hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring about 1 inch water to a boil. Add the asparagus, cover, and steam until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove from the pot.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, garlic, chopped parsley, hazelnuts, 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Toss well to mix and coat.
  3. Arrange the asparagus neatly on a serving platter and garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon zest. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving
Total fat 2g, Calories 37, Protein 2g, Cholesterol 0mg, Total carbohydrate 3g, Dietary fiber 1g, Monounsaturated fat 2g, Saturated fat 0g, Sodium 154mg