Jean-Guy de Gabriac, Chair Career Development Initiative, [email protected] 
Kate Sornson, Administration
[email protected] or +1.713.775.8706




BRUSSELS, Belgium (February, 2016) – A newly revamped Global Mentorship Program for professional Spa Managers commenced in the New Year fueled by the momentum created by its year-long pilot program that took place in 2015.   The program features mentorship opportunities of six months in duration, and pairs highly experienced Spa Directors from around the world with Spa Managers in the Spring of their careers for the purpose of guiding and inspiring junior managers’ professional career growth.  The deadline for Session 2 applications is March 31, 2016.

“For our second year of this first-ever mentorship program for Spa Managers, we doubled the mentoring time allocated for each Mentee, featuring two six-month sessions instead of the three-month sessions offered during the Pilot Program in 2015 and many additional participants. The number of Mentors and Mentees has already more than doubled from last year, with 38 Mentorships running from January through June. Comparatively 2015 had 15 Mentorships running at any given time from January through June” says Jean-Guy de Gabriac, Chair Global Career Development Initiative of the Global Wellness Institute.

Mentors and Mentees represent over 30 countries (increased from 20 last year), including Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jordan, Kuwait, Maldives, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, UAE, UK, & USA. Participants will connect monthly via face-to-face, video conferencing platforms, or phone, to discuss the Mentees goals and aspirations for their career growth. 

Spa Managers with at least two years of fulltime spa management experience and Spa Directors with a minimum of five years experience are invited to complete a Mentee or Mentor Application online at by March 31.   For further information, visit the Global Mentorship Program’s Facebook page at

The Global Mentorship Pilot Program, spearheaded by a team of spa and wellness experts from around the world, pairs seasoned spa directors with spa managers in the spring of their careers looking for guidance and inspiration. The project is led by Jean-Guy de Gabriac, spa & wellness educator & CEO of Tip Touch international, and Deborah Smith, Principal of Smith Club & Spa Specialists, a US-based wellness consultancy.  Deborah is the Regional Supervisor (Reg Sup) for North & South America ; Jean-Guy is Reg Sup for Europe (from UK to Russia) ; Shahida Siddique, CEO Altearah Bio is Reg Sup for Middle-East & Pakistan ; Geeta Morar, CEO  SVA Spas and Salons is Reg Sup for India ; Kent Richards, Corporate Operations Director (Global Spa) at Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas is Reg Sup AustralAsia ; and Emmy Stoltz, owner at Spa Fusion is Reg Sup for Africa. Joanne Berry, CEO Spa Remedies, interviews mentors & mentees for social media & marketing purposes.

The mentorship relationships were guided and bound by a Code of Conduct, agreed to by the Mentor and Mentee, ensuring their interactions were confidential. Mentees were asked to send their Mentor questions or topics prior to each connection, then follow-up with a re-cap after each connection. These items allowed both the Mentor and Mentee to have a clear picture of what was discussed, what actions were being taken, and the progress made by the Mentee. 

Snapshot questionnaires conducted by the Global Mentorship Program revealed the following successful outcomes: 

•    98% of Mentors and Mentees believing it was ‘Very Successful’ or ‘Successful’, 
•    100% of Mentors and Mentees believe the Global Mentorship Program benefits the spa industry, 
•    92% of Mentors and Mentees believe that their company could benefit from the Global Mentorship Program, with                      ‘Increased Effectiveness on the Job’ being the greatest benefit (65%) and 97% of Mentees reporting that they are more               effective Spa Managers due to their participation, 
•    77% of Mentors believe their Mentees are better leaders due to their participation and 97% of Mentees believe they are             better leaders, 
•    Top areas focused on reflected by the Mentors were: Leadership and Management, Strategic & Business Planning, Human         Resources, and Priority Management, 
•    86% of Mentees felt ‘Absolutely’ more motivated at work after being mentored, 
•    and 79% of Mentees felt ‘Absolutely’ more productive at work after being mentored. 

The surprising and most common benefit self-reported by Mentees was the sense of confidence bolstered by the honest discussions with their Mentor. Mentees shared that having someone to confide in and ‘bounce’ ideas off of was incredibly impactful; creating more confidence in their everyday life and work responsibilities. Mentors were quick to support these benefits, sharing that as the relationship developed their Mentee became more comfortable with presenting, discussing, and critically thinking through their ideas. The Mentees also gave their Mentors a boost of energy and motivation, with fresh bold ideas & by offering them a way to give back and guide the future of the industry.


About the Global Mentorship Program (GMP) & the Global Career Development Initiative, within the Global Wellness Institute

 The Global Mentorship Program is one of 3 programs within the Global Career Development Initiative launched by the Global Wellness Institute. The GMP is accompanied by the Global Careership Program ( lead by CG Funk, former Vice President of Industry Relations and Product Development of Massage Envy, and the Global Internship Program led by Leslie Lyon, President, Spas2b Inc.

More information about the Committee Members of the Global Career Development Initiative: /career-development

The GMP is the only formal mentorship program of its kinds serving the global spa and wellness industry. Founding project committee members span the globe, representing the Americas, the Middle East, Australia, Europe and India.

Leading French skin care brand Biologique Recherche is the pioneer sponsor of the 2015 program.

Leading Spa & Wellness manufacturer GHARIENI has joined Biologique Recherche as Platinum Sponsor for 2016, along with Altearah Bio & TIP TOUCH international as Silver Sponsors.

Today the global spa industry is estimated at $94 billion with nearly 105,600 spas around the world employing 1.9 million, according to the 2013 Global Spa & Wellness Economy Monitor prepared for the Global Wellnes
s Summit by SRI International. Details on the summit may be found at

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Global Mentorship Pilot Program ·

e-mail [email protected]

 (EDITOR’S NOTE: A full list of mentees and mentors for the first session, January-June appears below. For photos and to arrange for interviews, contact Kate Sornson at the Global Mentorship Pilot Project, [email protected] or (1) 713.775.8706.)


January – June 2016 – Mentee and Mentor Pairings

Mentee: Aigerim Aitmambetova, Assistant Spa Manager and Sales Executive, Six Senses Spa at Symphony Style Hotel, Kuwait, Hotel/Resort Spa
Mentor: Renate Hermes, Spa Owner, Duniye Spa, Maldives, Hotel/Resort Spa

Mentee: Bachir Bechara, Spa Director, Movenpick Hotel Beirut, Lebanon, Resort/Hotel Spa
Mentor: Ayman Alamat, Spa Director, Intercontinental Phoenicia Hotel, Lebanon

Mentee: Oliver Charles Beck, Spa Manager, The Anthropocosmic Apothecary Dermal Day Spa & Wellness Retreat, Australia, Day Spa
Mentor: Tomoko Nguyen, Spa Director, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

Mentee: Andrea Cairns, Spa Manager, The Spa Dunamoy, Ireland, Destination Spa
Mentor: Marion Hayden, Spa Director, Seafield Golf and Spa Hotel, Ireland

Mentee: Deborah Castignani Micouris, Spa Manager, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, UAE, Hotel/Resort Spa
Mentor: Paris Kounoudis, Director of Spa, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Hotel/Resort Spa

Mentee: Kate Chonsungnoen, Area Spa Manager-Maldives, Centara Hotel and Resorts, Maldives, Hotel/Resort Spa
Mentor: Mark Sands, Area Director for Thailand & Vietnam, Six Senses Resorts and Spas

Mentee: Vicky Croukamp, Spa Owner, Bushman’s Rock Spa, South Africa, Day Spa
Mentor: John Lambrou, Spa Owner, Spas of Distinction Collection, South Africa, Day Spa

Mentee: Irinia Dametkina, Assistant Spa Manager, Madinat Jumeirah Talise Spa, UAE, Hotel/Resort Spa
Mentor: Ana Ledinski, Spa Manager, Sharjah Ladies Club, UAE, Club Spa

Mentee: Asiya Ebrahim, Spa Manager, The Westin Cape Town, South Africa, Hotel/Resort Spa
Mentor: Jihen Derbel, Spa Director, Movenpick Hotel & Resort, Tunisia

Mentee: Marian Nilanthi Fernando, Spa Manager, Grand Heritage Doha Hotel & Spa, Qatar, Hotel/Resort Spa
Mentor: Gopal Kumar, Spa Director, Burj Al Arab, UAE, Hotel/Resort Spa

Mentee: Zullyma Florez, Assistant Spa Director, Waldorf Astoria Spa, Boca Raton Resort and Club, USA
Mentor: Valerie Maloff, Spa Director, Waldorf Astoria Spa by Guerlain Orlando, USA, Hotel/Resort Spa

Mentee: Xochitl Garcia, Spa Manager, Spa at Paradise Village, Mexico, Hotel/Resort Spa
Mentor: Colleen Stritz, Spa Director, Hilton Grand Vacation Spa, USA, Hotel/Resort Spa

Mentee: Hannah George, Spa Manager, Six Senses Spa at Soneva Fushi Resort, Maldvies
: Tara Hanrahan, Group Operations Director – Spas, Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand

Mentee: Sonia Heastie, Spa Supervisor, Grace Bay Club Resort, Turks and Caicos
Mentor: Cindi Moreno, Spa Director, Waldorf Astoria Boca Raton Resort & Club, USA

Mentee: Nicolette Henderson, Spa Owner, Tranquility Health & Beauty, South Africa, Day Spa
Mentor: Izak de Bruyn, Trainee Manager, Skin Renewal, South Africa, Medical Spa

Mentee: Tara Love Hudson, Spa Supervisor, Senses Spa at The Grand Lucayan Resort, Bahamas
Maxime Cormier, Area Director, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, USA

Mentee: Tara Johns, Spa Manager, Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa, USA
Mentor: Daryll Naidu, Director Spa Operations, Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris at Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto, Canada, Hotel/Resort Spa

Mentee: Ana Krivenokiene, Spa Manager, Spa Vilnius, Lithuania, Destination Spa
Mentor: Liliana Paraipan, Spa Director, Eden Spa, Romania, Day Spa

Mentee: Ekaterina Kudryavtseva, Spa Manager, Crystal Spa & Lounge, Russia, Day Spa
Mentor: Olga Kachalova, Spa Owner, Orchid Spa by Anne Semonin, Belarus, Day Spa

Mentee: Dr. Sunil Kumar, Spa Manager, ZolotoyGorod, India, Hotel/Resort Spas
Mentor: Geeta Morar, CEO, SVA Spas, India, Hotel/Resort Spas

Mentee: Rosalin Lau, Spa Director, Sheraton Grand, UAE, Hotel/Resort Spas
Mentor: Paul Hawco, Area Director, Jumeirah Hotels, UAE, Hotel/Resort Spa

Mentee: Taryn Lilley, Spa Manager, Cape Grace Hotel, South Africa
Mentor: Dr. Chase Webber, Area Director, Constance Hotels & Resorts, South Africa

Mentee: Vivian Lopez, Spa Manager, Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa Resort, Nicaragua
Mentor: Michael Conte, Director of Spa and Wellness, Meadowood Napa Valley, USA, Hotel/Resort Spa

Mentee: Richelle Magtanong, Spa Owner/Manager, Beyond Skin Care, USA, Day Spa
Mentor: Clelia Londono, Spa Owner/Manager, Metamorphis Spa, USA, Day Spa

Mentee: Jimmy Myhrinder, Spa Manager, Yasuragi AB, Sweden, Hotel/Resort Spas
Mentor: Hans-Peter Veit, Spa Director, Victoria Jungfrau, Switzerland, Hotel Spa

Mentee: Michelle O’Connor, S
pa Manager, Druids Glen Resort, Ireland
Mentor: Lesley Bacon, Area Director, Hand Picked Hotels, United Kingdom

Mentee: Maarja Ots, Spa Supervisor, Kempinski Hotel Bahia, Spain
Mentor: Adilia Oliveira, Spa Director Caudalie, The Yeatman, Portugal, Hotel/Resort Spa

Mentee: Michelle Owen-Hutchens, Spa Director, Serenity Spa by Westgate, USA, Hotel/Resort Spas
Mentor: Teri Kramer, Spa Director, Talking Stick Resort, USA

Mentee: Celine Prudhomme, Spa Manager, Royatonic, France, Mineral Springs Spas
Mentor: Morgan LeFrancois, Corporate Spa Business Development Manager, Clarins, France, Hotel/Resort Spa

Mentee: Susana Queiros, Spa Manager, Jumeriah Dhevanafushi, Maldives, Hotel/Resort Spas
Mentor: Catherine Wong, Area Director, ESPA International, Hong Kong, Hotel/Resort Spa

Mentee: Ameera Rabia, Spa Manager, Dubai Ladies Club, UAE, Club Spa
Mentor: Kamal Khalil, Spa Director, Fairmont the Palm, UAE, Hotel/Resort Spa

Mentee: Kamal Ranawat, Spa Manager, Core Wellness LTD, India, Hotel/Resort Spa
Mentor: Vishal Bhatia, Assistant Spa Director, One And Only Reethi Rah, Maldives, Destination Spa

Mentee: Heather Reck, Spa Manager, Spa at Westin Ka’anapali, USA, Hotel/Resort Spa
Mentor: Julie Simcox, Spa Director, Landon Hall Country House and Spa, USA, Destination Spa

Mentee: Hannah Riley, Spa Director, Advantage Health & Beauty, USA, Medical Spa
Mentor: Summer Smith, Spa Director, milk + honey spas, USA, Day Spas

Mentee: Martina Rizzo, Director of Health and Wellness Operations, Water’s Edge Health and Wellness Center, Mid-Columbia Medical Center, USA, Wellness Center
Mentor: Kirk Gregor, Spa Director, The Spa at Gainey Village, USA, Day Spa

Mentee: Azhar Sheikh, Assistant Spa Manager, Hotel Radisson Blu Udaipur, India
Mentor: Ram Chaterjee, Cluster Director of Spa, Pullman & Novotel Hotels Aero City, India

Mentee: Teresa Sokolow, Spa Director, milk + honey spas, USA, Day Spas
Mentor: Gwenn Shimizu, Area Director, Sego Lily Spa, USA, Day Spas

Mentee: Stephanie Stevens, Spa Owner, Brilliant Bodywork, USA, Medical Spa
Mentor: Kelie Wright, Spa Owner/Manager, Essencials Day Spa, USA, Medical Spa

Mentee: Mohammad Tayym, Spa Manager, Serena Hotel, Pakistan
Mentor: Andrew Barge, Spa Manager, Jordan Valley Marriott Resort & Spa, Jordan

Mentee: Olga Yakovleva, Spa Manager, Kempinski Hotel, Russia, Hotel/Resort Spa
Mentor: Stavros Mavridis, Spa Director, Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort, Greece, Hotel/Resort Spa