Gene Juarez Sold to Local Private Equity Firm; Janet Denyer Appointed CEO

Gene Juarez Salons & Spas, the Pacific Northwest's fashion and beauty icon, today announced the sale of the company to Evergreen Pacific Partners (EPP), a $275 million buyout fund. It also announced that Janet Denyer, a veteran of the salon & spa industries, will join the company as Chief Executive Officer. As a result, Gene Juarez Salons & Spas will expand the number and variety of services and products it offers its current customers, upgrade a number of existing salons and spas and increase the number of locations throughout the Puget Sound Region.

Founder Gene Juarez opened his first salon in 1971 and has since expanded to a collection of eight locations with two training academies and one advanced training salon. The company has more than 1,300 employees and hundreds of thousands of annual guest visits; notable guests have included former President Bill Clinton, Samuel Jackson, Mary Tyler Moore, Jennifer Lopez and Angelina Jolie. It has frequently been recognized as among Washington state's best companies to work for and has won numerous industry magazine awards accolades. Mr. Juarez will remain involved in the company in an advisory capacity; his business partner Michael Coe will pursue other interests and business opportunities.

'We built this business by investing in our people and creating an atmosphere of uncompromising service to our guests,' said Juarez. 'I picked Evergreen Pacific Partners because they understand our brand and are committed to growing the business while maintaining this culture and focus. Our designers and artists are the best trained and most experienced in the industry and EPP has embraced continuing that tradition.'

The company expects to begin upgrading several salons and spas, including the Northgate and Southcenter mall locations. In addition, it will capitalize on the growing market for personal beauty services and products in the Puget Sound Region by increasing the range and uniqueness of products and services it offers its guests. Funding provided by EPP Capital will enable Gene Juarez to increase the number of salons and spas throughout the region over time.

The company will continue to invest in training and education for employees, who already receive nearly double the amount of training required by industry standards. Gene Juarez operates two state-certified training academies, and students who have exceptional skills are invited to the Gene Juarez Advanced Training Salon. Graduates of the Advanced Training Salon receive coveted employment offers to work in the Gene Juarez Salons & Spas. With the addition of new salons and spas, employees will have even more opportunities for skill development and career advancement.

Gene Juarez Salons & Spas recruited industry veteran Janet Denyer to serve as CEO. Denyer most recently served as Senior Vice President of Operations at Red Door Salon and Spas. There she oversaw an impressive growth and expansion of the Red Doors, as well as the development of employee training programs, new products and services, and operational standards that significantly raised the level of customer service. While Senior Vice President of Operations for Red Door Salons and Spas, Denyer supervised the opening of 18 new Red Doors culminating in responsibility for the operations of more than 40 spas and salons throughout the United States and United Kingdom, including a workforce of more than 2,500 employees. Prior to Red Door, she spent 20 years in the salon and spa industry, working with and for such leaders as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Disney, Marriott International and Intercontinental Hotels.

'I've been in the salon and spa business a long time, and I've never seen such loyalty and enthusiasm among customers and employees as I've seen with Gene Juarez,' said Denyer. 'That passion, combined with the experience and commitment from EPP Capital, will help us continue to build on Mr. Juarez's legacy and extend Gene Juarez Salons & Spas' leadership as the premier fashion and beauty destination in the Pacific Northwest. It is a true honor for me to have the opportunity to carry on the legacy of an industry leader such as Gene Juarez.'

With Gene Juarez Salons & Spas already the dominant brand in the Puget Sound Region, Denyer's task is to extend this leadership with a mix of new services and expand the collection of salons and spas. Denyer's experience with Red Door suits her perfectly for her new role with Gene Juarez Salons & Spas.

Since 1971, Gene Juarez Salons & Spas has been the definitive authority on hair, beauty and wellness in the Pacific Northwest. Its commitment to quality, training and guest service has earned it numerous honors including:

-- America's Salon of the Year -- Modern Salon Magazine

-- Top Day Spas Award -- Self Magazine

-- Top Spas in the United States -- InStyle Magazine

-- Best Hair Salon & Spa Escape -- King 5 Evening Magazine

-- Best of Seattle Reader's Choice -- Seattle Weekly

About Gene Juarez Salons & Spas

Gene Juarez Salons & Spas offer a complete range of award-winning salon services and exclusive spa treatments essential to maintaining your personal image, health and well-being. Its designers and artists offer the highest level of expertise in hair with Design and Color customized to the individual. Its spas are the ultimate retreat where aromatic essences, soothing sounds of water and luxurious surroundings create an escape to replenish and feel beautiful.

About Evergreen Pacific Partners

Evergreen Pacific Partners is a $275 million private equity fund based in the Pacific Northwest investing in private, traditional, middle-market companies in Western North America. EPP was co-founded by Timothy Bernardez, T. J. McGill, and Michael Nibarger. This is the third transaction from the firm's current fund, which includes Western Broadband (Phoenix, Ariz.), Finest City Broadcasting (San Diego, Calif.) and Gene Juarez, Inc. (Seattle, Wash.)