2019 Women In Wellness Awards: Philanthropist of the Year

2019 Women In Wellness Awards: Philanthropist of the Year // Graphic by Kara Magliaro(American Spa)

Back for its third edition, American Spa’s Women in Wellness Awards honor those who are making an impact in the industry and beyond. These exceptional women are transforming the wellness world with their noteworthy contributions such as serving on related industry boards and organizations, discovering untapped opportunities, giving back, and bringing their unique perspective to all that they do. Nominated by their peers and chosen by acclaimed wellness journalists, these women are showing they’re a force with which to be reckoned. 

From August 26 through September 4, American Spa will be announcing one new winner and two finalists of the 2019 Women in Wellness Awards each day. Today, discover the Spa Consultant of the year.

Philanthropist: This award honors a woman who is making an altruistic impact on a charity or cause within the spa and wellness industry.

WINNER: Delia McLinden, cofounder and vice president of sales and business development, FarmHouse Fresh

Although Delia McLinden has her hands full as head of sales for FarmHouse Fresh, that hasn’t stopped her from advocating for her furry four-legged friends. When she’s not traveling for work or pleasure, McLinden’s favorite pastime is rescuing dogs. It’s no surprise considering she once served as adoption program director for PAWS (Pets are Worth Saving) Chicago, one of the country’s largest no-kill rescue organizations. While living in Chicago, Delia started a downtown dog-walking business, City Dog, as one of her first entrepreneurial ventures. Today, she continues her life-saving work with animals. An avid dog rescue volunteer for 15 years, McLinden recently founded Archangel Animal Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of Texas shelter dogs. Over the past 12 months, she has raised $25,000 and coordinated transport for hundreds of dogs scheduled to be euthanized. She raises funds by holding events in the Dallas area, networking with individuals and small businesses, and more. As of July, Archangel Animal Network has saved 280 dogs and 11 cats. The organization’s 2019 goal is to save 500 animals by year’s end says Kimberly DeOrsey, spa director at Delray Beach Marriott (FL). “Delia has unlimited compassion for animals and immediately dives in head-first to help.”

FINALIST: Kristina Valiani, CEO and founder, The Beauty of Hope

Kristina Valiani is on a mission to end sex trafficking in her lifetime. As a teenager, Valiani learned the devastating truth around the fastest growing criminal industry in the world and got involved with organizations. She worked in the spa industry for six years before launching The Beauty of Hope, a candle company that gives back 10 percent of every dollar to non-profits working to end sex trafficking. Valiani chose to donate ten percent of revenue instead of profit because it’s truly the heartbeat behind the brands existence. When brands give from revenue instead of profit it shows that no matter what happens we give off the top and not what’s left over. Valiani resigned from her corporate job to launch The Beauty of Hope. Since then, Kristina has dedicated 365 days a year to growing The Beauty of Hope from her kitchen stove top to now working with more than 800 spas and resorts around the globe.The brand’s primary partner is Rescue:Freedom, based in Kirkland, WA. Valiani chose to link arms with the organization because of the work they are accomplishing globally. Rescue:Freedom is currently working in 16 countries, operating 90 prevention, education, and restoration programs with 22 local partners. To learn more about their work or donate directly, visit rescuefreedom.org

FINALIST: Holly Brown, founder and executive director, Looking and Feeling Fab

Holly Brown is no stranger to serious illness. She has lived with multiple sclerosis for 19 years and sarcoidosis for five years. After being put on a regimen of Rituxan infusions Holly developed a serious rash on her back. After receiving blank stares by the medical community and researching how prevalent skin reactions were with cancer treatment, Brown, a licensed esthetician sought out oncology esthetics training. After the training, Brown realized the oncology community is where her passion lies and decided to form a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity called Looking & Feeling FAB, Inc.(LFF).  LFF’s mission is to provide comfort and relief to those with cancer through integrative therapies, alleviating side effects and improving quality of life. In five years, Brown has managed to grow her non-profit to include six locations across Massachusetts, become affiliated with many local hospitals, medical and wellness centers, hospice, elder services, Livestrong through the YMCA, and important non-profits in the community. Brown has a passion for educating others on compromised skin, and she and her team have worked with more than 200 cancer patients offering them free services. The majority of patients they work with are suffering from moderate to severe skin reactions, some suffering in silence and isolation due to pain, rash, hives, sores, burns, and more. Through her experiences Holly has learned the ins and outs of sensitive and compromised skin, making her a leading expert.  

Congrats to our winner and finalists of the Philanthropist category. Check back tomorrow for the Educator and Trainer of the Year. Stay tuned on American Spa online, as well on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for more info about the winners and finalists of the 2019 Women in Wellness Awards as well as upcoming Women in Wellness Leadership Conferences.


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