Marti Morenings to Deliver Keynote Address at Chicago Spa Owners & Operators Expo

Marti MoreningsMarti Morenings, founder and CEO of Universal Companies, Inc., will open the 2007 Spa Owners & Operators Expo by sharing her inspirational journey as a single woman in 1982 founding and building what is now a multi-million dollar corporation serving the spa industry. Marti will share her experiences, struggles, and creative ideas as she is certain to inspire us with her infectious passion for the entrepreneurial spirit and life-long commitment to the power of partnership.

Marti Morenings is Founder and CEO of Universal Companies, Inc., the leading international distributor of equipment, products, and supplies to the spa and skincare industry. In 1982, she followed her entrepreneurial calling and founded Universal Health Products with her father, Dr. G.H. Morenings. The company manufactured and sold a spinal massage unit invented by Dr. Morenings. Marti took the product to market and began sourcing parts and manufacturing. Managing every aspect of the business, she learned how to run a company from the ground up, by trial and error.

In the late 1980's Marti and her father developed a new product that erased the impact of bells palsy and triggered the body muscles to regain normal function. Customer demand transferred the product's application towards "non-surgical facelifts," and customized programs and protocols were cultivated, patented, and adopted by exclusive doctors and nurses worldwide. Quickly learning the difference between sales and marketing and manufacturing, Marti sought entrance into the beauty market in distribution and marketing.

As the company began to develop distribution in skin care and aesthetics lines, Marti realized the value of a comprehensive magazine type offering to fully serve her clients. In 1991 she created the first company catalog, fashioned by cut, paste, and copy machine. She brought the new catalog to a beauty seminar in Washington DC , where it was received with both amazement and appreciation. Word spread, new products were added, and Marti now had the first one-stop-shop for aestheticians and spas around the world.

To meet the needs of the burgeoning spa market, Marti incorporated a new partnership as Universal Esthetics in 1994. Four years later, eager to serve the spa industry according to her own vision, she split the company and reincorporated her new business as Universal Companies. Today, the company offers spas and resorts over 5,000 products through its comprehensive catalog and web offerings. Since founding Universal Companies, Marti has developed several proprietary brands and has created strategic alliances with several well-known brands.
Marti has traveled extensively, visiting over a dozen countries throughout her career, and in 2006 she served on the Travel and Tourism Panel for the 21st Annual Entrepreneurship Conference at Harvard Business School. Universal Companies has been honored with the SBAF Exporter of the Year Award, the Greater Tri-Cities Business of the Year Award, and the National Association of Women Business Owners Diamond Award.

In keeping with her pioneering spirit, Marti enjoys building relationships with entrepreneurs to launch successful products that will remain exclusive to the spa market. She believes there is a win-win to every relationship, and she attributes her 25 years of success to her ability to forge strong partnerships with vendors and customers.