Back for its second year, American Spa’s Women in Wellness Awards honor the women in our industry for their contributions in making the world a better place. Nominated by their peers and chosen by acclaimed wellness journalists, these women are showing they’re a force with which to be reckoned. Making a profound impact in the industry and beyond, they are leaning in by serving on related industry boards and organizations, discovering untapped opportunities, giving back, and bringing their unique perspective to all that they do.
From September 24 through September 28, each day American Spa will be announcing two new winners of the 2018 Women in Wellness Awards. Today, discover the winner of the Spa Director Award.
Spa Director: The award honors a female spa director who leads a successful team and inspires her staff, her employer, and her clients with savvy business skills as well as courage, integrity, fairness, and creativity.
WINNER: Jennifer Lynn, senior director of spa and wellness, Waldorf Astoria Spa (Las Vegas)
An impassioned activist for the spa and wellness industry, Jennifer Lynn received a degree in history from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas while also pursuing her passion for health and fitness by obtaining certifications in personal training, health coaching, nutrition, yoga, and meditation. Involved in spa design, brand development, operations, and wellness programming, Lynn has opened and led the spa teams at spas such as Waldorf Astoria Spa Las Vegas; The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas; Spa Bellagio (Las Vegas); and Qua Baths & Spa (Las Vegas). She has also provided pre-opening business consulting services to The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee (Greensboro, GA), Sasanqua Spa (Kiawah Island, SC), and Poseidon Spa at Mansion on Forsyth Park (Savannah, GA). An active member of the Las Vegas spa community, Lynn is a founding member of the Las Vegas Spa Association and currently serves as the board chairperson. She is also an advocate for sustainable living and chaired the corporate responsibility committee for Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, for six years and currently sits on the Nevada Hotel Lodging Association Sustainability Committee. Lynn recently presented her sustainability initiatives specific to spa operations at the Green Spa Network Congress earlier this year in hopes of inspiring others to adopt similar practices. Lynn is also supporting education for local spa directors to implement new sustainable practices in their operation to help elevate the local desert efforts for water reduction and plastic bottled water reduction.
FINALIST: Doreen Ohlson-Young, spa director, The Oxford Club, Spa & Salon
Doreen Ohlson-Young began her spa career in 1994 at The Peaks Spa and Resort (Telluride, CO) as a massage therapist. Realizing she wanted to learn as much as possible, she also worked as a spa coordinator. She eventually moved to Boulder, CO, to complete her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Colorado. While there, she worked at Essentials Day Spa (Boulder, CO). Ohlson-Young then served as spa director at Mii amo, where her unorthodox management style helped her team thrive. Truly caring about the people who work for her, she is a firm believer that mutual respect is the key to success. Constantly thinking outside the box to get the best results from her staff, she worked with therapists to help them maintain full-time status, so they could receive benefits and be scheduled in such a way that they didn’t burn out. Today, Ohlson-Young is spa director at The Oxford Club, Spa & Salon (Denver) where she is focused on making connections—to both her staff and guests, which is what drives her.
FINALIST: Marci Howard-May, director of spa and wellness, Red Mountain Resort
Bringing the perfect set of skills to Sagestone Spa & Salon (Ivins, UT) and its spa and wellness programming, Marci Howard-May is a licensed massage therapist with a degree in exercise science and prior work experience in cardiac rehabilitation and preventative cardiology clinics. She has created experiences, such as the spa’s Self Care Retreat, which sequences treatments to restore and rejuvenate spa-goers. Developing a highly knowledgeable team of therapists and wellness providers with her extensive product knowledge and understanding of the human body, Howard-May has forged new paths at Red Mountain with the integration of music therapy and programs, such as Drumming from the Heart and You Can Ukulele. Under her leadership, the spa was an early adopter of Himalayan salt stone therapy and Himalayan singing bowls. She was also instrumental in helping the spa integrate therapies with its outdoor programming. For example, it recently added a sound bath to its Mindful Hike to help deepen the experience in nature at a cellular level.
Stay tuned on American Spa online, as well on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as we continue to announce the 2018 Women in Wellness Awards winners all week long. Up next: Philanthropist and Owner & Operator on Friday, 9/27.