Meet the Winner of the Women in Wellness Leadership Conference NYC Scholarship

American Spa's Women in Wellness
Pamela Dunklin has won the 2019 NYC Women in Wellness Leadership Conference Scholarship // Photo courtesy of American Spa/Jenna Bascom Photography

Pamela Dunklin, a former homicide detective turned esthetician from Tyler, TX, has been awarded the 2019 New York City Women in Wellness Leadership Conference Scholarship, presented by American Spa and The Spa Mart. Thanks to the scholarship, Dunklin will receive a pass to American Spa’s 2019 Women in Wellness Leadership Conference in New York City on March 12, airfare and two nights’ hotel accommodations, and $1,000 to be used towards continuing education.

Pamela Dunklin, scholarship winner

The idea for the scholarship arose following the first annual Women in Wellness Leadership Conference, which took place in New York City in March 2018. Teddy Lester, cofounder of The Spa Mart and a sponsor of the debut event, and Julie Keller Callaghan, founder of the Women in Wellness Conferences and the editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa, met to discuss ways they could work to further the cause of female empowerment and education. With that, the idea for the scholarship was born.

“Mentorship is one of the strongest ways that women can support other women in the workplace, so when the idea for this scholarship came about, I was thrilled and inspired,” says Keller Callaghan. “Teddy, Tori, and The Spa Mart team totally get it and have made the concept of paying it forward and education a hallmark of their business, which made this scholarship partnership a perfect one. I’m so excited to bring Pamela to our New York City event and can’t wait for her to experience the incredible content, networking, and sisterhood that will be part of this day.”

Lester continued the sentiment, saying “The Spa Mart team is so humbled and honored to award this scholarship to such a deserving spa pro. A big thank you to all of those who participated as we look forward to another game-changing Women in Wellness event. As the new year begins, we challenge everyone to join in the spirit of giving time, sharing experiences and mentoring so that we may all continue to enhance our amazing spa community.”

Dunklin was one of more than 80 applicants who applied for the scholarship. Each applicant had to provide a short bio about themselves and a few questions, including why they should receive the scholarship and what Women in Wellness and continuing education means to them. Dunklin shared that esthetics is her second career, which she changed at a time in her life when most people would be planning for retirement. Having formerly served as a homicide detective, Dunklin was drawn to esthetics in hopes of healing people from trauma she became familiar with over the years.

“I am so honored and appreciative to be the recipient of this scholarship,” Dunklin told American Spa. “Thank you to all who supported my career change and encouraged me to be an example to others. It is never too late to reinvent yourself and find what brings you joy.”

Applications for the West Coast event scholarship will be accepted through June 1. Click here to apply. Tickets for the New York event are on sale now, with more info about the west coast conference to be announced. More info at


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