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 Industry Insider Award.
Industry Insider: This award honors a woman known as a powerful connector, serving as an inspirational mentor due to her networking prowess and for connecting like-minded members of the wellness world.
WINNER: Mia Kyricos, senior vice president, global head of wellbeing, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
A globally respected thought leader in the business of wellness and hospitality, Mia Kyricos is senior vice president, global head of wellbeing for Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Previously, she served as president and CEO of Kyricos & Associates, a boutique advisory firm providing strategic guidance to wellness-driven hospitality, tourism, and healthy lifestyle companies and communities; chief brand officer of Spafinder Wellness; vice president of EXOS, where she oversaw the workplace wellness division and related deployments at Fortune 500 companies; and director of global spa brands at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where she led the creation of six international spa brands for Le Meridian, Sheraton, St. Regis, Westin, and W hotel brands. “Aside from her impressive career accomplishments over the last two decades, Mia has always been generous with her time to help support, build, and champion industry organizations,” says Julie Bach, founder of Wellness for Cancer. “Few even know that she helped me to develop, brand, and launch WFC when it was only a dream or how she has worked to help define, shape, and give voice to wellness communities and the opportunity for spas within them around the world.”
FINALIST: Lisa Michaelis, founder and CEO, Live Love Spa
Hailing from the tech, fashion, and gift industries, Lisa Michaelis brought her talents to the spa industry after spending seven years as CEO of Lucky Owl, an apparel and gift line. As director of development for Universal Companies, she realized the power of experiential selling, which led her to launch Live Love Spa. Connecting vendor partners to spas through a spa and wellness online B2B marketplace and numerous regional experiential events across the U.S. and Mexico, Live Love Spa is just one example of Michaelis’s ability to connect those in the wellness space. This past August, Michaelis and her team launched the first-ever Wellness Month campaign to encourage the public to try out the wonders of aspirational spa-ing and healthy living in gyms, yoga studios, spas, and more. “Lisa is a visionary and an industry game changer—with heart,” says Kimberly Marshall, founder of The Marshall Plan and cofounder of S’Well. “The ultimate connector, she has the very unique ability to dream big and deliver on the promise for spas and vendors alike.”
FINALIST: Tara Grodjesk, president, Tara Spa Therapy; Emeritus Founder, Green Spa Network
An entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in holistic health and wellness, Tara Grodjesk founded Tara Spa Therapy and has served as a consultant to world-class spas for design and development of wellness concepts for treatment programs and signature product lines. A member of ISPA for more than 25 years and an emeritus founder of the Green Spa Network (GSN), she was appointed chairwoman of ISPA’s first taskforce on Greening and Sustainability and had the GSN Dedicated Contributor Award named in her honor. She is a certified massage therapist, a holistic health educator, an Ayurvedic practitioner, and an aromatherapist. Her greatest strengths, however, lie in her ability to bring individuals together to work together as a whole. For the past 17 years, she has been conducting retreats for women in the industry. She is also master facilitator for Women as Game Changers Training. Recently, she founded the Women in Leadership forum, which gathers women in the industry together at regional events to discuss the challenges and opportunities women face as leaders in the industry.
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: PR & Marketing Guru and Brand Founder on Tuesday, 9/25.