Meet the Judges of the 2018 Women in Wellness Awards

Meet the judges of American Spa's 2018 Women in Wellness Awards

We’ve gathered an authoritative panel of spa and wellness journalists to judge our second annual Women in Wellness Awards. Having spent many years covering the industry, they are uniquely qualified to evaluate the nominees on their influence, passion, inspiration, innovation, and accomplishments. Here, we share with you the panel and their many accomplishments. 

Karen Asp

Karen Asp is a leading journalist who covers fitness, health, nutrition, pets, and travel. A former contributing editor for Woman’s Day, she writes regularly for numerous other leading publications, including Better Homes and GardensCosmopolitanDelta SkyEating WellFamily CircleGood HousekeepingHarper’s BazaarMartha Stewart LivingOOrganic LifePreventionReal SimpleRunner’s WorldSelfShapeUSA TodayWeight Watchers, and Women’s Health. Asp is also a certified fitness professional, a health educator, and a plant-powered athlete who holds several Nordic walking world records. Follow her on Twitter at @karenaspwriter or visit her website at   

Mary Bemis


Mary Bemis is founder and editorial director of and a pioneer in green spa and beauty. Bemis co-curated Cosmoprof North America’s inaugural green beauty pavilion Discover Green and created “The Beauty 100,” a partnership between Insiders Guide to Spas and Spirituality & Health magazine. Bemis is the cofounder of Organic Spa magazine and a founding editor of American Spa. She is a founding board member of the Washington Spa Alliance (WSPA) and past director of the International Spa Association (ISPA) and the New York Spa Alliance. She has served on the Editorial Advisory Boards of ShapeSpirituality & Health, and Premier Spas magazines and serves on several industry advisory committees.  

Rona Berg

Editor-in-chief of Organic Spa Media, Rona Berg is the former editorial director of Elle, deputy style editor for New York TimesMagazine, and best-selling author of Beauty: The New Basics and Fast Beauty (Workman Publishing). Berg has been cited as an industry expert by New York Magazine, Fox News, and, most recently, the Huffington Post. She sits on the Advisory Board of Shape for her expertise in health and wellness and co-chairs the Personal Care Committee of the Green Spa Network (GSN). A featured speaker at the first Global Wellness Day celebration in Sapanca, Turkey, Berg has contributed to and been quoted in hundreds of publications around the globe. She is a frequent guest on radio and television and has been a featured speaker, judge, and expert for many industry events and organizations. 

Becca Hensley 

A lifelong beauty and wellness adventurer, a spiritual seeker, and a sworn true believer in the curative powers of all spas, travel and lifestyle writer Becca Hensley has strode the world in search of salubrious truths and personal connections. She has contributed to Modern LuxuryRobb ReportNational Geographic TravelerTravel & LeisureChicago TribuneOrganic Spawww.insidersguidetospas, and more. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @beccahensley or visit her website at

Abbie Kozolochyk

Abbie Kozolochyk is an award-winning beauty, travel, and wellness writer and editor whose assignments have taken her to continent and corner of the publishing world, from Conde Nast Traveler to Cosmopolitan. Kozolchyk’s work has also appeared in National Geographic TravelerForbes TravelerFood & WineGlamourRachael Ray Every Day, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where she launched a spa travel column. She is also the author of The World’s Most Romantic Destinations: 50 Dreamy Getaways, Private Retreats, and Enchanting Places to Celebrate Love (National Geographic). Kozolchyk appears regularly at travel conferences around the world as a speaker and teacher.

Si Si Penaloza

Si Si Penaloza is the executive travel editor and director of strategic partnerships for Jetset Magazine. A natural born flâneur, Penaloza thrives on jetsetting to the world’s top fly-and-flop destinations to report on spas and contributing to publications such as The Globe and MailElle, and Nuvo. She’s not immune to the lure of stunt journalism—interviewing the cast of Ocean’s Thirteen in Cannes, reporting from Prince Harry’s Diamond Jubileee Tour of the Caribbean, or racing the Top Gear team through the vineyards of Stellenbosch. She’s been known to trek the Himalayas in seersucker pajamas, track baby kiwi birds at Cape Kidnappers, observe octopus at 80 feet below in Curacao, and frolic with frisky penguins on Cape Town’s Boulder Beach.  

Sandra Ramani

Based in New York City (when she’s not on the road), writer and editor Sandra Ramani has been covering spa, beauty, wellness, travel, and lifestyle topics for more than 18 years. Her work has appeared in such publications as Robb ReportDeparturesTravel + LeisureWorth, AfarConde Nast Traveler, and Bloomberg, among others. She has also served as a spa/beauty editor for, and as the editor-in-chief of Premier Traveler magazine. Ramani is currently the senior contributing editor of Organic Spa and is proud to be celebrating her 10th year working with the publication.

Be sure to stay tuned here on American Spa as we unveil new winners of our second annual Women in Wellness Awards beginning Monday, September 24. Follow American Spa on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up to date with all things Women in Wellness.


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