This ISBN Conference Looks Like the Best One Ever

Farouk Shami, founder and chairman of Farouk Systems

I’m really looking forward to attending the 2012 International Salon/Spa Business Network Conference with its “Be Inspired” theme on April 15-17 at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

What’s the International Salon/Spa Business Network? It’s comprised of more than 50 top salon and spa companies. Every company owns from two to 12,000 salons and/or spas, and together the member companies generate an astounding annual gross sales of more than $10 billion.

Let me throw some other staggering ISBN statistics at you: Its membership represents more than 25,000 hair salons and spas, and employs more than 250,000 beauty professionals—who conduct more than 500 million client transactions per year! Its leaders are a Who’s Who of chain salon/spa owners and VIPs. A partial list: The ISBN president is Gordon Logan, founder and CEO of the incredibly successful Sports Clips. Paula Malloy Huerta, product development and marketing director for JCPenney Salons, is the past ISBN president. Currently, Jason Volk, CEO of Chatters Canada, and Paul Brown, owner of Paul Brown Hawaii Salons & Spas and product line, are ISBN vice presidents.

And this year ISBN expects its largest conference ever—including record attendance—I’ve been told recently. There are a number of factors likely contributing to all this.

However, you have to think that one huge reason has to be that at the conference ISBN will present its 2012 Legend Award to Farouk Shami, founder and chairman of Farouk Systems—the multinational corporation that manufactures the BioSilk and CHI brands that are sold in more than 100 countries. So many phrases describe industry icon Shami: a hairdresser’s hairdresser (he began his career working part time as a hairdresser, then became a salon owner), an artist, a visionary, an entrepreneur who personifies the American dream (he came to the United States in 1965 with $71), an educator, a celebrity (his appearances on “The Celebrity Apprentice”), a humanitarian (with donations to numerous charities and organizations worldwide), a politician (he ran for governor of Texas in 2009, but didn’t win the primary election) …

I’m truly honored to sit on a panel and discussion (“Trends in Products and Services”) with him at the conference. Other panelists are Robert Yates, senior vice president of marketing at John Paul Mitchell Systems, and Patrick Neville, chief merchant for BeautyFirst and an ISBN board member. Jayne Morehouse, ISBN’s communications director and president of Jayne & company brand communications, will moderate.

The conference will also feature:

  • A keynote by social-media guru Peter Shankman
  • Economist Alan Beaulieu discussing how to “Make Your Move” to maximize the future
  • Panels covering the state of the industry and governmental relations
  • Breakouts on online-reputation management and “A Window Into the Consumer’s Mind”
  • A special “2 to 10 Project” workshop
  • ISBN’s signature speed meetings with sponsors
  • The golf outing at nearby Trump National Golf Course
  • And plenty of time for networking (where are those ULTA Beauty people? Regis Corp.? Charles Penzone? Larry Walt of Design 1 Salons and Day Spas? Etc.)

You still have time to register for the conference and congratulate Shami in person. Visit ISBN's website or call 866.444.4272.

—Marc Birenbaum

[Caption: The International Salon/Spa Business Network will present its Legend Award to Farouk Shami, founder and chairman of Farouk Systems, at its 2012 conference. Image courtesy of ISBN]