The International Spa Association (ISPA) championed dedication and innovation at its recent Las Vegas conference.
The organisation handed out four awards to reward individuals for their contributions to the industry.
The dedicated contributor
Ella Kent received the ISPA Dedicated Contributor accolade, given to an active ISPA member who has contributed significantly to the growth of the association. The recipient will have demonstrated leadership and commitment to ISPA and has extensively assisted in the promotion of the association and its mission and vision.
Kent began her career as a PT at The Broadmoor Hotel, a five-star resort in Colorado where she progressed to spa director in 2002. She moved to join the team at Wynn Las Vegas, overseeing spa operations at both The Wynn and The Encore, and then progressed to The Spa at Sea Island, a Forbes Five-Star coastal resort in Georgia, where she now serves as director of rooms.
Kent served two years as chair of the ISPA Board and held a seat on the board of directors for six years. Additionally, she continues to serve on various task forces including ISPA’s nominations committee, which interviews ISPA board of director candidates each year.
The ISPA Visionary Award is presented annually to someone in the industry who has made significant contributions to both the definition and positive movement of health and wellness over the lifetime of their career.
This year, Kerstin Florian – founder and CEO of Kerstin Florian International – received the accolade.
Florian was born and raised in the scenic landscape of Sweden, inspired by nature, its energy and its intrinsic connection to wellness. Throughout her life, she sought to find a skincare line that encompassed everything she wanted including natural ingredients, botanical elements and results.
She was presented with the award in recognition of her determination for blending nature and technology into products and experiential treatments which led her to start her own skincare company in 1978.
"Kerstin has set the standard for innovation and vision for the spa industry," said ISPA president Lynne McNees. "This award is a testament to the dedication and passion she’s displayed during her career, and we’re honoured to have her as a part of the ISPA community."
ISPA also rewarded Colin McIlheney, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) global research leader, with the ISPA Distinguished Service Award.
The award was presented to McIlheney to celebrate his long-term support of the industry body since 2008.
During this time, McIlheney has worked alongside ISPA to produce its annual US Spa Industry Study, which outlines overall revenue, number of spa visits, number of spa locations, revenue per visit and total employees for the US spa industry.
PwC was first commissioned in 1999 to conduct a full market overview of the spa industry – and that survey has been produced annually ever since.
Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award
The final ISPA accolade – called the Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award – was given to Leon Logothetis.
Named in honour of the late spa pioneer Alex Szekely, the award recognises an individual who acts as a respected contributor to overall wellbeing, encouraging the renewal of mind, body and spirit.
Since leaving behind his career as a broker in London more than a decade ago, Logothetis has travelled the globe, visiting more than 100 countries and documenting his experiences through his TV shows and bestselling books such as Live, Love, Explore: Discover the Way of the Traveller – A Roadmap to the Life You Were Meant to Live.
Through these projects and his speaking engagements, ISPA feels Logothetis is inspiring the world with his message of kindness, compassion and hope.
He is also the founder of Winston Entertainment, a travel-focused television production company that highlights the good in humanity through its content.