Cortiva Institute - Chicago Blends Business Savvy with Inspiration at "Managing Your Spa in a Changing Environment" Conference

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In recognition of the continued expansion of the massage therapy and spa industries, paired with declining numbers of people seeking body work in the current economic climate, Cortiva Institute has designed a leading edge conference to be held in Chicago on July 31st and August 1st called "Managing Your Spa in a Changing Environment."

Cortiva Institute - Chicago is hosting the two-day event aimed at owners and managers of spas and massage therapy organizations from around the country. It will combine motivational and interactive workshops from key Cortiva management, access to industry leaders to brainstorm about the state of the industry, a keynote address from WTS International's Kate Mearns, Spa Director, The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg, and informal networking opportunities.

Four workshops will cover topics vital for spa owners. Rebecca Edwards, Corporate Director of Career Services for Cortiva Institute, has developed a workshop called "Managing Massage Therapists and other Health & Wellness Practitioners" to discuss the unique challenges of managing body workers while focusing on the continuing financial success of the business.    

Rebecca notes, "You have creative, sensitive massage therapists who need to be connected to the nurturing aspects of their job who now work in a more corporate environment. From a manager's perspective, how do you translate corporate lingo into a language that practitioners will appreciate? We can't turn massage therapists into corporate employees, so we must speak their language and discuss issues in a light that allows them to perceive the value in it for themselves."

"Intentional Leadership & Powerful Communication," Rebecca's Day 2 workshop offering, emerged directly from her own experiences as a first time campus president at The Utah College of Massage Therapy. "I had eight new managers," she says. "It was clear that coaching people to simply perform their tasks wasn't enough to transform low performers into high performers. It dawned on me that leadership and management roles usually don't get explained."

Rebecca will present both the key concepts behind intentional leadership and management, and real tools for people to implement immediately. "Transforming estheticians into leaders can be challenging. Cortiva wants to unleash these courses to be of service to the industry. No one else is addressing it."

Rebecca has been in management and leadership roles in the wellness education industry for the past 15 years. She has trained and managed highly productive sales and management teams, taught business course and coached hundreds of individuals in their business and personal lives. She has worked extensively with spas and resorts to assist them with identifying and hiring first-rate therapists, and her role at Cortiva includes managing career services and employer relations.

Patrick Pheasant, Corporate Director of Continuing Education and Online Training at Cortiva Institute, will lead two workshops. The first, "Client Care - Creating a Return on the Experience," is a practical look at selling and marketing strategies. Topics will include customizing a client's program and treatments, upselling products, techniques and time, ethics, and marketing strategies. Demonstrating his interactive approach, Patrick says, "What is your unique selling point - how are you branding yourself? If, for example, you market yourself to mother of small children, in addition to assessing a client's physical needs and expectations from your services, you might set up a day care partnership. We'll discuss client care and retention within a spa context rather than a general business context."

Patrick's Day 2 workshop, "Dealing with Change in the Spa Industry," is designed to inspire spa owners and managers and will provide participants the opportunity to discuss specific challenges and brainstorm real solutions with other professionals. "To handle the evolving market, we must involve everyone in the communication process. At the high end, clients are spending more and there's increased overseas investment in the U.S. market. Simultaneously, fewer customers are seeking out body work, even though they are spending more. We'll talk about how to deal with these changes by reframing our businesses," says Patrick.

While living in Japan for 12 years, Patrick worked with a start-up company that trained small business owners and large corporations alike in the fine points of client retention and employee empowerment. He holds a Master of Education degree, and has completed additional graduate degrees in Occupational Studies and Change Management. His specialty areas include interactive management training, healthcare and people development.

Patrick notes, "Currently there is no organization providing such targeted business training for spa managers. Most health and wellness education providers teach specific modalities and how to open one's own spa. Cortiva's concept for the conference is a cutting edge approach to education that acknowledges a shifting environment - and provides real tools aimed at spa managers."

The conference will take place at Cortiva Institute - Chicago, School of Massage Therapy, 17 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60602 from 9:00am to 5:30pm, July 31st and August 1st, 2008. For more information about the conference, visit cortiva.com/csmt/ce.

For more information about Cortiva Institute and its national community of schools, please visit cortiva.com.

About Cortiva Institute: Cortiva is an education company that believes in a new kind of professionalism - one that brings a progressive health and wellness professionals to the world; active dynamic individuals that are involved, competent and compassionate. Cortiva's growing list of locations includes New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, Washington, Arizona and Massachusetts.

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Fernando Lopez
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