#BeautyChangesLives Legacy Award Pays Tribute to Industry Icon Leo Passage

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Art Institute of Chicago event honors a lifetime of supporting NEXTGEN talent

Left to right: Lynelle Lynch, Lenie Passage and Robert Passage

I respectfully thank the Foundation for acknowledging my father and Cosmetologists Chicago leadership in allowing this event to serve as a backdrop to America’s Beauty Show. His legacy will continue to inspire and change lives through tonight’s event.

The beauty industry united on Saturday, March 21, to celebrate the legacy of a man who revolutionized the business of beauty education. The Beauty Changes Lives Foundation (BCL) posthumously honored Leo Passage; founder of Pivot Point International, Inc. Passage’s wife Lenie, and son Robert accepted the award on behalf of Leo. Held at the Art Institute of Chicago, the sold-out event was attended by a “who’s who” of industry and media leaders and served as the signature gala event for America’s Beauty Show (ABS). The event’s location in the museum’s “Modern Wing” paid homage to Leo Passage’s passion for the arts, particularly the Bauhaus principles of art and design that influenced his extraordinary career.

While Leo Passage delighted in the arts, he was also an extraordinary business visionary and advocate for continuing education. Throughout his career, he made a point of nurturing emerging talent, never forgetting how the industry helped him upon his immigration from The Netherlands in 1958.

The convergence of art and beauty was on full display during the evening’s feature presentation, “Trilogy of Beauty,” to spotlight NEXTGEN artists, the beauty industry’s future leaders. The “Trilogy of Beauty” represented the NEXTGEN’s interpretation of Street Wear, Underground and Avant Garde. NEXTGEN artists were hand-picked by established icons and mentored the NEXTGEN in their development of the “Trilogy of Beauty” collection.

Leo Passage is the third Legacy Award honoree. Previous recipients include beauty legend Vidal Sassoon and actress, humanitarian and nail industry champion Tippi Hedren. “The Legacy Award celebrates the spirit that lies at the very heart of the beauty industry,” said Lynelle Lynch, president of the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation. “Our industry is about so much more than art. Every day, established beauty professionals are nurturing and mentoring the next generation of leadership and no one demonstrated that generous spirit more than Leo Passage,” said Lynch.

“We as a family are extremely honored that my father was awarded the Beauty Changes Lives Legacy Award. My father would have experienced such joy witnessing the creative artistry of the NEXTGEN talent presented. He had a gift for seeing the talent in others before they saw it in themselves," said Robert Passage, Pivot Point chairman/CEO, 2nd vice president of Cosmetologists Chicago and treasurer of BCL.

While the Legacy Award gala shone the spotlight on NEXTGEN talent, it also served as the venue for the announcement of the BCL | Leo Passage Endowment Fund, a postgraduate scholarship aimed at helping licensed beauty and wellness professionals expand and enhance their creativity. Those awarded scholarships will experience Pivot Point International’s Creative Jam Sessions; proprietary workshops that challenge the artist to translate, interpret and fuse international and local cultures into their work. The scholarship competition opened on Monday, March 23, and complete details are available at http://www.beautychangeslives.org/scholarships.

“I respectfully thank the Foundation for acknowledging my father and Cosmetologists Chicago leadership in allowing this event to serve as a backdrop to America’s Beauty Show. His legacy will continue to inspire and change lives through tonight’s event and the BCL | Leo Passage Endowment Fund Postgraduate Scholarship. Throughout my father’s life, his sheer determination to see others flourish always preempted his personal desire to succeed,” added Passage.

Lynch praised Pivot Point International and Robert Passage for the company’s creativity and leadership in birthing the event concept and executing the gala event. “Due to the generosity of Robert and his team at Pivot Point, manufacturers, media partners, educators and individual artists are helping inspire the next generation of beauty and wellness talent and pushing licensed hairstylists and teachers to increase the creativity and passion reflected in their work,” Lynch said.

She added that the ABS venue for the Legacy Award escalates the visibility and stature of Beauty Changes Lives. Proceeds from the gala will benefit the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation, which awards scholarships and mentoring opportunities to aspiring and licensed beauty and wellness professionals.

To learn more about the NEXTGEN talent and their mentors, please visit: legacy.pivot-point.com.

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The Beauty Changes Lives Foundation was created by the American Association of Cosmetology Schools to build awareness of the extraordinary career opportunities in the beauty wellness, and massage therapy industries. http://www.beautychangeslives.org.

Pivot Point International, founded by Leo Passage in 1962, is the global premier provider of hair, tools and beauty educational solutions for schools, salons, students, individual stylists and distributors. http://www.pivot-point.com.

Media contacts:
Kate Cicela, Vi Nelson & Associates, kate(at)vinelson(dot)com, 312-944-1262
Susan Miller, susan(at)ewingmiller(dot)com, 765-620-2007

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