12 Sep Meet the 2022 Canadian Spa & Wellness Awards Judging Panel
Originally from Ireland, Amanda has been in the Spa and Wellness industry for over 18 years. With a background as a CIDESCO-trained Esthetician, she has travelled the world gaining experience initially from a service provider’s standpoint and then naturally progressing to management roles for luxury properties both on land and at sea. Amanda was invited to open Canada’s first St Regis Hotel and Spa in Toronto, leading a team from pre-opening stages to overseeing a full spa rebranding and renovation. After many years in operations, a change of pace and something new was desired, she now has the pleasure of working with 5-star luxury spas and wellness centres around the world in her role as Senior Customer Success Manager at Book4time, the leading cloud-based spa management software for the world’s top hotels and resorts.
Chris has been a passionate advocate for spa and wellness for more than 30 years while visiting hundreds of spas in more than 85 countries on six continents. A Spa &Wellness Operations Management program graduate, Chris ran a successful tourism and marketing company for more than 20 years with tourism board, airline, tour operator and resort/hotel clients from Australia to Africa. Chris has written about spa and wellness for numerous national print and online publications including Spa Inc., Globe & Mail, Travel Life, Vacations Magazine, Vacayou.com, Spa Life, Dreamscapes, Extraordinary Experiences, Dreamscapes, UltimateOntario.com and many others. Chris has previously sat on the judge’s panel for the Asia Spa Awards and SpaFinder 360 Wellness Travel Awards and has sat on the judging panel for the Canadian Spa & Wellness Awards since its inception in 2015. Chris is a proponent for making spas more inclusive for all genders, generations, and ethnic backgrounds while focusing on mental and physical health benefits.
As a professor at Seneca, Kathryn brings experience both from the business operations and service/sales side of the spa industry, along with the technical, practical side of spa services delivery. She previously served as a resort spa manager, and as a spa consultant, and has organized and opened several spas, both domestic and international. Kathryn is currently serving as Chair of Leading Spas of Canada, the only national member association that leads, supports, and promotes members of Canada’s spa and wellness industry. Members must adhere to the highest standards and practices related to service, hygiene, and safety. She holds an MBA from the University of Guelph’s College of Business and Economics, CIDESCO certification, and an Esthetician diploma from Sheridan College.
Irina Yushvaeva is a professor in the Esthetician diploma and Medical SpaTherapies advanced diploma programs at Seneca College. She has a medical degree with a specialization in gynecology. Irina’s master’s and further medical research were focused on ovarian cancer and organ-saving approaches to gynecological surgeries. She holds seven scientific patents and is an author of 13 scientific publications on gynecology.
Irina is also a Seneca alumna; she graduated with high honours from the Esthetics & Spa Therapies program and received the Governor General’s Academic Medal for the highest academic standing. She is certified with a Comité International d’Esthétique et de Cosmétologie (CIDESCO) diploma in beauty therapy. Her CIDESCO thesis “Structural Changes in the Skin During Menopause” was published in Zurich.
Her teaching journey started in 2001 at Odessa State Medical University in Ukraine. As an associate professor, Irina developed a curriculum for medical interns and led them in conducting scientific research in gynecology. At Seneca, she combines her medical background with the current esthetics curriculum to deliver a multi-faceted learning experience in all her classes. As a case writer for the Seneca Case Development Center, Irina is contributing her years of diverse teaching expertise to student success and integrating current digital technologies and approaches to engage students in active learning.
Irina is an Educational Technologies Advisory Committee (ETAC) member at Seneca College. The role of ETAC is to make recommendations about new educational technology across multiple campuses at Seneca. She also sits on the Flex learning committee, which makes recommendations regarding Flex learning for Seneca. Recently Irina presented at a Symposium hosted by Seneca on the flex learning modality.
Irina previously sat on the judging panel for the Canadian Spa & Wellness Awards in 2019.
Vivienne O’Keeffe has been designing and building successful spas and spa management systems for over 25 years. As the owner of Spa Profits Consulting, she brings a number of powerful tools, including extensive formal training, a fierce commitment to turning visions into reality, a passion for excellence, a commitment to environmental sustainability, and the ability to rebuild and rejuvenate systems that help businesses and their employees thrive and prosper.
She personally oversees every detail of a project, using a technical skill set developed through personal, hands-on spa industry involvement.
“Her understanding of the industry and her leadership skills are second to none,” says one client. “She brings a wealth of experience and is able to teach it in an inspiring and empowering way. We renovated, rebranded, changed our spa culture, added new systems, got certified in Spa Quality (ISO 9000 standard) and grew the business substantially year over year, making it profitable. Whether you are a new owner, rebranding, rebuilding or just need to turn over a new leaf, she is one of the best in the industry and will add great value to your business.”
Vivienne’s specialty is achieving growth by focusing on unique guest experiences and journeys – in an environment that mitigates risk to spa owners and guests. She has been a member of the Standards and Practices Committee for the Spa Industry Association of Canada since its inception in 1997, and a co-contributor to ISPA’s Risk Management for Spas online course.
As a writer, Vivienne produces articles for professional publications, is a contributing author to Retail Management for Spas, and most recently collaborated with other industry experts on the Mental Wellness Initiative white paper for the Global Wellness Institute.
As an eco-conscious skincare product developer, Vivienne helps clients to create effective products that are healthy for humans and gentle on the environment.
Vivienne is the proud recipient of three Outstanding Achievement Awards from Leading Spas of Canada and was invited in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 to judge the Canadian Spa & Wellness Awards. She speaks at industry events nationally and internationally.
Her clients include spas, wellness facilities, boutique hotels, resorts, and professional clean conscious skincare and retail product development projects. Her website is www.spaprofits.com
Wanda Love has been involved in the spa industry for 20+ years, having worked as Director for Santé Spas in Calgary and Victoria, co-chaired the Marketing Task Force for the International Spa Association, and served as CEO for Leading Spas of Canada and the Spa Industry Association of Canada.
Now a spa marketing consultant and freelance spa/travel writer, she works with a range of spa and wellness clients, exploring the diversity of spa experiences available from down the block to around the world, including Kenya, Russia, Japan, Turkey, Bratislava, France, Italy, Bali, Australia, Finland, Iceland, French Polynesia and more.