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Intercoiffure America/Canada: Frank Gambuzza, the Man of the Game

Monday, 09 November 2015 19:19

First a hairdresser, then salon owner-turned businessman, educator and now the President of Intercoiffure America/Canada, he is the man behind the latest Intercoiffure Fall Atelier great success.

Estetica USA caught up with Frank Gambuzza after the event was over to talk about what's going on with Intercoiffure America/Canada and how his involvement and new responsibilities have affected not only the organization but his lifestyle as well.

So now that everything has concluded, what are your plans?
"I plan to have dinner with my wife, like a date. See we're partners in business so this week there was a little bit of a disconnect there. The one thing we understand is that I have my life and she has hers and together we share everything. Belinda is my biggest support in this role, which is mine, and when she's doing something that is her role then I’m her biggest support."

How do divide life and work in your relationship… especially with conflicting professional opinions?
"Well, I don’t know how it works in your household, but very typically, the woman convinces the man to get out of the way. So that’s something that crosses all barriers, ethnicities, cultures."

Do you guys still work from Tennessee at the salon, or is it different since your role as President in ICA?
"Yes, we are both 50-50 partners in our business and there’s certain strengths that I have, where she leaves me alone and there’s certain strengths that she has where I know to totally leave her alone. Then on the common ground we find a way to make it work so it’s really like a tertiary combination about how we run our business."

Hairdressers as professionals have to, from the get-go, have impeccable time management skills. How do you balance that or what outlets do you use to maximize efficiency?
"You have yo have a great team. I would have never taken this on if we didn’t already have a fantastic team established inside the company because I know that they can get things done. If my wife weren’t my partner, I would never have considered this in a million years. She’s capable of running the company by herself and quite frankly could I run it by myself, probably. But with both of us, it gives us the ability to be stronger when we’re together and at the same time still be very solid and dependable on her own. So this lets us have the bandwidth we need. I don’t think it's time management really. I think we all work a long day. I think energy is really the concept."

How do you go about energy management, could someone learn to manage energy the way you do?
"It’s something that I have been looking at. My friend Howard and I we talked about it the other day and I realize that whether it is now, that I have all of these responsibilities, or 20 years ago which was one responsibility, I just had to go everyday to work, I realized that I wake up around 6 in the morning and go to bed around midnight, anyway. So my time is really no different, I simply utilize it differently. I can learn to use my energy, then I can do whatever workload I have that day. I know when I need to decompress, and when I need to kick into gear."

What do you do to decompress?
"I go alone by myself. And I like it! I don’t like too much of it, because then I get so many thoughts. So I can't be in a dark room.!

What suggestion or advice would you give to someone that aspires to follow a path like yours; from salon, to school, to business, and ultimately becoming president of your professional association?
"Well, the advice I would give any professional for any position is to own your passion so that it doesn’t get wavered. So that there is no interference in any way and that you can make it to any position that you choose."

What was an example of interference for you?
"I’ve had many through the years, business challenges and such, but with this new role, it’s very new, however, it seems that because of where I am in my life, I inherited this role. Obviously I was voted into it by the membership and have had so much support when I faced the challenges I mentioned, so I am enjoying this moment very much. I am not naïve enough so I know that when I wake up tomorrow I have to keep both eyes on the ball for what’s coming."

Now that this event is over, and Boca is the next major event you have on your plate, is there something that stood out that you might want to implement there?
"Well, I’ve actually been working on Boca for about a month because we were actually complete with New York about a month ago, so I decided to get a jump-start. So now I am working on the structure of Boca and doing the preliminary work so I can bring it to my team and they can show me the pros and cons of my vision. Together we will try to complete that vision to come up with a formal guideline and start delegating responsibilities, because I can’t do this all by myself! This is a non-profit organization and it’s a big organization to run, so even if I could from a time standpoint I wouldn’t do it that way. Because I have the smartest brightest minds in the beauty business as my resource so I would be a little foolish if I tried to do it my way."

What does your role at Intercoiffure America/Canada ask from you?
"This is a role on a day to day basis because my leadership style is to serve. So whatever e-mails I get or whatever requests come in, however small or big, is simply what I signed up for, so I will respond in any way shape or form. I took this position to make the beauty industry a better place. You know we have multiple businesses, so I just see this as another piece to be responsible for and at the end of the day, if I’m going to sign up for it I’m going to do it."

One thing you undoubtedly signed up for is the increased travel, tell me about that.
"Well, this year I have been on the road a lot. I’ve probably been 35 weekends on the road. So what I will do it one trip, then another trip, and another trip and THEN I’ll return home. It was never at that velocity before. My wife and I have always traveled a lot teaching and all, but I was there and back. Now I feel that if I’m traveling to the other side of the country, it’s close enough to do this, this and that. And I knew I was in trouble last week in Los Angeles, when I landed in John Wayne Airport and the texts came in. I went through them and saw an e-mail that said, 'you are ready to check back in for your flight tomorrow.' And it hit me that I’m here for less than 24 hours, wheels down to wheels up! When you say it like that it sounds complicated and unmanageable, but the thing is when you wake up, you say ok I have until midnight or whatever to take today and maximize every opportunity. So no matter what city it is, if it’s in my town, or in an exotic city, or with my own children having dinner, I just want to maximize each moment and gratitude for having these opportunities."

By Alejandra Acuña

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