The International Salon/Spa Business Network (ISBN) will present its 2017 Legend Award to Paul D. Finkelstein, former chairman of the board and CEO of Regis Corporation, at its Annual Conference, “Building the Ultimate Experience,” May 7-9, at the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando, FL.
The ISBN Legend Award is presented by the owners, CEOs and senior executives of the top multi-unit salon and spa companies to industry partners who have made extraordinary contributions to the growth of the professional salon industry. Past recipients have included Pat Parenty, president, L’Oréal USA Professional Products Division and SalonCentric; Farouk Shami, CEO/founder of Farouk Systems; George Schaeffer, founder of OPI Products Inc. and now the CEO of Aloxxi; Takara Belmont; John Paul DeJoria, entrepreneur and co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems; hairdressing icon Vidal Sassoon and Redken founder Paula Kent Meehan.
“I am very proud to receive the International SalonSpa Business Network’s 2017 Legend Award and look forward to visiting with dear friends and Regis associates at the upcoming conference in Orlando,” says Finkelstein. “I’m thrilled that my wife Jean, brothers Neil and Richard, and sons Michael and Brad, will join us for the celebration.”
Finkelstein joined Regis Corporation in May 1987 and retired in February 2012. In his 20-plus years with the company, Regis grew from 659 salons operating in two divisions with annual sales of $172 million to seven divisions with more than 13,000 (9,000 company-owned and 4,000 franchised) locations worldwide, generating $2.4 billion in revenue and with system-wide sales of $4 billion, including the sales from the franchised salons. Key brands include Supercuts, SmartStyle, Regis Salons, MasterCuts, Cost Cutters and First Choice Haircutters.
Throughout his 40-plus year career, Finkelstein worked in various positions in the beauty industry. In 1966, he joined Glemby International, which operated department-store based beauty salons. He spent 15 years with the company where he helped build sales from $35 million to $150 million. In 1981, he joined the Seligman & Latz (S&L) salon chain as chairman of its beauty division, where he was responsible for the operating results of 1,000 beauty salons. In 1984, he was named CEO of Turner Hall Corporation, a Bass Brothers’ LBO, which was sold to Revlon three years later. Finkelstein served as a senior vice president at Revlon before joining Regis.
Finkelstein earned a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and obtained his M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. He was a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization for 20 years, and for two years he chaired the New York Metro Chapter. He was an active member of the Chief Executives Organization and served on the New York Stock Exchange Advisory Board.
“During his time leading Regis, Paul took a revolutionary approach to consolidating the salon industry,” says Eric Bakken, ISBN vice president and executive vice president of Regis. “After working with him on more than 500 deals during that time, I can easily say he’s the best dealmaker I have ever known. More importantly, he was extremely fair and truly cared about all of the owners we dealt with. Paul is a worthy recipient of this esteemed award, and we are grateful for his extraordinary contributions to Regis and the professional beauty industry.”
“I remember my first phone conversation with Paul. Ring, ring. ‘Hello, this is Paul Finkelstein, I will give $5 million more for your company than xxx.’ No preamble. No explanation.”—Pat Neville, ISBN vice president; CEO of Beautyfirst, Beauty Studio Salons and Blow Bars and Suites; and president of Paradigm Advisory Group.
“Interestingly enough, I had business dealings with Paul for many years before I ever met him face-to-face,” says Gordon Logan, CEO/founder of Sport Clips and past president of ISBN. “In every interaction I ever had with Paul, he was fair and straightforward, and I never had to worry about a contract—Paul’s word is better than any contract! I watched with admiration as Paul built Regis from a few hundred mall-based salons in the 1980s to the powerhouse NYSE-listed corporation with more than 10,000 locations worldwide. He did more to uplift the image of our industry than anyone, paving the way for Sport Clips, Great Clips and others to attract top-level business people to the salon industry, which in years past was oftentimes considered the realm of talented and motivated stylists. Many of the leaders in the salon industry were developed by Paul at Regis. I consider it a privilege to be Paul’s friend and admirer. The ISBN Legend Award is more than well-deserved, it is long overdue. Congratulations, and thank you, Paul, for all that you have done for our industry.”
Says Franklin K. Schoeneman, CEO of Empire Education Group and a former ISBN member, “I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of the finest people in the beauty industry over the past decades, but none surpass Paul Finkelstein in terms of intellect, impact or influence in our business. His vision and leadership have transformed beauty salons for over half a century… and will still influence much of what we all do well into the future. But, if you want to define the real Paul, you’d have to say it’s his humor…his complete lack of a ‘filter’ and the fact that he ‘owns’ any room he is in. He will shock you, make you laugh (sometimes nervously) and make you think (sometimes reluctantly). More than anyone I know, he is comfortable in his own skin.”
Multi-unit salon and spas owners and senior executives still have time to register for ISBN’s Conference and congratulate Finkelstein in person. The packed agenda includes:
• “Welcome to the Experience Economy,” a keynote by Jim Gilmore.
• “How to Reach the Experiential Consumer Profitably,” a keynote by Sarah Quinlan.
• Government relations updates.
• Breakouts and panels covering retail, leadership, marketing and customer service tracks.
• Meetings with vendor partners;
• The annual golf outing, a guided tour of the Florida Everglades, the ISBN Happy Hour Challenge, the traditional President’s Reception, the Club ISBN Party and the closing dinner.
• And plenty of time for peer-to-peer networking to share success stories and solutions to common challenges.