For our how-to issue, we asked three experts how nail techs can have their voices heard by the state board. A pertinent topic, with all the new rules and regulations boards are passing today, our question garnered responses from a nail tech who sits on a board, a nail school owner who chairs a board, and a professional association executive director.

Continue reading for their insights — bullet-pointed for your convenience — and consider putting a few of these pointers to work for you.

Monica Brun

Chairperson. Utah Division of

Occupational and Professional Licensing

Owner, Color My Nails School of Nail Technology

Micivale, Utah

  • Be at every meeting and get to know each person on the board.
  • Don’t whine about an issue you don’t like. Try to find a solution for it and then present it to the board.
  • If someone on the board is bringing up a topic you don’t like, tell them you would like to discuss it further.
  • If you have anything important you want discussed at the meeting, call the board secretary or bureau manager so it can be put on the agenda. If it’s not on the agenda and it’s a busy meeting, your issue might not get discussed.
  • Get to know the bureau manager of the licensing board so you can call him/her if you have a problem that can’t get resolved at a meeting.
  • Learn the laws and rules of your state.

Diana Bonn

Member Complaint Liaison, Secretary,

Indiana State Board

Nail Tech, Identify Salon

Muncie, Ind.

  • Show up for as many board meetings as possible. Introduce yourself before or after meetings.
  • Volunteer to be on committees if they are offered.
  • During new business state your issue (if you are allowed to speak). Keep it short and don’t list 20 “issues” you have.
  • Do your homework. Sometimes someone will come to our meetings and state a problem she thinks should be taken care of only to find out it’s already a law or a rule.
  • Facts only, please. The boards run by laws and rules. We need resources, and we need information from other professionals such as doctors or attorneys.
  • If you have a certain issue, make a packet of information/facts/statistics and give to each member. As you speak on your issue, hand these packets out.

Steve Sleeper

Executive Director

Professional Beauty Association

Scottsdale, Ariz.

  • Go through the executive director or chairperson. Most of the state boards have an executive director or some similar position who runs the day-to-day operations of the board. Regular board members may come and go, so the executive director is a great place to start.
  • If you’re looking to get on the board, more political connections are needed. Usually, you’d be appointed by the governor’s office. So, let the governor’s chief of staff know about you participate in the governor’s campaign. Let them know who you are, what your salon does, and what you’re interested in.
  • You’ll be surprised at how responsive they’ll be about taking you up on your offer to help. It’s not rocket science. It all begins with a phone call or letter and then a follow up. It’s about relationships and establishing rapport with the people who make board appointments.

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