NIA Gets to Work with New Board and New Agenda

Board members of the Nails Industry Association meet to hammer out member benefits and elect officers.

<p>(left to right) Paula Gilmore, Deborah Nichols, Nancy Schweizer, Kathy Haller, and Maggie Boyd</p>

The Nails Industry Association (NIA) held its first board meeting at the NAILS Magazine Show in Las Vegas, Nev., on October 19, 1992. The board of directors, which consists of five leading nail technicians and salon owners, acted quickly to ratify the association’s by-laws and determine immediate legislative priorities.

Heading the board as president is Nancy Schweizer, a nail technician and cosmetologist from Lake Wales, Fla. The other officers are Maggie Boyd of Barrington, III., Paula Gilmore of Foster City, Calif., Kathy Haller of Arlington, Texas, and Deborah Nichols of Westboro, Mass. The board of directors was selected by the NIA’s executive directors on the basis of their industry experience, technical expertise, commitment, and professionalism.

Topping the NIA’s list of priorities is organizing the continuing education curriculum that will be the basis of the Certified Professional Nail Technician (CPNT) program. The CPNT is an NIA-sponsored comprehensive continuing education program to certify nail technicians after they’ve received their licenses.

The board has established standing committees to carry out association priorities. Maggie Boyd, elected to chair the governmental affairs committee, is busy compiling a rebuttal to the proposed Illinois licensing regulations that will be brought before that state’s legislature. Kathy Haller chairs the education committee, Paula Gilmore chairs the budget and finance committee, and Deborah Nichols heads up member benefits.

Nancy Schweizer has been a licensed cosmetologist for 30 years and a licensed nail technician for nine. She has been active in the Florida Cosmetology Association, serving on the educational committee for nails, and has served on the National Cosmetology Association’s education committee while a member of that group’s America Nail Team. Schweizer has served as competition director at the NAILS Magazine Shows in Tampa, Fla., Dallas, and Las Vegas, Nev. She spent many years working as a manufacturer’s educator.

Maggie Boyd says her personal goals include increasing public awareness of the nail industry and seeing the entire country require licensing for nail technology. Boyd has been a nail technician for nine years, during which time she has served the industry in a variety of capacities. As chairman of Nails Chicago, she has been active in the Illinois licensing battle. As an educator, she taught classes for major manufacturers, worked as a competition judge, and taught nail technology at Eastern Illinois University. Boyd says she will be an aggressive advocate for nail technicians and will continue to push for advancements that will enhance the nail technician’s environment and image.

Paula Gilmore co-owns Tips Nail Salon in Foster City, Calif. A nail technician for 15 years, Gilmore is frequently invited to lecture on business topics and salon management. She has worked as an educator for a major manufacturer and has been involved in other industry associations. Gilmore hopes to emphasize business issues and financial understanding in her tenure on the NIA board.

Kathy Herman Haller owns two salons in Arlington, Texas, one of which was named in the NAILS Top 100 Salons in 1992. A nail technician for 10 years, Haller says her specialty is education and training, and she has developed a training seminar for artificial nail techniques. Although she judges more than she competes these days, her own trophy collection includes honors from WINBA and the Southwest Nail Competition. Haller is frequently invited to speak on industry issues and salon management at cosmetology schools and women’s organizations.

Deborah Nichols has worked in the nail industry for 11 years, during which time she has opened three salons. She currently owns and runs a 13-station full-service salon in Westboro, Mass. She has been an educational sales consultant with a major manufacturer and trained that company’s educators. She credits her extensive travel in the United States and Europe with providing her a unique perspective and understanding of the nail industry.

The NIA was established by NAILS Magazine and Bobit Publishing to provide a professional association to represent the needs of nail technicians. Among the many member benefits are a year’s subscription to NAILS Magazine, a professional and general liability insurance package with a $500,000 per incident limit that covers a technician in the event she’s sued, and the NIA Discount Club, which provides discounts on everything from supermarket purchases to travel. Members are also eligible for a variety of other programs, including a comprehensive health insurance program, a legal referral network, and discounted vision and dental care.

Each board member was chosen for her dedication to bettering the nail industry. All five women have demonstrated their energy and enthusiasm by becoming involved in industry activities outside the salon.

“WOULD YOU DO A PEDICURE ON AN ELEPHANT?” Michelle Fiore and Barbara Derberry were doing manicures for a couple of people from Caplan and Capozzi, a public relations firm for the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus, when they were asked how they’d like to perform a pedicure for a publicity stunt. The firm called Jeanne Brooks, owner of Brooks Hair Salon in Pittburgh, Pa., to invite the nail technicians to give a pedicure to Toni the elephant. Because the circus didn’t allow any chemicals to be used on Toni, Fiore and Derberry used a bucket of water and a brush to clean the elephant’s charcoal-darkened toenails. The cleanup was followed by “filing” and “painting” the toenails with huge clown props. “There were a lot of clowns who helped us out,” says Fiore. “We did the pedicure and talked to the elephant---it was fun.”

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