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I want to start by expressing my sadness for the loss of yet another tanning community member, Jeff Valaska of Heartland Tanning. He was a friend of mine for over two decades. Sherron and I had some good times with him and his wife Laurie; our Florida homes were just a few miles apart. Many salon operators benefitted from not only his unmatched knowledge of tanning systems, but also his willingness to help. Close friend, Joe Schuster, has more in his tribute.
I write at least two “From the Publisher” pieces each month and as I’ve done so for the past year, I’ve found myself reflecting on what’s different about life from the same time period last year. In May of 2020, we did not produce a magazine. IST (and my other companies) were on lockdown, as were so many businesses, tanning facilities included. It was a scary situation for all of us – including Ty Godwin, Owner of Hollywood Tans (MD), our Salon of Distinction for May. He’s a fan of our Sun is Life® Training & Certification program, and that landed him in the magazine! Now is a great time to get your new-hires started on the right foot with the confidence they need to succeed AND enjoy their jobs. Your facility could be featured next!
Like many dedicated salon operators, Ty made it through the tough time and was able to recently expand his chain with a new location. I feel blessed to have also come out on the “other side” with thriving salons. With 2020’s challenges impacting their numbers significantly, most operators look to 2019 for comparison. As the first quarter of ‘21 ended, my stores (thankfully) were up nearly 27% across the board.
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is the Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of ist Magazine.
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