“The spa industry helps me to fulfill my passion for helping others by providing me the opportunity to work in businesses that cater to the overall wellness of others.”
Even after three years, this is still what guides me as I develop my career in the spa industry. In 2010, this passion led me to be the recipient of the ISPA Foundation’s Mary Tabacchi Scholarship. November of that year, I was flown to Washington, D.C. for my first ISPA Conference where I had the opportunity to meet the industry leaders that I had only read about in my school books at the University of Houston.
When I applied for the scholarship in April 2010, I didn’t think I was going to get it. I was fairly new to the industry and didn’t know that much about it. Winning the scholarship gave me confidence in my own abilities.
The scholarship created opportunities I never thought existed, such as participating in and attending the Global Spa and Wellness Summit, helping to develop a Five Star Team as Training Manager of Trellis, the Spa at the Houstonian, and at the age of 25, being able to say I personally know the CEO, president or owner of multiple renowned companies!
The last opportunity may not seem like much to industry veterans, but to a young woman trying to make a name for herself, the recognition is extremely powerful. I have learned that a great attribute of the spa industry is that we are willing to help anyone and everyone. I definitely never thought that the people I read about in class would want to sit down and have coffee with me! But they did and continue to help guide me in my career.
I still believe, as I stated on my application in 2010, that “Success is achieving my personal and professional goals to the best of my ability. It is not defined by money or social status, but by the way I feel personally about the work I have done.” Today I am successful. Not as successful as I hope to be in the future, but I am achieving my goals and focusing on what I can do to assist the growth of our industry. A large part of my success is due to the opportunities from the Mary Tabacchi Scholarship. I am forever grateful for the experiences it has provided and continues to provide.
Kate Sornson – ISPA Member & 2010 Mary Tabacchi Scholarship Recipient
Training Manager, Trellis, the Spa at the Houstonian
Click here to learn more about the 2013 Mary Tabacchi Scholarship or to apply for this opportunity.