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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Reflections of a Past ISPA Board Member

ISPA interviewed Jeremy McCarthy, director of global spa development & operations for Starwood Hotels &Resorts, regarding his experiences and takeaways while serving on the ISPA Board of Directors.

ISPA: Why did you apply to serve on the ISPA Board? 

McCarthy: I saw it as an opportunity to continue learning and growing in my career.  I also felt like I had already gotten a lot out of my involvement in ISPA and the spa industry in general, so I relished the idea of giving back to the industry as a volunteer.

ISPA: What is your favorite memory from your time on the ISPA Board?
McCarthy: My fondest memories are all about the different people that I had the pleasure of working alongside in the service of the board.  One of the challenges of working in the hotel spa segment is that you tend to work alongside people who are working in other areas of the hotel, but aren’t necessarily knowledgeable or passionate about the world of spa.  To get into a meeting room with a group of peers who all share your passion and expertise around spa is refreshing and exhilarating.  I would come back to work from board meetings bristling with energy and usually with some new ideas or inspiration for my own work, just based on connecting with other leaders in the industry.

ISPA: What was your most meaningful takeaway from your board service?
McCarthy: While a lot of the joy was in working alongside like-minded spa professionals, I also learned a lot from the moments of disagreement.  The board represents a cross section of the industry and there are often differences of opinion about what the industry stands for or what is best for the future of the association.  I learned a lot from hearing different perspectives and different approaches to this business.

ISPA: If you had once piece of advice to give future board members what would it be?
McCarthy: The industry needs your leadership and your voice, don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.

ISPA: How has board service broadened your perspective of ISPA and the spa industry?
McCarthy: I have a much greater appreciation for the work that goes in to the association.  The ISPA staff makes it look effortless, delivering meaningful content and incredible Conferences to thousands of spa members from around the globe.  The average ISPA member has no idea of the passion, commitment and effort that is required from many people to make these things happen.  I also have a great appreciation for the energy that comes from bringing the industry together.  When we come together, we inspire each other, we educate each other, we push (and pull) each other along.  The collective spirit of the spa industry is like nothing else I have ever experienced.

Are you a primary or secondary ISPA member interested in serving on the ISPA Board of Directors? Submit your application by May 15 to be considered. Questions – Contact ISPA

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