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Debra Penzone and Amiee Thomas Elected to Board of Trustees

The International SalonSpa Business Network (ISBN) has elected Debra Penzone, president/CEO of The Charles Penzone Salons and Day Spas, and Amiee Thomas, vice president, jcp salon, to its Board of Trustees. In this role, they will lead the owners of the only international association for multi-unit salon and spa companies in growing both their own businesses, as well as the professional beauty industry. They will also serve as ambassadors for ISBN, sharing their stories about how the Association has benefited them and their companies over the years. Finally, they will help create content for ISBN’s Annual Conference (May 3-5, 2015, Amelia Island, FL).

Says Penzone, “I am honored to serve on the ISBN Board with such a dynamic group of business leaders in the salon industry. I look forward to sharing my passion to help move salons and spas across the world towards a successful future. I look forward to making a positive change through sharing ideas, solving problems and learning from one another’s experiences.”

Adds Thomas, “ISBN’s members and leadership are dedicated to helping each other and to helping the beauty industry grow and thrive. As dedicated and passionate as I am about this incredible industry, it is extremely important to me to be a voice, give back and help influence the future of the business. It feels very natural to be a part of this great group of leaders. The beauty business is such a strong category both in retail and service. The question I ask is ‘How much bigger and stronger can it be?’ Innovation is the key. As a member of the Board, my objectives will be to help lead, influence, drive innovation and explore ways in which we can all support each other and grow our businesses, as well as the beauty industry itself, to new heights. I am thrilled to be joining the ISBN Board and cannot wait to get started!”

THE 2015 ISBN Board of Trustees

In addition to Penzone and Thomas, ISBN’s 2015 Board of Trustees also includes senior leadership from every type of multi-unit salon, spa and salon franchise business model. They are Rhoda Olsen, Great Clips (ISBN president); Paul Brown, Paul Brown Hawaii (ISBN vice president); Philip Gould, Gould’s Salons/Spas (ISBN secretary); Larry Walt, Design 1 Salons/Spas, (ISBN treasurer); Jason Volk, Chatters/Tommy Guns Original Barbershops (immediate past president); Gordon Logan, Sport Clips (ISBN past president); Phil Horvath, Ulta Beauty (ISBN past president); Henry Pelusi, Studio of Elegance/Philip Pelusi Salons (ISBN Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree); Pat Neville, BeautyFirst; Anthony Fiorentino, Hello, Gorgeous Salons; Eric Bakken, Regis Corp.; and S.J. Szabo, Stephen Szabo Salons.


For 27 years, Debra Penzone has contributed to The Charles Penzone Salons organization as a stylist, artistic director, training director and senior vice president. She now serves as president/CEO over the six salons and The Brittany Group Professional Beauty Products and Education.

Because of her expertise as a hair professional, devoted volunteerism and philanthropy, Penzone was honored twice with the American Cancer Society’s “Volunteer of the Year” Award, Modern Salon magazine’s “Spirit of Noel” award, the Ohio Division Sunrise “Look Good…Feel Better” award and the American Heart Association’s “Volunteer Achievement” award. She also received the Childhood League’s Schoedinger Award for Outstanding Service and Smart Business Smart Leaders Award.

Penzone is actively involved with her community. She organized a team of certified trainers from the American Cancer Society for the “Look Good…Feel Better” program, which is delivered to breast cancer patients in local hospitals. She also founded the Charles Penzone Mother-Daughter Spa Day for A Kid Again, which has been pampering teen cancer patients and their mothers for more than 15 years. Additionally, she is involved in the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign, Circle of Red and Komen Columbus “Race for the Cure.”

In 2013, Debra was named the recipient of the Smart Business magazine’s Power 100 as a central Ohio leader who makes things happen. She received the prestigious Kent Clapp CEO Leadership Award, presented by Smart Business Pillar Awards. She was recognized as one of the 20 Most Remarkable Women in central Ohio and a Forty Under 40 recipient from Columbus Business First. She was also chosen as one of the “20 Most Intriguing Salon Owners” by Salon Today magazine.

In 2011, Debra published her first book, Debbie’s Club: Discovering My True Beauty for Girls, to help inspire and empower girls to see their unique beauty from the inside out. A portion of the proceeds from her book, speaking engagements and seminars will help many non-profit organizations through her foundation, Earth Angels, The Debra Penzone Foundation with the Columbus Foundation.


A funny thing happened to jcp salon vice president Amiee Thomas on her way to law school. After completing her undergraduate degree in International Management and French studies, she accepted a “temporary” position in management with the JCPenney Company in order to pay off some school loans. The move sparked what would become her career-long passion for fashion and beauty, and the legal profession lost out.

Through executive positions with JCPenney, Limited Brands and Victoria’s Secret Beauty, Thomas honed her leadership skills and logged impressive accomplishments in retail operations, beauty and apparel—embodying a 360-degree collection of competencies. She rejoined JCPenney seven years ago, and 18 months ago, was thrilled when she was recruited to take on her “dream job”—helming the jcp salon team. In this role, she leads more than 900 salons and 13,000+ stylists and salon associates, as well as an in-house corporate staff, and field operations and field education teams.

In her short tenure in the salon division at JCPenney, she has already crafted and implemented a solid vision with key strategic initiatives designed to change the overall perception of the brand and create a strong presence for jcp salons in the industry. She attributes her success to the commitment and talent of her team, and to the welcoming culture of the professional salon industry “family.” Her team members, in turn, credit her empowering, candid, fearless, genuine and inspiring leadership style for the division’s unprecedented success and employee retention.

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