The International Spa Association honored its founder, Werner Mendel of New Age Health Spa, by presenting him with this year`s Visionary Award. This award, created by the ISPA Board of Directors, serves to recognize a lifetime [20 years or more] of commitment and significant contributions to the spa industry. The ceremony took place at the ISPA annual conference and was attended by approximately 4000 ISPA members.
Werner Mendel, created the concept of a “spa association” in 1990 when he invited a small group of spa owners and wellness proponents to New Age Health Spa to discuss how they might network to better serve their clients and educate the public about spas. Several spa owners hesitated to pull themselves away from their then, small business to attend the meeting, but those who did spread the word of Werner`s mission. Hence, the birth of the International Spa Association.
Mary Tabacchi, professor of Spa Management at Cornell University, was at that meeting in 1990 and was the presenter of this year`s Visionary Award at the ISPA conference, saying “Werner truly understood the spa guest who needed healing and validating. He struggled with his own physical well being and empathized deeply with others who wanted and needed healthier lifestyles. His sensitivity, though well hidden, and his probing mind enabled him to constantly seek new information. New Age became a think-tank for new emerging concepts and programs.”
Tragically, Werner Mendel suffered a series of debilitating strokes last year directly following what should have been a routine surgery. His wife and business partner, Stephanie Paradise, now manages New Age Health Spa using Werner`s vision and tenacity as her guide. Stephanie accepted the ISPA Visionary Award on Werner`s behalf.
The International Spa Association has grown from its humble roots at New Age Health Spa into an organization that governs over 5000 members and wellness facilities in 49 countries. For more information about New Age, call 800-682-4348 or visit www.newagehealthspa.com. For information about ISPA, visit www.experienceispa.com.