2024 NEXT AWARDS
Judges
The NEXT Awards are about creating a level playing field that is inclusive of the entire beauty ecosystem. We’ve assembled a prestigious panel of judges committed to transparency and impartiality. The judges were chosen based on their diversity of experience, deep category knowledge, and insatiable curiosity.
Nicole Collins
Project Next Unicorn, Founder and Chief Hustler
Since 2012, Nicole has been disrupting the beauty industry by propelling dynamic start-up companies to prominence. She's a forward-thinking marketing expert and storyteller with deep expertise in brand building, strategy, influencer marketing, the subscription-box model, and social commerce. She's an entrepreneur with a highly creative mindset who advises and consults for the beauty industry's most innovative start-up companies that are recreating the space. Nicole was on the founding team that put Ipsy on the map before co-founding Yume, a company taking American brands to China. Since 2018 she has consulted for social commerce companies including Talk Shop Live, Supergreat, and Flip, as well as luxury beauty brands Augustinus Bader and Furtuna Skin.
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Lorna Dragon
Estée Lauder Companies, Executive Director,
Creative Design 360 Project Innovation Direction
As Creative Design 360 Project Innovation Direction Executive Director at the Estee Lauder Companies, Lorna Dragon is responsible for Leading Upstream Innovation Platforms. In the 20th year of working at ELC, Lorna is embarking on her fourth newly created position where she thrives in making the imagined possible. Lorna brings with her a unique background and portfolio of experience across brands, regions, categories, and channels in Packaging. She accelerates in catalyzing change, strategic thinking, agile leadership, and delivering results.
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Alexis Rodriguez Alvich
JLo Beauty + Lifestyle
Vice President, Consumer Marketing and Influencer Strategy
Alexis Rodriguez Alvich is an industry-recognized Communications Leader and Brand Marketer with 20+ years of experience within the beauty and fashion industries. A proven brand builder, impactful storyteller and keen navigator of strategy, she’s known for shaping consumer-centric, digital-first consumer engagement strategies that drive sales and present a lasting vision for the future sustainable growth and success of her brands. Most notably, Alexis has worked closely with industry icons Bobbi Brown and Diane von Furstenberg heading up their communications departments. With a passion for Founder brands, Alexis now serves as Vice President of Consumer Marketing & Influencer Strategy at JLo Beauty & Lifestyle.
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Alyssa Auberger 
Baker McKenzie, Chief Sustainability Officer
As Chief Sustainability Officer at Baker McKenzie, Alyssa is responsible for external and internal sustainability efforts, developing the firm’s multi-practice sustainability client offering as well as overseeing its internal sustainability program, goals, and reporting. She also maintains the firm’s relationships with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the UN Global Compact, and the World Economic Forum, with a keen focus on engaging the business community on sustainability issues and promoting collaboration. Prior to becoming CSO, and with nearly 30 years of transactional experience, Alyssa was an M&A partner ranked by Legal 500 as a “Leading Individual” in luxury goods and led the firm’s Global Consumer Goods & Retail industry group.
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Andrew Dent
Material ConneXion | Sandow
Executive Vice President of Research and Chief Material Scientist
Andrew Dent is the Executive Vice President of Research at Material ConneXionand Chief Material Scientist at SANDOW, Dr. Dent has helped hundreds of clients—from Whirlpool and Adidas to BMW and Procter & Gamble, as well as tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Samsung—develop or improve their products through the use of innovative materials. A leading expert on sustainable materials, his insight has played an important part in creating a new generation of more sustainable products. Dent also oversees the materials knowledge of the sampling service Material Bank.
LinkedIn
Birnur Aral, PhD
Health, Beauty and Sustainability Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute,
Executive Director
Birnur Aral is a prominent figure in the consumer products industry, with over 20 years of experience. She has notably led the Beauty, Health, and Sustainability Lab at Good Housekeeping Institute, overseeing studies in diverse categories. Birnur's work has profoundly influenced Good Housekeeping's audience, engaging over 50 million readers monthly with insightful reviews and content. Her keen eye for quality has been pivotal in the evaluation process for the Good Housekeeping Seal, a symbol of consumer trust in various categories, including cosmetics,OTC drugs, health remedies, and supplements. As a principal organizer of Good Housekeeping’s Raise the Green Bar Sustainability summits, Birnur introduced and managed the brand's Sustainable Innovation Awards. Her academic background comprises a BS in Chemical Engineering from Bogazici University, advanced degrees from Stevens Institute of Technology, and a post-graduate certificate in Sustainability Analytics from Columbia University. Recently, Birnur returned to Stevens Institute of Technology as a part-time researcher while starting her consultancy to assist brands in achieving sustainable growth and earning consumer trust with her vast experience and commitment to sustainability. In addition to her professional achievements, Birnur has contributed as a juror on award panels, moderated panels in the beauty industry, and mentored young entrepreneurs and graduate students. Her research has resulted in scientific publications and patented personal care innovations.
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Alyssa Auberger
Baker McKenzie, CSO
Alyssa Auberger is Baker McKenzie's Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO). She is responsible for external and internal sustainability efforts, developing the firm’s multipractice sustainability client offering, as well as overseeing its internal sustainability program, goals, and reporting. Alyssa also maintains the firm’s relationships with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the UN Global Compact and The World Economic Forum, with a keen focus on engaging the business community on sustainability issues and promoting collaboration. Prior to becoming CSO, and with nearly 30 years of transactional experience, Alyssa was an M&A partner ranked by Legal 500 as a “Leading Individual” in luxury goods and led the firm’s Global Consumer Goods and Retail industry group. Alyssa is Franco-American and based in Paris. 
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Dr. Robb Akridge
Founder and CEO, Opulus Beauty Labs
Robb Akridge, PhD (aka Dr. Robb) is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of OPULUS Beauty Labs. In addition to creating and managing his latest venture, OPULUS Beauty Labs, Dr. Robb has had an exciting career. Co-founder of Clarisonic, Dr. Robb helped develop clinically proven sonic devices that make a clear difference in skin health and appearance. Dr. Robb held several Clarisonic positions: initially as Vice President of Clinical Research and later as Global Brand President and Global Brand Representative. Robb obtained his BS in biology at the University of Texas at Austin, an MS in botany and mycology at Texas State University, and his PhD in microbiology, immunology, and infectious disease at Texas A&M University. With over 25 cumulative years in medical and global health, including 10+ years spent on HIV/AIDS research, he was also a Senior Scientist in oral healthcare during the early days of Sonicare. Robb is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and a board member of the Independent Beauty Association.
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Conor Begley
CreatorIQ; Tribe Dynamics, Chief Strategy Officer; Co-Founder
Conor Begley is the Co-founder Tribe Dynamics and Chief Strategy Officer at CreatorIQ. In September 2021, Tribe Dynamics was acquired by CreatorIQ to create the leading influencer marketing platform for the creator economy, bringing together influencer performance management and analytics solutions to help brands and businesses. Conor has been named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Influencer Marketing by Influence Weekly, and was recognized as one of the 100 Leaders of Tomorrow by St. Gallen’s Symposium.
LinkedIn
Hamish Campbell
Pearlfisher, VP and Executive Creative Director
As the Vice President and Executive Creative Director of Pearlfisher's New York studio, Hamish leads and inspires the design team by setting the creative standard―continually encouraging designers to demonstrate inventive conceptual thinking and strong craftsmanship. He brings diverse international experience across branding, packaging, retail, and print design to each of his projects. 

Prior to moving stateside, he worked with some of London’s leading design consultancies, quickly developing a strong track record for innovative design, including award-winning work for iconic brands such as Johnnie Walker, Bacardi, and Nike. Recently, he led the strategic design team to create cult beauty brand, Elaluz, for influencer Camila Coelho. In addition, he has also  enlivened prized brands like Pyrex, Campari, Diageo, and Target.

His work has been featured in publications ranging from Michael Peters’ Yes Logo: Forty Years of Branding and Design book to Playboy magazine. During his career, Hamish has contributed to Entrepreneur magazine and his brand designs have won recognition from esteemed organizations including Art Directors Club, Design & Art Direction, Clio Awards, Design Business Association: Design Effectiveness Awards, Dieline Awards, Mobius Awards, Pentawards, and more.
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Maggie Ciafardini
Maggie Ciafardini Inc., CEO
Maggie Ciafardini is a highly respected beauty executive specializing in marketing, sales, and brand development. After an extensive and successful 30-year career in the luxury beauty space, Maggie launched her own consulting company in 2015. She leverages her impeccable relationships with retailers and distributors alike, to help clients by focusing on overseeing the expansion of their business while maintaining brand integrity and structuring/restructuring business models, organizations, and marketing strategies to meet the needs of high-end retailers.

Ciafardini was previously Managing Director of the Americas for St Tropez, building the PZ Cussons Beauty team across the US, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. Maggie was CEO of YSL Beauty USA where she led the Beauty and Fragrance Division and was directly responsible for the distribution, sales, and marketing function of this $100+ million business. She was also General Manager for Beaute Prestige International USA managing sales over $50 million and Executive Director for Sales/Training for Bobbi Brown International, after having held other positions of responsibility at the  Estée Lauder Companies in both the domestic and international divisions.
LinkedIn
Amy Nicole Cohen
The Chic Experience, CEO
Amy Nicole Cohen is an entrepreneur and beauty expert and the CEO and founder of Chic Studios School of Makeup. Amy began with her first makeup academy in 2009 in New York City, which quickly grew to include Los Angeles and Denver. Under Amy’s leadership, Chic Studios was able to expand its training during 2020 to successfully launch an online makeup academy. Chic Studios has graduated over 4,500+ professional artists.

Amy has continued to evolve her career, and in 2022, launched “The Chic Experience,” an experiential events company to connect and inspire like-minded women and creative entrepreneurs worldwide. The successful The Chic Retreat (focusing on self-development), followed by The Chic Summer Series (one-day, mini retreats), and The Chic Summit (a conference focused on business and leadership) are all under “The Chic Experience” umbrella.

Amy is a regular speaker on panels and regularly contributes to the learning and growth of numerous small community-based nonprofits and small businesses. Originally from Canada, Amy has worked extensively in both Los Angeles and New York City, as a business owner. She  recently moved back to Canada where she currently resides.
LinkedIn
Nicole Collins
Co-Founder, 213Deli
Since 2012, Nicole has been disrupting the beauty industry by propelling dynamic start-up companies to prominence. She’s a forward thinking marketing expert and storyteller with deep expertise in brand building, strategy, influencer marketing and social commerce. She’s an entrepreneur with a highly creative mindset who advises and consults for the beauty industry’s most innovative start-up companies that are recreating the space. Nicole was on the founding team that put ipsy on the map before co-founding YUME, a company taking American brands to China. Since 2018, she has consulted for social commerce companies including Creatable, TalkShop Live, Supergreat, and FLIP, as well as luxury beauty brands Augustinus Bader, Orveda andFurtuna Skin. In 2023 she partnered with Corey Weiss & Jules Camposano to launch 213Deli, the first ever text-to-buy service dropping the best in beauty once weekly via text.
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Ian Michael Crumm
Ian Michael Crumm is a celebrity esthetician, content creator, and podcast host. Combined with his esthetician credentials, Ian’s 10+ years of experience in content creation helps him share the often-dense topic of skincare in an accessible way.

Focused on skin health over skin trends, Ian is particularly passionate about sun safety. He aims to shift public perception of SPF usage and advocates for skin cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. 
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Kate Fannin
The Estée Lauder Companies, Executive Director, Consumer Retail Experience (CRX), North America
Kate Fannin is a strategic, omnichannel "experiential realist" and consumer engagement trailblazer with over two decades in marketing, consumer tech, retail, fashion, and beauty, including 15 years in luxury. She is currently the Global Brand Technology Lead for Le Labo for the Estée Lauder Companies and has held a variety of marketing leadership roles for Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Gap, Inc. She has a track record of pioneering relevant, “phygital” engagement programs that leverage brand equity, maximize retail strengths, and always put the customer first. She is passionate about being “boots on the ground” and driving innovation that enhances the connected customer journey.
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Brandon Ford, Esq.
Consultant, The Langston Blake Agency
Brandon L. Ford, brings his entrepreneurial mindset, passion for learning, and curiosity toward life to his work working with beauty and wellness brands. Brandon is a nurse and attorney with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Case Western Reserve University and juris doctor/master’s degree in business administration from The University of Akron.

For the past five years, Brandon has led a beauty accelerator―a program that leverages technology, manufacturing, beauty, and home care science expertise to provide market-ready solutions, brand development, and quick innovation. Brandon continues that work as the founder of The Langston Blake Agency.  Hundreds of entrepreneurs have benefitted from his charismatic leadership to launch and develop their beauty and home care brands. He has helped to launch over 100 products globally. Brandon currently resides in Copley, Ohio, with his wife and two sons.
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Conor BegleY
Tribe Dynamics, Co-Founder and Creator IQ, Chief Strategy Officer
In September 2021, Tribe Dynamics was acquired by CreatorIQ to create the leading influencer marketing platform for the creator economy, bringing together influencer performance management and analytics solutions to help brands and businesses. Conor has been named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Influencer Marketing by Influence Weekly and was recognized as one of the 100 Leaders of Tomorrow by St. Gallen’s Symposium.
LinkedIn
Don Frey
Independent Beauty Association, President and CEO
Don has over 35 years of experience in the personal care and cosmetics business and currently serves as President and CEO of the IBA. His experience has primarily been in R&D including formulation, package engineering, safety and toxicology, consumer insights, and regulatory and claims development/substantiation. His professional experience has spanned many companies and brands, both large and small, including Procter & Gamble (P&G), Cover Girl, Gillette, Jafra Cosmetics, Avon, Method, and The Honest Company. He also has experience both domestically as well as internationally including living and working in Japan for two years to help build out P&G’s Asian personal care business. Don has been active in industry organizations having served as Membership Chair and Supply Chain Sustainability Resource Chair for IBA, President of the board for Beauty Industry West, and currently serves on Cradle2Cradle’s Standards Steering Committee.
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Jamé Jackson Gadsden
MisfitCreativeMedia.co, Founder and Lifestyle Media Personality
Jamé Jackson is an award-winning fashion and beauty on-air expert, media personality, journalist, and the dynamic force behind Misfit Creative Media, in addition to founding TheBlondeMisfit.com—one of the top 100 fashion and beauty sites in the world. Her impressive career includes roles as a senior beauty editor at Yahoo and a style and beauty writer at BuzzFeed. Renowned for her passionate advocacy for diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as for amplifying multicultural representation within the beauty industry, Jamé's influential work has earned her recognition across the board. In 2016, she was named one of Google’s “Women to Watch,” a testament to her impact and leadership. Her contributions have been celebrated by Business of Fashion, Refinery29, Forbes, HuffPo, Teen Vogue, Allure, and more, marking her as a pivotal voice in today's fashion and beauty conversation.
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tony jaillot
Natural Ingredients Holding, Ekkio Capital, CEO
Tony Jaillot has 28 years of global experience in driving growth across the B2B and B2C beauty and personal care market where he held leadership roles in sales, marketing, strategy, M&A, and general management with BASF, Cargill, and Ciba as well as Univar, and is a renowned industry consultant. Jaillot holds a bachelor’s degree in organic chemistry from Chemistry University of Marseille, France and a master’s degree in cosmetic science from the University of Pharmacy in Nantes, France. Jaillot also has extensive education in business administration and strategy with master’s degrees from IAE France and Executive MBA from INSEAD. He is also an entrepreneur, investor, and coach who is passionately focused on biotech and sustainability for next generation consumer benefits.
LinkedIn
Tamar Kamen
Independent Consultant
Tamar Kamen is a product development, innovation, and marketing beauty industry expert with over 20 years of experience. She has launched dozens of award-winning, best-selling products primarily in skincare. She has worked in senior positions at companies such as Topicals, Peter Thomas Roth, Estée Lauder, and Dr. Brandt and as a consultant for brands such as Tom Ford Beauty, Hero Cosmetics, and Summer Fridays. She has a passion for developing brands of all sizes specializing in strategy, marketing, and product.
LinkedIn
Hayley Hoffman
Dandi Day, Founder and CEO
Hayley contributes a 360-degree outlook to the beauty industry with almost 20 years of experience spanning professional use, retail, brand, formulations, manufacturing, and ingredient sales and marketing. Currently, she focuses on sustainability education, innovation, and community to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Her daily mission is to connect sustainable brands with meaningful service providers and ingredient manufacturers for their business success. She is an ingredient storyteller, thought leader, and B2B influencer with a vision to create a conscious community within the beauty industry for the well-being of people and the planet―one product and one day at a time
LinkedIn
Jeannie Joshi
Joshi Studios, Creative Director / Global Brand Strategist
As a Global Brand Visionary and Strategic Creative Director, Jeannie Joshi merges creativity, strategy, and design technology, redefining brand engagement and experience globally. With over 19 years of rich experience across creative direction, brand strategy, and design education, she has impacted the beauty, consumer packaged goods (CPG), finance, and medtech sectors.

Jeannie's collaborations with top agencies and leadership in brand experience include a portfolio with companies such as Moody's, Coach, L'Oréal, Hasbro, and Godiva. Her foray into innovative technologies such as VR and AR underscores her commitment to pioneering human— and non-human-centered design approaches and setting new industry standards.

An avid advocate for education and professional growth, Jeannie serves the academic community as a visiting professor and adjunct at institutions like Pratt Institute and CUNY. She instructs a graduate student cohort on design systems, ecological design, and cross-disciplinary communications. Her prior nomination as a Fulbright semi-finalist for ethnographic research and her recent role as an invited panelist at Fairfield University to discuss AI's impact on art and humanities underscore her dedication to advancing the field and nurturing the next generation of creatives. Jeannie continues to shape the future of brand experience and strategic design through her thought leadership and relentless pursuit of innovation.
LinkedIn
Deanna Kangas
Strategic Growth Consulting, President
As a C-level executive with more than 25 years of experience creating and building visionary brands, Deanna Kangas is a proven industry leader when it comes to turning around both growing and established businesses. Deanna works with top private equity firms to analyze the purchase potential of beauty companies, and was instrumental in the launch of Florency by Mills and the new brand GXVE by Gwen Steffani. She was also part of the founding team of Ouai, the social media-driven, global haircare brand. 

A true expert in the industry, Deanna has lent her considerable skills in growing companies and her exceptional creativity to a number of corporations in various stages of growth.  She spent five years as CEO at Stila Cosmetics where she was charged with (and succeeded at) getting the company back on track. Prior to her work at Stila, Deanna turned around the Barbie Collectors division of Mattel, founded online beauty retailer Gloss.com, and launched Michael Jordan Cologne at XEL.

Deanna is an active board member of Communities in Schools of Los Angeles (CIS), Cosmetics Executive Women (CEW), and Young Presidents' Organization (YPO).
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Millie Kendall O.B.E.
British Beauty Council, CEO
Retail maven and brand creator, Millie has been instrumental in the success of cult brands including Shu Uemura, Aveda, Tweezerman, L’Occitane, and Ruby & Millie. Having worked with the UK’s leading retailers, Millie has been creating and marketing beauty brands for the past 30 years. Millie was awarded an MBE in 2007 for her services to the cosmetic industry, and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2022 for services to the hair and beauty industry. In 1998, Millie and Ruby Hammer launched Ruby & Millie, the first mid-priced makeup brand to cut across existing price and brand perception barriers, launching first in Harvey Nichols, then Selfridges, and simultaneously going on to retail successfully in Boots. Millie has also collaborated with beauty journalists and Vogue beauty editor Anna-Marie Solowij to launch revolutionary retail concepts like BeautyMart. In 2015, alongside Solowij, Millie launched the PR company Brandstand Communications. In 2018, Millie Kendall, Anna-Marie Solowij, and Kate Shapland (former  Beauty Director of The Telegraph) founded the British Beauty Council, a nonprofit organization that aims to support a successful, innovative, and inclusive British beauty industry.
LinkedIn
Richard Kestenbaum
Triangle Capital, Partner
Richard is a Partner of Triangle Capital, advising clients in merchandising businesses, particularly in retail and consumer. Richard is an often-quoted expert on the retail and merchandising industries and a contributing writer to Forbes.com. Richard was previously a Managing Director at Financo, Inc. Before Financo, Richard was a Partner and First Vice President at Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. where he ran a group of 14 professionals doing middle-market mergers and acquisitions. Richard is the co-author of three books on finance and computer programming and a former Adjunct Assistant Professor of International Business at New York University. Richard received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from New York University and a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from Harvard University
LinkedIn
Ginger King
Grace Kingdom Beauty, President and CEO
Ginger King is an award-winning cosmetic chemist and the founder of  Grace Kingdom Beauty a cosmetic product development firm in New Jersey specializing in creating beauty brand from concept to launch including formulation.
 
Ginger holds multiple patents and awards in beauty and prides herself on being Allure magazine’s Beauty Judge for Breakthrough Products since 2017, Yahoo’s Diversity In Beauty Award 2018, Beauty Packaging Award Judge 2019, and New Beauty Magazine Brain Trust since 2020 and Iconic Fragrance Judge for Elle Magazine 2023.  In addition to consulting, Ginger’s latest venture is  FanLoveBeauty  a clean vegan beauty brand inspired by mentor Daymond John of Shark Tank to take care of entrepreneurs’ appearance so they can keep crushing on their goals.

She has been quoted by over 40 beauty magazines including Allure, Self, Marie Claire, Harpers Bazaar, Shape, Vogue, Oprah, WWD, and Women’s Health. She has been the keynote speaker for brand launches and has spoken at various s trade conferences on product development and innovation. Ginger is also a regular TV beauty segment contributor on Good Day Sacramento.
LinkedIn
Iryna Kremin
INNOCOS, Founder and CEO
Iryna Kremin, the founder of INNOCOS (INNOvation in COSmetics)―an international thought leadership platform to keep up with latest trends and innovations in beauty and its impact on our lives, commerce, and all things future! Successful businesses are built on good relationships, and it's amazing how a bit of a personal touch can go a long way. To form such relationships, we create unforgettable experiences that are educational, inspirational, and fun!

Current obsession (and new podcast): biohacking for beauty, longevity, and beyond.
LinkedIn
Manessa Lormejuste
Product Developer and Beauty Scientist
Manessa Lormejuste is a beauty scientist and product developer, blending her passion andscientific expertise to create products that truly make a difference.

With over seven years of experience, Manessa has held roles at leading companies such as L'Oréal USA, Johnson & Johnson, and Beautycounter. She has a proven track record of developing award-winning products and has been recognized as a 2022 LinkedIn Top Voice in Fashion & Beauty. As a tenured professional in the industry, Manessa has a unique perspective on the latest trends and innovations in beauty and personal care. She has honed her skills as a product developer, creating best-selling items across categories including hair, skin, and body care.

As a self-proclaimed #girlynerd, Manessa's unique perspective and ability to simplify complex scientific concepts have earned her recognition in major publications such as Ebony Magazine, Byrdie, and more recently, Teen Vogue.

Manessa’s expertise in the field has made her a sought-after voice and trailblazer in the industry, offering valuable insights across different platforms and audiences. Manessa earned a bachelor of arts degree in chemical biology and a master of business and science degree in personal care from Rutgers University, forming the bedrock of her journey as a beauty scientist and product developer.
LinkedIn
Moj Mahdara
Kinship Ventures, BeautyUnited, Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Moj Mahdara (they/them), is an entrepreneur and CEO. Currently a venture capitalist at two funds, they have been a partner at Intuition Capital for the past two years. Recently they co-founded a new fund, Kinship Ventures, focused on bringing more inclusion and diversity to the cap table. They have invested in over 100 companies, in high-tech growth, consumer packaged goods, and the future of health. 

Formerly, they were CEO of Beautycon, a globally recognized community for content creators, celebrities, fans, and brands. Moj is an accomplished speaker and business figure with international recognition.

They are focused on bringing the industry together via BeautyUnited, a non-profit focused on bringing community, education, and access to support the next generation of beauty and wellness leaders. They recently co-founded The Iranian Diaspora Collective,  a nonpartisan, multifaith group aiming to support the demands of Iranians in Iran who want a free secular democracy. 
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Matin Maulawizada
Matin Maulawizada LLC, NYC-based makeup artist
A native of Afghanistan, Matin was first introduced to the artistry of makeup by a college roommate. Realizing he had a natural proclivity, Matin began working part time as a makeup artist to help subsidize his master’s degree in molecular biology. After a brief time working as a research scientist, Matin began to miss the creative and collaborative process that the beauty industry provides and ultimately changed careers.

Matin has worked with entertainment’s most sought-after clientele such as Claire Danes, Lupita Nyong’o, Angelina Jolie, Cynthia Nixon, Awkwafina, Mandy Moore, and Rachel Weisz, to name a few. His work has graced the covers of leading fashion publications, and he has collaborated with top beauty brands such as Laura Mercier, Neutrogena, and Clinique, in addition to his current role as brand ambassador for ChapStick. Matin is also an ardent believer in clean beauty. This passion led to his participation on the Credo panel to discuss the benefits of clean beauty products on the skin. 
LinkedIn
Akash Mehta
Fable & Mane, Founder and CEO
Akash Mehta is a British entrepreneur. He graduated from Imperial College London in engineering and previously worked at Burberry, Estée Lauder Companies, and Parfums Christian Dior where he was the youngest ever Global Digital Manager and rising executive in the beauty industry. Currently, Akash is the CEO and co-founder of Fable & Mane, an Ayurvedic-inspired hair wellness brand. He is also the host of the Founded Beauty podcast, a leading podcast in both beauty and business. Akash was placed on the Forbes 30 under 30 list in Media & Marketing and has been sharing his marketing expertise at some of the largest conferences and universities around the world from TEDx to industry summits. He is also a board member and investor in LVMH’s Patou, a Global Guardian for UNICEF, and co-founder of The Fable Fund―an initiative committed to wild tiger conservation with sustainable development.
LinkedIn
OCEAN MCDAETH
Hairstylist and Director of Education, Dreamboat Salon
Ocean McDaeth is a hairstylist and independent educator located in Portland, Oregon. She works at Dreamboat Salon behind the chair and is their Director of Education. Ocean has been featured in InStyle magazine, Modern Salon Magazine, and was a finalist in the Behind The Chair OneShot Awards 2023.
Carmine Montalto
The Skincarma Blog/Carmine Montalto Ink, Founder and Creative Director
Carmine Montalto is the founder of Carmine Montalto INK and the creative force behind The Skincarma Blog. Based in Brooklyn, Carmine is a veteran copywriter, brand guru, and skincare junkie with 25+ years in beauty. Over the course of his career, he’s conceived, refined, and helped bring to life brand identities for numerous notable brands that span skincare, haircare, and makeup—including Kiehl’s, Pavīse, Toty, and Living Proof. Harnessing his copywriting expertise, knowledge of ingredients and formulations, and consumer insights, he’s crafted packaging copy and named hundreds of products for Kiehl’s, Dr. Jart+, Peace Out, philosophy, Kate Somerville, and dozens more.

Through his popular Skincarma Blog, Carmine puts his extensive product wisdom and expertise to work demystifying skincare with insightful product reviews and sage advice on skin health. In addition to his own blog, he’s written comprehensive articles on skincare routines, skin health, sunscreen, photoaging, and the skin barrier for the blogs of Skinfix, RoC and ZO Skin Health.
LinkedIn
Sharonda Newsome
With a passionate focus on research and development in the clean beauty space and a keen understanding of the market trends, Sharonda Newsome currently serves as Director of Scientific Affairs at Happy Farm Botanicals Laboratories. During her six+ years with the ISO certified, Maryland-based custom formulation and manufacturing facility, Sharonda has mentored and collaborated with a team of talented chemists, while herself developing an array of innovative skincare, haircare, and personal care formulas that continue to launch as award-winning, top-selling products in major retailers. Ms. Newsome’s background as an educator and the strong communication skills built from her years teaching, have made her a preferred scientific partner for brands, product consultants, and suppliers alike. She thrives in creating prototypes forher established clients and pioneering sustainable and distinct ingredient combinations with compelling and effective user experiences.

Sharonda holds a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Howard University and is amember of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.
LinkedIn
Jen Novakovich
Founder, The Eco Well
Jen Novakovich is a cosmetic scientist, science communicator, founder of The Eco Well, and co-founder of BeautySciComm. Jen began her career working as a cosmetic chemist before she transitioned into science communication and working as a technical consultant. She has developed an expertise in sustainability substantiation, management, and regulations. Through her sci-comm work, she’s interviewed over 1,000 subject matter experts and hosts a regular cosmetic science focused podcast The Eco Well Podcast. She’s also launched several larger scale science conferences and is a regular moderator in industry panels. Jen currently serves on the Supply Chain and Sustainability Resource and Government and Relations advisory committees with the Independent Beauty Association. She completed two bachelor’s of science degrees, a diploma in formulation chemistry, a masters of science in environmental science, and a graduate certificate in environmental policy. She is currently completing a PhD at the University of Ottawa studying the impact of misinformation on sustainable development in the cosmetics sector.
LinkedIn
Dr. Akemi Ooka
Independent Beauty Association,
VP of Supply Chain and Sustainability Resource
With over 20 years of consumer packaged goods experience from Fortune 500 companies to small start-ups, Akemi’s experience ranges from product development to sourcing and supply chain transformation. Akemi has run chemical procurement at The Clorox Company, formulation and fragrance development at Method, and was most recently Vice President of Product at J.R. Watkins, overseeing development, quality, regulatory compliance, claim support, and third-party manufacturing oversight for hand care, personal care, home care, and over-the-counter remedies. She now heads up the IBA’s global supply chain and sustainability programming, which supports small to medium-sized businesses in the beauty and personal care sector. Akemi holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Rutgers University and a PhD in chemistry from the University of California at Los Angeles.
LinkedIn
Stacia Prince
Brand Advisor and Co-Founder, Control & Chaos
Fascinated with the beauty industry, Stacia started her career as a “Saturday girl” for Estée Lauder while still at school. With 30 years of omnichannel beauty buying experience, both in the US and UK, Stacia has launched countless brands into the UK market. She was part of the founding executive team at Cult Beauty. As International Buying Director for over 13 years, her curatorial eye launched brands such as Huda Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Drunk Elephant, Summer Fridays, Tower 28, and many more. Previously she was the Skincare Buyer for QVC UK and the Niche Beauty Buyer at Debenhams. She now works as an independent advisor for start-ups, investors, and established brands, developing strategic plans for brand growth and market expansion.
LinkedIn
Roseanna Roberts
The Estée Lauder Companies, Global Innovation Insights and Trends Intelligence
For over 15 years, Roseanna has established herself as an authority in identifying trends, helping leading brands understand their impact and how to capitalize on them. Called “a bonafide trend expert” by Time magazine, Roseanna currently leads Global Trend Foresight at the Estée Lauder Companies (ELC), working across the company’s portfolio of brands, regions, and functions to uncover near- and long-term opportunities that inform product innovation and commercial/marketing activation.

Prior to ELC, Roseanna ran her own consulting practice for the better part of a decade where she partnered with global brands in the beauty sector and beyond. Her work helped a roster of clients that included Coty, Ilia, Shiseido, and Walgreens translate emerging shifts within culture, consumer behavior, and the marketplace into creative and strategic actions for their businesses. She has been invited to speak in front of audiences across the US, Europe, and the Middle East and featured as an expert in major publications such as WWD and Refinery29.
LinkedIn
Alexis Rodriguez Alvich
Harper Grey Consulting, Founder
Alexis Rodriguez Alvich is an industry-recognized communications leader and brand marketer with over 22 years of experience within the beauty and fashion industries. A proven brand builder, impactful storyteller and keen navigator of strategy, she’s known for shaping consumer-centric, digital-first consumer engagement strategies that drive sales and success for her brands. In 2017, Alexis founded Harper Grey Consulting to focus on creating holistic, breakthrough peer-to-peer marketing programs. Her work is anchored in emotional storytelling that meets consumers where they are and services them beyond product. Her goal is always to turn brand affinity into brand love and to transform brand audiences into engaged brand communities.
LinkedIn
Anisa Telwar Kaicker
Anisa International, Founder and CEO
Anisa Telwar Kaicker is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of her namesake business, Anisa International. She started her business in 1992, and has pioneered the leadership, product development, and culture of this globally branded business through the design and manufacturing of cosmetic brushes for makeup and skincare. She partners with the most esteemed brands in the beauty industry.

As a trusted authority, Anisa has built a reputation on creating the highest standard of innovative, quality-driven products in the beauty brush space and attributes much of this success to an unyielding commitment to transparency within the manufacturing process. In 2003, Anisa International vertically integrated its operations by opening its own manufacturing facility, Anisa China, in Tianjin.  
LinkedIn
Deanna Utroske
Cosmetics Design, Former Editor, Thought Leader
Known as one of the most well-respected critical thinkers in the cosmetics and personal care industry today. As a public speaker, commentator, and trade media editor, Deanna covers key industry trends as well as ingredients, packaging, and product innovation topics. Formerly editor of Cosmetics Design, she now frequently contributes to various global cosmetics and personal care industry publications. As a consultant, Deanna develops press releases and other business content for suppliers and manufacturers, helping them grow in key B2B markets. A highly sought-after speaker, she also presents to company teams, higher-ed classrooms, and event audiences internationally.
LinkedIn
Deborah Weinswig
Coresight Research, Founder and CEO
Between 2014 to early 2018, Deborah served as Managing Director of Fung Global Retail and Technology (FGRT), the think tank of Fung Group. Previously, she was Managing Director and Head of the Global Staples & Consumer Discretionary team at Citi Research. Deborah was ranked the #1 analyst by Institutional Investor for 10 years in a row. She was named one of the Top 50 Retail Influencers by Vend in both 2016 and 2017 and received the Asia Retail Congress’s Retail Leadership Award in 2016. She was also recognized by LinkedIn as a Top Voice in Retail in 2017 and 2018. She serves on the board of directors for Goodwill Industries New Yor k/ New Jersey, GUESS? Kiabi, Street Soccer USA, and Xcel Brands. Deborah is on the advisory board of the World Retail Congress as well as several accelerators.
LinkedIn
Hayley Hoffman
Dandi Day, Founder and CEO
Hayley contributes a 360 degrees outlook to the Beauty Industry with almost 20 years of experience spanning professional use, retail, brand, formulations, manufacturing, and ingredient sales and marketing. Currently, she focuses on sustainability education, innovation, and community to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  Her daily mission is to connect sustainable brands with meaningful service providers and ingredient manufacturers for their business success. She is an ingredient storyteller, thought leader, and B2B influencer with a vision to create a conscious community within the Beauty Industry for the well-being of people and the planet, one product and one day at a time.  
LinkedIn
Hamish Campbell
Pearlfisher, VP and Executive Creative Director
Hamish leads and inspires the design team by setting the creative standard, continually encouraging designers to demonstrate inventive conceptual thinking and strong craftsmanship. He brings diverse international experience across branding, packaging, retail, and print design to each of his projects. Prior to moving stateside, he worked with some of London’s leading design consultancies, quickly developing a strong track record for innovative design, including award-winning work for iconic brands such as Johnnie Walker, Bacardi, and Nike. Recently, he led the strategic design team to create the Cult Beauty brand Elaluz for influencer Camila Coelho. He has also enlivened prized brands like Pyrex, Campari, Diageo, and Target. His work has been featured in publications ranging from Michael Peters’ Yes Logo book to Playboy magazine. During his career, Hamish has contributed to Entrepreneur Magazine and his brand designs have won recognition from esteemed organizations including ADC, D&AD, Clio Awards, DBA: Design Effectiveness Awards, Dieline Awards, Mobius Awards, Pentawards, and more.
LinkedIn
Kendra Bracken-Ferguson
BrainTrust, Founder
Known as one of fashion and beauty’s most successful digital pioneers, creating the social media footprint for Ralph Lauren’s fashion empire and a co-founder of Digital Brand Architects, the first agency to manage “bloggers” as talent in 2009. Kendra is one of only 200 Black women to secure over $1MM in investment and has launched three companies. Her latest endeavor, BrainTrust Founders Studio, focuses on increasing inclusive economic opportunities for Black beauty and wellness founders providing mentorship, education, community, and capital to help them accelerate their businesses and build sustainable growth. She is Halle Berry's business partner in rē⋅spin by Halle Berry; a co-founder of BeautyUnited, a nonprofit dedicated to driving DE&I in the beauty and wellness industry; and the host of Business of the Beat beauty and wellness podcast.
LinkedIn
Sindhya Valloppillil
Skin Dossier, Founder and CEO
Sindhya founded Skin Dossier, a hyper-personalization beauty tech start-up. She is also a contributing writer for TechCrunch, Crunchbase, and BeautyMatter; she writes about consumer tech, beauty tech, the start-up ecosystem, personalization, and solutions for diversity. Sindhya is an award-winning marketing and innovations executive with 20 years of experience working at leading beauty companies such as L’Oréal, L Brands, J&J, and Zirh. She was also an Adjunct Marketing Professor at Berkeley College and guest lecturer at Fordham Business School. She is currently on the Board of Directors of Desai Foundation and is also a Venture Partner for NextGen Venture Partners, a mentor for Techstars, and angel investor/advisor to start-ups.
LinkedIn
ANNA VALE
Anna Vale, Global Integrated Marketing and Communications Consultant and Advisor
Anna Vale is an industry thought leader, speaker, and mentor. A seasoned marketing and communications expert with more than two decades of collaborating with indie, founder, and prestige legacy brands, Anna is known for her work leading award-winning campaigns, as well as spearheading international expansions, brand transformations, and industry-changing launches.During her career, she has held several executive leadership roles for top prestige beauty companies in the US, UK, and Middle East. She now channels her 20 years of expertise to help emerging beauty brands create successful integrated marketing strategies to take them to the next level of growth. Her experience spans across brands in skincare, fragrance, hair, and makeup including but not limited to Youth To The People, Tom Ford Beauty, Estée Lauder, La Mer, Hourglass Cosmetics, Kate Somerville, Fable & Mane, Oribe, and Clinique.
LinkedIn
Sindhya Valloppillil
Skin Dossier, Founder and CEO
Sindhya Valloppillil is the CEO and co-founder of Skin Dossier, an AI-enabled Precision Skin Health Advisor. She is also a contributing writer for Forbes, TechCrunch, Crunchbase, and BeautyMatter. She writes about venture capital, start-ups in consumer/beauty/health tech, the start-up ecosystem, personalization, and solutions for diversity. Sindhya is an award-winning marketing and innovations executive with 20 years of experience working at leading beauty companies such as L'Oréal, L Brands, Johnson & Johnson, and Zirh. She was also an Adjunct Marketing Professor at Berkeley College and guest lecturer at Fordham Business School. She is on the All Raise Steering Committee. Additionally, she is currently on the board of directors of The Desai Foundation, is a Venture Partner for NextGen Venture Partners, a mentor for Techstars, and angel investor/advisor to start-ups.
LinkedIn
Nick Vaus
Free The Birds, Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Nick has over 25 years of experience boldly reimagining how brands engage with the world, reinventing the everyday for the better—from immersive brand experiences to digital design and sustainable packaging. From the acclaimed relaunch of luxury treatment brand Hydrafacial to reshaping the direction of beauty and skincare brands like Erno Laszlo and Sunday Riley. Nick’s unique ability to unite his team and clients around his vision is what sets him and the agency apart as highly sought-after creative partners. Nick combines all this experience with enviable creative rigor, attention to detail, and endless curiosity about the future of design, which has led him and his team to win multiple awards—proof that beautiful thinking really does create lasting impact.
LinkedIn
Jennifer Walsh
AIKR Lab & Institute, Founder and Creative Director
A 26-year serial beauty and wellness entrepreneur, Jennifer Walsh, has been a true architect of the beauty landscape. Creating Beauty Bar, the first omnichannel beauty brand in the US, changed the way people shopped for beauty until she sold the company in 2010. Jennifer intuitively knew that the connection to the beauty industry was always deeply rooted in its connection to nature. In 2017, Jennifer began studying nature's impact on the brain and body and is now an advisor to the U Penn Center for Neuroaesthetics as well as the Brain Health Initiative―a working lab under Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital. Her company AIKR Lab’s initiatives serve as a call to action, bringing the public's attention to the health benefits of being in and around nature. AIKR Lab integrates nonpartisan, scientific, fact-based research and analysis with public education centered around the benefits of being outside and incorporating nature into our homes, businesses, and schools through the implementation of biophilic design. You can also find Ms. Walsh leading mindfulness and wellness walks daily in Central Park for corporate and private clients.
LinkedIn
Karen Young
The Young Group, CEO
Before opening The Young Group in 1999, Karen was Vice President of Marketing, Advertising, and Product Development for Lancôme, the prestige division of L'Oréal. Before joining Lancôme, she spent seventeen years at Estée Lauder, where she held a variety of executive positions, including Executive Director of Color Cosmetics. She is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. Since opening The Young Group, Karen has worked extensively in all categories of the cosmetic industry. She has developed concepts and products for Dove, Bath and Body Works, Neutrogena, Vichy, and Canyon Ranch. She has worked on numerous established brands in the beauty category, including Christian Dior Beauté, Shiseido, Chanel, Parfums Givenchy, Avon, and 3M Products. Karen is an Adjunct Professor at The Fashion Institute of Technology, teaching the graduate course in product development. She is also an active board member of Fashion Group International.
LinkedIn
Susanah Zeffiro Beaumont
Epic Games, SuperAwesome, Head of Industry, Beauty 
Susanah is a seasoned media executive assiduous in advancing beauty through transformation and novel technology applications. Having begun her career in mobile marketing, she joined Spotify, the world’s #1 audio platform, in 2018. Noticing the beauty industry’s disproportionate focus on visual storytelling, she sought and developed the first Beauty Partnerships Team and go-to-market strategy in Spotify’s company history. While pioneering the category at Spotify, Susanah structured the drafting, negotiation, and execution of eight-figure annual business partnerships with the world’s biggest beauty portfolios. These experiences, combined with an insatiable curiosity for the newest and most innovative spaces, presented the opportunity to join SuperAwesome, an organization within Epic Games at the end of 2022. As Epic/SuperAwesome's Head of Industry, Susanah provides a bridge for beauty and personal care marketers to dream and execute immersive and responsibly designed consumer experiences within existing gaming metaverses―like Fortnite (over 400 million users) and others―with a suite of best-in-class support solutions that span brand consulting, game development, media, creative/influencer, PR, and measurement.
LinkedIn
Susanah Zeffiro
SuperAwesome, Head of Growth
Susanah is an accomplished media leader known for advancing brands via innovation and new technology. After beginning her career in Mobile, she went on to excel at Spotify, the world's #1 audio entertainment platform. During her 5-year tenure, she launched Spotify's first Beauty Partnerships Team, addressing a gap in non-visual storytelling within the Beauty industry. Aside from building the team, she developed the initial go-to-market strategy yielding multi-year music and podcast partnerships with the world's biggest beauty portfolios. Fueled by a constant curiosity for new and emerging channels, she transitioned to lead Beauty at SuperAwesome, a division within Epic Games in 2022. Currently serving as Head of Beauty, Retail, and Growth at SuperAwesome, she's focused on facilitating connections between brands and Gen Z/A audiences in top gaming platforms like Fortnite and Roblox. Along with her team, she guides marketers in crafting responsibly-designed virtual experiences with a suite of services including concept ideation, compliance, game development, influencer/media, and measurement.
LinkedIn
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