Continuing to attend the symposiums each year contributed to my knowledge in all aspects of the industry. The most successful members clearly pioneered the systemic structures of the business, as well as the technical application of a unique skill set, distinctly different from the regular growth hair skills. The training and product exposure offered at these events are so valued by the many individual hair replacement business owners and their staff of dedicated employees that provide this unique service.
Some memories of one event in Boca Raton, Florida are among many of the experiences acquired outside of the event structure that enrich our individual participation. On the first day the membership gathered in the morning to a welcome from the President of the organization. As the meeting was called to order and formalities and acknowledgements were being offered, I smelled cigarette smoke. At first I was thinking maybe it was someone near by that just had a smoke. The smell had suddenly gained the company of actual smoke; I was appalled that someone could be so unconsciously inconsiderate. I turned around to notice a middle aged gentleman sitting about three rows behind me, nonchalantly smoking. I gave him my best palms-up “What the f…!” look with equal parts of disbelief. We made direct eye contact, his expression indicating he got the message — a couple quick drags not wanting to appear too eager, he extinguished the smoke. After a full day of activities the attendees gathered for informal cocktails and socializing before dinner. As I was chatting with a distinguished member from the UK, I spotted “the smoker”… he looked like a pleasant guy. I was about to inquire as to who he was when the person I was speaking with caught his attention…with a head nod invited him to join us. When he approached it appeared that he had no recollection of our earlier encounter regarding my response to his inappropriate behavior. The inquiry was made, “Have you met? I replied, in a relaxed, joking manor, “Not officially, but aren’t you the asshole that was smoking at the meeting this morning?” Joseph Paris, NYC chuckled seeming to be quite aware of the early morning incident appealing to his “bad boy” nature. We immediately hit it off, and spent the next five hours intensely discussing all aspects of the hair replacement industry. Joe had many stories to tell involving Frank Sinatra, and travels around the world. Joe attended to Frank Sinatra’s hair for many years, and had a great story of providing hair for a Saudi Prince. He is an inspiration, as well as a wealth of information — a true legend in the hair replacement industry.
It is a great deal of admiration and respect that inspires a special acknowledgement to all the pioneers of the hair replacement industry. Their commitment to innovation and relentless dedication to customer service immensely contributed to the success and sustainability of this unique industry. The advances enjoyed today are appreciated; encouraging a spirit of continued education and collaboration. As an honored participant providing a life changing service, join me in personally recognizing the scope of our chosen involvement. I actually believe “it” chose us!