American Association of Cosmetology Schools Board of Directors - American Association of Cosmetology Schools

Board of Directors

Running for election for the AACS Board of Directors:

  • Fred Holzberger, Aveda Fredric’s Institute
  • Lynelle Lynch, Bellus Academy (incumbent)
  • Tom Marek, Tricocci University of Beauty Culture
  • Octavia McDougle, Beauty Anatomy Institute of Cosmetology and Wellness (incumbent)
  • Kent Movchan, Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy – Dallas
  • Jim Petrillo, Aveda Institute Tallahassee
  • Frank Trieu, Evergreen Beauty College (incumbent)
  • Associate Seat: Sandra Bruce, Milady (incumbent)

Elections will take place November 6 at the AACS Annual Convention & Expo in Orlando, FL.


Sandara Bruce, AACS Board Member

Sandra Bruce

Phone: 518-348-2378

Sandra Bruce is currently the Executive Director of Milady, a division of Cengage Learning, Inc., located in Clifton Park, NY. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management & Economics (BSBME) from the State University of New York Empire State College and has led the marketing, business development, and international strategies in a variety of roles for Milady for more than 11 years. Currently, Sandra is responsible for leading Milady’s publishing and business development strategies and is always striving to deliver innovative solutions to customers in both the academic and professional markets. Sandra has extensive experience with association work and has represented Milady on a variety of national and international association boards and committees, including AACS where she has been directly involved in strategic planning with the Board of Directors and represented the Associate Members for five years as Chair of the Advisory Committee. (2016)


Anthony Civitano, AACS Board Member

Anthony Civitano
Vice President

Phone: 516-483-2025

Anthony Civitano has been a member of the Beauty School and Cosmetology community for over 23 years.  He literally grew up with this industry all around him, with a stylist and salon-owner Father, who also owned beauty schools.  As a New York licensed Cosmetologist, Anthony has a passion for this industry, and helping students achieve success within it.  He has served in every capacity within beauty schools, including Financial Aid, Admissions, and even serving as a Campus Director. Currently Anthony owns seven schools in New York and Florida.  Six of those schools are known as the Long Island Beauty Schools, and the Hair Design Institutes.  The seventh school is a skin care and makeup school, known as the New York Institute of Beauty.  Anthony serves as the Executive Director of the New York State Beauty School Association, and past Vice President of AACS.  Anthony enjoys taking an active role in his schools, and in his community. With a wife and three children, Anthony is a true family man, who realizes that tackling issues as a group rather than alone, is the best way to achieve success.(2017)


Dana Black and White

Dana Dougherty

Phone: 407-562-5544

Dana’s background encompasses over 15 years of work experience in education, beauty, government and nonprofit industries.  She has been with Remington College since its inception of the Cosmetology Program and helped to facilitate its start up at 13 campuses.  In the last 5 years she has served on the Government Relations Committee as its Communications Director and has written articles for BeautyLink. (2017)


Christine Gordon, AACS Board Member

Christine Gordon

Phone: 703-243-9322 x112

Christine began her career in the beauty industry over 35 years ago, as a CIDESCO diplomat and Master Esthetics instructor. She has traveled and taught in many world class spas throughout Europe. Upon returning to the United States, she became Director of Education for a large beauty supply distributor in the Mid-Atlantic States.  During this time she produced shows and created stylist education for Trevor Sorbie, Irvin Rusk, John Sahag and many industry giants. In 1999, she became co-owner of the Graham Webb Academy in Arlington, Virginia and was instrumental in promoting the ratification by the Virginia State Assembly of a bill regulating the aesthetics profession. Christine has served for 12 years on the Government Relations Committee for the American Association of Cosmetology Schools, and regularly meets with members of Congress, and the US Department of Education representing the needs of Cosmetology and Aesthetics students.  She is the President of AACS, and is a founding member of Beauty Changes Lives. (2018)


Michael L. Halmon, MBA

Phone: 727-532-2125

Michael is the President of American Institute of Beauty, Inc. with 2 campus locations in Pinellas County, Florida. He brings over 25 years in the Beauty Industry from the Beauty Supply Distribution arena. Additional, he is proud to say that he is a former Marine and Banker with a special love for Business Finance. (2018)


Neal Heller, ESQ

Phone: 954-922-5505

Neal Heller is currently the CEO and President of the Hollywood Institute of Beauty Careers, located in Hollywood, Florida.  Neal holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Miami and his Juris Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. In his current role, Neal oversees the day-to-day operations, compliance and development of three campuses; including state licensure and NACCAS accreditation.  Prior to Hollywood Institute of Beauty Careers, Neal was co-founder, CEO and President of the Florida College of Natural Health, where he successful led the school to become the largest of its kind in the South Eastern United States. He also served as past-President of the Florida Association of Post-Secondary Schools and Colleges and as an Executive Board member for four years. (2018)



Teresa Lewis

Phone: 773-445-6956

Teresa Lewis is a licensed nail technology instructor and holds a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from Monmouth College. She has represented OPI for over 17 years and is now owner and CEO of YourNewSchool. YourNewSchool is a beauty school resource company which sources the best products, technologies and services so that our school clients don’t have to! (2017)


Lynelle Lynch, AACS Board Member

Lynelle Lynch

Phone: 858-248-4450

Award-winning entrepreneur Lynelle Lynch is revolutionizing cosmetology education while changing the perception of the beauty and wellness industry. She is owner of the most awarded beauty school in the world, Bellus Academy, recently named the “best beauty school in North America” by the global organization Intercoiffure. Lynch has raised nearly $3 million for scholarship programs for the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation, a non-profit organization she founded in 2012. Her drive, passion and work ethic are a rarity, and her humanitarian spirit is the essence of who she is. (2016)


Octavia McDougle_editedBWOctavia McDougle

Phone: 954-972-0635

Octavia’s school has been a member of AACS since 2011. She brings a wealth of experience having served many different leadership positions including Board Member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County, Founding Member and Past Vice President of the NFL Players’ Wives Association and co-founder of the McDougle Family Foundation. She also brings a great deal of event and fundraising experience as well as passion and humility. (2016)


Kim McIntosh, AACS Board Member

Kim McIntosh

Phone: 316-943-5516 x13

Currently Kim and her husband Stan McIntosh own Crave Beauty Academy.  She changed the name of Xenon International Academies to Crave Beauty Academy in Wichita, KS and Ballwin (St. Louis), MO in December 2014.   Kim and her husband acquired Xenon International Academy in Kansas and Missouri in 2013.  Prior to the acquisition, the past eighteen years she has been partner in three of the six Xenon International Academy campuses.   Her educational background includes college studies in Business Administration and Marketing.  Kim has been active in the Beauty Industry for twenty four years.  She holds a Cosmetology, Esthetics and Instructors license in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.  She has worked behind the chair, in salon management and as a manufacturer educator teaching professionals in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Colorado.   Kim currently serves on the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) board for last thirteen years.  Kim has served in various positions on the AACS board to include; Vice-President, Secretary, Historian, co-chair of the Annual AACS Convention, team leader of events and supervised an education task force team.   Kim also serves on the MACS -Missouri Association of Cosmetology Schools.  Kim is also active in the communities of the Xenon locations.  She is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Women’s Business Owners (NAWBO), National Association of Female Executives (NAFE) and the local toastmasters club in Wichita Kansas. (2017)


Tam Nguyen, AACS Board Member

Dr. Tam Nguyen

Phone: 714-390-9312

Dr. Tam Nguyen is the President of Advance Beauty College, MBA Lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and AACS Board Member. Tam grew up in a family who cared about the beauty industry where his parents and sister served as Cosmetology Educators and Licensed Professionals. He has served as an Accreditation Evaluator for 8 years visiting schools in over 20 states on behalf of the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences (NACCAS) and the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA). He is a member of both the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools (CAPPS) and California Massage Schools Association (CAMSA). He is honored to be a member of the Government Relations Team (GRT) and lead a Task Force committee. He graduated with his MD in 2000 and MBA in 2005 and is often heard saying, “As a physician I would have only been able to help one patient at a time but providing education allows me to impact my community helping hundreds at a time!” (2016)


Robert Passage, AACS Board Member

Robert Passage

Phone: (800) 886-4247

Robert Passage has been active in cosmetology education for more than 22 years… 46 years if you consider he was born and raised in the business. He is a licensed cosmetologist, licensed cosmetology instructor and holds a degree in business from Loyola University in Chicago. Robert has served on the AACS board since 1995 and has served on numerous committees during his tenure. He has also served on the IACS (IL Association of Cosmetology Schools) board as past president and continues to serve his state association today. He is also involved on numerous industry committees including CC (Cosmetologists Chicago), PBA (Professional Beauty Association) and ACCRED (Advisory Council on Cosmetology Relations and Education). (2018)



Frank Trieu

Phone: 425-336-5123 Ext. 800

Frank Trieu is a second generation school owner, and the CEO of Evergreen Beauty Colleges in Washington State. With three campuses, Evergreen was ranked in the top 25 fastest minority owned growing business by the Puget Sound Business Journal. Since 2004, he has served our industry in many different capacities; he serves AACS State Relations Committee, AACS Affinity Program and currently serve on the NACCAS Evaluation team, assisting and supporting schools in the accreditation process. He is a recipient of the “40 Under 40 Award” recognizing 40 of the upcoming business leaders under 40 year old in the Pacific Northwest. His colleges have also been voted Top 100 Companies to Work For by Seattle Business Magazine in 2014 and 2015.   His passion is to position Beauty as a career of choice. (2016)


Mike Vanacore, AACS Board Member

Mike Vanacore
Honorary Vice President

Phone: 718-273-1735

Mike Vanacore has been active in the cosmetology field for over 45 years, and been involved in the cosmetology education industry since 1963. He is a licensed cosmetologist and hair stylist, licensed cosmetology instructor, licensed school director by the New York State Department of Education and hold numerous certificates in advance cosmetology. He has served two terms as a Commissioner at Large for NACCAS, New York State Board Examiner, President of the New York State Beauty School Association, Committee Member of ACCRED (Advisory Council on Cosmetology Relations and Education), and appointed to the Advisory Committee of the New York State Education Department. He has been a member of AACS since it’s beginning and held many positions and served on and chaired many committees. Mike is currently a Vice President and chair the Special Events Committee which oversees the Beauty Forum Regional Beauty Shows, Spring Conference, Financial Aid Workshop, CEA Convention, and the Annual Convention.


Don Yearwood, AACS Board Member

Don Yearwood
Immediate Past President

Phone: 937-271-1479

Don Yearwood was the Owner/President and Chief Executive Officer of Carousel Beauty Colleges & The Spa Institute which operated 5 schools of Cosmetology in Southwest Ohio. Mr. Yearwood has been involved in the Cosmetology Education industry for over 25 years. He was the President of the Ohio Association of Cosmetology Schools and was on the Board of Directors for the Region V Private Career Colleges and Schools. Mr. Yearwood, a graduate of the University of Kentucky, served on the AACS Board of Directors since 2004 and served as AACS Treasurer 2005 – 2007. He is the Immediate Past President for AACS.