American Association of Cosmetology Schools » Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Sandra Bruce

Phone: 518-348-2378

Sandra Bruce is currently the General Manager 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. (2019)


Michael L. Halmon, MBA
Vice Chair

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)


Cathy Koluch

Phone: 480-857-1138

Catchy Koluch has been in the school business for 28 years, and is the founder of an award-winning brand of cosmetology schools in Phoenix, AZ with three campuses. Over her years in the industry, she has served as Commissioner on the Arizona Post-Secondary Education Commission and has served on committees within AACS including serving as chair of the AACS Affinity Committee. (2020)



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! (2020)


Chris Linford

Phone: 801-562-8557

Nine years ago, Chris Linford started as an unpaid intern at a two man marketing company. His story is that of the American dream of rising to the top, and helping grow a successful company. Since his start,he has held nearly every position at Oozle Media, and helped start the sales, PPC, local SEO, and social media departments. Through his efforts and the efforts of others, Oozle Media has grown from a three person company to a 35 person, results-driven machine.
As CEO, Chris is responsible for the vision and growth of the company. He does this through bringing the best out of individuals at Oozle Media. He intends to do the same as a member of the AACS Board of Directors. (2018)


Lynelle Lynch, AACS Board Member

Lynelle Lynch
Treasurer & Secretary

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. (2019)


Tom Marek
Strategy Chair

Phone: 630-528-3331

Tom is the Chief Financial Officer of Tricoci University of Beauty Culture (“TUBC”) and brings over 21 years of experience as a finance and operations professional. His experience includes a consistent track record of increasing profits, driving new technology, and developing a culture of accountability and continuous improvement. He is a strong team builder who enjoys coaching and mentoring talent across all levels of an organization. Tom is also a collaborative, analytical leader known for setting clear strategic direction and actionable operating plans.
Tom has over 16 years of experience in the private post-secondary school industry in various financial, mergers and acquisitions, and operations roles of which twelve of those years were spent at Career Education Corporation and the last 3 at TUBC. Prior to Tom’s time in the education industry he was in public accounting, the technology sector and banking. (2019)


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 Academy 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 Kim 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, salon owner, spa management and as a manufacturer educator teaching professionals in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Colorado. Kim opened Salon Crave in December 2014. Kim currently serves on the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) board for the last fifteen years. Kim has served in various positions on the AACS board to include; Vice-President, Secretary, Historian, co-chair of the Annual AACS Convention, chair of the CEA convention, team leader of events and supervised an education task force team. Kim also serves on the MACS -Missouri Association of Cosmetology Schools. She is also very active in the communities of the Crave locations; she serves on the board for Cricket Alley Ministries, she is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Women’s Business Owners (NAWBO), National Association of Female Executives (NAFE) and is currently chair of the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association/Go Red for Women. (2020)


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)


jim-petrilloJim Petrillo

Phone: 727-820-3160

With a passion for helping others reach their full potential, Jim has embraced his wide array of professional experiences in order to become what he is today – a leader and advocate in the advancement of the beauty industry.

After a successful career in the hospitality industry, Jim joined forces with his brother, Tom Petrillo, in 2002. Their collaborative efforts led to the establishment of The Salon People, Inc. as the exclusive distributor for Aveda beauty products in Florida, and the opening of five Aveda Institutes dedicated to offering exceptional training in state of the art facilities for cosmetology and spa therapy students.

AI South emerged in 2012 as a result of TSP and the Neill Corporation collaborating to bring together the school operations of TSP Institute Inc. and Beauty Basics Inc. Collectively they operate 20 Aveda Institute locations across the Southeast. Jim’s role as the President of AI South is to incorporate the guiding values of their organizations to ensure that they provide the highest level of education, utilizing the most talented team, with innovative, industry-leading tools and resources. Holding steadfast to their values, AI South prioritizes personal and professional growth and development for those in their network.

Jim serves on the AACS Board of Directors, AVEDA Advisory Board, AVEDA Institute Government Affairs Council and Great Explorations Children’s Museum Board; he is a member of CCST and PBA, as well as the FSU Alumni Association, Dragons Club and University Club; in addition, Jim sponsors the FSU Sales Institute and the International Collegiate Sales Competition (ICSC) with TSP. (2019)


Garrett Shuler

Phone: 803-798-8515

Garrett Shuler is a new father to a beautiful daughter, energetic, fun loving, and is a second-generation school owner who is passionate about the beauty and wellness industry and the education of future licensed professionals. As Executive Director of Kenneth Shuler Schools in South Carolina, Garrett has successfully implemented current salon techniques, technology and critical business practices to their 8 campuses with tremendous success. He looks forward to bringing that same progressive attitude to AACS as a Board Member. (2020)



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. (2019)


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.