Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Bankoski

Linda Bankoski

Co-Owner & Managing Director, SpaQuality LLC

Linda Bankoski is co-owner and Managing Director of Education and Assessment of SpaQuality LLC, a company that has provided a roadmap to authentic performance excellence for spas through quality system standards, education, assessment and certification since 2004. Ms. Bankoski is the co-author of The International Standards of SpaExcellenceSM, which provides a framework for spas to create effective and efficient spa operations that result in consistent delivery of excellent spa services, guest and staff loyalty, as well as business success. The inspiration of The Standards comes from internationally accepted quality system standards used by other industries including ISO 9000 (international quality management systems), ISO 14000 (environmental management standards), the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program in the United States, the Canada Awards for Excellence from the National Quality Institute in Canada, the EFQM Excellence Award in Europe, OSHA (US health and safety), FDA Good Manufacturing Practices (US), TedQual (tourism education quality), JCAHO (US healthcare organization standards), and more. Basic concepts from these standards along with years of spa experience were combined, translated, enhanced and organized into a complete spa management system that provides spas with what is necessary to achieve long-term success. While created for spas, the key concepts provided in The International Standards of SpaExcellenceSM can be applied to the entire hospitality industry including hotels, resorts, cruise lines, clubs, restaurants, theme parks and more. Now in their 5th edition, The Standards have been sold to spas in 28 countries. Ms. Bankoski co-created and co-teaches Building and Sustaining High Quality Systems for Spas, a six-week, on-line course for the University of California - Irvine Extension's Spa and Hospitality Management Certificate Program, which uses The International Standards of SpaExcellenceSM for the textbook. Ms. Bankoski is a quality expert with 30+ years of experience leading, coaching, consulting, and helping organizations and businesses in a wide variety of industries succeed and thrive. She is people-and goal-oriented and motivated by opportunities to learn, encourage and inspire others. Ms. Bankoski has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a healthcare professional, corporate trainer, customer advocate, market researcher, culture change pioneer and business advisor. She served on the Board of Examiners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for five years and looks forward to helping spas attain this prestigious award in the future. Ms. Bankoski is a professional speaker and was chair of the local section of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). She has been a Good Manufacturing Practices Auditor (FDA regulations) for 25+ years and an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor, RAB Certified Quality Systems Lead Auditor and a Certified Lead Assessor (ISO 9001) for over 15 years. Ms. Bankoski is past president of the Board of Directors for the Delaware Quality Consortium, Inc. (Delaware Quality Award). She was an adjunct professor in the Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Delaware and a lead instructor in the Quality Management Certificate. She taught courses in quality management and organizational improvement. She developed and taught courses on the ISO 9000 standard, quality system auditing and problem solving for the Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Ms. Bankoski can be contacted at 302-426-0274 or bankoski@voicenet.com

Coming up in July 2018...

Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.