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 2019...

Hotel Spa: Pursuing Distinction

The Wellness Movement continues to evolve and hotel spas continue to innovate in order to keep pace. Fueled by intense competition within the industry, hotel spas are seeking creative ways to differentiate themselves in the market. An increasing number of customers are searching for very specific, niche treatments that address their particular health concerns and, as a result, some leading spas have achieved distinction by offering only one specialized treatment. Meditation and mindfulness practices are becoming increasingly mainstream as are alternative treatments and therapies, such as Ayurvedic therapies, Reiki, energy work and salt therapy. Some spas specialize in stress management and offer lifestyle coaching sessions as part of their program.  Other spas are fully embracing new technologies as a way to differentiate themselves, such as providing wearable devices that track health and fitness biomarkers, or robots programmed with artificial intelligence to control spa environments, or virtual reality add-ons that transport guests to relaxing places around the world. Some spas have chosen to specialize in medical procedures such as liposuction, laser skin therapy, phototherapy facials, Botox and facial fillers, acupuncture and permanent hair removal, in addition to cosmetic body shaping procedures and  teeth whitening treatments. Similarly, other spas are offering comprehensive health check-ups and counseling services for those who are interested in disease prevention treatments. Finally, as hotel spas continue to become more diverse, accessible and specialized, there is a growing demand for health professionals with a specific area of expertise. There is a proliferation of top class, quality wellness practitioners who make a name for themselves by offering their services around the globe, including athletes, chefs, doctors, physical trainers and weight loss specialists. 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.