Pivot Point Announces 2014 L.E.O. Awards Winners

Pivot Point International, Inc. recently honored two hairdressers with vast international experience and a longtime connection to Pivot Point with the brand's coveted L.E.O. Award during “Beauty Changes Lives” at America's Beauty Show, March 24, 2014. The L.E.O. Awards represent Leadership in the professional beauty industry, Excellence in education, and Outstanding Pivot Point Connection. The name also honors Leo Passage, the founder of Pivot Point.

“While Pivot Point always looks to the future of our industry,” said Pivot Point Chairman and CEO, Robert Passage, who presented the awards, “we also acknowledge our past through the creativity and showmanship of two of our closest collaborators, who both embody Pivot Point's highest ideals.

“My father's vision when he founded Pivot Point more than 50 years ago,” noted Passage, “was to inspire and train professionals to reach their maximum potential. That vision remains our reality today. We still recognize the powerful role that mentors play in the pursuit of every individual's professional journey.”

The 2014 L.E.O. Awards Recipients:

Sal Fodera, President of Organisation Mondiale Coiffure (OMC)

A native of Italy, Fodera began as a hairdresser at age 12. He began competing in local and national, then international hairdressing competitions, and eventually moved to the United States. Today, he owns a prestigious salon in the 5-Star St. Regis Hotel in midtown Manhattan, catering to successful business people from around the world. Fodera and his son Gianni have both won Gold Medals in HairWorld competitions. His son Victor is a hairdresser and educator, and his wife Mary keeps the Fodera family together. Fodera will be presiding over OMC HairWorld 2014 in Frankfort, Germany this May.

Fodera comments, “I met Leo Passage on the competition circuit back in the 1970s and he became a mentor who always encouraged me to go higher and higher on the international hairdressing scene. I have been World President of OMC since 2004, realizing my dream. Leo and I worked together on competitions and created a mannequin for international hairdressing competitions. He encouraged OMC to add a Junior Competitor track, and after his passing, I instituted the international OMC Leo Passage Inspirational Trophy for the Junior Technical Category in his honor. He was my friend, and we both shared a love and passion for the importance of persistence in pursuing your dreams.”

Elsa Haraldsdóttir, Leader and Spokesperson for Icelandic and International Hairdressing

Born in Iceland, Haraldsdóttir won various national and international competitions early in her career, including the Icelandic Championship. She judged Nordic, European and World Championships, and has been a member of Haute Coiffure Francaise since 1976. She founded Intercoiffure in Iceland, served as president of the Icelandic section for 12 years, and on the Central Committee of Intercoiffure Mondial.

Haraldsdóttir owns Salon VEH and a distributorship in Reykjavík, Iceland, representing several hair-related companies including Pivot Point and Redken. In 2012, Pivot Point translated Salon Fundamentals into Icelandic. It is now taught in all Icelandic beauty schools. Through the years Haraldsdóttir performed at shows around the world and her hairdressing work was seen in several issues of Pivot Point’s Design Forum (now Pivot Point Trend Collection). Outside of the hairdressing industry, she serves as the first woman president of the Reykjavik Trade Association.

Haraldsdóttir comments, “I still consider Leo Passage one of my dearest friends in the profession. I was just a student when I met him on his first trip to Iceland. He quickly encouraged me to compete, as he did so many others. Leo and I shared the same vision about how to move hair, and how to teach and inspire it in others. Our friendship always intertwined with our business successes. I treasure my relationship with Pivot Point over the years, which always has been like being part of a wonderful, close-knit family… that spans the globe."

Concluded Robert Passage, “All our L.E.O. Awardees — past and present — are exceptional people who have mentored so many other successful professionals and provide great inspirational examples. We thank them for their passion for our industry and their commitment to creating an even better future for those who follow."

[Images courtesy of Vi Nelson & Associates]

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