Global Wellness Summit Concludes with Wellness Awards Ceremony and Crowning of Inaugural ‘Shark Tank of Wellness’ Winner
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS), an annual gathering of international leaders to positively shape the future of the $3.7 trillion global wellness economy, concluded its historic 10th anniversary conference last week by celebrating the recipients of its 3rd Annual Global Wellness Awards and the winners of its first-ever Shark Tank of Wellness Student Competition. This year’s sold out Summit in Kitzbühel, Austria was attended by more than 500 invitation-only delegates hailing from 45 countries, and featured a gala event at the famous Swarovski Crystal Worlds with a personal welcome from Nadja Swarovski.
On the final day of the Summit, the 2016 Global Wellness Award recipients, determined by the GWS board, were announced as follows:
Leader in Workplace Wellness
Dr. Fikry Isaac, former VP of global health services for Johnson & Johnson, a pioneer in the field of workplace health promotion and global health.
Leading Woman in Wellness
Belgin Aksoy, founder of Global Wellness Day, a movement that has reached over 90 countries.
Leader in Sustainability
Balthasar Hauser, owner of Biohotel Stanglwirt, was honored for his pioneering, sustainable Tyrolean spa resort.
Leader in Innovation
Richard Schmitz, CEO of H/S/M Hotel and Spa Management, for his forward-thinking addition of the phrase “& Spa” to the name of the iconic “Brenners Park Hotel & Spa” in 1983.
Debra Simon Award for Leader in Furthering Mental Wellness
Jeremy McCarthy, Group Director of Spa & Wellness for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, and author of The Psychology of Spas & Wellbeing, received this first-ever honor for his work in bringing the power of positive psychology to the spa industry.
The new Debra Simon Award was introduced by her daughter, Lauren Wright, in an emotional video that paid tribute to her mother’s legacy and honors a global leader achieving excellence in the field of mental health and wellness.
Other award sponsors included Booker, a cloud booking system, headquartered in New York, that transforms the way local services are managed by businesses and discovered by consumers; Enaya Care, a pioneer in day spas and wellness centers in Saudi Arabia; The Ghareini Group, a leading European manufacturer of high end spa and beauty beds; and Rancho La Puerta, one of the best destination spas in the world for over 75 years, located in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico.
Shark Tank of Wellness
The first-ever Shark Tank of Wellness Student Competition took to the stage with the following judges/sponsoring companies:
- Simon Casson, President, Hotel Operations, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, UAE
- Tracey Chappell, Senior Vice President, Global Spa Solutions, ESPA International, UK
- Jane Iredale, President & CEO, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, U.S.
- Sheila McCann, General Manager, Chiva-Som International Health Resort, Thailand
- Frank Pitsikalis, Founder & CEO, ResortSuite, Canada
- Frank Strobel, Director, International Sales, Klafs GmbH & Co. KG, Germany
The panel interrogated three students in the live final event and the top prize of $5,000 was awarded to Shahrin Ali Raivi from North South University, Bangladesh, for her concept to make sustainable sanitary napkins accessible to the 80% of women throughout Bangladesh who currently rely on unsanitary and ineffective options like sand, leaves, mud and unsterilized rags by making use of materials left over from the country’s cotton industry. Raivi’s “Mukto Sanitary Napkin” concept promises to reduce the health and social problems associated with this issue. The two runner-ups received $2,500 each and were Regina Tarany with “TreatAdvisor” and Svejetlana Radakovic’s “Spa Watch,” both from the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, Austria.
The Global Wellness Summit is considered the world’s most prestigious gathering of leaders from every sector of the wellness industry: tourism, spa, education, beauty, fitness, nutrition, finance, environment, medicine, architecture, workplace wellness, wellness communities and technology.