Want to know who’s who at Acara? What makes them tick? What do they do for fun? Get to know the team of medical aesthetic business experts through the brief interviews below.
Featured this week…
Brenda Palumbo, VP Operations
What do you do at Acara?
I am actively involved throughout most phases of development, management and business boosting projects. Some of my primary responsibilities include:
New Practice Development: Market and competitive research, financial proforma development, architectural program development and space planning, business plan, equipment and supply specification, staff planning and recruitment, pre-opening organization
Existing Practices: market and competitive research, operational and financial analysis, action plan development, operational coaching and recruitment
Where did you get your education?
I have a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration.
What’s you favorite part of your job?
There are a number of favorite parts of my job. I think the most satisfying part of the job is seeing “the plan” [whether it be for a new development or an existing operation] come together and sharing in the client’s excitement as their goals are achieved.
Analyzing the operations and financials of an existing operation to determine the most important levers to push to effect change is an enjoyable challenge.
Helping to shape a client’s verbal vision and dream into a defined concept and business plan and ultimately into a tangible, functioning facility is also a very satisfying experience.
And lastly the opportunity to work with all of our clients, a wide range of professionals from all over the world.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
When I was the private cook for a family in Gloucester, MA, on a day that I must have looked particularly sad, the woman that I worked for walked me to the door at the end of my day, grabbed my hand, and told me to try to think happy thoughts – always. Although the fifty dollar bill she slipped into my hand when she grabbed it (a pleasant surprise), has long been spent, I have never forgotten the kindness of her gesture and her very simple, yet poignant words.
What are your hobbies or what do you do for fun?
I am an all around active person. Currently running, yoga and weight lifting are the top three fitness activities, along with a lot of walking for Jake’s (my dog) benefit.
My most time consuming hobby at the moment is working to upgrade my home. I am also somewhat passively attempting to learn the banjo and am trying to refresh my piano playing skills.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I am a NY State licensed massage therapist and a certified yoga instructor. I’m also an avid fan of the TV Show “So You Think You Can Dance” and each season can’t help but getting sucked into watching the Bachelor and the Bachelorette.
What photos do you have on your desk?
Only one picture: A black and white of my college roommate and I standing by the statue of Ezra Cornell on the Cornell University campus.
Objects on my desk include: A small basket of stones I have picked up from favorite places; a ceramic given to me by an employee “laugh out loud and laugh often”; juggling beanbags
What’s your favorite book?
The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
And anything written by Steinbeck – I’ve read everything he has written
What’s your favorite quote?
There were 75 people in the lobby and only a 7 year old girl was finding out what it felt like to sit on a marble floor – Hugh Prather
How do you start each day?
I check Acara email while drinking my first cup of coffee. Then I take Jake (my dog) out for a walk.
Brenda’s Official Bio for Acara
Brenda Palumbo, VP Operations
Areas of Expertise: Operations and Financial Analysis
Ms. Palumbo joined Acara Partners as Vice President of Operations with a wealth of first hand experience and formal education in the spa industry. She currently oversees all new medical spa development, including: market assessment, feasibility, and pre-opening implementation.
Since graduating from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration in 1991, Brenda has worked exclusively in the spa segment of the hospitality industry. Brenda’s experience includes single- and multi-unit management experience covering destination, hotel/resort and day spas. She has also worked as an industry consultant specializing in spa development and pre-opening services.
As a Regional Director of Spa Operations for Stonewater Spas, Brenda oversaw the operations of ten day spas in seven states. Playing an active role in this startup company, Brenda assisted in the development of company wide operating procedures, marketing and sales initiatives, budgets, and brand standards.
Brenda also served as Spa Director at the Hilton Short Hills and the Hyatt Regency Newport. As a consultant, Brenda has been involved in numerous spa openings and development projects with a variety of spa owners and developers (Intrawest, Health Fitness Dynamics, Marriott Hartford, Cortiva Education). She began her career at New Age Health Spa, at a small destination spa in Neversink, NY where she served as General Manager.