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Golden School Awards: Advocacy Winner

Golden School Awards: Advocacy Winner

AACS is proud to announce the winner of the Advocacy Golden School Award, The Studio Academy of Beauty, Phoenix.

It is important for The Studio Academy of Beauty to be involved and advocate in Arizona so as to protect students so they can have a choice when deciding to go to beauty school. They want to lead the narrative about education and career choices. They believe their job is to educate the legislators and community as a whole that beauty careers is a decision of choice and not of default.

Cathy Koluch and other team members have testified several times in defense of our beauty education. The Studio Academy of Beauty has led the beauty schools in Arizona in fighting deregulation of blow dry styling and creating a positive regulatory and legislative environment in Arizona that is friendly to beauty schools. Students were involved in writing letters, showing up at the Capitol to protest, and testify. The first year they group won (2018) and the second year lost (2019).

In 2020, Cathy Koluch led a team of schools to craft a comprehensive reformation bill that was ultimately sidelined for COVID. This bill was resubmitted in 2021 to merge the barber board and cosmetology board, allowing beauty schools to offer barbering and massage with no restrictions, pre-graduate testing, and other components. It also lowered the hours in cosmetology from 1600 hours to 1500 hours and barber from 1500 hours to 1200 hours, in a compromise. This was in effort to be on the offense and not on defense. The bill passed with a bipartisan, unanimous win.

A few highlights from The Studio Academy of Beauty advocacy efforts include:

  • Cathy Koluch held a fundraiser for former Senator Martha McSally (R) to try and champion beauty schools in Arizona.
  • The Studio Academy of Beauty created a virtual tour video to train other schools on how to have a successful virtual tour with legislators.
  • The Studio Academy of Beauty contributed over 30 graduate videos to AACS for the graduate testimonial bank to use for Congress. Each of these videos were sent to Senator Sinema, Senator Kelly, Congressman Stanton, and Congressman Gallegos.
  • The Studio Academy of Beauty, Phoenix campus hosted Congressman Greg Stanton’s (D) Chief of Staff at an in person meeting to tour and visit with students who use financial aid Veteran’s Benefits. He stayed for 2 hours and was very impressed.
  • Cathy Koluch has become the East Valley Arizona Ambassador to help evaluate those who want to run for Congress. She has the ability to sit down and go over issues facing beauty schools so they are prepared to discuss higher education and for profit school specifically beauty schools.
  • Cathy Koluch and staff members of The Studio Academy of Beauty hosted Protect America Now, a group of seven Sheriffs across the country to discuss issues =the beauty and wellness education industry faces. In attendance was also Major General of the AZ National Guard, Mick McGuire running for the Senate 2022, House Rep. Walt Blackman running for Congress 2022,  and former Ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau.
  • Cathy Koluch hosted a fundraiser for Andy Gould, running for Attorney General, to keep a strong and positive relationship between the AG’s office and beauty schools intact. We want the AG’s office to see beauty schools as a benefit to our growing community.
  • Cathy Koluch also was able to meet and talk with former Senator Barry Goldwater Jr and former Senator Jon Kyle to discuss deregulation and beauty schools.

The Studio Academy of Beauty has made great progress in the state of Arizona in elevating the industry in the eyes of State and Federal Senators and House Representatives.

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State Update – June 4

The first week of the June finds only 14 state legislatures actively meeting. Recent and upcoming legislative adjournments include Louisiana on June 3 and New York on June 6. 

Another four states – Arizona, Delaware, New Hampshire and Rhode Island – will be adjourning their respective 2024 legislative sessions at the end of the month.

Learn More >