Michael Tompkins may have kicked off his tenure as the new Chair of the International Spa Association Board (ISPA) at the annual conference in October with an irreverent interpretation of Lady Gaga, but the CEO of Miraval’s relationship with ISPA and the road to his chairmanship has been anything but a bad romance.
Tompkins, a trained nurse who moved to the spa industry to focus on prevention and wellness, knew after attending his first ISPA conference that to influence the industry he needed to play a role in ISPA. During a recent interview with Fitglobetrotter, Tompkins talks about the spa industry, ISPA and his goals for his chairmanship.
Fitglobetrotter: How did you get started with ISPA?
Michael: During my first conference I sought out people on the board and asked them what the path was to become a board member. They told me to volunteer for a task force, so for two years I worked on the Snapshot Survey Task Force. I then applied for the board, but wasn’t accepted. So then I joined the Speaker Task Force and Silent Auction task force. After that I reapplied for the board and made it.
Fitglobetrotter: Why did you want to be on the board?
Michael: ISPA is the worldwide voice of the spa industry. I was very impressed with the committed volunteers; it motivated me. When I was a nurse it was hard to motivate nurses to do things as a group. I saw this and wanted to be a part of it. I know how important it is to share the ISPA message with the world.
Fitglobetrotter: What are your goals for your tenure as chair of the board?
Michael: I’m humbled by the confidence my colleagues have put in me. ISPA is about educating members and consumers. My vision is to grow our membership and continue to have ISPA provide the highest standard of resources in the spa industry to our members. I also want to continue to educate the consumer and push the message that the spa is not a luxury, but a necessity.
Fitglobetrotter: What makes the annual conference for ISPA so special?
Michael: ISPA is the touchstone in the industry. It is the place to meet and associate with peers. I hope everyone coming to conference leaves invigorated and enthusiastic about conveying the message of spa.