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20 to Know

By: Brian Budzynski and Jeff Falk
Posted: January 5, 2010, from the January 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 6 of 7

In addition to wider industry involvement, Bleimann serves as the treasurer for the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades; on the board of The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, a conductor less chamber orchestras whose leadership management style has served as a business model for organizations such as Morgan Stanley; and has been elected to the Muhlenberg College Board of Observers, which serves as an independent evaluator of the school’s performance. Bleimann is also a published author on the subject of essential oils.

Jill Belasco, Founder, President and CEO, Maesa Home, a division of the Maesa Creative Beauty Group

A proven brand-builder with the business acumen to make a positive impact along the entire supply chain and onto the shelf, Jill Belasco has held national management positions for some of the world’s leading fragrance companies and retail chains—including Halston–Orlane, Charles of the Ritz, May Department Stores and Colonia-Muehlens 4711— directing product introductions and marketing campaigns throughout the U.S.

and Europe. In 1994, she left her position as vice president of sales for Crystal Brands Jewelry to form Latitudes International, a designer and manufacturer of fragrance products. Here, she developed and maintained strong relationships with buyers for large retail chains and brand manufacturers—including Pier 1, Bath & Body Works, Pottery Barn, The Body Shop, Estée Lauder, Williams Sonoma, Old Navy, Crabtree & Evelyn, Trish McEvoy, Starwood Hotels and Frederick’s of Hollywood. In December of 2007, the Maesa Group, a publicly traded company based in Paris, acquired Latitudes.

She has earned notice as Outstanding Business Woman of the Year for Retailers in Los Angeles and Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2005 Woman of the Year award, and as a finalist for the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Women Who Make a Difference” award. In 2007, Beauty Industry West honored her as “Entrepreneur of the Year,” and, under her leadership, Maesa Home has been awarded the FiFi award for excellence multiple times. Additionally, Belasco founded a business consulting firm specializing in women’s apparel, and is a partner in Rochester, Roanoke and Associates, a real estate firm in Los Angeles. She is an active member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and sits on the boards of Cosmetic Executive Women, The Fragrance Foundation and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. She is currently board chair of Youth Mentoring Connection, a nonprofit organization aiding at-risk teens in the Los Angeles area, and is involved in a variety of environmental and political organizations.

Prakash Purohit, President and Founder, Naturich Labs Pvt. Ltd.

As the founder of Naturich Labs Pvt. Ltd., Prakash Purohit brings more than 27 years of experience to the creation of organic and naturally derived personal care products and fragrances. At Aveda, he spent more than 17 years as senior vice president of R&D, where he worked on the creation of more than 400 products.

Leveraging experience in quality control, microbiology, safety testing and claims substantiations—as well as expertise in aromatherapy, ayurvedic principles and organics—the graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program has worked to build a company that focuses on naturally derived ingredients that offer premium functionality.

Among his accomplishments, Purohit holds three patents, including one for a preservative made from essential oils; spearheaded the creation of an organic standard guideline for personal care products; and was among the pioneers in natural formulas for the salon and masstige markets.

R&D Group, YG Laboratories

YG Laboratories has been researching cell-targeted technologies for several years, and recently began producing some of these technologies for beauty brands. The company’s R&D group began its research with a simple concept in mind: Since skin cells are the microfactories of the skin, new technologies will focus on the biochemistry underlying the health, activity and productivity of these cells along with the quality of the tissue they produce. While many companies focus on the skin itself, they are working downstream of damaged cells, not upstream in the cell itself where skin tissue originates. YG Labs is working to develop holistic approaches that target organelles and cellular biochemistry—including broad-spectrum repair of nuclear DNA and mitochondrial DNA, as well as protection from damage. In addition, it identified all seven sirtuins in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, an area that has not yet been addressed to any great degree in commercial skin care. Sirtuins are enzymes found in virtually all organisms, allowing cells to survive damage and delay cell death.

Further, YG Labs’ scientists are considering the effect of epigenetic expression on skin cells, changes in gene expression not triggered by underlying DNA sequences. Recent research indicates changes in gene expression can occur via lifestyle choices such as exposure to tobacco smoke, alcohol consumption, stress or relaxation responses. These changes can occur within minutes and, depending on how the epigenome is cycled within the cell, can be passed from one generation to the next. Among other issues, the epigenome may explain a proclivity to good skin passed from one generation to another, so YG Labs is looking into epigenetic influences in skin development with the long-term goal of developing ingredient technologies to address these influences.

The R&D group is also researching gene array protocols as an extra layer of analysis and testing to compare genes in youthful skin, mature skin and skin treated with certain combinations of DNA-targeted ingredients. While explaining the results of these tests to consumers can be a challenge for a company’s marketing department, the company is developing explanations and terminology compliant with FDA and FTC regulations.

Artistry’s Marketing Team, Amway Global