Jocelyn Ahern Admissions Coordinator
Jocelyn comes to Cinta Aveda Institute by way of the world of higher education. She holds a Bachelors in Theatre Arts and History and a Masters in Literature and is a certified ESL instructor. Drawn to the creative intensity of the beauty industry because of its fast pace, exponential creativity, and attention to detail, Jocelyn relishes in being a part of the Admissions team; she enjoys being a part of the first impressions our students make upon entering into their chosen fields. Being a part of such an amazing entity, she loves the idea of marrying her passions for education and creativity. She is also a senior company member in one of San Francisco’s thriving non-profit theatre companies, an avid cook, and connoisseur of all things San Francisco.
Inessa Artemyeva Finance Coordinator
Inessa was born and raised in Khabarovsk, Russia. Through the foreign exchange program, Inessa received a Bachelor’s degree from Far Eastern State Transportation University (Russia) in Management and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage in Marketing. As of 2013, Inessa is a proud American citizen. She proclaims that moment as “the highlight of [her] year.” As the Finance Coordinator for the Cinta Aveda Institute and Cinta Salon, Inessa oversees financial operations and provides support to the Director of Finance. Inessa tries to visit her parents, whom she misses dearly, in Russia every year. In her free time, she indulges in tennis, bowling, camping, swimming, and rollercoasters.
Jessica Baker Cosmetology Educator
Jessica began her education in the beauty industry at sixteen. By seventeen, while still completing her high school education, she was received her diploma and cosmetology license. She immediately entered the professional world and found a well established salon. In her five years of experience at the same salon, she went from studying as an apprentice, up to Junior and then Senior Stylist, and is now Lead of Education. Her relationship with Aveda began when she simply walked past the Institute one day, and decided to enroll in their Master Barber course. There, she not only refined her current technique, but was also incredibly moved by the amount of support and professionalism she noticed from everyone on their team. In her spare time, Jessica loves taking in sights and experiences in nature and travel. Some day she hopes to donate more of her time to environmental and societal causes.
Farzana Barakzai Financial Aid Coordinator
Farzana is a Bay Area native who started her career in the banking industry where she gained experience in finance, and was promoted into management of service. When given the opportunity to facilitate finance in the higher education industry, she was thrilled to be able to assist students in achieving their dreams and goals. Not only does Farzana have in depth knowledge of financial aid, she also continues to educate herself in her field. Farzana speaks five languages and, when she is not at work, she spends time with her very large family.
Kristine Barnes Cosmetology Educator
Energetic, passionate, and extremely knowledgeable, Kristine brings over twenty-five years of experience within the beauty and wellness industry to share with Cinta Aveda’s students. Thirteen of those years were spent working with one of the leading hair color manufacturers. Kristine started as a regional performing artist, and was later promoted to corporate trainer. She continued to grow as a leader within the company, earning the position of regional education manager. Kristine joined the Aveda family three years ago, as the director of the Aveda Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. She was drawn to Aveda by its holistic approach to beauty and wellness thru Ayurveda traditions, together with the global sustainability commitments the company has made. A California native, last year Kristine moved back home to join Cinta Aveda Institute’s inspiring group of educators.
Michaelia Baskerville Admissions Team Lead
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Michaelia made the decision to venture out of the East Bay to pursue her education at Dominican University of California before making her way to San Francisco. During her time at Dominican, not only did Michaelia obtain her Bachelors in business marketing and an MBA in global management, but she was also the captain of Dominican’s NCAA II woman’s basketball team. While athletics has played a major role in her daily life, Michaelia has always been drawn to the creativity of the beauty and fashion industry. In order to fill that desire, Michaelia returned to the classroom and began working on her professional designation with the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.
After managing her professional life, athletics, and furthering her education, Michaelia has joined the Cinta Aveda admission’s team to assist future industry leaders one-on-one on their own personal journeys of higher education, creativity, and wellness.
Cassie Belcher Cosmetology Educator
Following a successful eight year career in retail management and training, Cassie set her sights on turning a lifelong passion for hairdressing into a lasting career in the beauty industry. Cassie deeply resonates with the Aveda mission of environmental responsibility and intentionally chose to complete her education in cosmetology at the Aveda Institute Chapel Hill. Upon graduation, Cassie found her professional home at Rock Paper Scissors Salon & Gallery—a community-focused, sustainable salon in Durham, North Carolina. Chance brought Cassie to the West Coast, and it has provided the perfect opportunity to shift her career into education. She is so excited to share her passion for Aveda with her students, and feels that with the strong foundation they’re receiving at Cinta Aveda Insitute, her students will reach all of their goals in the beauty industry. Outside of teaching, Cassie enjoys sunshine, good wine, and adventuring with her hubs and pups.
Lauren Carter Cosmetology Educator
Lauren was raised in California as part of a big family. At 17, she jumped into cosmetology school, building a skill set that allowed her to travel all over California, learn different high paced markets, and work for some beauty industry leaders. That experience sparked her passion for the education side of the beauty world. Lauren joins the Cinta Aveda team with eight years of experience in the industry, and four years of experience in education and finance. Lauren loves that Aveda is a sustainable company, with a passion for wellness, and an empowering focus on each and every professional and client. She’s excited to help get future industry professionals started on their amazing journey.
Desiree Fought Assistant Front Desk Lead
Desiree is a California native who began her career with Aveda at twenty. Starting in the experience center, she immersed herself in the Aveda world, focusing on product knowledge and makeup artistry. From there, she managed two Aveda lifestyle salons and extended her passion for humanity by moving to Japan and managing a salon on a Navy base while also teaching English abroad. With a love for detail, problem solving, and jumping right in to the more difficult aspects of life, she enjoys being able to bring purpose and value to her team. Desiree loves connecting with students and fellow faculty through the beauty industry, understanding how important it is to make each and every person who walks through the doors at Cinta Aveda feel welcome, relaxed, and beautiful. In her spare time, Desiree loves to travel, enjoy the outdoors, and dedicates herself to her art.
Cinta Gibbons President
With over 20 years in the beauty industry in Europe and the US, and having run a successful San Francisco salon for over 15 years, Cinta Gibbons is the ideal partner to own and operate the Cinta Aveda Institute, San Francisco.
Cinta Salon opened in 1991, and from the beginning attracted the best and brightest in the beauty industry; salon professionals passionate about beauty and dedicated to delivering current and cutting-edge styles. In April of 1995, her salon was invited to join the prestigious Intercoiffure Modaile, an international association that promotes excellence in the beauty industry.
Cinta is committed to continually mentoring and nurturing new talent, and is a renowned leader in promoting the highest level of excellence in the profession. Cinta is excited to connect her team of salon professionals to people interested in starting a career in the beauty industry.
Elizabeth Groat Assistant Director
Elizabeth is a Bay Area Native who grew up enjoying the beauty and fashion industry. As a Presidential Scholar, she received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminal Justice and Sociology at San Francisco State University. Being continually drawn to beauty and style, Elizabeth began her career at Cinta Salon as a Salon Coordinator. She then took her talents to manage a high-end Italian boutique located within Union Square. After successfully expanding the boutique she returned to Cinta to ensure that that the Cinta Aveda Institute operations run seamlessly.
Elicia Leivia Cosmetology Educator
Elicia began her career in the beauty industry in 2002 and has come full circle—she was born in the Bay Area, yet lived most of her life in Washington State. At a young age, she began working for a high-end company specializing in men’s hair, helping to build it from the ground up. During that time, she grew to become the regional manager for Seattle and later becoming the company educator. In 2009, she was also educating for her company’s partner—a premier company in the beauty industry. After eight years, she decided to spread her wings and become her own boss; she grew to become one of the best of her craft in her state. She not only has passion for educating beauty professionals with technical skills, but has a lot of business management knowledge as well. It is truly a pleasure for her to help people in the beauty industry grow technically and build their business. She left her successful business in Washington behind, and relocated to San Francisco to follow her husband’s passion for new, up and coming virtual reality technology and film-making. With her own passion for all things beauty, nature, and the outdoors they couldn’t be more grateful to be on this amazing journey.
Chelsea Long Cosmetology Educator
Chelsea was born, raised, and educated in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2006, she started working at an Aveda salon, where she completed an assisting program and continued working there for the next several years. Grateful to have had amazing educators and mentors, Chelsea began educating in 2010, when the Aveda Institute in Utah opened. She continued her work at both the salon and the Institute up until she moved to San Francisco. Teaching comes naturally to Chelsea and she considers it one of her biggest passions. She enjoys the empowerment the students attain as they continue to hone their skills. She is thrilled to continue to guide students through their journey at Cinta Aveda!
Patrick McAleer Cosmetology Educator
Patrick grew up in the Chicago land area in a large Irish family of ten children. During a high school internship, Patrick found himself working at one of the Chicagolands premiere salons as a shampoo assistant. This experience was the beginning of a life’s passion and started Patrick on a journey of many different experiences. Working on Chicago’s famed Oak Street and NYC’s world renowned Fifth Avenue gave Patrick the confidence and knowledge to give back to the next generation of hairdressers. First with a dedication to the service industry and his clients, and now to education, Patrick has come full circle. He’s proud to educate students attending Cinta Aveda Institute.
Albert Mejia Cosmetology Educator
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Albert had a lucrative career in the financial industry for many years. But he decided he to change his professional life and—drawn to the style and fashion industry by his wife—he followed his passion, took a leap, and joined the beuaty industry by enrolling at the Cinta Aveda Institute in San Francisco. He became a licensed Barber and Cosmetologist and feels it’s one of his best accomplishments. He particularly liked the high quality of the education he received, due to the amount of hands-on learning, advanced techniques, an amazing faculty, and special projects such as photo shoots and fashion shows in San Francisco. Albert is now more passionate for the industry and dedicated to teach cutting-edge styles and color.
Mariela Onisko Institute Director
Mariela was born in Peru and grew up just outside of San Francisco in Lafayette, California. Mariela has worked with Cinta Gibbons for the last ten years, and as the Director of Cinta Salon for the last five years. With humble beginnings as a Salon Coordinator, Mariela continued to grow with Cinta Salon as Front Desk Manager, to Director of Sales and Customer Service, and then to Salon Director before becoming the Director at Cinta Aveda Institute. Cinta Salon was named San Francisco’s Best of the Rest Salon by 7×7 Magazine in 2012, under Mariela’s direction. With a well-rounded, multi-faceted understanding of a market-leader salon and what it takes to succeed in the industry, Mariela aspires to empower future graduates by sharing her wealth of insider knowledge to be the best. Mariela’s vision is to provide Cinta Aveda students with the best education possible, establishing a solid foundation through incorporating both technical and business skills, so they can maximize their success as they progress throughout their careers.
Mariela has lived in California for the majority of her life, between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Constantly inspired by the beauty and fashion industry, Mariela previously styled wardrobe on music videos and photo shoots. Realizing she loved being with people and leading teams, Mariela worked at a few different salons before finding Cinta Salon. As a little girl, Mariela was often caught putting on her grandmother’s lipstick and trying on heels. Today, she is excited to be sharing her passion for the beauty industry with Cinta Aveda students and helping them achieve their own dreams.
Shawn Peltier Esthetics Educator
Shawn is a licensed cosmetologist with over 15 years of experience in beauty. Before becoming a resident Cinta Aveda Educator, he worked all over the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia as a global director of makeup artistry. He has conducted numerous seminars, coached and developed sales artistry teams, and led press-related opportunities around the world. His industry accomplishments include years of executing backstage beauty at New York Fashion Week, along with celebrity press junkets and photo shoots, and creating images for international fashion magazines. He also has an extensive background in cosmetic/skincare brand education. Prior to his residency in the department of esthetics, he shared his professional artistry expertise as a frequent guest presenter at Cinta Aveda Institute. Simply put, Shawn has a passion for teaching.
Alicia Ramirez Esthiology Edcuator
Alicia’s passion for the beauty and wellness industry began in 2006 when she started her career with Aveda as an Aveda Freelance Advisor. During this time, Alicia traveled to various Aveda salons across the Bay Area performing makeup applications, working in fashion shows, and charity events. When the Cinta Aveda Institute opened its doors in 2008, Alicia jumped on the opportunity to expand her career in the beauty industry by enrolling in the Esthiology program. As an Aveda Institute graduate, Alicia introduced and developed esthetic services at a Menlo Park salon. After watching the esthetic services grow and flourish in the salon, her desire to continue her education led her to Southern California where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in communication studies from California State University, Long Beach. While pursuing higher education, Alicia continued her career as an esthetician with Benefit Cosmetics where she transformed her location into one of the top ten brow bars in the country. Alicia is happy to be back in San Francisco and finds joy in sharing her knowledge and passion for the beauty industry with students. When she is not teaching and inspiring future beauty professionals, Alicia enjoys spending her time hiking, watching Sharks hockey, and shaping eyebrows.
Christianna Recinto Esthiology Educator
Christianna is a Southern California native with over thirteen years of experience in Salon and Spa. She was exposed to the industry by way of modeling hair and makeup for stylists in the Los Angeles area. Her passion was always drawn to the holistic and healing aspect of Spa. In 2004, she graduated from Bryman College with a certification in massage therapy and Reiki energy healing. She eventually opened her own massage establishment working alongside an herbalist, an acupuncturist, and a chiropractor at an office in Long Beach, California. After eight years of being a massage therapist, Christianna decided to continue her education at the Bellus Academy of Beauty and Spa in San Diego. There she became a licensed Esthetician and certified Make-Up Designory (MUD) makeup artist. After moving to the Bay Area and working at an Aveda concept salon, she fell in love with the philosophy and standards of Aveda. Christianna’s dedication helped her move up quickly, becoming the lead in both her massage and esthetics departments. Realizing a new found passion for training in product knowledge and technique, she is now an Esthetics Educator at Cinta Aveda in San Fransisco. In her free time, Christianna enjoys creating mixed media art and traveling.
Kimberly Riley Esthetics Educator
Kim joins Cinta Aveda Institute with over 15 years of cosmetic experience. A Bay area native, Kim first entered the beauty industry as a licensed Cosmetologist. Inspired by her mother’s struggles as an adolescent with acned skin, and the ridicule that followed, Kim developed a passion for helping men and women with their own skin care issues. As a lover of all things related to the beauty industry, Kim has already had an impressive career: she has been Benefit’s Lead Esthetician for the San Jose area and has also carefully crafted a specialty for Speed Waxing Services. Kim was drawn to the world of education because she loves learning, sharing the knowledge her experience has provided her, and helping shape the next generation of beauty professionals.
Violette Roe Cosmetology Educator
Violette has been in the business of beauty for over ten years. She comes from a family of cosmetologists and was inspired by them to attend cosmetology school in San Diego. Her career began in an apprenticeship program at an upscale salon in Union Square. Eventually, she became a full time stylist behind the chair and has loved every step of the journey. Violette’s goal is to be a positive influence by mentoring students who are building their skill set and joining the beauty industry. She is excited to join this team, and share her experience and knowledge with the students at the Cinta Aveda Institute.
Karen Stankovich Esthetics Team Lead
Karen arrived in the Bay Area by way of the Midwest. Although born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah; Karen is a Minnesota girl at heart. In 2005, Karen attended the Aveda Institute Minneapolis where she dreamed of one day becoming an educator of Esthiology. After earning her Esthiology certification and receiving her Minnesota Esthetics license, Karen worked at a premiere Minneapolis salon for seven successful years, even receiving local publication recognition for her Brazilian waxing skills. Now a Esthetics Educator at the Cinta Aveda Institute, Karen is thrilled to share her passion for the beauty industry, education, aromaology, whole-being well-being, Aveda and all things esthetics.
Outside of the beauty industry, Karen’s areas of interest include travel, music, social work, Ayurvedic studies and practices, her beloved friends, family, fiancé, and cats.
Christy Swenson International CIDESCO and Esthetics Educator
Christy grew up in Alaska. She began her career in Massage Therapy in 1998 working with a chiropractor for the American Olympic Running Team. She then moved into a more holistic environment, working at Aveda Spas throughout Oregon. Her passion for massage turned into a career in Health and Wellness. Christy was later hired to help open a Tony Robins spa in the Fiji Islands and to help train Fijians. She also worked in Costa Rica training staff at her friend’s spa. After years in the industry, she became an Esthetician through the Cinta Aveda Institute Esthiology program, and a Yoga Instructor. She then moved to Panama to teach yoga and became a part of the Wellness community there. Christy is passionate and excited about the Health and Wellness Industry and loves teaching anatomy, physiology, massage, and esthetics, using her experience as a valued way to pass on enthusiasm with this line of work. Christy is the second Cinta Aveda alumnus to be joining our staff.
Juan Vargas Financial Aid Coordinator
Juan is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area. He currently resides in Antioch with his wife and their three beautiful daughters with one on her way. Juan has worked various jobs in his life, all in the customer service area. He started at 17 by joining the United States Marine Corps, where he served as a payroll clerk. Since then, he has worked in banking, at both the branch and corporate level. In November of 2011, he took a position as a Financial Aid Officer. He did well and was promoted a couple times, landing back where he started in a lead role. He comes to us with almost four years experience. Juan says he enjoys his role as a Financial Aid Coordinator for a variety of different reasons, but primarily because he has the opportunity to help prospective students find the way to invest in their career goals.
Jenna Warner Cosmetology Educator
Jenna is a graduate of the Aveda Institute Chicago. She has worked with Aveda greats such as Jerry Gordon and Kurt Kueffner. Jenna draws from multiple years of experience with Aveda techniques and culture in both the Chicago markets and Ohio. Her extensive continuing education includes many of the industry leaders such as the Toronto Vidal Sassoon Academy and up-do legend Patrick Cameron. She enjoys sharing her experiences and helping students grow in their art.
Kelly Zingler Financial Aid Coordinator
Kelly is a Bay Area native with over 10 years of experience in the beauty industry. Coming from a large family full of beauty enthusiasts, Kelly developed a passion for the industry early on and began her career in skincare and cosmetics. Kelly began working for a busy high end salon just a short walk from Cinta Aveda Institute where she gained relevant industry experience. There she was exposed to the operations of the business and worked directly with high profile employees and clientele. After assisting the owner with the branding and opening of a new location, Kelly moved on to recruitment to develop her HR and coaching skills. She is proud to be a part of the Cinta Aveda Financial Aid Team and passionate about working with students who are looking to make their dreams come true within the industry. Kelly’s excitement in assisting future beauty professionals really shines with every student she encounters. Just married, in her free time, Kelly enjoys freelance makeup artistry, hiking with her family, and actively participating in local animal rescue.