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Cinta Aveda Institute

305 Kearny Street [at Bush]
San Francisco, CA 94108
+1 (415) 989-4400 Work

Our Team

  • Jocelyn Ahern Admissions Coordinator

    Portrait of Jocelyn Ahern

    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

    Portrait of Inessa Artemyeva

    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

    Portrait of Jessica Baker

    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

    Portrait of Farzana Barakzai not currently available

    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

    Portrait of Kristine Barnes

    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

    Portrait of Michaelia Baskerville

    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.

  • Desiree Fought Assistant Front Desk Lead

    Portrait of Desiree Fought not available

    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

    Portrait of Cinta Gibbons

    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.

  • Chloe Goodrich Director of Finance

    Portrait of Chloe Goodrich

    A native of Dublin, Ireland, Chloe serves as Director of Finance of both the Cinta Aveda Institute and Cinta Salon. In her role she provides management, control and administration of all fiscal operations. Chloe has over 15 years of experience in Finance and Business Administration, prior to joining Cinta’s team; Chloe honed her skills with dynamic Bay Area start-ups where she gained financial experience over a myriad of industries. She is excited to work for a company whose mission is the encouraging the continuous quest for knowledge and growth of its students.

  • Elizabeth Groat Assistant Director

    Portrait of Elizabeth Groat

    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.

  • Justine Hernandez Admissions Coordinator

    Portrait of Justine Hernandez

    Justine is a polished professional with a wealth of knowledge of the admissions process. She brings with her over four years of experience in the higher education industry. Justine prides herself on her dedication to students while providing high quality service to enrollments. Justine has a warm and joyful demeanor in her approach to new students, making her a delight to work with. In her free time, Justine takes care of two little ones, and is an active member in her community for sports-related activities.

  • Elicia Leivia Cosmetology Educator

    Portrait of Elicia Leivia

    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

    Portrait of Chelsea Long

    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!

  • Alyssa Merrill Cosmetology Educator

    Portrait of Alyssa Merrill not available

    Alyssa is originally from a small mountain town in California so she inherently has a passion for nature and the beauty it encompasses. She graduated from cosmetology school in 2006 in Redding, California. She worked as a hairstylist, mentor, and salon manager while going on to further her education at California State University Chico, where she obtained a B.A. in Graphic Design. She realized that a lot of the principles of graphic design could be carried over into cosmetology, so she wanted to push her career further. The positive experience she had mentoring aspiring hairstylist lead her to pursue a career in education. In 2015, she moved to San Francisco, where she has always dreamed of living.

  • Mariela Onisko Institute Director

    Portrait of Mariela Onisko

    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

    Portrait of Shawn Peltier

    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

    Portrait of Alicia Ramirez

    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

    Portrait of Christianna Recinto not available

    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

    Portrait of Kimberly Riley

    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.

  • Maria Santiago Finance Coordinator

    Portrait of Maria Santiago

    Maria attended San Francisco State University and graduated with a degree in Liberal Studies. After graduating, she joined the hospitality team of Joie De Vivre, a well-known boutique hotel chain in San Francisco. Expanding her career, she moved on to work for a top fashion school, the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, becoming part of its financial services department. During her four years there, she worked closely with financial aid coordinators, the finance team, students, and parents. She then knew it was her duty to help others. Maria saw a great opportunity at Cinta Aveda as the company is growing; she is thrilled to work with ambitious, creative students to achieve their goals. Outside of work, Maria and her husband love taking their corgi “Bulleit” out for long walks, hikes, and to the annual NorCal Corgicon. Maria loves traveling, and shopping is her cardio.

  • Karen Stankovich Esthetics Team Lead

    Portrait of Karen Stankovich

    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

    Portrait of Christy Swenson

    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

    Portrait of Juan Vargas not available

    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.

  • Rosie Arellano Wong Cosmetology Educator

    Portrait of Rosie Arellano Wong

    Rosie Arellano Wong is a native of Yerrington, Nevada. After attending Carson City Beauty Academy, she cultivated a passion for the relationship between fashion and beauty. Her passion drove her into the world of hair styling. While working at an Aveda Concept salon in Nevada, she began to dream about finally relocating to San Francisco. After a busy six years in Nevada, it was time to make that dream a reality! As a new transplant to the Bay Area, Rosie spends a lot of her time taking the recommendations of her Bay Area native students’ and coworkers’ and play tourist throughout the City with her new husband. She also enriches the lives of our students and guests as she is fluent in both written and spoken Spanish.

  • Kelly Zingler Financial Aid Coordinator

    Portrait of Kelly Zingler

    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.

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