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.
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.
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.
Desiree Fought Admissions Coordinator
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.
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!
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 Esthetics Educator
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.
Julz San Martino Student Services Coordinator
Julz grew up in California. At sixteen, she moved to Washington to pursue her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Jumpstarting her college education, she spent much of her time caring for her five siblings, playing sports, and dabbling in the arts. After graduation, she returned to California and experienced a variety of professional opportunities. Coaching a ten person team in personal development and goal achievement was particularly important to her. Her love of facilitating growth and self-discovery in others led her to her current position at the Cinta Aveda Institute where she acts as an advocate and coach for its students
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 CIDESCO 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 alum to be joining our staff.
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.