meet our amazing team of educators!

(Updated as of 8/30/2015)


Jessica Hoel Briarmoon   NW Distributor for Akzentz & Retreat Co-Director  
  Quickly making her way onto the education scene, Jess has been teaching the past 12 of her 15 years as a nail technician. Her passion for gels has helped her create techniques that are easy for beginners and produce nails that are long lasting and keep clients loyal.  Signature services like her "30 day manicure," Rock Star toes and Glitter fade techniques excite nail techs passionate about enhancing their careers.  In 2009 she won the International Nails Magazine cover contest with a set of nails and taking the photo herself. Jess's Nail Studio, LuvNailz, was featured in Nails Magazine in 2012.  Passionate about sharing knowledge,Jess works with a team of other volunteers to put on the NW Nailtech Retreat and she looks forward to educating at the the "Nail Those Profits at Sea" cruises!  
Ellen Torchia   Educator & Owner of Too Much Fun & Retreat Co-Director  
ELlen   Ellen Torchia is veteran to the salon industry of 24 years.   She has been a Top Ten International Competitor as well as international educator.   Ellen?s experience in the industry includes both massage and manicuring with experience from salon ownership to working in high end salons and spas.   Her focus has been the artistic side representing Badger Airbrush Company, as well as education on the business side of the industry.   Ellen has been an electric file safety educator with sanitation and disinfection instruction included.   Ellen became the owner of Too Much Fun in 2009 and currently owns a full service graphics shop.   She has integrated the nail business into her graphics business coming up with many products directed towards the nails industry.    
Tami Schmidt   Artketech Institute Educator  




Tami came to the industry after attempting to find fulfillment in many lines of work. Winning every award her school offered and becoming certified in ’93, Tami started her 21 year career as the proprietor of a nail spa. Her passion for the technical and creative aspects of enhancing nails and her natural aptitude for teaching then led to 12 years educating for distributors across Canada and 10 years as an International Educator for the INM Master Distributor of Canada. Dedicated to all-things-nails her motivation is to continually challenge herself… to seek out and bring the newest techniques, tools and information to students through the development of her training manuals and courses.

Tami’s nail artistry has been published in Canada, the United States and Taiwan. She continues to operate her training center Artketech Institute of Nail Technology in Victoria, British Columbia while mentoring nail technicians and educators across Canada and the US.

Allie Baker   EZ Flow  



  Allie Baker is a licensed nail tech, salon owner, educator, and competitor. She's been in the business for close to 20 years, educating for 13 years as the Global Ambassador for EZ Flow Nail Systems. Allie began competing regularly a few years ago taking the top spot in Nails magazines top competitors list in 2011, making the top 5 in The Nailpro cup series 3 years in a row and winning the Nailpro cup championship this past June 2015 in Las Vegas. Along with the individual championship she led her team to the team championship as well. She has been featured in Scratch Magazine, Nails Magazine, and Nailpro and recently did the covers of both Nails and Nailpro magazines. Allie believes education is extremely important as the industry is always changing and loves continuing to take classes herself learning new things to pass on to other nail techs in her hometown and around the world.  
Elaine Watson   Nailebrity  



  What do I want you to know about me? Well, I was raised in a small town called Biddeford, Maine. Both of my parents worked hard to support our family with modest needs. It wasn't until I was 22 that I decided I wanted to go to school for nails. It wasn't really what my mom and dad expected for me. They wanted me to go on to college, get a degree and live a professional life. BUT, what they didn't expect is where it would take me... Without boring you to tears here is super quick breakdown of where my nail license has taken me. It's a timeline in the order it occurred. 1) I got licensed by the State of Maine as a Manicurist. 2) I worked as an employee doing nails at a salon. 3) Left that salon to work for myself. 4) Became a Manufacturer's Educator for Cuccio (USA). 5) Became an independent Educator teaching many brands. 6) Became an International Educator. 7) Moved to Los Angeles. 8) Became VP of Marketing for Cuccio International. 9) In my role at Cuccio I got to work my craft as a cover artist, a celebrity manicurist, invent new products for the nail industry. 10) Head Booth Judge for Nailympia International Nail Competitions (In London and Australia) 11) Judge on the Oxygen Nail Competition reality TV show "Nail'd It". Wow ...right! 12) And my newest most important role CEO/Owner of Nailebrity. I've been busy. I've had a LOT of years to learn my craft. I'm using this experience to create a Brand that will help you rock your Nail Style like a TOP Nail Pro. I love it. I hope YOU will too!  
Nikki Payton   EZ Flow  



  Nikki Payton is a nailtech and educator living and working in Southern Oregon. She has been licensed for 9 years and has been an educator with EZ Flow for the last 8 years. Nikki has been competing for the past year and ended the Nailpro circuit in 2nd place and was an integral part of the EZ Flow championship team. Nikki teaches multiple classes around the region as well as trade shows and events throughout the country. Nikki feels any class is worth taking because you can always learn something new.  
Amy Becker   Masterworks Owner and Nailpro Cup Champion  
Amy    Amy Becker is a cover artist, current two year running US Gel Champion, record holding Top 25 Competitor, 2011 Nailpro Cup Champion and has received Nails Magazines coveted "Nail Technician of the Year" award.  After years of specializing in acrylic nails, Amy discovered the hidden strength and beauty found in gels.  Having developed the techniques used at Masterworks by Amy Becker, she has put her gels to the test in the international competition arena against all acrylics, and won! The original techniques used and taught at Masterworks by Amy Becker not only give you the best looking gel nail enhancements, we will also save you time in applications.  She is committed to continuing education, developing new tools and products, and empowering you to further in your career than you've ever imagined.  
Maria Martin     Masterworks  
  Maria has been a licensed cosmetology professional for 11 years, with her own salon for the past 8 years. She is a Master Nail Technician, Oregon Certified Cosmetology Instructor, Esthetician, Massage Therapist and Tattoo Artist. After giving up on gel enhancements several years ago, she became a believer once again after Amy Becker put a MasterWorks gel nail on her right index finger. That nail was not only beautiful, strong and crystal clear, but stayed put with no lifting long after the demonstration. The rest, as they say, is history. Maria attended two classes with Amy and then hosted one at her own salon in January, 2015. She became a MasterWorks Distributor for the North West region in March, 2015 and continues to be amazed by these outstanding gel and nail art products. Maria has contributed twice to articles in Nail Pro Magazine, and once for Day Spa Magazine (so far!). She averages over 100% booked at her salon and is deeply thankful to make her living providing custom services to her clients and educating and encouraging students and fellow professionals. Her passion for the art and joy of cosmetology knows no bounds.    
Sandy Combs   Educator Be Creative  
Sandy   Sandy is an award winning Nail Technician with over fifteen years experience. In addition to perfecting her skills in the salon she is a Dean of Education for Hand and Nail Harmony, a Be Creative USA Artisan Educator and a Crystal Culture Stylist Educator. Her specialties include sculptured nails, 3-D acrylic art, Gelish and Gelish art, and all other varieties of nail art. She strives to bring her passion, expertise, and the latest tips, tricks and techniques to nail technicians worldwide.  
Lisa Pena-Wong   IBX - Famous Names Educator  
Lisa Wong    Lisa Pena-Wong is not only a Celebrity and Editorial Nail Artist but she was also a CND Educator for 28 years. Lisa has been around the country sharing her ideas, creativity and dedication with fellow nail artists and technicians. She brings years of practical and hands on experience to the Professional Beauty Industry and is willing to share that wealth of knowledge with anyone who is willing to listen and learn. Lisa has won many regional and national nail competitions in the industry so Famous Names is fortunate to have Lisa on their IBX education team; she loves to share her passion and devotion to the industry and enable other nail artists and technicians to make a difference too.  
Tiffani Cordoza   Educator/Distributor with Elegant Glass Nails & Co-Owner of Cordoza Nail Supply  
Tiffany Cordoza    Tiffani has been in the nail industry for 5 years. Tiffani and her husband Chris started a nail supply in Oregon last year supplying Elegant Glass Nails and have not looked back since. Tiffani looks forward to bringing Elegant Glass Nails to the NW Nail Retreat and her wealth of knowledge and passion for the industry. Don't miss out on her classes where you will learn all about EGN!  
Joanne Millar   en Vogue Sculptured Nail Systems Inc.  
Joanne Millar   Joanne Millar, an award winning nail technician, educator and mother of two developed a uniquely distinctive creative style at an early age. In 2005, after gaining invaluable experience and knowledge working in salons and entering competitions, the opportunity to work for en Vogue as an administrator presented itself and Joanne accepted it with anticipation and excitement. Since her start with en Vogue, Joanne has become not only an award winning nail technician, but the head educator for en Vogue Sculptured Nail Systems in Langley, BC Canada. Joanne thoroughly enjoys teaching and passing on her knowledge and it shows. When she is not in the classroom, Joanne is either at a tradeshow where she demonstrates her creativity through her nail art or traveling extensively educating nail technicians on basic to advanced methods of gel applications. Joanne has dedicated a decade of her life to the company that started her on her way to become the nail technician she is today. Her expertise combined with her energizing and personable demeanor is sure to impress!  
Roberta Chistison   en Vogue Sculptured Nail Systems Inc.  
Roberta Chistison   Roberta has been a nail technician in Vancouver, BC for 20 years. For the last 15 years, she has been using en Vogue products exclusively which has allowed her to build extensive knowledge. Roberta’s advanced skill & enthusiasm enables her to create beautiful nails. As an en Vogue Educator, she has had the opportunity to create long lasting relationships with distributors and nail technicians across North America. In the classroom, she provides students with a fun and educational session. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet with her and troubleshoot any nail issues you may have.  
Nadja Freund    Magnetic Nail Design LTD   
  Nadja Freund is the President and Founder of Magnetic Nail Design LTD. Magnetic Nail Design LTD is the general importer of Magnetic Nail Design products in North America. Nadja Learned all about nails and the nail industry in Europe and now brings European and Russian nail design trends to North America. She is working with nail artists and nail trainers from all over the world, and combines her experience working in Salons and distributing cosmetic brands to provide nail technicians with the full breadth of her experience, from inspiration, to consulting to service. Nadja is Chief Trainer of Magnetic Education in North America.   
Tanya Sisson   Educator for CND  
  Serendipity brought Tanya to her true calling as a nail professional in 1989.  An artist inspired by nature she found a creative outlet in 10 petite canvases winning her international award, recognition and publications.  Tanya’s interest in technical & scientific understanding, along with a desire to share & mentor made for a natural progression into education.  Early in her professional pursuits she earned the distinction as one of the top 10 educators with a major nail product manufacturing company.   Recently Tanya returned to education with the CND family.  She enjoys helping other nail professionals find their niche, improve their technical skills and incorporate an artistic style that both compliments and challenges their abilities.    
Athena Elliott   Nail Talk Radio!  

Athena Elliott, the owner of SPAthena in Houston and a certified Medical Nail Technician for over 30 years. GlitzyLips was created by AthenA Elliott, President ofSPAthena. Elliott is nationally known as a cover artist for trade magazines, an industry consultant, speaker, educator and host of Nail Talk Radio. 

Rachel Dye   Educator for Akzentz  

  Rachel is a veteran from the first NW Nail Retreat! She won the novice divisions as a student and has gone on to be an amazing nail tech with a busy business in Marysville, WA. In 2013 she won 2nd in the Veteran Division at the Retreat and brought her amazing artistic skills to the trade show booth for Akentz and looks forward to expanding her educator career.  
Shannon McGown   Light Elegance Head of Education  
shannon   Shannon McCown is 29-year veteran to the nail industry, working with both Acrylic and Gel systems. Shannon has been a cover artist, International Educator, salon owner and competitive Nail tech placing in the Nail Pro top 10 four year consecutivily as well as a member of the Nail Pro Team Cup winning team in 2014.  
Amy Gustafson    Elite Beauty Supplies  
Amy   Making it to the Top 10 of Nails Next Top Nail Artist 2014 was Amy’s big break. She had been a committed acrylic tech until this competition, where she had to quickly become skilled at gel. Elite Beauty Supplies supplied her with the products and gel education, sponsoring her through the next challenges. After the competition, Amy started educating for Elite Beauty Supplies, sharing her serious obsession for nail art and bling! She always loves to make her nails stand out from the ordinary and helps other techs do the same. Amy keeps up with the latest trends and is continuously educating herself. She loves to teach and see like minded people utilize the techniques they've learned. Helping nail technicians gain more confidence is her passion!  
Michelle Williams   PAVE  
Michelle   Michelle Williams is a beauty industry veteran who has trained tens of thousands of nail artists, distributor sales consultants, and salon owners to build their businesses, increase sales, and master their craft. In addition, Michelle consults with industry laboratories and product manufacturers for both product development and education and sales training. She is an accomplished business owner, with her most recent product innovation being featured by media outlets such as CNN, ABC nightly news, Fox News, CBS news, NBC news, Kiplinger, Worth Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and New York Business Journal. Her trainings focus not only on product protocols but also cover successful integration into your salon menu, marketing opportunities, and techniques to increase your service and retail revenue.  
Lucien Henderson   Empower Nail Art  
Lucien   Founder of Empower Nail Art, Inventor of the first Nail Film, Designer of the Ring Thing, Licensed Manicurist, CND Grand Master  
Kimberly Espedal   Empower Nail Art  
KimE   Kim is a 25 year veteran nail tech that has been licensed in 4 states; Arizona, Idaho, and holds both Oregon and Washington licenses currently. She competed early in her career in an OPI sponsored competition, moving on to educate for Backscratchers. She is E-file certified, a CND Master and believes education is key in our ever changing industry. She had attended numerous trade shows, attended HRTE Las Vegas, participated in many classes such as Young Nails, Tyes Dyes, Entity, LE 101, EGN, and Crystal nails. She has mentored several students, educates independently, and has the passion to share tips, tricks, and techniques of the trade.  


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