meet our team of educators

(Updated as of 5/1/2015)


Jessica Hoel   Educator & NW Distributor for Akzentz  
  Quickly making her way onto the education scene, Jess has been teaching the past 10 of her 12 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" cruise in January 2015!  
Ellen Torchia   Educator & Owner of Too Much Fun  
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.    
Amy Becker   Masterworks Owner and Nailpro Cup Champion  

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.

Friday Worshop - Returning Attendees with at least 3 years experience

& Educator

Holly Schippers - aka FINGERNAIL FIXER!   Empower Nail Art  
Holly    Holly L. Schippers currently resides in Iowa. A nail professional since 1999, she attended the Creative Institute in England in 2004. As an Education Ambassador for CND (Creative Nail Design), she is globally renowned through her strong online voice within the digital community as a social media Ambassador for CND and carries the digital torch via frequent interaction with peers, salons, schools and distributors. CND honored her with the prestigious North American Education Ambassador of the Year Award, 2010; CBI and ICE awarded her with 2012 Educator of the Year for the State of Iowa. Widely known as the FingerNailFixer, Holly has designed nails for use in New York Fashion Week, was named to the ICE Design Team for 2012 and 2013, has been a cover artist for NAILS Magazine, teaches classes internationally, and is a regular contributor to NAILS Magazine including a bi-weekly blog the FingerNailFixer. Holly believes education is the foundational component in producing professional nail technicians and pursues her professional salon career in Oskaloosa, Iowa. She enjoys sharing her love and passion for nails to advance the industry by helping each individual professional advance themselves.  
Sandy Combs   Educator Be Creative  
Sandy   Amazing Nail Artist with 3 years experience with Harmony Nail products and currently working with Sam Biddle and Be Creative!    
Yire Castillo   KUPA - Master Nail Technician - Lead member of the Kupa Kreative Team  
At the age of 21, with influences early in life to become an artist, Yire has been drawn to the nail industry which opens a wider field to show his passion for the arts. With a background in watercolors, sketching, cartooning, color theory, design and photography, his mentors say he paints from the heart.Yire has shown what it takes to stand out by showing his talents in the nails industry. Yire’s work has been feature in well recognized magazines such as Nailpro, Nails Magazine and Vietsalon.

Let’s not forget his amazing skills currently featured in our very own KUPA TV and our amazing Kupa ads and his recent achievement, reaching a Veteran Level in Nail art Competitions after several wins. 

Nailtalkradio, on raising money for the charity Polished Girls, Yire was one of the selected artists, in addition, the honor of participating as a judge at the Nailpro competitions. You can also follow Yire’s  journey as a blogger in our Youtube Channels where you will be able experience his love for teaching and sharing his knowledge in nails featuring Kupa Inc.’s products.
Lorena Marquez   INM Director of Education  

INM’s Director of Education Lorena Marquez has more than 25 years of experience in the industry, and is an accomplished nail artist with more than 200 competition wins, including the prestigious 2004 and 2005 Nailpro Cup Championships. She was ranked #1 competitor by NAILS Magazine in 2005, and has multiple first place wins in every competitive category. Her artwork has been featured numerous times on the cover of NAILS and Nailpro magazines, as well as several international consumer magazines.


Lorena has educated nail professionals worldwide, is a member of INJA (International Nail Jury Association), and has worked with leading beauty manufacturers, bringing with her experience in product development, education and domestic/international distributor support. An international competitor, educator and judge, Lorena prides herself on being a mentor to nail techs around the globe.

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.

Victoria Hunter   IBX - Famous Names Educator  
Victoria    Victoria Lys Hunter is the proprietor of Victorious Nail Styles located in Cornwall, Ontario (formerly Ongles Chez Victoria of Chateauguay,Quebec). She has been in the industry since 1989, and officially opened her salon in 2003. Victoria has appeared in Nailpro, Nails & Scratch magazines and on CTV News Montreal. She is active in many nail tech forums and mentors new technicians. She is committed to using quality products that are safe and Victoria is among the first in Canada to offer the revolutionary product IBX by Famous Names LLC which strengthens the nail from within and supports nail growth.  
Taylor Swanson   Insuring Style & Business Expert  
Jenny   Taylor is director of membership at Associated Nail Professionals (ANP), a national membership association for students and licensed nail professionals. Member benefits include top-shelf liability insurance, business building resources, exclusive discounts, and more. For more information visit or call888-716-2727.  Taylor has worked in the salon industry for over 7 years, including managing one of Fort Collins, Colorado’s largest nail salons.  She specializes in business development and has helped companies from Chicago to Beijing grow their businesses.  
Kira Frazier-Jones     Masterworks  
  Owner of Kira's Nailtique in Knoxville TN, Masterworks by Amy Becker Educator and Distributor, and competitor. Kira is a nail tech with more than 20 in the industry and shares a wealth of experience!    
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 Canada. 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 Canada.   
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 Nakamura   Light Elegance Head of Education  
shannon   Shannon Nakamura has worked in the Nail industry for many years as nail artist, salon owner, competition artist, educator and cover artist. She regularly lends her artistic talents for local fashion shows, beauty pageants and photo shoots, is regularly featured in publications such as  NAILS, Nailpro and Scratch, London,  has won numerous awards with Nailpro Competitions including a top ten ranking for 2013 and 2014 competition years as well as a member of the Nailpro Cup winning team for 2014.  Shannon has also placed in both  Nailympics USA and competed in Nailympics London and was  voted "Best Nail Tech in West Hawaii" twice.  
Joyce La Silva   Graham Professional Beauty Products  

Come ready to SHOP! Joyce is back with the fantastic products from Graham Professional Beauty. The deals at the NW Nailtech Retreat are unparalled! Nail Tech Favorites including Hands Down Nail Wipes and Soak-OFf Wraps will be on sale all weekend.

Joyce has been training for Graham Professional Beauty Products for over 15 years and has owned and operated My Little Room in Chicago, Il for over 25 years.
Kristine Thiessen        
  Kristine is a full time certified esthetician who has worked in the industry for 14 years.  Kristine found her true passion was in nails 5 years ago. She was voted best NAILS/FACIALS in Abbotsford BC in 2012 and since then her passion for nails continues to grow. Always urging clients to step out of their "nail" comfort box ,she continues to stay on top of the latest nail trends and education. Kristine looks forward to what the future has to bring with nail artistry as her main career and to share with others what she has learned.  
Beverly Townsend       
Beverly   Beverly is a certified Esthetician who has specialized in nail enhancements and artistry for over 17 years. Sharing artistic techniques and helping fellow nail artists achieve is a joy for Beverly. She has trained with Gemma Lambert and Barbara Ujvari and continues to advance her Artistry skills, as well as teach internationally.  


NW Nailtechs © 2014 | Privacy Policy
Get in touch