US Conference 2024


We strive to provide a wide selection of speakers and topics during each conference and from conference to conference. These are the speakers scheduled for the next conference ... so far! Check back to see what additional speakers you can look forward to.

Keynote Speakers

2024 Conference Speaker, Marcy Miller

Marcy Miller

Miller's journey in the wellness industry is a narrative of profound transformation, from a nature-loving enthusiast to the founder of Pure Placid, a distinguished wellness brand rooted in the power of scent and environmental commitment. Raised amidst the natural splendor of Lake Placid, NY, Marcy's early experiences in the vast Adirondack preserve significantly shaped her ethos, blending a deep appreciation for nature with entrepreneurial zeal.

With nearly three decades of experience, Marcy's evolution from crafting in her parents' herb shop to establishing a seven-figure enterprise underscores her dedication to sustainability and the meticulous use of eco-friendly ingredients. Her belief in the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature is evident in every product, aimed at enhancing well-being while respecting the environment.

Marcy's pursuit of excellence led her to learn from industry giants like Ann Gottlieb (Estee Lauder, Unilever), Dr. Gary Young (Young Living Essential Oils) and Horst Rechelbacher (Aveda), enriching her sensory expertise and reinforcing her commitment to earth-friendly practices. Mentorship from Jack Ma further broadened her business acumen, enabling her to scale Pure Placid into a global brand.

Marcy Miller will be speaking on:


2024 Conference Speaker, Ariane Arsenault

Ariane Arsenault

Soaping for the past 20 years, Ariane C Arsenault is established in the Magdalen Islands, Canada. Born on an island and raised on a sailboat, Ariane’s product lines are inspired by the seaside. Always in search of new designs, additives and color combinations, her soaps and other handmade cosmetics are both stunning and stylish! She specializes in Cold Processed and Melt & Pour soaps and she is constantly perfecting her makers’ skills through the years!

Ariane Arsenault will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Jaclyn Bellomo

Jaclyn Bellomo

Jaclyn Bellomo is a cosmetic industry professional with over a decade of experience in technical formulation, regulatory compliance, product development, and brand management. After obtaining her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Manhattan College, Jaclyn continued her education earning a MS in Cosmetic Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University, a MS in Regulatory Affairs from Northeastern University, and finally her MBA from Northeastern University. Jaclyn has spent the majority of her career in the private sector working with multinational brands, specializing in formulations for the beauty and personal care industry from concept to counter. Jaclyn is active on several committees across the industry that focus on education and compliance to ensure there is continued support for the cosmetic industry. As Director of Cosmetic Services and Software at Registrar Corp, Jaclyn adds a deep understanding of the cosmetic regulatory environment and uses her expertise to support cosmetic companies on the newly enacted MoCRA regulations that will be required for cosmetic products distributed and marketed in the United States. In addition, Jaclyn works closely with Cosmetri Product Manager and cGMP software to help streamline R&D processes, update compliance, and support customers in improving their current working operations. 

Jaclyn Bellomo will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Breanna Chan

Breanna Chan

Originally from San Diego, CA Breanna made the move to Rochester, NY where she graduated with her BFA in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology, before moving to San Francisco to attend the Academy of Art University and receive an MFA in Advertising. She currently acts as the Communications Manager for a CA-based non-profit by day, and That Sage Life part-time. She has two children, and a rambunctious dog.

Breanna Chan will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Tina Evans

Tina Evans

Tina Evans is a leadership development coach who founded her own company after more than 15 years in the marketing & communications arena. She is a former senior leader for both local & statewide organizations and holds degrees in psychology & public relations. Tina provides coaching and training focused on improving leadership and team behavior, communication, and performance. She is a mother of 2 teenagers & has been married to her husband for 22 years. Learn more at

Tina Evans will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Kayla Fioravanti

Kayla Fioravanti

Kayla Fioravanti has been a leading expert in the natural cosmetics industry for over 25 years. In 1998, she co-founded Essential Wholesale – one of the first all-natural cosmetics/ingredients companies – that started out with $50 in her kitchen and grew to a multimillion-dollar company (all the while raising her 3 kids)! Today, Kayla is the co-founder and Chief Formulator of Ology Essentials and Ology Essentials Labs. Ology Essentials Labs is leading the way in Clean Cosmetics, Aromatherapy Formulations, and Hemp CBD with offerings of white label, private label, and bulk bases that offer easy and affordable product offerings for micro to small businesses as well as supporting Clean Beauty brand expansion of large companies as well. As Ology's Chief Formulator, Kayla is able to bring to life her unique ideas and product formulations. Kayla is also an aromatherapist, business consultant, and an award-winning author.

Kayla Fioravanti will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Jennifer Frech

Jennifer Frech

Jenny Frech is the head gnome at Soapy Gnome in Goshen, Indiana. In 2013, like many of us, she started making soap in her basement and selling at shows. Three years ago, she moved into her current 5,000 sq ft gift shop and soap lab. She has a B.S. in Animal Science, a Masters in Teaching, and spent 10 years in the classroom, mostly teaching science. Right after teaching, she worked at the University of Notre Dame for two years in the Center for Sustainable Energy. While she enjoys formulating and designing new products, her greatest joy comes from learning about business, and she is completely fascinated with the customer journey. Jenny is as ADHD as they come, but her strength is strategy.

Jennifer Frech will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Marie Gale

Marie Gale

Marie Gale has over 25 years in the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry, during which time she's had her own business, served as President of the HSCG, written several preeminent books in the field and helped thousands of makers get their labels correct and their GMP in place. Her long-time passion is educating makers so they can protect their businesses. Her website ( provides a wealth of information and her books are available in the HSCG Store.

Marie Gale will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Valerie George

Valerie George

Valerie George is an award-winning cosmetic chemist, science communicator, educator, leader and avid proponent of transparency in the beauty industry. By day, she works on the latest research in hair color and hair care as CEO of Simply Formulas, a leading R&D laboratory in Dallas, TX. By night, she shares her favorite, quality ingredients (as well as how to use them) to consumers through Simply Ingredients. Valerie is an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, serving as a two-time past chair of the California Chapter, is a past chair of the Committee on Scientific Affairs for the National Society of Cosmetic Chemists, and is a recipient of the Chapter Merit Award for her services to the Society. Valerie is the co-host of The Beauty Brains podcast and can be found on Instagram at @cosmetic_chemist.

Valerie George will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Sara Golding

Sara Golding

After spending a ridiculous amount of money at a farmer's market on soaps to soothe her family’s skin sensitivities, Sara though it’d be easier to just make them herself. Little did she know this money saving opportunity would transform into her own business- Sunny Girl Sundries. With over 25 years of retail and business experience guiding her, Sara’s article in Making Soap Magazine, Working Smarter, revolves around some of the common challenges soap makers face when transitioning from home hobbyist to small business owner.

Sara Golding will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Shannon Greer

Shannon Greer

Shannon Greer is a dynamic professional who combines her passion for science with entrepreneurship. Trained in Chemistry and Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she uses her scientific knowledge to understand the ingredients she uses and how they impact the skin’s biology to create exceptional bath and body products. As the founder and CEO of DeDesha, she has turned her expertise into a thriving business. She also runs a 5 thousand person strong Facebook group that is focused on educating formulators on how to properly and safely create DIY cosmetics.

Shannon also contributes to the Soap and Cosmetics Magazine, sharing her insights in a regular formulating column. This platform allows her to inspire others in the industry.

Living in Colorado, Shannon enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and camping. She is an avid reader, and above all, she cherishes her role as an aunt to her two young nieces.

Shannon Greer will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Cassi Hall

Cassi Hall

Cassi Hall is the Social & Community Manager at CandleScience, overseeing the company’s social media accounts and their online community. She’s a believer in making your social media work for you through authenticity and community engagement. If you want to talk about fragrance, label design, sourdough bread, or obscure Game of Thrones lore for hours, she’s your girl. She currently resides in Durham, NC with her husband, three cats, and a vigorous sourdough starter named Starla.

Cassi Hall will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Catherine McGinnis

Catherine McGinnis

Catherine McGinnis is the creator behind Soaping101, the beloved social media outlet for soapmaking tutorials and advice. With over fifteen years of experience in the industry, she is passionate about helping soapmakers sharpen their skills via seminar talks, comprehensive classes and online videos. The style and know-how she offers in her videos and to the soapmaking community are an extension of her genuine nature. She considers soapmaking an industry where information can be freely shared and enjoyed.

Catherine founded and personally directs SoapCon, an annual soapmaking social gathering every Fall. When not in front of the camera, she is the owner of a trendy soap store, The Soap Deli. Catherine holds a Bachelors Degree and an MBA in Marketing and Economics.

Catherine McGinnis will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Steven Meka

Steven Meka

Steve is the owner of 4 brick and mortar retail stores where he sells his own handcrafted soaps and cosmetics. His first job out of college with a degree in biochemistry was the assistant manager of a specialty retail gift store. He spent several years managing retail stores and eventually became executive director of retail operations for a chain of gift stores across US and Canada. He developed retail selling programs and systems to streamline operations and drive sales. His background in science began to emerge and he started making soap part time in the basement of his home. This lead to a passion for making handmade cosmetics, it was only natural to merge this with his passion for retail and open his own retail store. Today Steve and his husband Dave operate 4 stores in Cleveland Ohio and sell their own line of handcrafted soaps and cosmetics.

Steven Meka will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Brian Morris

Brian Morris

Baz: The Dirty Unicorn started as a pandemic pivot from the travel industry but became so much more, so very quickly. After a relatively small soap pour, Baz became slightly obsessed with the craft and its combination of their love of science and art. What resulted is a brand that is rooted in research but flourishes in self expression. The Dirty Unicorn ( encourages people to be who they are, as loud as they want to be! Never forget friends: Get Clean... & Stay Dirty!

Brian Morris will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Stoney Morris

Stoney Morris

Stoney Morris, or better known as the Husbicorn is a full time soap and cosmetics manufacturer when he is not enjoying a whiskey, or harassing his puppy. After eight years serving in the US Army, he attend Le Cordon Bleu to become a classically French trained chef. Now, he enjoys cooking for his husband and practicing woodworking in his free time.

Stoney Morris will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Cindy Novack

Cindy Novack

Cindy Novack is the owner of Candles and, Inc. located in Quakertown, PA that she started in 1999.  Cindy started out creating in her home while still working full-time; selling through fundraisers, online, and craft shows. Candles and Supplies has since evolved into an operation with a large warehouse, a huge selection of products and ongoing candle and soap making classes. Cindy loves to help others create their own candles and soaps, be successful, and have fun doing it.  Cindy has been making candles for over two decades, has an Advanced Soap Making Certification through HSCG and teaches classes in her own store, art schools, trade shows and seminars.  In her spare time Cindy likes to read, horseback ride, garden, distill hydrosols and essential oils, travel, hike and basically just enjoy the outdoors and everything nature has to offer.

Cindy Novack will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Debi Olsen

Debi Olsen

Debi is a Colorado native living in Northern Colorado, with nature's beauty surrounding her. She has been married to her best friend for 27 years and is a mother of 26-year-old boy/girl twins. She is a major animal lover, an avid do-it-yourselfer, and thrives on finding ways to express her creativity - from cooking, gardening, crafts, and soap, to everything in between. Debi has been making soap and other bath and body products since 2015. She has a passion for creativity and a knack for not giving up which has led her to create a successful contract manufacturing business. Her products are sold at two stores in Walt Disney World, and across the nation in stores such as Hy-Vee, Scheels, and CVS. Debi loves to learn new things, and especially loves a challenge! She shines at finding solutions to things that are often thought to be impossible.

Debi Olsen will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Venessa Phipps

Venessa Phipps

Venessa Phipps has been in the Natural Products industry since 2008 and began her adventure in soap making in 2013. She toggles between Cold Process, Hot Process and Melt & Pour soaps and the creation of aromatic blends for bath and body products. In addition to being a certified Soap Maker and Teacher she is certified in Clinical Aromatherapy and Natural Products Manufacturing. She is currently a writer for Making Soap Magazine, has a YouTube Channel  and teaches adult and children’s soap and other product workshops in Bucks County, PA. She retired in 2022 after 30 years as an IT Professional. 

Venessa Phipps will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Kevin Reed

Kevin Reed

Over the past 15 years, Kevin has grown from a self-taught candle hobbyist to an industry professional through tireless experimentation and unyielding love for the craft. He was initially drawn to candle making as a means of personal growth through art and science. The process satisfied his need to create while supporting his interest in chemistry and physics. Candle making quickly became his passion and eventually his career, allowing him to leave his day job and venture into the world of entrepreneurship. His current position in the CandleScience research lab allows him to work with the materials and tools he dreamed of as a home-based candle maker. Always learning and teaching, he is dedicated to sharing his knowledge of candle development, performance, and safety with the maker community.

Kevin Reed will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Alana Rivera

Alana Rivera

After years of pushing paper around in corporate America, feeling deeply unsatisfied and utterly un-creative, Alana found her calling through a soap making book she received from her mom. She launched her entrepreneurial journey in 2009, founding Etta + Billie, a sustainable small batch bodycare company inspired by a love for food + drink. Over the course of the last 13 years, she has moved her business from apartment to a manufacturing studio, hired and trained employees, and partnered with shops big and small all across the US, Canada and parts of Asia. Etta + Billie products have been featured online and in print publications like Sunset, InStyle, Popsugar, and Refinery 29. Etta + Billie is a certified Green Business in California, a member of Indie Business Network, the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild and an alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. When not in her soap lab, she is often cooking with friends and family, honing her cocktail making skills at home, or chasing her son around the playground.

Alana Rivera will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Leigh O'Donnell & Sara Golding

Leigh O'Donnell & Sara Golding

Join us for a fireside chat on the universal experience of 'dirty deeds'—we've all been there! Our dynamic duo brings over 50 years of combined business expertise to the table. One, a seasoned businesswoman with a knack for entrepreneurship, crafting, and managing both small and large corporations. The other, a two-decade industry veteran, uniquely positioned to discern what truly works.

What sets us apart? Well, one of us successfully runs a business while navigating the challenges of raising a teenager and nurturing a garden (without committing plant homicide!). The other effortlessly juggles two children, a thriving career, and regularly escapes to sail remote islands. Picture a meringue maestro, a black belt, a theater enthusiast, and a boat captain who has conquered every ocean.

These two sassy Scorpios of the Gen X variety invite you to a fireside chat where we'll admit to our dirty deeds, conquer them, and perhaps share a few laughs along the way. Ready to join the conversation?

Leigh O'Donnell & Sara Golding will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Daryle Stafford

Daryle Stafford

Daryle Stafford is the Founder & CEO of Veracity Insurance Solutions and Insurance Canopy and has over 20 years of experience in the insurance and risk management industry. With a focus on building specialized solutions for associations and affinity groups, he has dedicated much of his career to bringing affordable insurance to small and mid-size businesses. Under his leadership, the company has grown from 16 to nearly 200 employees since 2012 and now supports over 200,000 customers nationwide. Daryle lives with his wife and five children in the Salt Lake City area. His passion in life is centered around his family and coaching youth sports.

Daryle Stafford will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Jackie Thompson

Jackie Thompson

Jackie Thompson certified HSCG Master Soapmaker and Author of Liquid Soapmaking began making soap in 1998. She and her daughter Gaily have sold at craft fairs, retail, wholesale and private label contracts. Today, Jackie spends most of her soapmaking time researching old soapmaking methods through vintage soapmaking books and adapting those methods to be relevant to today’s soapmakers.

Jackie Thompson will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, La Shonda Tyree

La Shonda Tyree

La Shonda Tyree is a woman of color, an entrepreneur, an entrepreneurship instructor, a podcaster, and a business coach. La Shonda started her career working in banking as an accountant and climbed the corporate ladder to Acting Controller. After a bank merger, and tired of the glass ceiling constantly hitting her head, La Shonda decided to take her creative therapy hustle and start it full-time. In 2003 La Shonda founded Nyah Beauty.

In 2021, Elle Magazine named her business as one of thirteen black-owned soap companies to shop from. She is the “In the Know” column writer for Making Soap, Cosmetics and Candles Magazine.

During the pandemic when most small businesses were struggling to stay open, La Shonda’s business was no different. She applied for several grants and loans. Successfully securing grants and loans from the Small Business Administration, PPP Loan, Economic Disaster Recovery Loan, PayPal grant, Facebook grant, New Jersey recover grants, Fiserv, and more.

Recently she acquired a $5k grant from Caress to kick start her crowdfunding and acceptance into the Spring 22 cohort with IFundWomen to set up the crowdfunding campaign. She was one of thirty women selected out of 2500 applications.

Nyah Beauty currently sells its products through its website and various retailers. She is also a private label manufacturer for other indie beauty brands and has acquired accounts with Westin, Kimpton, and Marriott making bath bombs with their signature scents for their online store.

La Shonda Tyree will be speaking on:

2024 Conference Speaker, Belinda Williams

Belinda Williams

Belinda Williams is the founder of Love Your Suds® and the creator behind the award-winning Kaleidoscope Technique and Soap Shaper™ design tools. The idea for Love Your Suds began in 2014 after Belinda discovered cold-process soap making. Her experience as a creative director and graphic designer inspired her to explore advanced soap design processes, develop new techniques and create innovative tools for the soap-making community – the first of their kind.

Belinda’s journey began as a creative outlet and has grown into a globally recognized brand serving customers worldwide. When she’s not making soap or creating design tools and techniques, she enjoys sharing guidance, tips and tricks to support other soap makers in their creative journeys.



Belinda Williams will be speaking on:

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