Feel the Energy! "Beauty With a Purpose" Event Recap

Take a peek into the incredible "Beauty With a Purpose" event held on September 17, 2023 at the Oak Brook Hills Resort in Oakbrook, Illinois. It was a day brimming with motivation, inspiration, and a strong commitment to giving back.

Check it out for yourself!

Read the official post event release:


Motivation – Business – Social – Mental Wellness – Finance – Guidance 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - The inaugural “Beauty With a Purpose” event was an experience that inspired and empowered more than 1,000+ guests. The best in the beauty industry showed their love and support for attending hairdressers, barbers, students and more on how they can have a “beauty blueprint” for success and self-motivation. The energizing day channeled the beginning of a movement for virtually every member of the audience. 

“Beauty With a Purpose” was developed by two dynamic groundbreakers, Julie Hightower, founding Board member of the Daisie Foundation, and Mireya Villarreal, founder of the Pink Pewter Foundation. After partnering for many years with their non-profit organizations, they brought their amazing efforts, and their heart and souls, to create this event for the beauty industry.  

“This event gave everyone who came one of the greatest pathways of exposure from so many perspectives that sit in the beauty space,” said Julie Hightower. “The hunger, zest, and zeal for wanting to learn was extraordinary,” she added. 

“In beauty school you are taught how to use your hands,” said Mireya Villarreal. “At this event we imparted ways on how to use your minds. Teaching how to use your mind can build an empire,” she added. 

“Beauty With a Purpose” took place Sunday, September 17th in Oak Brook, IL. Speakers shared their achievements and their failures, their peaks, and valleys, in a straightforward, dynamic, no-nonsense way.

This one-day event was packed with influential beauty industry leaders, artists, and brands, joining together to support beauty professionals at all levels of their career through development, networking and connecting. 

Check out the highlights from “Beauty With a Purpose!” 

The event opened with visionaries Mireya Villarreal and Julie Hightower as they welcomed a packed and star-studded room. 

Renowned speaker Ben Mollin, The Ben Mollin Project, spoke on developing a warrior mindset, overcoming self-doubt, and strategies for achieving peak performance.

 Award-winning activist filmmaker and author Denise Soler Cox of Project Eñye captivated the audience on how to learn about the magic of belonging in the beauty industry. 

Esteemed beauty experts impressed the crowd from the Ulta Beauty Pro Team, including Anna Manukyan, Senior Director of Education & Creative; Danielle Keasling, an influential and dedicated hairstylist and 2021 NAHA Editorial Stylist of the Year; and Michelle O’Connor, Matrix Global Artistic Director and 2020 NAHA Styling and Finishing winner. The enlightening discussion was guided by the brilliant Kelly Ehlers, Founder and President of The Evoke Agency and The Tease Media. All these pros shared their wisdom, encompassing all facets of the beauty industry. 

Pioneers and veterans of the beauty industry shared their “Beauty Blueprint” in a dynamic panel presentation by Dana Fountain a successful entrepreneur and beauty advocate; Kim Roxie, founder and CEO of Lamik Beauty; Mr. Johnny Wright, celebrity stylist for Michelle Obama, Kerry Washington, Tamron Hall, and Samira Wiley to name a few; Lynzie Smith, founder and CEO of the Common Wealth Collective, a collective of beauty industry talent; and Jenny Strebe, founder and CEO of AIIR Professional, who first rose to prominence through her blog, Confessions of a Hairstylist. 

Adina Pignatare shared a wealth of insights about how to grow and optimize your social channels with a comprehensive array of tips and tricks. She talked about her adept utilization of opportunities that led her notable career expansion on social media platforms. 

A distinguished panel of barbers leading in their craft was a truly inspirational. Presentations by Taylor Leven, barber, and owner of Headspace; Larry Roberts, founder of Larry’s Barber College; John Mosley, Popular Nobody Brand & SalonCentric #ItTakesaPro; and Jesse (Kirby) Perez Gil, Artisan Hair Sodality, left the audience wanting more. They spoke about how they forged their unique paths, changed lives, and made history.

This exceptional assembly of leading barbers shared their pathways to achievement in a forward-thinking live podcast, led by “Your Day Off” hosts Corey Gray and Tony Stuart from Hairdustry. 

There was a brilliant segment exploring the science of haircare and hair conditions, with in-depth discussions from Dr. Elizabeth A. Kiracofe, MD, FAAD, Aria Comprehensive Dermatology; American Board-Certified Hair Colorist and Certified Trichologist Missy Peterson; Artisan Hair Sodality founder Jesse (Kirby) Perez Gil; Celebrity stylist, author and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant Monaé Everett; and L’ANZA Healing Haircare Artist Christopher Aaron. 

Under the guidance of Bioncé Foxx, esteemed host of the "Bioncé Foxx Experience" on V103 (WVAZ-FM) in Chicago, another panel aimed to facilitate a profound exploration of insights offered by key luminaries within the beauty industry. This executive Q&A session uncovered the wisdom of industry leaders including Frank P. Fulco, CEO of America’s Beauty Show and Cosmetologists Chicago; Kareema Wilson, Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at SalonCentric; Denine Pappalardo, SVP, US Sales and Education at Benefit Cosmetics; and Nick Stenson, Senior Vice President, Store and Services Operations at Ulta Beauty. 

Plus! The Give back! 

In the grand finale, “Beauty With a Purpose” concluded with a purpose. It was with great excitement the unveiling of the selection of ten remarkable individuals, each of whom has illustrated a compelling financial need for a grant, poised to propel them further along their unique paths. “These individuals had been carefully chosen to receive a grant, a true reflection of their unwavering commitment, resolute determination, and relentless pursuit of excellence,” said Mireya Villarreal, in giving grants to ten individuals at the conclusion of “Beauty With a Purpose.” 

Proceeds from “Beauty With a Purpose” benefited The D.A.T.A. Foundation, which allows financial and social resources for those affected after incarceration, military service, or another life-altering experience. “Finding career and life success starts with a step in the right direction, but sometimes the path forward becomes obstructed by the inaccessibility of financial and social resources,” said Larry Roberts, founder of The D.A.T.A. Scholarship Foundation. “We are grateful for the support of The Daisie Foundation and Pink Pewter Foundation for helping these individuals to Develop A Trade After,” added Roberts. 

Denise Provenzano, Owner/Partner of Pivot Point Academy, Bloomingdale, IL, and the Wahl Barber Academy, Chicago, IL, generously sponsored a Cosmetology full-tuition scholarship and a Barber full-tuition scholarship to two individuals. A value of $42,000! “Just like Julie and Mireya are using their leadership skills and talents to empower those who need mentoring and support, it is my honor to support the future education of an incoming Cosmetologist and an incoming Barber,” said Provenzano. 

“Beauty With a Purpose” was sponsored by: SalonCentric, Ulta Beauty, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, CeraVe, The Tease, Pivot Point Academy, Wahl Barber Academy, Benefit Cosmetics, L’Anza, Aquage, Rusk, Artist on Go, Malibu C, America’s Beauty Show, Cosmetologists Chicago, Marlo Beauty Supply, Beauty Launchpad, Modern Salon, Salon Today, Mizani, Ivy Ann Professional Shears, Gild Insurance, ICUT, Illinois Beauty CEU Partners, Urban Decay, Peer Beauty, Pin Me Up Chicago, AIIR, The Original Midwest Tradeshow Chicago, Popular Nobody, Stylists Supporting Stylists, Hairdustry, Mane Space, Pink Pewter Foundation, Daisie Foundation, Shiraleah Chicago, Salon Coccole, Avlon, Uberliss, Daisie Project. A special lunch and presentation were provided by CeraVe for all who attended.

Plan for even more empowerment and GIVE BACK next year, as “Beauty With a Purpose” returns as “Beauty Gives Back!” Stay tuned for more information on how “Beauty Gives Back” will celebrate the salon industry together. Be sure to #BeautyGivesBack and tag @Beautywithapurposefoundation.


ABOUT THE DAISIE FOUNDATION:  Making our mark since 2016, Daisie Foundation is a nationally recognized organization whose mission lies in empowering women and children in overlooked communities by providing ongoing opportunities to succeed. The work is rooted in random acts of kindness that, over the years, have impacted 3,700 mothers and 8,900 students and counting in Chicago, Houston, and Milwaukee. For more information, visit You can also find Daisie Foundation on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. 

ABOUT PINK PEWTER: The Pink Pewter Foundation is a 501c3 Non-Profit organization created with the goal of providing inspiration, resources, and financial assistance grants to beauty professionals. Whether you are a current beauty professional or aspire to be a part of the beauty industry, The Pink Pewter Foundation wants to help you. Visit