The Gharieni Gab with Joanna Roche

“Going green” means to pursue knowledge and practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations. Every company has a mandate to establish sustainable practices, whether it is reducing paper waste, focusing on employee wellness or seeking LEED certification.

There are so many choices and initiatives – just like in nature, you have varying shades of green, from lime to emerald, that it is vital to appoint a lead person to create and implement programs that will benefit locally but also contribute to the continued sustainability of the planet and its inhabitants.

This month, we are featuring Joanna Roche, the newly appointed Executive Director of the Green Spa Network, https://greenspanetwork.org/, established in 2002 with the mission of promoting the natural connections between personal well-being, economic sustainability, and the health of our planet.

Joanna Roche is the Executive Director of The Green Spa Network, a non-profit trade association serving the spa and hospitality industries globally in support of action for a sustainable future. As a spa development consultant and a passionate brand and wellness activist, she has more than twenty-five years of experience in management, marketing and operations for spa and hospitality companies globally.

Her most recent project was the development of The Beach House Spa at Ocean Edge on Cape Cod, creating a spa that specialized in unique bridal services. She was the Wellness Director at The Westmoor Club, an exclusive, private club on Nantucket. Prior to moving to Nantucket, Joanna & Company was focused on business development and digital marketing projects for UK based companies TribeSports and Celessence Technologies, and spa product companies focusing on textiles; Studio Twist, Majestic International and Cypress.

She managed a young team of talented publicists as the EVP of Pierce Mattie Public Relations in NYC focusing on beauty and lifestyle for several years, and worked as the Communications Director on the executive management team at Canyon Ranch for eight years.

Joanna is often a speaker at industry events including; Esthetic Spa International on retail strategies and customer engagement, CSFA conference on The Future of Wellness in Private Clubs, and most recently at the IECSC on Creating a Sustainable Culture.

She hosts a weekly radio show BalancingACK on Nantucket’s NPR affiliate, writes for The Forum, Boardroom Magazine, and Nantucket BLACKbook. She teaches classes and workshops on creating wellness and is certified in vibrational sound healing. Joanna currently serves on the Town of Nantucket’s Finance Committee and on Theater Workshop’s advisory council.

Interview

How are you creating positive change and what are some actions that GSN is undertaking to promote these?

GSN launched the inaugural Action Initiative this year, Tree Planting, in partnership with WeForest. It is premised on the critical and urgent need to regenerate the earth using trees’ natural abilities to reverse climate change. The Tree Planting Initiative is an effort to mobilize the spa, hospitality and wellness communities to plant 1 million trees by Earth Day 2019.

Unfortunately, the earth’s resources have been exploited to such an extent that it’s now imperative that we regenerate by not only stopping climate change with sustainability measures, but actively reversing it to keep the planet healthy and habitable for all life. Regenerating the forests is critical to saving the planet.

What are some of your personal initiatives to be “green”?
This summer my family has signed a pledge to “say no to the straw” and are practicing eliminating single use plastics. We live on a small island, Nantucket, where taking care of our beaches, recycling, and adopting sustainable practices are critical to protecting our home.

We are also avid free-cyclers; meaning we give away things we don’t use and pick up things we do need, at our landfill’s shop called “Take It Or Leave It” – a novel concept. That way we are not throwing out usable items and we are getting things that are either gently used or unwanted and keeping them from becoming trash.

What is your favorite spa treatment?

There is nothing better than a deep tissue massage from a skilled healer!

Fun Fact about you:

I was on Jeopardy and worked as a magician’s assistant.

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