Meet the HairToStay Team.
We are doing our best to operate a lean and agile organization where the vast majority of proceeds can find their way directly to our subsidy recipients.
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Marketing and Administrative support
Darya Mead is a writer/ producer/ yoga teacher and mom living in the Bay Area. Originally from NYC, she has worked in print, TV/ Video Production and as an online media producer and manager for many years. Her focus has been feature stories: travel, health and wellness, parenting and food. Her work has included projects for Silicon Valley startups, national media outlets, corporations and non-profits. HairToStay offered a unique opportunity to combine many of her media production skills and personal interests– but most of all– the organization has such an inspiring and meaningful mission, one that she wanted to support. Darya lives in San Francisco with her husband and two teenage sons and enjoys hiking, camping, yoga and cooking.
Board of Directors
Dr. Hope Rugo
Dr. Hope Rugo is a medical oncologist and hematologist specializing in breast cancer research and treatment. A Clinical Professor of Medicine, Dr. Rugo joined the Breast Care Center in 1999 after a decade of experience at UCSF in malignant hematology and bone marrow transplantation for a variety of diseases, including breast cancer. In 2010, Dr Rugo took the lead as Principal Investigator for the first FDA Trial to grant clearance (December 2015) to a scalp cooling system (The DigniCap System) to be marketed in the United States.
Jeffrey J. Hessekiel, J.D., is Executive VP and General Counsel at Exelixis. Prior to joining Exelixis, Mr. Hessekiel was Senior Counsel at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, where he advised emerging growth and public companies, primarily in the life sciences sector. He also held key legal and compliance roles at Gilead Sciences, Inc., Silicon Valley law firms, and several international non-governmental organizations.
Haircare Advisory Board
Chair, Professional Beauty Association
Sydney Berry is married, has three children and one grandchild. She started her career as a stylist and salon owner, and then Co-Owner and CEO of Salon Services, a distributor of professional beauty salon products throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona Wyoming, Alaska and Montana. She founded the networking group, Club 40, which existed for 25 years meeting every two months, in deriving and sharing best practices with one another to strengthen the core of our beauty industry. Since retiring from her post at Salon Services, she now serves as a critical member of HairToStay’s haircare advisory board and the chair of PBA.
Owner, Scott J Aveda Salons
As a high-school dropout, owning one hair salon — let alone multiple salons — was a career path Scott never dreamed of pursuing. Scott lost his parents at an early age and supported himself as a hospital orderly. Beauty school appealed to him, so he worked his way through cosmetology school and started an apprenticeship in a local salon.
It was one day at a time, one guest at a time. He focused on giving a great experience to everyone in his chair. Making people feel good about themselves is what he loves, and has been driving his passion since day one.
Brand President, amika haircare
Chelsea Riggs is a founding member and Brand President of amika, a fun, accessible and affordable-luxury haircare brand that’s re-writing the narrative of the professional hair industry. Throughout her tenure, Riggs has built the brand’s distribution from the ground up by focusing on supporting the hairstylist community (now carried by over 40k stylists), gradual expansion with Sephora US over the past 10 years into all doors, and a robust DTC business that contributes over 25% of revenue. Under her leadership, amika has seen 10x revenue growth and refocused to a purpose-driven ethos centered on a future in which beauty contributes to a world where people and the planet prosper. Riggs graduated from Florida State University in 2008 with a degree in merchandising, and has been featured in WWD, Nylon, Vogue Business and Glossy.
Owner, S Salon & Spa
Scott is a graduate of Vidal Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica California. Scott opened the doors of S Salon on Jan 5, 2010 and feels truly blessed to work in the Fairbanks community. Scott became a hairstylist because he enjoys developing relationships with people and providing them with a genuine salon experience. He aspired to be a salon owner to help other stylists learn the tools of the trade to succeed in the beauty industry. An interesting fact about Scott is that he enjoys the art of carpentry and loves to spend time in the outdoors of Alaska. Scott’s next goal in his professional career is to develop S Salon Systems and create a culture driven team of cosmetologists
Author & Owner, Salon Cadence
For the past decade, I’ve been on a mission to help serious business owners—especially women—get out of their way, build a profit-through-impact company, and achieve the level of success necessary to live their dreams, all while never feeling alone during the process. Ultimately I found my creative calling in the salon industry. In 2001, I founded Maxime Salon on the South Shore of Massachusetts and grew the company into the high six-figures over a decade of fun, learning, and passion.
It quickly became apparent that running a small business meant I was never off-the-clock. I knew I had to find the balance between life—raising two children—and work, so I streamlined every aspect of the business and was as efficient as possible. Eventually, this process allowed me the free time that many small business owners struggle to achieve. My next dream is to take Salon Cadence global, helping women in distressed situations worldwide to take control of their lives by building their own profitable companies.