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CEO Update

Insight Into The First 90 Days

UPDATE The Executive Edition

Greetings members, partners, and aesthetic professionals!

My first ninety days as CEO of The Aesthetic Society and ASERF have flown by – it’s hard to believe that the holidays are almost upon us.

I feel incredibly energized and optimistic about what lies ahead for The Aesthetic Society and The Foundation and wanted to update you on recent changes and our strategy for the future. Being new to the organization allows me to look at things objectively, but also means that I rely on the knowledge, insight and experience of our staff, members, and stakeholders.

I spent my first three months on an ‘active-listening tour,’ meeting with staff, current and past volunteer leaders, corporate industry partners, and sister-society peers. I had the opportunity to meet many of you at industry events including ISAPS in Athens and our “A Winning Combination” Face and Body Symposium in Scottsdale. Additionally, I participated in my first Annual Executive Retreat and was invigorated by the passionate collaboration of both of our Boards.

The Society continues to hold the pinnacle position in the marketplace, but after meeting and consulting with our internal team and our outside collaborators it became clear that some change and evolution are needed. If we maintain the status quo, we are on a path to increasing an unsustainable deficit, which would hobble our top-line priorities and not allow us to focus on the innovation that is necessary at this time of extraordinary growth for our industry.

Function & Collaboration

Based on the consultations and information we gathered, along with thoughtful deliberation, leadership reassessed the structure of the organization with an eye on function and collaboration. We realigned our staff with the goal of creating a more matrixed environment, to foster better communication, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing across all our teams. This will allow us to better support each other and ensure more efficient execution of our initiatives.

I have already witnessed how this cross-collaboration has energized and benefitted the organization, enhancing ideation, and creating new opportunities. I believe that this interaction, along with encouraging everyone to think objectively about their roles and processes, will drive creativity and position us for better and more efficient operations and execution. It will keep us focused on the right things, encourage accountability, and provide the right return.

Having been personally involved as a team member in similar realignments throughout my career, I know that organizational change is not easy. With any change there is always disruption, and it is tough.  But I have no doubt that during this process we are all learning more, integrating differently, and fostering new ideas together as a team. Change can be uncomfortable, but if correctly managed it always yields a stronger outcome.

Positively Impacting Revenue Growth

We have tightened operations in several areas by implementing cost-control measures, and we are now moving forward with optimization opportunities such as utilizing streamlined systems for payroll and other administrative tasks. We are also working on processes and initiatives to positively impact revenue growth.

An example is developing an easy and user-friendly member experience by automating dues and The Aesthetic Meeting registration. We are also excited to roll out a structured data sales model, allowing us to monetize Aesthetic One’s rich data by offering access to industry partners, financial institutions, and other external parties.

Additionally, we have signed up new Premier and Alliance partners and struck deals with airline and hotel travel partners, allowing our members and exhibitors to take advantage of discounts when attending Society programs. Also, be on the lookout for Aesthetic Society News (ASN) moving to a digital format in 2024 to complement the two annual print issues.

The Aesthetic Foundation

I am also excited to share with you the appointment of Courtney Muehlebach as Executive Director of ASERF.  Under her leadership, she will advance the Board approved ASERF rebranding as “The Aesthetic Foundation” and move forward with our formal breast registry efforts with ARISE.  She will also oversee expanding the Externship Program and rolling out major new gift and individual-giving donor campaigns while continuing to support efforts towards the mission of advancing the safety of aesthetic medicine through research and education.

I have full confidence in our amazing team and believe our realignment and focused path forward puts us on a turnaround trajectory. As we make strides to enhance our operation and improve our bottom line, we create a foundation to support The Society for what is ahead.  It will ensure that we continue to be the leader and pioneer in the marketplace.

Advancing Our Mission

One of the key steps to support this strategy is to allow Cores to attend The Aesthetic Meeting. While there is concern that this change may dilute our brand, I personally feel it allows us to expand on and share our expertise.  Most importantly, it allows us to be true to our mission: driving patient safety for aesthetic professionals. We will, of course, have barcode tracking and other systems in place to ensure the appropriate professionals are attending and learning about their tailored specialty.

Speaking of specialties, we also need to address the explosion of non-surgical aesthetic professionals (nurse injectors, PA’s, etc.) - we would be shortsighted not to consider how our organization can serve as a community and learning hub for them, as it has done so successfully for our Surgeons for decades. If we don’t embrace these professionals today, someone else will. By accessing this group of professionals and providing the opportunity for affiliation with The Society we then have a huge opportunity not only for additional dues, sponsorship, and education revenue, but also for promoting the seal of validation that Society affiliation provides.

The reality is that The Society needs to be innovative and visionary and have the ability to grow and change as the marketplace evolves. That is how we demonstrate our leadership and guarantee our long-term sustainability. In my experience, anticipating and embracing change is essential to organizations that do well in the long run.

What's to Come

So that you are all in the loop as we continue to retool The Society and Foundation for success, I pledge to provide a regular update on our business infrastructure progress, technology enhancements, revenue growth, and developments in our strategy with Cores and Allied Professionals.

I am optimistic about our future prospects because in my short time here I am already impressed with how our team is responding, and with the thoughtful engagement of our boards as they respond, support and act on the challenges and opportunities we face.

I cannot adequately express how grateful I am for having the opportunity to serve in this role. With the contributions of an experienced and knowledgeable staff, both Boards, and our members, partners and volunteers, our future is bright!


Mark Theis

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