A Q&A with Scott Weaver, President and CEO of Douglas J. Companies
Scott Weaver has led his teams through the novel coronavirus pandemic for both the Douglas J. Institutes and the Douglas J. Salon and Spas. We spoke with Weaver about navigating COVID-19.
How did you manage when COVID-19 changed everything for the Douglas J. Companies predominately the institutes.
It’s been a tough year. I’m very proud of the way our staff and students have handled things. We knew we had to shift gears really quickly. Thankfully, a couple years prior to the pandemic, we had invested in a learning platform that allows us to do distance learning. While we hadn’t intended on using the technology for distance learning when we obtained it, that investment allowed us to act very quickly and it paid off. It hasn’t been easy, but we believe we made the best decisions we could for the stability of the company so that we will be here next year, and the year after.
What learning options are you offering currently?
It’s actually a hybrid. We are continuing the distance learning and we have a good portion of students also coming to our locations for hands-on learning with safety protocols in place.
What protocols do you have in place for the institutes?
Prior to entering our building, we have temperature checks and questions that get answered by everyone. It brings a really good measure of comfort so that people know they are coming to a safe place. Our classrooms also look a little different, we ensure students are 6 feet apart, wearing masks and we have an abundance of cleaning products on hand.
You played a role in developing salon safety protocols statewide. Can you explain?
We had the privilege and honor of working with the governor’s task force through Licensing and Regulatory Affairs developing protocols for salons, spas and, subsequently, cosmetology schools. It was a daunting task, but it allowed us to try to keep things focused on safety and do exactly what was needed to meet the requirements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration and consider what needed to be done to keep our guests, students and staff safe.
How has enrollment in the institutes been?
Interestingly enough, we continued to enroll students even through the height of the pandemic. Not at the same levels, but it’s actually getting close to enrollment pre-COVID. The pandemic highlighted how important this industry is to people. In fact, we’ve recently opened a barber school here in East Lansing, which is a different license in cosmetology. Our next start is at capacity.
What else might our readers want to know about the Douglas J. Companies?
We have hired a medical director who specializes in women’s health and we’re going to begin offering medi-spa services at our Okemos professional salon.
For more information on the salons or educational opportunities, visit douglasj.com.
Back to School: on way or another
Parents, teachers and students have begun to adjust to a new normal for the fall season of the K-12 school year. Some, including the Lansing School District and Waverly Community Schools are using a remote/online learning model for the beginning of the school year. Meanwhile, others have gone back to school following guidelines, including wearing masks, either full time or on a hybrid schedule mixing online and in-school classes.