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Last Update: Thursday September 23, 2021

Key Idea: Set Your Ego Aside

Pam McNair's philosophy is to treat her employees as she wants them to treat the customer.

Key Question:


Help them feel special. 

Q: How do the employees of Gadabout afford the services they provide to clients?

A: Gadabout officially has a trade-out plan. You can trade a haircut for a message when both professionals can arrange to do so. Or, the salon opens at night just for employees to trade services.

Think about it

Clip from: Gadabout Salon & Spa

Tucson, Arizona: Left with two young mouths to feed and never having worked outside the home, Pamela McNair-Wingate has created a new reality in the workplace where love and generosity abide. Today, from six locations around Tucson,  she and her team of over 200 professionals deliver the newest treatments from their spas and the freshest looks from their salons. 

The company, Gadabout SalonSpas, is recognized as a leader in the day spa movement both in customer care and in business practices.

In the typical spas customers check in for a week to be pampered, to eat low-fat diets, and to participate in endless exercise classes. Day spas are different! Here you'll find only the pampering part.  Pam has been a leader in this revolution from its beginning and she is helping to transform the salon business by setting an example for all. In recognition of her extraordinary leadership skills, Pam was named Salon Entrepreneur of the Year for the US at the Global Salon Business Awards presented in London in 2004.

Gadabout SalonSpas, Inc.

Pamela McNair, Chairman

3501 E. Kleindale Road
Tucson, AZ 85726

Visit our web site:

Office: 5203229434

Business Classification:
Personal Products, human services, beauty

Year Founded: 1976

Set Your Ego Aside

PAM: Sometimes we open up the salon in the evening and allow the people to trade services. Or, if you can work something out on your off time with a technician in another department, that's fine.

HATTIE: Well, to me, that's a great benefit. And one of the hard things about getting and keeping people is nurturing them, and that's what I've heard you're so good at. And I want to talk about that.

PAM: If you don't keep the people who are service providers healthy, they can't help the client become healthy. So one of the premises we have in our company is we have to do for the internal clients what we do for the external clients.

Team member: This is where we get our perks, in many ways. Even though we're nurturing other people, we also nurture each other. So we get nurturing at the same time.

PAM: When people work with you, you have to be willing to take care of them first before your clients, if you want your clients to be satisfied. I really believe that the community takes care of all of us, and in order for us to be taken care of, we need to give back to the community that gives to us. And it's very cyclical. If I don't give it, I'm not going to get it. Anyone who's worked for us for 10 years or more--and we started this about five years ago--we have formed committees within that group; there's almost 50 of us now.


PAM: And so you can be on the Environment Committee, the Community Service. A simple thing like--we use latex gloves to do a lot of our treatments. They came up with a concept of using reusable gloves. So we saved 15,000 pairs of gloves that we didn't use in a quarter and kept them out of the environment, as well as didn't have to purchase them. So they work on things like that. And then at the end of the year, they're judged on a point system, and we share up to 20 percent of our net profits with them.


HATTIE: Now, I agree, I've been around all day and she is amazing, but I want to know, from spending eight years with her, why do you continue to--are you going to cry now?

JENNIFER: (Nods yes)

HATTIE: It's OK. I do it all the time. Why is it that that feeling comes to you when someone says, `What is it that's so great about her?' I mean, why does it make you feel that way?

JENNIFER: She's totally invested in the people who work for her. She works for the people who work for her. And I'm among a large number of people who've had the opportunity to completely transform their lives working here.

HATTIE: What do you mean? Like the way you see the world?

JENNIFER: Are you going to cry?

HATTIE: Yes. Has she opened up a bigger window for you?

JENNIFER: What exactly is it? It's probably that she doesn't do things with ego. I've learned how to communicate with people and to do my job in a way that reflects the greatness of the people who I work with. And that's something that Pam teaches; that we reflect each other.

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