403-249-1979 5629 Signal Hill Centre, Calgary
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Meet Our Staff

Nicole Hoch

Owner

Nicole developed her passion for art and creative expression at a young age.  Inspired by the idea of an industry designed for people to look and feel their most beautiful, Nicole acquired certifications in Beauty Therapy & Makeup Artistry.  While evolving within the Beauty Industry she discovered Merle Norman Cosmetics and identified with their philosophy of providing exceptional client experiences.  Behind the scenes Nicole is mentoring her team, aiding in studio development and the creation of processes.  Nicole encourages the team to provide an environment where every client can discover, explore and celebrate their inner and outer beauty!  Working very hard to make her vision a reality, she earns the respect of her team by staying committed to goals, remaining solution minded, demonstrating her own talents that inspire.  Equally as passionate about the human condition, Nicole is a strong believer in holistic therapies, self-reflection and identifying the potential in others.  Nicole is committed to her personal relationships, her family and her Teacup Yorkie, Sophie! 

Natasha Hoch

Owner

Natasha began her career in Commercial and Residential Construction where she was involved in customer service, bookkeeping and safety management.  Although Natasha was fully dedicated to her role within the construction industry, when the opportunity presented itself to enter into co-ownership in the beauty industry, she was excited to switch gears and was instantly committed.  Natasha focuses on new product introduction, vendor relations and accounting. Given Natasha’s spirit and enthusiasm it was a natural fit for her to lead marketing, social media, charity and event planning.   Natasha’s strength is her commitment to build strong relationships with clients, co-workers and business partners.  Natasha loves to travel and believes in family values and lifelong friendships.

Larry & Carla Hoch

Co-Owners

Larry & Carla Hoch have been Business Owners in Calgary for 31 years.  Not only are they business partners but have enjoyed many years of marriage, sharing 2 lovely daughters, Natasha and Nicole Hoch, who are also co-owners of Merle Norman Cosmetics & Day Spa Signal Hill Centre.  Larry and Carla began enjoying the Beauty business in February 2014 at which time the Hoch Family purchased the Signal Hill Location.  Many of their past projects have been related to the Construction and Renovation Industry.  The Hoch Family was inspired to provide new life to the Merle Norman Signal Hill location that began in the local area some 30 years prior.  Together along with a team of talented individuals, their vision became a reality on April 1, 2015, when the family owned business was transformed and was relocated to the current brand new luxury space.  When Larry & Carla are not involved with their business activities they enjoy family, friends, travel and the outdoors.

Nikki Schleppe

Studio Manager

Leader, trainer and mentor of the Internal Esthetics Certification Program.

Born and raised in beautiful British Columbia, Nikki pursued and completed her Esthetics Diploma at Marvel College.  In addition Nikki has continued her education taking Advanced Esthetics.  Nikki began her career working at the Merle Norman Studio in Kelowna, at which time she learned the Merle Norman product lines and admired the brand and its message.  Nikki continued her career with Merle Norman Studios when she moved to Calgary in 2012.  A talented and respected Esthetician, with 8 years of experience in the Beauty Industry, Nikki has chosen to share her knowledge and has taken on the role of Internal Esthetics Instructor and Leader, certifying staff and standardizing procedures to ensure an exceptional customer experience.  Nikki is a loyal and dedicated individual who also holds a management position within the organization.  She supports day to day activities and customer service opportunities.  Nikki is a thoughtful person who loves to make her clients feel special.  Nikki is recently engaged.  Congratulations!  She also enjoys her family pet Flapjack.

Samantha Smith

Microblading Technician, Esthetician, Beauty Consultant

Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Samantha has always had a passionate interest for the beauty world.  After completing a three-year Cosmetology Program, she found a job which inspired her to further her career in the beauty industry.  Samantha joined our team two years ago, bringing with her, four years Merle Norman and Esthetic experience.  Samantha continues to advance, acquiring Eyebrow Microblading and Microshading Certifications from the reputable Shay Danielle Academy. Through her expertise in brow shaping, certifications and extensive hands on training, Samantha now provides professional Semi-Permanent Eyebrow Enhancements to many of our clients. Samantha’s love for Skin Health & Beauty combined with extensive Merle Norman product knowledge allows her to easily educate her clients while achieving their goals, gaining confidence and exploring new and exciting beauty options. Additionally, Samantha provides expertise in a multitude of esthetic treatments offered at the Studio. Samantha is easy going and incredibly sweet.  She stays motivated by leading the way and cheering on others.  “People who are accomplishing their dreams inspire one another to succeed”.

Christina Tokar

Studio Coordinator, Beauty Consultant, Esthetician

Christina has an equally strong passion for Esthetic’s, Beauty and People. Christina’s career has recently evolved to Studio Coordinator, as her enthusiasm for the inner workings of the Studio coupled with her sincere desire to ensure every client receives a satisfying experience was a natural fit. In addition, Christina’s Esthetics Education and experience brings a great deal of understanding and expertise to the team. Christina excelled in and completed a Three-Year Cosmetology Program and moved directly in to the Beauty Industry, specializing in skincare analysis and flawless cosmetic looks. At Merle Norman Signal Hill, Christina continued her education, completing several additional Esthetic Treatment Certifications. She refined her skills, becoming a proficient, knowledgeable and well-rounded Esthetician. Christina’s strong organizational skills coupled with her esthetics experience, team enthusiasm and welcoming demeanor results in an enjoyable visit for the client. Christina is a genuine and detail oriented individual who enjoys being the best she can be.  The characteristics she admires most are “honesty and fairness”.

Mercedes Foltz-Wright

Nail Technician, Esthetician

Mercedes attended Delmar College where she completed her Nail Technician Certification.   Mercedes’ enthusiasm toward her craft and her ability to deliver the desired result for specific client requests is refreshing. Mercedes is an incredibly detailed and gifted nail artist.  When creating nail art, she envisions the nail as a mini canvas where she can display her talent and heart.  While at our Studio, Mercedes has expressed the desire to learn additional esthetic treatments. Her motivation and positive work ethic has allowed her the opportunity to provide a variety of Esthetic Treatment options, adding to her expanding skillset. Mercedes future plans are to build on her nail techniques and master new ones.  Quirky and curious Mercedes has captivated the hearts of the whole Merle Team with her willingness to learn and her demonstration of hard work.  Mercedes’ idol is James Paul McCartney, who she would love to meet some day!

Barb Ulrich

Registered Massage Therapist

Barb is a highly skilled and sought after Massage Therapist who graduated from Colorado Institute of Massage Therapy in 2000 and also completed her Certificate of Neuromuscular Therapy and Trigger Point Release. Barb has been a Registered Massage Therapist with NHPC since 2002. Barb delivers memorable treatments for her many loyal clients through Swedish relaxation, deep tissue or prenatal massage therapy. Barb’s calm and compassionate nature, her genuine concern for wellness, along with her knowledge and practical experience is appreciated by her many long-standing and returning clients. Barb is family oriented and also places priority on creating and maintaining lasting and meaningful friendships.

Lindsay Thornton

Esthetician, Beauty Consultant

Lindsay Thornton successfully completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in Art, at the University of Lethbridge in 2010. Since then she has discovered a passion for the Esthetic and Beauty Industry. Lindsay enjoys connecting with clients and continues to develop long lasting relationships. Lindsay is a well-rounded esthetician, proficient in Facial Treatments, Waxing Services, Manicures, Pedicures and Makeup Artistry. Compassionate, creative and easygoing, with a genuine love of helping people to feel good about themselves, Lindsay is a natural asset to our team! Lindsay admires the advice she was once given; “only you, know what is best, for you” proving her strong, confident character and aiding in her mindset to become successful in this field.

Shauna Traynor

Natural Wellness Practitioner, Esthetician, Nail Technician, Beauty Consultant

Shauna brings flare and skill to Merle Norman Signal Hill. Shauna holds certifications in Reiki level 1 + 2 and Indian Head Massage. She is also internationally certified in Esthetics, Gel Nail Extensions and Make Up Artistry. Shauna has spent several years mastering the holistic approach she provides which translates to a soothing Relaxation Massage Therapy Treatment. In addition to her specialty in holistic treatments, Shauna enjoys providing transformational Makeup Application’s, Artificial Nail Enhancements and advanced HydraFacial Treatments. Shauna’s kind, friendly and trusting demeanor coupled with her qualifications and skill level in many additional esthetic treatments, makes for a unique approach to a relaxing and satisfying client experience. Shauna has been quoted saying “I like to be the best I can be, for myself and my team”. She lives up to this standard everyday through her perseverance, enthusiasm and team oriented attitude.

Megan Bruce

Esthetician, Beauty Consultant

Megan was born and raised in the greater Vancouver area. She truly believes in delivering superior client experiences, building lasting relationships with her clients. Megan graduated from the Blanche Macdonald Esthetics program in 2011. She has since been an Esthetician for six years specializing in providing soothing experiences with relaxing treatments such as; Facials, Manicures and Pedicures and Specialized Body Treatments. Megan has extensive knowledge of Skin Health, Treatments and Cosmetics. She is currently attending Bow Valley College to Specialize in Nursing and plans to explore the medical side of esthetics in the future. Megan’s personal motto is to “Enjoy life”. She strongly believes in the importance of caring for the physical and mental wellbeing of humanity.

Wendy Neufeld

Esthetics Instructor, Team Leader

Wendy has been evolving her creative instincts, eye for detail and passion for all things beautiful since the age of 20. As the world of Esthetics emerged, she naturally expanded her expertise, becoming a master in her field. Recognized as an award-winning Makeup Artist at the age of 26, Wendy has remained committed to this achievement by continuing her education in the world of beauty and staying up on the latest trends. Wendy is a qualified Senior Esthetician who contributes a wealth of knowledge to our team. Wendy stands behind the Merle Norman product line and is proud of the continued advancements in science and technology which award our clients with more effective treatments and results. She enjoys sharing her skills, advice and experiences with our team of talented young professionals. Wendy gains personal satisfaction from helping women reach their personal beauty and skin health goals. Providing clients with our ‘Balanced Brow’ is Wendy’s favorite way to enhance someone’s natural beauty.

 

MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

 

Dr. Stuart Wilkinson M.D.

Medical Director at Merle Norman (Signal Hill)

Dr. Stuart Wilkinson studied medicine at the University of Calgary Medical School receiving his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) in 2000. He spent 9 years working as a medical doctor in a family practice and then as medical director for the Pure North S'Energy Foundation, Canada's largest non-for-profit organization that focuses on primary prevention of chronic disease.  Currently, Dr. Wilkinson is employed as an MD at Britannia Health where he offers a comprehensive approach to wellness by managing the total health regime of each of his clients.  As Medical Director at Merle Norman (Signal Hill), Dr. Wilkinson has a keen interest in anti-aging procedures which he believes can greatly improve one's physical and emotional well being, resulting in a healthier life for all clients.  Dr. Wilkinson believes that how one looks and feels on the outside, can have an extreme impact on their inside health. Under the supervision of Dr. Wilkinson, our team is able to offer a wide range of cutting edge, minimally invasive procedures that produce optimal results, rejuvenating the face and body of our clients. Our clients soon discover that once their physical condition on the outside is restored via a medical aesthetic procedure, the level of health and vitality on their inside is rejuvenated.

Dr. Venter

Family Physician and Medical Director of Coolsculpting at Merle Norman (Signal Hill)

Dr. Venter is a Family Physician and Medical Director of Coolsculpting at Merle Norman Cosmetics & Day Spa Signal Hill. He has more than 20 years of experience in Family Medicine. Dr. Venter completed his Medical Degree at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He received further training in Family Medicine in South Africa and the United Kingdom. He also underwent training in Anesthesia in the UK. After moving to Canada, he completed his CCFP (Family Medicine Specialist). A move to Calgary in 2003 led to a career in Urgent Care Medicine. Working first as a Staff Physician at the South Calgary Urgent Care Center. He then also took on the role of Medical Director of the South Calgary Urgent Care and thereafter Medical Director of all the Urgent Care centers in the Alberta Health Services, Calgary Zone. Dr. Venter was able to participate and lead the Urgent Centers, becoming an established and respected provider of urgent medical care in Calgary, Cochrane, Airdrie and Okotoks. Dr. Venter has been trained in Coolsculpting techniques by Zeltiq and is expanding his interest in Cosmetic Medicine. Whenever he is not working Dr. Venter loves to spend his time with his family. Traveling, photography, and skiing are also activities that he uses to occupy his time. Not to forget the saltwater reef aquariums, that if you were to enter Hygieia Clinic would grasp your attention the second you walk in.

Monica Sandhar

RN, Cosmetic Consultant / Injector

Monica has been passionate about health and beauty for many years. In 2009 Monica began as a Makeup Artist in Edmonton and moved forward to pursue a Career in Nursing. While obtaining her Nursing Credentials she continued to freelance as a Makeup and Hair Artist. Monica is now an established Registered Nurse and Makeup Artist in Alberta. Naturally, Monica found cosmetic nursing the happy marriage of her two passions. She was first introduced to Medical Aesthetics in 2014 while working as a Medical Manager at an aesthetic practice. Monica received comprehensive medical aesthetic injection training from a number of Canada’s top injection nurses and doctors. Monica began conducting patient consultations and developed personalized anti- aging treatment plans for her clients. In addition to performing cosmetic aesthetic injections, Monica also has experience in treating Migraines and Hyperhidrosis with Botox ©. To deliver the best results using the latest injection techniques, Monica regularly attends seminars and advanced workshops. Monica enjoys boosting her patients’ self-esteem by making subtle enhancements, for a youthful, yet natural looking result. Her attention to detail begins with listening and understanding the clients’ needs during the consultation process. Clients appreciate Monica’s meticulous and artistic eye, her confidence and ultimately her ability to attain the desired outcome.

Angela Kane

RN, CRA, Advanced Nurse Injector (CARNA)

Our Advanced Nurse Injector has been working within the Aesthetics Industry as an Aesthetics Nurse Specialist and Nurse Educator since 2003. She has worked alongside and received training from esteemed plastic surgeon Dr. Claudio Delorenzi in Kitchener, Ontario. Angela is results oriented and educates new and existing clients on many various treatment options. Angela is reassuring, confident and is adored by the Merle Norman Team for her good nature and uplifting qualities. Angela has an eye for subtleties and provides a trusted and informative client experience. “Magic happens when Art and Science meet.”