Joanne and Mike…the Genuine Powers Couple
She is the owner of Shear Art, the landmark beauty salon
in the Carrollwood Center, celebrating its 22nd birthday
this year. He is the former head of the Drug
Enforcement Agency in Tampa, growing it to the top
office in the U.S. with 100 agents from an agency of 6 people
when he arrived. He retired in 1994 from the federal government;
then worked for the State Attorney’s Office as a criminal
investigator, retiring from there in 2004.
She is the founder and director of Salon Professional Academy,
a training school for cosmetology professionals on Gunn
Highway, with an enrollment of a hundred people right now.
He is an instructor for the Mendez Foundation, teaching antidrugs,
anti-alcohol to teens, using his experience as a DEA
agent as an instructional tool. He tells them how to deal with
peer pressure, shows them “another road to go.”
She is drop-dead gorgeous, her own best advertisement for the
He is the one you’d want by your side in danger’s way…and
he’s not bad lookin’, either.
Together, Mike and Joanne Powers are a powerhouse of a couple,
living in Carrollwood Village Phase II. They have raised
their four children here, where they all played soccer on
Village fields. Their grand-children have been attending
summer-camp classes at the Carrollwood Cultural Center,
which Mike calls “a big draw for Carrollwood.” And
now they have plans to build a new house in,
where else?, Carrollwood Village.
Joanne calls the Village her “circle of life.”
She and Mike agree that everything they
need is right here, so why move anywhere
else. They found out that there were still
some home sites available, in the Forest
Preserve, at the far north end of Phase I.
So they plan to be here for a long time.
Mike is on Phase II HOA, and if the
Village had a fan club, they’d be copresidents.
They like the way the
HOA runs and they like the proliferation
of facilities, especially
Joanne Powers, nee Ferlita, is a
fourth-generation Tampa girl,
grew up in the Egypt Lake
neighborhood. Mike Powers,
a former Marine, is originally
from New York, but came here
25 years ago. Joanne’s childhood
them, and, voila, a dynasty was born. They’ve been together for 23 years, wed by his boss
in the State Attorney’s Office, the iconic Bill James, for whom
he worked as a criminal investigator.
It is a testimonial to the strength of their marriage that Mike
accepts the fact that Joanne will be working 50 to 60 hours a
week, part-time at Shear Art, part-time at Salon Professional
Academy. She acknowledges that he has been her mentor all
along…to use a well-worn cliché…the wind beneath her
The Academy is her new baby, after all. After growing Shear Art
to twice its size in 22 years, both in square footage and number
of employees, Joanne envisioned an Academy, where she
could take her industry to a higher level of excellence by producing
strong, well-educated cosmetologists for the future. I
hasten to add that Redken has sponsored the Academy, the first
of its kind, right here in Tampa. 200 such academies are foreseen
within five years.
The trilogy of esthetics (skin care), nails and hair are the building
blocks upon which Joanne Powers is building her small
empire. The instruction is rigorous, with 8 weeks spent in
classroom, working on mannequins. There is an energy in this
Academy, the interior of which was created by a New
York designer, that is truly infectious. Joanne says,
“I just smile when I walk through here.”
Cosmetology services at the Academy, available
to the general public, are, understandably,
some 50 percent of the prices at Shear Art, or
other comparable salons. That’s because services
are performed by students, albeit under
the supervision of licenses cosmologists.
Some 245 graduates have completed work
here since its founding in 2005.
Meanwhile, the Powers family life
goes on, as usual. Three of Mike
and Joanne’s children live
nearby, so “Pasta Nights” are
an institution. In fact, one
daughter and one daughterin-law work in the family
business. There’s also a
wedding in the works this
summer. Daughter Heather
will be married in St. Paul’s
Catholic Church, with a
reception at Emerald
Greens Country Club.
Truly, Mike and Joanne
Powers’“cup runneth over.”