Dave Potter, CEO of the nationally-accredited cosmetology and esthetics school Capitol Beauty School, knows a little something about being part of a long sustaining educational institution in Omaha. In fact, Potter is helping the organization not only sustain, but excel into its 100th year. Capitol was founded in the Roaring ‘20s, 1923 to be specific. […]Dave Potter, CEO of the nationally-accredited cosmetology and esthetics school Capitol Beauty School, knows a little something about being part of a long sustaining educational institution in Omaha. In fact, Potter is helping the organization not only sustain, but excel into its 100th year. Capitol was founded in the Roaring ‘20s, 1923 to be specific. It owes its name to the original location of the school – at Capitol Avenue in downtown Omaha. Under new ownership, the school was moved to a new location near 108th Street and John Galt Boulevard some 34 years later. It was the succeeding change of hands that Potter isolated as among the most pivotal phases in the cosmetology school’s history. “The driving force, from 1969 to 2018, was the leadership and education provided to the students by the owners, Judy and Lyal McCaig,” Potter said. Previous owners Vi Stehno and Audrey Hunt embarked on a nationwide search to find leadership to “take their facility to new heights of quality and education.” They didn’t have to look far; the McCaigs resided in Nebraska, having successfully operated a salon in North Platte, Nebraska. The duo had left a national mark as well, with Lyal being named the youngest styles director in the National Hair Fashion Committee’s history. “Lyal’s innovative teaching methodologies and practices had a huge impact on the industry before he passed in 2007,” Potter said. Notably, he was inducted into the National Cosmetology Association’s Hall of Renown and would go on to be named as the National Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Association (NHCA) national styles director numerous times throughout his career. “Judy continued on with the assistance of her son, Scott,” Potter noted. The McCaig family would resume ownership for 50 years. Alongside Potter are owners Matt and Nancy Meduna. Potter further credits Skylar McCaig, who serves as Capitol’s director of operations, and the team they have assembled at Capitol, with its legacy. As noted in Capitol information, third-generation family leadership also includes McCaig’s wife, Danyelle McCaig. They became part-owners in 2021. Capitol also has the distinction of outlasting other educational facilities in the market. “There were nine beauty schools in the Omaha area when the McCaigs purchased Capitol,” Potter said, taking us back again to the late 1960s. “Their continued excellence and growth had reduced that to just two schools when they sold it in 2018.” With an enviable milestone fast approaching, Potter indicated in April that plans for its 100 years are still in the works. But, he noted, the anniversary will engage team members, students and graduates – with internal and external open house events.
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