Introducing Gabrijela Nikolic

Introducing Gabrijela Nikolic, the QA/QC Director at Hunter Amenities. With extensive expertise in quality assurance and quality control, Gabrijela plays a crucial role in maintaining the highest standards across our product lines. Learn about her recent induction to the Board of Directors for Cosmetics Alliance Canada and about all the meticulous processes involved in delivering the exceptional products at Hunter Amenities.

Gabriejla R&D

1. Can you share a bit about your role at Hunter Amenities and what your main responsibilities entail?

In my current role as the Director of Quality Assurance/Quality Control I am responsible for the development, implementation, maintenance, and the overall success of the company’s quality and regulatory programs and strategies. My role also includes ensuring that the quality processes are compliant with both national and international standards of production and meet all global and regional personal care/cosmetic regulations, including but not limited to: US FDA, IFRA, Health Canada, EU, China Cosmetic Regulations, and the implementation and support of a comprehensive regulatory compliance strategy to meet global market requirements for Hunter Amenities INTL.LTD. products and ensure alignment with our overall business strategy.

2. How does Hunter Amenities ensure the quality and sustainability of its products?

To manufacture high-quality products that meets our customers criteria, we must meet various regulatory requirements. Hunter Amenities global presence subjects us to a diverse range of laws, regulations, current best practices, and standards. As a global organization we must be prepared to respond to local, national, and international regulations and comprehend how they apply to our supply chains as the scope of business increases across continents. It can very be challenging to understand and follow new regulations, but compliance with the various regulations is always a valuable competitive advantage.

3. Congratulations on your recent induction to the Board of Directors for Cosmetics Alliance Canada! How did this prestigious opportunity come about?

Hunter Amenities has been an active member of the Cosmetic Alliance Canada for many years. Cosmetics Alliance Canada is governed by a Board of Directors and Executive Committee, along with several committees on which members are encouraged to participate. Sometime in the summer of last year I was looking at the board list and I noticed that there is really no representative from the hotel amenity industry, and I decide to reach out to the CAC and inquire “what it takes to be on board” and this is how it all began. The requirements was to receive a nomination either by self nominating or from someone at senior level in the organization. I decided to ask our Founder, John Hunter if he would be willing to nominate me, and 2 hours later I had my nomination letter from John in my hands. In the fall of the 2023 I was invited as a guest to the CAC routine meeting and this spring, on May 15th, I was officially selected to the Board, together with two new members from the cosmetic industry.

4. What are your goals and aspirations as a new member of the board?

My primary goal is to assist the board and its members in continuing to provide valuable insights and direction with respect to the cosmetic industry issues and member interests. Another goal is to continue promoting the amenity business and bringing awareness of the challenges this type of business is facing with regulations. I strongly believe that there is not enough knowledge with government organizations on how big Hunter Amenities global footprint is and how our business is impacted with never ending regulatory changes.

5. How do you see your role on the board impacting the personal care and cosmetics industry in Canada?

Cosmetics Alliance Canada acts as the principal voice of the industry with the government and media, representing our members on a wide range of issues and interests since 1928. I see my role on this board and couple other committees of the CAC that I’m member of as continued support and assistance to this organization in shaping current and incoming legislation, regulations, while also enhancing the ability of the CAC member companies to conduct business effectively and sustainably, and to promote global competitiveness of Canadian cosmetic and personal care manufacturers.

6. What are some of the current trends in quality and regulatory initiatives that you’re witnessing in the personal care and cosmetics industry?

Increasing consumer scrutiny is driving the demand for safer, more sustainable products and greater transparency. No surprise that many regulatory agencies globally are responding to these pressures and introducing or amending current standards to both meet consumer expectations and promote responsible, ethical and environmentally-friendly practices. Current EU Regulation on Deforestation-Free Supply Chains, Anti-Greenwashing Directive, US Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022, EU Ban on Microplastics are just few of the examples of these changes. Hunter Amenities adherence to regulatory standards in the personal care industry isn’t just a legal obligation, but also the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to consumer safety and ethical business practices—potentially enhancing our companies’ reputation and attracting new customers and brands.

7. How does Hunter Amenities stay ahead of regulatory changes and ensure compliance across different markets?

In these days and times, it is very important for Hunter to stay current with the latest trends in regulatory compliance to avoid penalties, legal issues, and most importantly reputational damage. Regulatory and compliance is a critical aspect of our business and requires constant monitoring of updates or revision to regulations. However, with the ever-changing regulatory landscape, compliance can be a challenge. With constant review of these changes, we are trying to ensure that sites within our organization are in full compliance.

8. You’re scheduled to speak at Canadian Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics Compliance Conference at the end of the month. Could you give us a preview of the topics you’ll be discussing.

This conference is arranged by the SGS and the events goal is to bring together a broad range of technical expertise to discuss the latest developments in pharmaceutical and cosmetics testing and regulation compliance. I have been approached to be one of the speakers on the Cosmetics Panel Discussion on Global Trends and to share Hunter Amenities experience and challenges with these developments. There is a general feeling in the industry that there is not enough communication, clarity, and assistance from the governing bodies to Canadian Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic industry with these developments.

9. What message or key takeaways do you hope to convey to the attendees of the conference?

The main message will be to share Hunter Amenities’ experience and some of the solutions for addressing these challenges.

10. Looking ahead, what exciting developments or projects can we expect from Hunter Amenities in the near future?

When it comes to the quality, regulatory and compliance initiatives, I’m very excited that we as a company will be pursuing two very important certification such as the ISO 14001 Environmental management systems and the ISO 9001 Quality management systems in addition to currently existing ISO22716 Good Manufacturing Practices for Cosmetic certification. In addition to that and in close cooperation and work with my colleague, Hunter Director of R&D Brandon Konrad we are also working on the integrated formulations, regulatory and compliance software . This software will be a game-changer for companies like us looking to stay on top of regulatory trends. Implementation of the software will help streamline formulations and compliance management by assisting in better automatization of current very manual formulations development by our highly recognized R&D team by providing real-time monitoring of the ingredients used and generating reports to demonstrate compliance globally. This software will also help us stay up to date with the latest regulatory changes by providing alerts and notifications when new regulations are introduced.