Maryclaire Mayes, Founder
Maryclaire always aspired to a simple self-sufficient life style. It started during her childhood. Both of Maryclaire's parents enjoyed organic gardening which led to her own independent study in high school. This aspiration has become a lens through which many of life's choices have been made. She spent most of her time as a child in her parents' garden or with their horses.
While home-schooling her children, Maryclaire had the opportunity to help a friend with a project that would forever change her life. They helped make a batch of goat milk soap. After using it, she realized that simple and natural soap is much better for your skin than commercial cleansers.
It was after the first use of her own goat milk soap that Maryclaire decided she would be making her own soap forever. As she continued to experiment with ingredients, trying to make the best soap possible, she started giving it away as gifts. In February of 2000, Maryclaire, with her husband Dean, decided to sell her soap and incorporate under the name alabu®.
Maryclaire still plays an important role in Alabu. She continues to assist Hal with the development of new products, quality control and general product production challenges. As a researcher by nature, Maryclaire also helps to keep everyone up to date on the newest trends in skin care.
Dean Mayes, CEO
As President and Chief Executive Officer, Dean is responsible for leading Alabu towards becoming an industry leader in the natural skin care market. He brings a unique combination of business administration, operations management, and budget development experience to Alabu. He is also an established Project Planner, Project Leader, Decision Maker, and Mentor with a record of completing projects on time and within budget.
Being in a position of this magnitude is not unfamiliar territory for Dean. After graduating college with an Economics degree, he taught at his alma mater for 10 years refining his skill set. Dean then spent the next 17 years as the CIO effectively leading the IT department for a large 10,000 student school district.
Dean had already begun strengthening his leadership skills before college through the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) that concluded with a climb up Mt. McKinley. Currently Dean resides on his Mechanicville farm with his wife Maryclaire.
Hal Mayes, COO
As Chief Operating Officer, Hal is responsible for the day to day operations of Alabu, including production, inventory control, web site development and Information Technology Administration and support.
Hal displays incredible expertise in Information Technology. Hal developed his love for technology as a child while he watched his father, Dean, utilize technology to increase operational efficiency at his job. He has taught himself at an incredible rate. By the time he was an adolescent, he was already building and repairing computers, and designing web pages as a side job, and at times acting as a consultant for his father. Hal began attending college at 16, studying computer science and business. He continued his studies at Bryan College and later SUNY Albany.
His father may be responsible for his introduction to technology, but his mother, Maryclaire, is responsible for teaching him the art of soap making. He has been able to take the information that he learned from Maryclaire and use it to increase production capacity and efficiency as well as develop new products. As he has built on his knowledge base, he continues developing new and innovative products and production methods.