Who Will Summit Next?: Reaching $1 Billion

by J.M. Emmert

“Life’s a bit like mountaineering,” said Sir Edmund Hillary. “Never look down.”

It’s what direct sellers do, too—never look down. The direct selling industry is an industry comprising people who seek to achieve things never thought possible, scaling new heights, whether reaching inside oneself to achieve personal goals or driving a company toward what is considered the Mount Everest in direct selling, the $1 billion summit.

But like Hillary, only a few direct selling companies have managed to reach that elite status. In the 159-year history of direct selling in the United States, Avon was the first to achieve the feat in 1972. Amway followed in 1980. In 1996, Mary Kay Inc. and Tupperware both reached $1 billion. In 2004, Nu Skin and Herbalife joined the group. But another nine years passed before the next company, Ambit Energy, reached $1 billion in sales. Many companies are turned back in their efforts to reach that summit. But why? What makes it so difficult?

The simple answer is that growing a company to such an extraordinary level brings with it new challenges, and, like experienced climbers, extraordinary companies know to stop when the footing gets treacherous, even if the summit is close. Because it is an industry focused on people, direct selling companies understand that the welfare of the entire team is more important than putting up numbers. One tragic misstep and the whole team could come tumbling down.

Orville Thompson, CEO of Scentsy and a former chairman of the U.S. Direct Selling Association, once analogized direct selling and the quest to reach $1 billion to scaling Borah Peak in Idaho. At 12,668 feet, Borah Peak, or Mount Borah, is the highest mountain in the state and among the 100 highest summits in the Rocky Mountains. The most popular route to the top of Borah Peak follows the southwest ridge, ascending 5,262 vertical feet from the trailhead in a little more than 3.5 miles. Just prior to reaching the top, climbers encounter Chicken Out Ridge, a thin ridge of rock with steep slopes so intimidating that many abort their summit attempt.

For those chasing after the $1 billion summit in direct selling, the biggest challenge, says Thompson, is simply finding the right path to follow, those “smooth areas worn down by countless others who have blazed trails.” When they reach that direct selling version of Chicken Out Ridge, they must “challenge their skills and test their fears” in the face of new obstacles.

Despite the risks, more companies than ever appear to be chasing the summit. Direct Selling News research has identified 13 U.S. companies with net sales at or approaching the $500 million to $1 billion range and experiencing strong growth. Having as many companies on their way to the $1 billion summit as there are currently at the peak is a testament to the strength of the channel. Here is a closer look at the contenders:

On the Summit Push

In 2011 ACN posted $550 million in sales, down from the previous year’s $553 million. However, the company came back strong the past two years, achieving $582 million in 2012—a 5.8 percent increase—and $700 million in 2013—a 20.2 percent increase. This June, the telecommunications and essential services company launched in Mexico, the seventh-largest direct selling country and the company’s 24th market.

Stream Energy/Ignite
Stream Energy/Ignite has been camped near the billion-dollar summit for the past four years, breaking the $900 million ceiling in 2010. After two years of down sales, the company came back strong in 2013 with $27 million over the previous year—a 3.2 percent increase—putting it at $867 million. The company has seen continued growth, particularly in Hispanic markets, and has significant expectations for company growth across the board in 2014 and beyond as it diversifies its service offerings, allowing it to sell nationwide.

Thirty-One Gifts
Of the 13 companies, only Thirty-One Gifts uses the party plan method of selling, joining Mary Kay and Tupperware as the only companies in the Top 17 of the Global 100 ranking that employ this sales approach. What makes that especially interesting is that, according to the U.S. Direct Selling Association, the party plan method of selling has decreased 4 percent in each of the past two years, going from a high of 31 percent in 2011 to just 23 percent in 2013. The person-to-person method, on the other hand, accounted for two-thirds of sales in 2013, according to the DSA.

Thirty-One also has made one of the fastest ascents in recent years. The company posted sales of $100 million in 2010 and then climbed to $482 million in 2011, a 382 percent increase. Sales continued to rise in 2012—a 48.9 percent increase to $718 million. In 2013, Thirty-One achieved a 6.2 percent increase, ending the year at $763 million. Its four-year growth rate: 663 percent.

USANA, which surpassed $100 million in its first six years, has been the steadiest climber in the group over the past few years. It has maintained an average of $67 million in sales growth annually for the past three years—ranging from a 10.6 percent to 12.5 percent increase—to bring it to $718 million. The company reported $182.4 million in sales for the first quarter of 2014, a 7.9 percent increase over the prior year; second quarter results saw a 0.4 percent decrease, with $188.3 million compared to $189.1 million in 2013; and the third quarter saw record sales of $191.9 million, a 10.5 percent increase over the prior-year period of $173.7 million. For the first half of 2014, USANA generated sales and customer growth in nearly every market in which it operates. Strong growth was seen particularly in Mainland China, the Philippines, Singapore and Mexico.

Expectations are that the wellness industry in particular will continue to thrive in the coming years. In a Sept. 29 article on the health and wellness industry’s global performance, Euromonitor International reported that the United States was leading all countries in 2014 with more than $160 billion in sales. The global industry is expected to reach $1 trillion by … Click here to read the rest of the story

Direct Selling Companies Shine in 2014 Stevie Awards

The prestigious Stevie Awards have announced the first round of winners in the 12th Annual American Business Awards. Isagenix, Jeunesse, LIMU, USANA and Vemma all received honors in this year’s competition.

A ceremony held June 16 in Chicago revealed winners in the categories of customer service, human resources, corporate communications, marketing, live events, publications and videos. A second event in San Francisco on September 12 will honor winners in all new product and technology-related categories.

The American Business Awards cover all facets of personnel and organizations, from non-profits to support staff and customer service teams. A panel of 240 executives nationwide selected this year’s winners from more than 3,300 entries.

Gold Stevie Award winners included Brandon Scott, CMO of Jeunesse; Allie Henderson, Public Relations Specialist at USANA; and BK Boreyko, Vemma Founder and CEO. The following is a complete list of Stevie Awards presented to direct selling companies in this year’s competition.

Isagenix International


  • Viral Marketing Campaign of the Year—Share The Shot Viral Marketing Campaign


  • Company of the Year (Health Products & Services and Pharmaceuticals)
  • Communications Department of the Year
  • Executive of the Year (Health Products & Services)—Kathy Coover, Executive Vice President
  • Best Internal Recognition/Motivational Event—Isagenix Celebration Annual Recognition Event
  • Video—Experience Isagenix Video

Jeunesse Global


  • Marketing Executive of the Year—Brandon Scott, CMO


  • Marketing Department of the Year—Creativity Means Doing Things Differently
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year (Up to 2,500 Employees)—Jeunesse Kids


  • Company of the Year (Health Products & Services and Pharmaceuticals)
  • Video—How Do You Spell Success?
  • Video—The Secret of Jeunesse



  • Best Internal Recognition/Motivational Event—2014 LIMU International Convention
  • Branded Entertainment—2014 LIMU International Convention Opener
  • Branded Entertainment—LIMU BMW CLUB
  • Video—#BLU2 Launch Video
  • Video—An Experience Like No Other

USANA Health Sciences


  • Communications Professional of the Year—Allie Henderson, Public Relations Specialist


  • Communications or PR Campaign of the Year (Social Media Focused)—RESET: Destination Transformation 2013
  • Communications Professional of the Year—Angie Larsen, Senior Manager of Corporate Relations
  • Customer Service Department of the Year (100+ employees)
  • New Product or Service Introduction of the Year—USANA Protein Snacks
  • Support Department of the Year—USANA Maintenance
  • Support Staffer of the Year—Susie Derber, USANA True Health Foundation Executive Assistant


  • Management Team of the Year (Consumer Products and Consumer Services Industries)
  • Executive of the Year (Health Products & Services)—Jim Bramble, CLO and General Counsel
  • Communications or PR Campaign of the Year (Events & Observances)—#SOCHI14
  • Communications or PR Campaign of the Year (Social Media Focused)—USANA Social Media
  • Communications, Investor Relations, or PR Executive of the Year—Ashley Collins, Executive Director of PR, Social Media & Communications
  • Communications, Investor Relations, or PR Executive of the Year—Dan Macuga, CCO
  • Communications Professional of the Year—Mallory Moger, Public Relations Specialist
  • Communications Professional of the Year—Misty Dangel, Public Relations Specialist
  • Marketer of the Year—Jessica Reimer, Senior Marketing Manager

Vemma Nutrition Company


  • Executive of the Year (Health Products & Services)—BK Boreyko, Founder and CEO


  • Best Internal Recognition/Motivational Event—Verve Leadership Academy



The BIG HISTORY of Direct Selling

by J.M. Emmert

Click here to order the June 2014 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


• The BIG HISTORY of Direct Selling • 10 Things to Know • The List 
• Topping the Charts • Profiles • Celebration

• Leadership • Growth Based on Percentage • Growth Based on Revenue •Humanitarian

DSN Global 100

This past November the History Channel’s sister station H2 aired Big History, a 17-part narrative on the history of Earth. The program culminated with a look at the critical events that shaped life on this planet, from the Big Bang to the social transformations of the modern era. Like the history of the universe, the story of direct selling reveals paradigm-shifting events and thresholds that have fundamentally changed the industry and helped to shape today’s direct seller.

So we wondered: What were those moments? What would be the “Big History” of direct selling? The following are the five thresholds we identified.

Threshold No. 1—The First Direct Selling Companies

There was no Big Bang moment for direct selling, no moment when out of nothing everything began. The industry, the oldest distribution channel in history, began appearing alongside the development of civilizations. As hunter-gatherers settled down to farm and build towns, the first direct sellers began to sell their wares across Europe, Africa and Asia.

The bartering of commodities evolved into a vast network of trade, and by the 18th century the direct-to-consumer channel of distribution had reached the United States in the form of the Yankee peddler, solitary figures who roamed the countryside bringing goods to isolated areas of the population. But it would be another century before the first direct selling company was established. In 1855, Rev. James Robinson Graves developed a business model that had young men going door to door to sell products, forming the basis of the company known today as Southwestern.

Nearly 160 years later, direct selling engages more than 16 million people in the United States and nearly 100 million people around the world, with 22 billion-dollar global markets. Direct selling companies are committed to not only bringing quality products to the global audience, but also a quality of life that can, and does, change lives.

“More than 3 million Independent Beauty Consultants around the world share Mary Kay’s message of hope—‘If you can believe it, you can achieve it!’ ” says Sheryl Adkins-Green, Chief Marketing Officer of Mary Kay. “Through Pink Changing Lives®, Mary Kay has a commitment to changing the lives of women and children around the world, encouraging them to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams to transform, inspire and empower our future.”

The popularity of direct selling continues to grow. In a recent Harris Poll commissioned by Direct Selling News, nearly one-third of U.S. adults have purchased from a direct seller in the past six months, with 42 percent taking advantage of doing so online. That technology has allowed newer companies to reach more customers far quicker than the old days of walking the countryside.

“It Works! is a customer-generating machine,” says Mark Pentecost, CEO of It Works! Global. “We encourage our distributors to gather customers, and we provide a Loyal Customer Program with perks to retain customers. This opportunity forms the foundation for a business that gives everyday people hope that they can change their lives and leave a legacy for their families.”

Threshold No. 2—Women Are Welcomed

In the history of the universe, stars became the building blocks for life. And in the history of direct selling, the points of light that became the building blocks of the industry were women.

David McConnell’s decision to recruit women as sales representatives for his California Perfume Co. might have been a big, bold statement for the times. Yet it just made sense to McConnell when he saw the natural ability of women to network and market to others. Mrs. Persis Foster Eames Albee became the company’s first representative, and today more than 6 million Avon representatives are following in her footsteps, benefiting from McConnell’s belief that women could be the most important component of the direct selling channel.

“[Our Founder David H. McConnell] understood that women were natural salespeople who could easily relate to other women and passionately market beauty products.”
—Sheri McCoy, CEO, Avon Products Inc.

“In 1886, our Founder David H. McConnell recognized that women were rarely offered the opportunity to earn their own income,” says Avon CEO Sheri McCoy. “He also understood that women were natural salespeople who could easily relate to other women and passionately market beauty products. The notion that women deserve the opportunity to support themselves and their families is a cornerstone on which [Avon is] built.”

The role of women in the industry has greatly evolved from the days when the legendary Mrs. Albee traveled the Northeast by horse and buggy. Mary Kay Ash, Brownie Wise, Mary Crowley and Jan Day were strong role models whose business savvy and sincere desire to see their contemporaries succeed empowered 20th-century women and inspired a legion of today’s female leaders.

That group includes Thirty-One Gifts’ Founder and CEO Cindy Monroe, Scentsy’s Co-Founder and President Heidi Thompson, Rodan + Fields President Lori Bush, Isagenix’s Co-Founder Kathy Coover, and The Pampered Chef’s CEO Doris Christopher, who believe that being a woman is an advantage to running a direct selling company.

In fact, if you look at the Global 100 companies, you will find that nine of the 29 U.S. companies in the Top 50—31 percent—are led by women who were either co-founders or who serve as president or CEO. And it is these women who are bringing their opportunities to other women around the globe, especially in developing countries where women are expressing sentiments similar to what Mrs. Albee wrote to David McConnell 130 years ago: “I know of no line of work so lucrative, pleasant and satisfactory as this,” she said.

DSN Global 100 DSN Global 100

Threshold No. 3—The Formation of Direct Selling Associations

In 1910, McConnell’s California Perfume Co. joined with nine other companies from New York, Massachusetts and Michigan to form the Agents Credit Association, which today is known as the U.S. Direct Selling Association. It was the first such association to focus on the needs of direct sellers.

Back then, the Association was charged with collection and credit matters; today, the DSA represents 200 member companies and works to further promote the impact of direct sellers under the guidance of President Joseph Mariano.

“One of the most important accomplishments for DSA has been the mobilization of many different types of companies by recognizing and supporting their mutual interests,” Mariano says. “DSA can act on behalf of companies and individual sellers to ensure a fair and open marketplace. Because we determine our course of action based on the merits instead of special interests, we have a virtually unblemished record of defeating legislation that would be harmful to direct sellers, and have worked constructively with many states in passing anti-pyramid legislation that helps lawmakers identify and prosecute scams while protecting legitimate companies.”

“We will continue to help policymakers, prospective sellers and others gain a fuller understanding and appreciation of direct selling.”
—Joseph Mariano, President, U.S. DSA

According to Mariano, the DSA will continue to work collaboratively with companies to maintain unity of message and purpose in all its activities. “We will continue to enhance the high standards of marketplace behavior the public should expect from direct sellers, and we will continue to help policymakers, prospective sellers and others gain a fuller understanding and appreciation of direct selling,” he says.

Today more than 60 countries have direct selling associations. Seldia—the European Direct Selling Association—represents 27 DSAs, including those from the U.K., Germany, France, Belgium and Italy, which were the first European countries to establish national associations. Since 1968, Seldia has been an authoritative voice for direct selling in European government affairs.

“New laws and regulations are now made with input from Seldia, and a growing number of policymakers have a favorable and supportive view on direct selling,” says Maurits Bruggink, Executive Director of Seldia. “With the increasing appreciation of entrepreneurship in Europe, Seldia wants to grow the importance of direct selling in the coming years and ensure that our sector is known for the opportunities it creates for individuals of every walk of life, the wealth it generates to society, and the high level of ethics in trading.”

A decade after the formation of Seldia, which at the time was known as the Fédération de la Vente et du Service à Domicile (FEVSD), the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations was established. The WFDSA is a non-governmental entity that represents national direct selling associations around the globe and works to promote the highest global standards for responsible and ethical conduct. Alessandro Carlucci, CEO of Brazil-based Natura, is the current Chairman of the WFDSA, and has diligently worked to build the reputation of the industry.

“The WFDSA was born to reinforce ethical standards and to disseminate the positive social impact of the direct selling model,” says Carlucci. “The Federation aims to promote an ethical debate in the sector considering the significant changes happening in an increasingly connected world. In other words, we seek to be every day more in sync with the aspirations of contemporary society—more connected, more active, more social. Since the energy of our people is what moves our business model, we pursue to deeply understand them and to focus on their needs. That is what makes our advocacy efforts relevant to governments and key influencers.”

Threshold No. 4—Compensation Structure

For decades, direct sellers had been compensated on a performance-based model where earnings were tied to personal sales. Then, in the mid-1900s, a revolutionary approach for compensation was developed that would allow representatives to benefit beyond their personal selling efforts. Amway was one of the first companies to adopt the new structure.

According to Amway, many people assume that the Amway business model was introduced in 1959, when Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos founded the company. However, the company’s roots go deeper than that. Nutrilite Founder Carl Rehnborg is often credited as the father of both plant-based food supplements and the sales plan that served as the model for Amway.

This new compensation plan was actually the invention of William Casselberry, whom Rehnborg had met in a Dale Carnegie course, and Casselberry’s friend Lee Mytinger. In 1949, Jay and Rich became two of the top Nutrilite distributors and were introduced to that compensation plan, which allowed them to earn based on their own efforts and those of others they trained as Nutrilite sales reps. Without Rehnborg, Mytinger and Casselberry, Amway might not have been guided by the business plan that has served it well for 55 years.

Today, nearly 90 percent of the 2013 DSN Global 100 companies utilize this compensation structure.

DSN Global 100

Consumer Goods and Services Offered through Direct Selling


  • Arts & Crafts
  • Beauty
  • Fashion & Accessories
  • Cosmetics
  • Educational
  • Food & Beverage
  • Food Storage
  • Home Care
  • Home Décor & Fragrances
  • Jewelry
  • Kitchenware & Cookware
  • Nutritional Supplements
  • Personal Care
  • Relationship Enhancements
  • Travel
  • Weight Management
  • Wellness


  • Energy
  • Financial Planning & Investing
  • Health Insurance
  • Home Security
  • Legal Representation
  • Life Insurance
  • Natural Gas
  • Telecommunications


Threshold No. 5—Evolution of the Sales Method

The direct selling model has evolved because the world has evolved. The industry has adapted to changes because it can, as life itself can, store information, reproduce itself, pass information along and multiply.

One of the greatest changes in the industry was the party plan model, believed to have been created by Brownie Wise when she was with Tupperware. But perhaps no event in the history of direct selling has caused more of a paradigm shift than the emergence of technology. And here’s why. As Big History explained, during the era of the steam engine, it took 150 years for man’s collective knowledge to double. Today, it takes two years. By 2020, it will take 72 hours.

“We not only embrace, but innovate with the tools and technology now so abundantly available,” says Rick Stambaugh, Chief Information Officer of USANA. “The world is shifting. Mobility will prove to be the game changer, especially when it comes to prospecting. Everyone has a smartphone, which gives us a much broader reach. Apps will become a preferred means of engagement, and we are actively updating and developing several to stay ahead of the curve. In fact, for over 20 years, our focus has been on personalization. Some may say technology is contradictory to that, but it’s not. Being able to profile yourself and get answers specific to you is not only cool, but is the wave of the future.”

Stambaugh adds that as for transaction technology, the method of spending is rapidly shifting from a storefront platform to a greater web-based structure, as e-commerce becomes widely accepted and trusted. “It has certainly moved the needle on our ROI,” he says. “Then there is social media, which is less than 10 years old, but look what it has done already in the realm of awareness. These days you can’t run a successful business without being social media savvy. Even social commerce is catching on, although still in its infancy. And though the direct sales industry is becoming more high-tech, it’s still important to remain ‘high-touch’ in keeping customers satisfied and the salesforce motivated. You have to stay connected to those you serve and develop an interpersonal presence in a high-tech world.”

“Though the direct sales industry is becoming more high-tech, it’s still important to remain ‘high-touch’ in keeping customers satisfied and the salesforce motivated.”
—Rick Stambaugh, Chief Information Officer, USANA

Avon’s McCoy agrees to a certain degree. “While the biggest game changer is technology and how we use it, the backbone of our business hasn’t changed,” she says. “Our representatives continue to build relationships and have a passion for products, and our business is still high-touch, even though it’s now high-tech too. Customers can connect with their representatives in person, over the phone, via email or through social media. While the world is a different place today than when Avon started, it is the personal touch that connects our customers to our representatives.”

Adds Douglas Franco, General Manager for Belcorp USA, “I believe technology just changes the way our relationships work, but does not change their nature. It’s a trust-based purchase, which only becomes more transparent and democratic with technology.”

“I believe technology just changes the way our relationships work, but does not change their nature. It’s a trust-based purchase, which only becomes more transparent and democratic with technology.”
—Douglas Franco, General Manager, Belcorp USA

The Future

History teaches us that we have the ability to seize our evolution, and that the triumph of our collective learning is the ability to adapt. We learn to survive in the most challenging conditions. We seize the opportunities to continually move forward.

What will be the next threshold for direct selling? That remains to be seen. In the next century this industry may not even be known as “direct selling.” As new technologies and forms of communication are developed, a new term may come to apply to what it is direct sellers do, just as the term “social selling” is gaining traction today.

This year, the DSN Global 100 list revealed that 18 companies increased their 2013 revenue by more than $100 million, clear evidence that the business model can thrive in a time of economic uncertainty.

Additionally, new companies such as Origami Owl, Nerium International, Plexus Worldwide and Solavei, along with a host of others, continue to bring fresh ideas and methodologies to the marketplace. These new ideas, combined with advanced technology, placed alongside a highly successful and long-standing business model, will open up possibilities that we can only guess at today. The future is promising!

Isagenix Helps Wishes Come True as ‘2013 Cause Champion’

Photo above: Isagenix founders Jim and Kathy Coover accept the 2013 Cause Champion Award.

The Isagenix mission of providing “solutions to transform lives” recently earned the company national honors from charitable partner Make-A-Wish. In addition to its Annual Sponsor Award, Isagenix has received Make-A-Wish America’s prestigious 2013 Cause Champion Award.

Make-A-Wish is an international organization working to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. The wishes are as unique as the children themselves and include experiences like traveling, learning a new skill or meeting a favorite celebrity. The Cause Champion Award recognizes Isagenix’s support in cash contributions, employee support and outstanding partnership internationally. In less than two years, the health and wellness company raised $1.2 million in support of Make-A-Wish.

“This is a proud moment for Isagenix. We are so grateful for our affiliation with Make-A-Wish and the ability to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Isagenix Co-Founder and President Jim Coover, who accepted the award alongside his co-founder and wife, Kathy. “There is no better cause than being able to bring joy into the life of a child and their family.”

Isagenix Associates have the option of giving a recurring donation from their monthly commissions or autoship orders. During Make-A-Wish Month in May, the company is boosting its fundraising efforts by donating $1 for every person who sets up a recurring donation, up to $10,000. Isagenix has also coordinated with several of its vendor partners, who have joined the effort to support the foundation during Make-A-Wish Month.

The Most Influential Women in Direct Selling

by Beth Douglass Silcox

Order reprints of Kathy Coover’s profile here.

Isagenix Products


Kathy Coover
Co-Founder, Isagenix International

Getting the fluff out of the way and prioritizing things that produce results for the company and the field—that’s the kind of breakthrough Kathy Coover works toward every day. Mapping out the most and eliminating the least productive things keep Coover moving forward, both personally and professionally.

“I learned a lot about time management and balancing priorities from being in the field—balancing huge organizations and a child and a spouse,” she says.

She travels the world as the face of Isagenix and deems herself its “custodian of culture.” When Coover alights in the company’s Chandler, Ariz., headquarters, she tends to play Mom. “I’m always in there, asking questions and making sure that they really understand the things they are doing, because if it’s not right for the field, it’s not right for the company,” Coover says.

Sales and marketing are her innate strengths. “It’s kind of something that was natural to me. I was gifted at that,” she says. “But when we started the company, I did wear a lot of hats. We did everything.” Now with the rapid growth of 2013 and a goal to grow by 40 percent this year, Coover is enthusiastic about the future. “It’s a very exciting time. We are in momentum, so we want to keep building our field and our leadership in the field. I personally am building my infrastructure in the office to take on a lot of responsibility.”

Kathy Coover, Co-Founder, Isagenix InternationalClear communication with the people both inside the corporate offices and outside in the field assures Coover that the Isagenix collaborative culture will remain intact. “Our values are very important, and as we expand and grow internationally it is important that we keep those values as we go into the new countries,” she says. Making that so takes consistent messaging and collaboration. “We need to look at our staff to make sure that message gets to the person answering the phone—the direct contact with the field. The communication we portray to our field is so important as we get larger and larger.”

Virtually anyone in the world within Isagenix’s open international markets can join, learn from home and run a business thanks to what Coover calls the company’s “window to the world.” She says, “We have everything online, even our recruiting system.” Fine-tuning that already successful system is an ongoing priority in 2014. “We have our business development system for our field, and we know if we keep perfecting that and working with our field, they’ll keep growing.”

Isagenix also has an entire department dedicated to developing both the consultant field and the corporate team. “We were really early adopters of personal development with the field and in our office. Mentorship is very important,” she says. Even Coover has an in-house coach that mentors her, sometimes long-distance over the phone. She adds, “Also my husband, Jim, is one of my strongest mentors. We’ve been married 30 years, and if it weren’t for his belief in me, his mentorship, I would not be where I am today.”

Kathy Coover on personal development…

“I read a lot. I take classes. I listen to audios, and I go to other network marketing events to see what other people are doing. It really keeps me in touch, and it also validates what we’re doing.”

Kathy Coover on keys to growth…

“Keeping it really, really simple. That’s been one of the reasons for our growth—simplicity of our messaging, simplicity of training, and simplicity of really understanding what we have.”

Isagenix International

Isagenix offers health and wellness products for weight loss, energy and performance, and healthy aging in 10 markets around the globe. Founded in 2002 by John Anderson and Jim and Kathy Coover, Isagenix sells high-quality, natural, no-compromise products, engineered for safety, purity and potency through more than 250,000 active associates. Associates have experienced weight loss, increased health and improved athletic performance. The company’s products are not only for health, but wealth creation, too.

Located in Chandler, Ariz., Isagenix is a fast-growing direct selling company. Domestic growth was up 30 percent in 2013 and overall worldwide growth was 34 percent. International expansion continued in 2013 with Singapore, Malaysia and Colombia opening, as well as Chinese retail operations. Next in line are Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Company revenues of $334 million for 2012 ranked Isagenix 36th on the Direct Selling News Global 100 list of top direct selling companies in 2013.

Order reprints of Kathy Coover’s profile here.

DSN Global 100 Profiles – 31 Through 40

Click here to order the June 2013 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


• Cover Story • 10 Things to Know • The List 
• Topping the Charts • Profiles • Celebration

• Leadership • Growth • Momentum

31. PartyLite (Blyth)

2012 Net Sales: $425 million
Country: USA

Celebrating 23 years as a member of the Blyth family of companies, PartyLite is lighting the way to a bright future by offering a first-class earning opportunity and an array of sub-brands and collections that include candles, candle holders, flameless fragrance and wax warmers as well as holiday and home décor.

2011 Rank: 22
2011 Net Sales: $500 million
Sales Method: Party plan
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Candles, home fragrance, home décor
Markets: 18
Salespeople: 54,500
Employees: 920
Headquarters: Plymouth, Massachusetts
Executive: Robert Goergen, Jr.
Year Founded: 1973
Stock Symbol: BTH—NYSE
Website: www.partylite.com


2012 Net Sales: $378 million
Country: Japan

Selling exclusively in Japan, KK ASSURAN’s products address skin-care issues for the Japanese population. The company relies on traditional person-to-person contact for sales.

2011 Rank: 30
2011 Net Sales: $370 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Skin care
Markets: 1
Salespeople: 500,000
Employees: 410
Headquarters: Fukuoka, Japan
Executive: Not available
Year Founded: 1994
Website: Not available

33. Arbonne International LLC

2012 Net Sales: $377 million
Country: USA

At Arbonne, beauty begins with premium botanical ingredients, an integrative approach to beauty and an unwavering commitment to pure, safe and beneficial products. Arbonne creates personal-care and wellness products that preserve and enhance the skin, body and mind.

2011 Rank: 34
2011 Net Sales: $353 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Cosmetics, personal care, wellness
Markets: 4
Salespeople: 262,500
Employees: 585
Headquarters: Irvine, California
Executive: Kay Napier
Year Founded: 1980
Website: www.arbonne.com

34. Nature’s Sunshine Products Inc.

2012 Net Sales: $368 million
Country: USA

When Nature’s Sunshine began almost 40 years ago, it offered encapsulated herbs to customers. Today, the company’s product line includes a large selection of herbal, vitamin, mineral and nutritional supplements as well as skin-care products.

2011 Rank: 32
2011 Net Sales: $368 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Skin care, personal care, cosmetics, wellness
Markets: 45
Salespeople: 668,000
Employees: 1,003
Headquarters: Provo, Utah
Executive: Michael Dean
Year Founded: 1972
Stock Symbol: NATR—NASDAQ
Website: www.naturessunshine.com

35. LG Household & Health Care

2012 Net Sales: $350 million
Country: South Korea

LG Household & Health Care began in 1947 with domestically manufactured cosmetics and toothpastes. It has expanded to become Korea’s foremost household goods and cosmetics company.

2011 Rank: N/A
2011 Net Sales: N/A
Sales Method: Not available
Compensation Structure: Not available
Products: Personal care, home care, cosmetics
Markets: 5
Salespeople: Not available
Employees: 2,745
Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea
Executive: Suk Cha
Year Founded: 1947
Stock Symbol: 051900—SEO
Website: www.lgcare.com

36. Isagenix Worldwide LLC

2012 Net Sales: $334 million
Country: USA

Isagenix is a health and wellness company that develops and manufactures nutritional and personal-care products that are distributed through an independent network of associates.

2011 Rank: 44
2011 Net Sales: $262 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Wellness
Markets: 9
Salespeople: 180,000
Employees: 350
Headquarters: Chandler, Arizona
Executive: Jim Coover
Year Founded: 2002
Website: www.isagenix.com

37. Faberlic

2012 Net Sales: $330 million
Country: Russia

Faberlic is Russia’s largest homegrown direct seller, with a wide product range and operations primarily in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The company has more than 350 products and is particularly strong in skin care.

2011 Rank: 52
2011 Net Sales: $200 million
Sales Method: Not available
Compensation Structure: Not available
Products: Cosmetics
Markets: 20
Salespeople: 1 million
Employees: Not available
Headquarters: Moscow, Russia
Executives: Alexy Nechaev and Alexander Davankov
Year Founded: 1997
Website: www.faberlic.ru

38. Neways Inc.

2012 Net Sales: $326 million
Country: USA

Neways is dedicated to making the world a healthier place, one home at a time. Neways distributors share the products in 30 countries, with nearly half of the company’s annual revenues paid back to distributors as commissions.

2011 Rank: 36
2011 Net Sales: $349 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Single-level
Products: Cosmetics and personal care, home care, wellness
Markets: 39
Salespeople: 170,000
Employees: 550
Headquarters: Springville, Utah
Executive: Robert Conlee
Year Founded: 1987
Website: www.neways.com

38. Noevir Co. Ltd.

2012 Net Sales: $326 million
Country: Japan

Noevir develops, produces and sells a versatile collection of products under well-regarded brand names, including Noevir high-performance functional skin-care products and hypoallergenic cosmetics as well as health food.

2011 Rank: 37
2011 Net Sales: $345 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Single-level
Products: Skin care, body care, nutritional supplements, cosmetics
Markets: 8
Salespeople: 180,000
Employees: 1,017
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
Executive: Takashi Okura
Year Founded: 1964
Stock Symbol: 4928–TYO
Website: www.noevirholdings.co.jp

40. Menard Japan Cosmetics

2012 Net Sales: $319 million
Country: Japan

Menard Cosmetics was started after World War II and is one of the biggest cosmetics brands in Japan. The company plays a remarkable role in the market in terms of their prestigious products and high-quality customer services.

2011 Rank: 26
2011 Net Sales: $434 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Cosmetics, skin care, body care, fragrances
Markets: 28
Salespeople: Not available
Employees: Not available
Headquarters: Nagoya, Japan
Executive: Not available
Year Founded: 1959
Website: www.menard-cosmetics.com

DSN Celebrates the Global 100 Companies

by J.M. Emmert

Amway was recognized as this year’s new No. 1 direct selling company in the DSN Global 100 ranking.


• Cover Story • 10 Things to Know • The List
• Topping the Charts • Profiles • Celebration

• Leadership • Growth • Momentum

DSN Global 100

Direct Selling News celebrated the DSN Global 100 ranking on April 3 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas, with a dinner and awards ceremony. The event marked the fourth consecutive year that DSN has recognized the achievements of the global direct selling leaders.

The event was hosted by DSN Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming. Brian Connolly, Chairman of the Board of Miche Bag and former Executive Vice President of Avon Products Inc., served as master of ceremonies.

More than 300 direct selling executives attended the event, including Cindy Monroe, CEO of Thirty-One Gifts; Jim and Kathy Coover, Co-Founders of Isagenix; Wayne Coupland, Network Director of Telecom Plus; Jerry Brassfield, Executive Chairman of GNLD; John Addison, Co-CEO of Primerica; Rob Snyder, Chairman of Stream Energy (Ignite); Connie Tang, CEO of Princess House; Chris Chambliss, a Co-Founder of Ambit Energy; Dave Wentz, CEO of USANA; Robert Goergen Jr., President of PartyLite; Keith Harding, CEO of Sportron; Robert Sinnott, CEO of Mannatech; Ryan Blair, CEO of ViSalus; Jill Blashack Strahan, CEO of Tastefully Simple; Mike Azcue, CEO of WorldVentures; and Orville and Heidi Thompson, Co-Owners of Scentsy.

Special guests included Joseph Mariano, President of the U.S. Direct Selling Association; Charlie Orr, Executive Director of the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF); and two DSEF Circle of Honor winners: J. Stanley Fredrick, Chairman of Mannatech; and Michael Lunceford, Senior Vice President of Mary Kay. Malou Caluza, Chief Marketing Officer of QNET, traveled from Hong Kong to attend the event.

The Bravo Awards

The evening began with the presentation of two DSN Bravo Awards for excellence.

Momentum Award

It Works! Global was honored with the Bravo Momentum Award, which was created for this year’s celebration to recognize a previously unranked company that had demonstrated not only significant growth in 2012, but also the most significant first-time ranking on the DSN Global 100 list.

“It just shows any company in here that if you really focus and persevere you can do this—you can be a 10-year overnight success.”
—Mark Pentecost, Founder and CEO, It Works! Global

Founder and CEO Mark Pentecost had attended last year’s event and decided then that he wanted It Works! to be a Global 100 company. He and his team put together a strategic and operational plan to achieve that goal. In 2011, It Works! had revenue of $45 million; in 2012, revenue jumped to $200 million, placing the company in the 56th position in the 2012 ranking.

“We started from the bottom, and now we’re here,” said Pentecost. “It just shows any company in here that if you really focus and persevere you can do this—you can be a 10-year overnight success.”

Growth Award

Nerium International won the Bravo Growth Award, which is presented to the company achieving the highest percentage of growth over the prior year.

Last year’s winner, ViSalus, won the award for its 600 percent growth, going from $34 million in 2010 to $231 million in 2011. Nerium achieved an astounding 3,900 percent growth, going from $2.5 million in revenue in 2011 to $100 million in 2012. The company, which was founded in the fall of 2011 with only one product in the anti-aging category, placed 86th in the ranking.

Nerium’s founders—CEO Jeff Olson, President Dennis Windsor, Corporate Liaison Renee Olson and Vice President of Marketing and Culture Amber Olson—accepted the award.

“It’s been a fun year,” said Jeff Olson. “We’ve really enjoyed the growth and look forward to a great year coming up.”

Leadership Award

The third award in this category, presented later in the evening, was the Bravo Leadership Award, which was given to Alessandro Carlucci, CEO of São Paolo, Brazil-based Natura and Chairman of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations.

The Leadership Award is presented to an individual who personifies leadership, guiding those around him toward greater good, progress and achievement all while earning the respect and admiration of those he leads. Previous winners in this category include John Addison of Primerica (2009); Greg Provenzano, Robert Stevanovski, Mike Cupisz and Tony Cupisz of ACN (2010); and Doug DeVos of Amway (2011).

Carlucci was recognized for embodying those traits. He joined his company in 1989 as a member of the sales and marketing team. In 2005, he was named CEO, becoming the company’s first top executive from outside its controlling stockholders. Under his guidance, Natura has grown to be the largest cosmetics company in Brazil.

In October 2011, Carlucci assumed the Chair of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations, where he now helps guide the industry on a global scale. He believes his responsibility as a leader is to “show to the world our transformation and entrepreneurship capacity,” which will increase business opportunities and the positive impact direct selling has on the lives of millions of people.

“I am very deeply honored to receive this,” said Carlucci upon receiving the Leadership Award. “I am happy to be here because every time I can be together with friends in direct selling, it makes me feel better about the decision I made many years ago to join this industry. It’s a moment to see good friends and the opportunity to make new good friends. This is one of the most important characteristics of our industry—we make friends for life. It is an amazing industry.”

Brian Connolly, Chairman of the Board of Miche Bag, served as master of ceremonies.Brian Connolly, Chairman of the Board of Miche Bag, served as master of ceremonies. Over 300 industry executives attended the Global 100 Celebration.Over 300 industry executives attended the Global 100 Celebration. Alessandro Carlucci, CEO of Natura and Chairman of the WFDSA, gave the keynote address.Alessandro Carlucci, CEO of Natura and Chairman of the WFDSA, gave the keynote address.

Keynote Address

Carlucci was also the keynote speaker for the evening. He spoke of the interconnectedness of direct selling companies, distributors and consumers, and the impact the industry has on the world at large.

“Relationships are the foundation of our company and our business. In the end, relationships move the world; relationships move the business; relationships move people,” he said.

“There is nothing more contemporary than direct selling, and the world is calling for us to help people, to be better leaders, to do the right thing, to transform lives, to generate economic health.”
—Alessandro Carlucci, CEO of Natura and Chairman of the WFDSA

“We see people trying to really produce positive impact,” Carlucci continued. “At the same time we see a huge change in consumer behavior. And when we see all these things together, and we look for the fundamentals of our industry, there is a call for us—a call for our industry because we transform people’s lives, we affect their social aspects, we can do good things for the environment and, economically, we can offer opportunities for people. There is nothing more contemporary than direct selling, and the world is calling for us to help people, to be better leaders, to do the right thing, to transform lives, to generate economic health.”

As Chairman of the World Federation, Carlucci re-emphasized the relevance and importance for direct selling companies to be examples of trust, transparency and good business—“Business that can really change the quality of life on this planet,” he said.

The DSN Global 100

The most anticipated segment of the evening was the announcement of the DSN Global 100.

Before announcing the list in reverse order, Emcee Connolly shared some statistics about the 2012 ranking. A total of 16 countries were represented—including Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Luxembourg, Peru, Russia, South Korea and Switzerland—with 24 newcomers to the list, hailing from Japan, Malaysia, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, China and Cyprus.

By region, there were 57 companies from North America, four from South America, 14 from Europe/Africa and 24 from the Asia-Pacific arena.

In all, the DSN Global 100 companies achieved over $72 billion in net sales in 2012, up from $63 billion one year ago. The Top 10 companies, which collectively represented 625 years of direct selling business across the globe, achieved $44 billion in revenue.

Representatives from nine of the Top 10 companies were present at the event.

“We want to dedicate this distinction to our amazing independent beauty advisors because without their passion, their commitment and their hard work on a daily basis… this would never have been possible.”
—Mona Ameli, General Manager, Belcorp USA

Mona Ameli, General Manager of Belcorp USA, accepted for Peru-based Belcorp Ltd., which placed 10th. “This is a very special year for us as we celebrate our 45th anniversary. This acknowledgment reflects the extraordinary efforts of our 9,000 employees. We want to dedicate this distinction to our amazing independent beauty advisors because without their passion, their commitment and their hard work on a daily basis, from the outskirts of the Amazon to the streets of San Francisco, this would never have been possible.”

Oriflame Senior Vice President Michael Cervell accepted for the Luxembourg-based company, which placed 9th. “On behalf of Oriflame, we are very proud to be in this [ranking], but we are not satisfied. We want to be higher than we are now.”

Greg Darlington, Vice President of Nu Skin, accepted for his company, which placed 8th. “On behalf of our 900,000 distributors and our customers around the world, we thank you for the opportunity to receive this award.”

No. 6 Mary Kay was represented by Senior Vice President Nathan Moore. “Mary Kay always said that if you aim for the moon and you miss, you land amongst the stars. It’s an honor to be among all of you stars tonight.”

Keynote speaker and Bravo Leadership Award winner Carlucci accepted for No. 5, Natura. “On behalf of our 1.5 million consultants around Latin America, we would like to say ‘thank you.’ ”

Hans ter Pelle, Chief Financial Officer of JAFRA Cosmetics, accepted for Germany-based Vorwerk, the No. 4 direct seller. “On behalf of the owner family of Vorwerk and the managing partners, I will gladly take this award and pass it on to them. We aim for higher goals, and we aim for touching many more people on this globe, so let’s put in some healthy competition and see where we end up next year.”

“With leadership comes responsibility, and as such, we will continue to support the industry and its interests going forward.”
—Sandy Spielmaker, Vice President of Sales, Amway North America

The No. 3 direct seller in the world, Herbalife, was represented by Brian McKinley, Senior Director of Corporate Alliances. “Don’t believe everything you read,” McKinley said in reference to recent scrutiny of the company. “Our company is fantastic, our industry is amazing and the future is very bright.”

Angelo Rossi, Avon Group Vice President, accepted for the No. 2 direct seller. “We are honored to be here and accept on behalf of the over 30,000 associates and 6 million independent contractors around the world. I would also say we are honored and humbled tonight to recognize the new top direct selling company in the world.”

AmwayThe new No. 1 direct seller was Ada, Michigan-based Amway, which achieved $11.3 billion in revenue for 2012. Sandy Spielmaker, Vice President of Sales for Amway North America, accepted for the company. “It is really an honor to be a leader in an industry of such great, reputable companies. With leadership comes responsibility, and as such, we will continue to support the industry and its interests going forward,” said Spielmaker. “We also know that, as an industry, we are being attacked by outsiders, but we are not in this alone. We are in it together and we will continue to support each and every one of you and this entire industry.”

Focus on Isagenix International: For Family by Family

by Kassandra Hayes


Company Profile:

Launched: 2002
Headquarters: Chandler, Ariz.
Co-Founders: John Anderson, Master Formulator; Jim Coover, Chairman and President; and Kathy Coover, Executive Vice President
Products: Solutions for transforming lives that include weight management, energy and performance, healthy aging, and wealth creation

Just 11 short years ago, John Anderson, a master formulator of nutritional supplements, along with Jim and Kathy Coover, who had more than 20 years of experience in the direct selling industry, cast a vision to impact world health by freeing people from physical and financial pain. These three co-founding partners joined forces to create what has become health and wellness company Isagenix International. Based on what the company has achieved in this short time, Isagenix is truly fulfilling that vision and making a difference in the lives of those being touched by their products and opportunity.

Last year Isagenix reported revenues of approximately $335 million, up 28 percent over prior year.

In 2005, Jim and Kathy Coover acquired the company from John, which gave them majority ownership, but John remains an important contributor as “Master Formulator” of Nutritional Supplements and still has a very passionate presence within the growing organization. It was his creation of the Isagenix Cleansing and Fat Burning System—teamed with the Coovers’ focus on field leadership development—that helped sales skyrocket up an astonishing 1,300 percent in only five years. And just last year Isagenix reported revenues of approximately $335 million, up 28 percent over the prior year. According to Kathy, the success of the Isagenix business is based on real product consumption producing real results. There are currently 190,000 active associates in Isagenix. The products, referred to as “solutions,” include weight loss, energy and performance, healthy aging, and of course, wealth creation. The company has even been featured in leading health and wellness journals such as Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism and theNutrition Journal.

When Kathy talks about her company, she exudes pride with every word. Last October she was selected and recognized by Direct Selling News as one of the 20 Most Influential Women in Direct Selling. She is very active with Isagenix’s sales associates and spends much of her time traveling to visit and encourage them. Her personal and hands-on approach to building relationships has resulted in a culture that she feels to be the company’s primary asset.

“It’s all about the people! Our events are like a big family reunion,” Kathy says. “It’s really important to us to maintain our culture as we expand. That’s why we travel so much! We have built an amazing company and we offer solutions to transform people’s lives. We equate success with the number of lives we transform, and that is what we are most proud of.”

Time to Change

Jim, Kathy and Erik CooverJim, Kathy and Erik Coover

“There are a lot of stay-at-home moms and dads who just wanted an opportunity and to be with a company that they thought would be long term.”
—Kathy Coover, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President

Isagenix experienced steady growth in its first few years. It wasn’t until 2008 that the company plateaued a bit and reexamined its approach to building the business. The U.S. economy was clearly uncertain at that time and many businesses were beginning to deal with the great recession and the ramifications and implications to corporate strategy. The Isagenix executive team focused on their most important asset, their independent associates, who were both their consumers and their business leaders. The team decided to introduce promotional incentives that they believed would provide associates with a pragmatic approach to building their businesses by offering them quick wins to build on.

Isagenix invests over $15 million annually into these promotions, which feature an opportunity for associates to earn daily pay, weekly pay, monthly pay and yearly pay. These changes, along with the simplification of company messaging and the training/development process, reignited the sales field, resulting in solid and continued growth. These promotional incentives have yielded a business model that allows people to earn income immediately and also is developing field leadership that will help sustain the company for years to come. Kathy says that associates feel a real sense of accomplishment and the ability to build their businesses. It has also allowed them to better set personal targets, resulting in more highly motivated associates.

A Culture of Family

Isagenix is a family-owned business but also a business created for family, which not only includes Jim and Kathy Coover, but now also their son, Erik, who was Kathy’s original inspiration to start the business. When Erik was a baby, Kathy knew she wanted to be with him and desired to be in control of how she worked. This desire brought about the idea of providing parents with the ability to take care of their children yet still have the flexibility to earn a healthy income. Erik is now Director of Field Development and responsible for enhancing the effectiveness of the field.

As Kathy describes the Isagenix sales organization, she says, “There are a lot of stay-at-home moms and dads who just wanted an opportunity and to be with a company that they thought would be long term.” This caring attitude and concern for family and control of personal and work time has been the foundation of the Isagenix culture. The mission and culture of the company have remained unchanged since the business started in 2002. Kathy adds, “You have to attract the right quality of people to your company. If it’s not right for our associates, it’s not right for our company. And we have very strong relationships with our field. They are our best friends with a common goal to change this planet and make a difference in this world.”

CEO Kevin Adams agrees that maintaining the culture at Isagenix is a huge priority and that the relationship between the field and the corporate office is excellent and very beneficial to the company. He joined the team in 2007 after spending 20 years holding multiple senior financial positions with companies such as ConAgra Foods—one of the world’s largest packaged food companies. Kevin says that, by including the field as much as possible through listening, involvement and solicited feedback, Isagenix is gaining in key performance indicators. In the past year, he adds that recruitment was up 30 percent and fewer associates left the field as retention rates increased more than 10 percent in 2012 alone.

Technology and Social Media

One way Isagenix is keeping this momentum while doing business in an ever-changing world is through evolving its social media capabilities. The company is very focused on this and considers it key to future growth. In fact, it currently employs 70 people in the IT Department alone. The IT specialists support an extensive array of member solutions to help their associates take control of their destiny. One example is a new “Social Entrepreneurs” program where Isagenix fully embraces many social media platforms—YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and more. According to Kathy, this ensures the company is constantly communicating with their associates but also helping them build their business while sharing the opportunity for better health and income with others.

Associates have access to free tools such as Isageeks, a social entrepreneur site offering solutions and support for establishing an online business as more and more people learn about the company through social media. Here they can share content on selling strategies and programs, as well as view and create their own videos and blogs. All of these channels are being leveraged for two-way communication with current associates and new ones as well. For example, Isagenix-to-go provides mobile apps for people on the run as well as iPad and iPhone apps.

Kathy says, “We are very much an Internet-driven company. Ninety-five percent of our orders come online. Applications can be completed via smartphones where they also have access to all presentations and training. All of our training is based on a systems approach inclusive of the associates’ product site, which explains everything about all products, as well as their business site, which provides guidance on everything pertaining to building a business.” Kathy adds that this includes a focus on personal growth with a dedicated personal-development coach, as well as an extensive array of product videos and online chats, videos and blogs led by doctors and experts in the health and wellness industry.

Having been in business for only 11 years, online is not new for Isagenix—they actually started that way.

Having been in business for only 11 years, online is not new for Isagenix—they actually started that way. Through their use of social technology and functionality, the stories of those who are benefitting from Isagenix solutions become excellent business-building tools.

Online strategies are growing in significance and contributing to the company’s success even though live events and personal interaction continue to play a huge role in the corporate strategy to build and maintain relationships and trust with the field. Using the web has become a natural way for Isagenix to conduct their business because its vast capabilities enable associates with a direct line of communication at all times. They don’t have to wait for personal help because there are always opportunities to gain instant access to a solution through online tools.

Generous Nature

While technology continues to bring people closer together, personal interaction is still vital to the Isagenix culture and this extends beyond its employees and field. It also includes giving back to the community. The company has donated $3 million to Childhelp, an organization that exists to meet the physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of abused and neglected children. Additionally, more than 1 million meals have been delivered to families in Haiti and 50,000 meals were sent to victims of Hurricane Sandy. Isagenix has most recently pledged over $500,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

This generosity all began with the founding family, as Jim and Kathy Coover, along with their son, Erik, strive to be strong role models for how a family business can be started and built upon basic ideals that can expand into solutions for hundreds of thousands of people. Women, in particular, have built several iconic direct selling companies upon these same principles of creating an environment for families, and today they represent brand names that are recognized throughout the world.

“Women bring a whole new life, heart and spirit into the industry,” Kathy says. “There’s a huge opportunity for women to be part of the corporate world in network marketing when they come to us with that experience of the field and have built successful businesses. They bring a brilliance of information.”

Through creating this nurturing family environment, the sky is the limit for Isagenix and its associates. In 2013, Isagenix looks forward to sharing health and wealth as it focuses on regional and international expansion. The company already has a presence in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico and is set to expand in Singapore, Malaysia and China over the next year. Isagenix also plans to increase the number of African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and young people in the company.

“We as a company are focused on numbers, but our numbers are a reflection of the number of lives being changed.”
—Kathy Coover

“We have over 300 people who lost 100 pounds through the IsaBody Challenge, five people lost 200 pounds, and two people lost 300 pounds,” Kathy says. “We are not only changing lives, we are saving lives! We as a company are focused on numbers, but our numbers are a reflection of the number of lives being changed. That’s why I love what I do!”

Isagenix Market Trends

Kathy Coover-Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, Isagenix – One of The Most Influential Women in Direct Selling


Kathy Coover <br />Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, Isagenix

Kathy Coover absolutely loves network marketing, and why shouldn’t she? Hers is a field leader success story—three times over—culminating in starting her own wellness company, Isagenix, with husband, Jim, 10 years ago.

“We started Isagenix as an ambassador to the industry,” Coover says. Network marketing is a worthwhile career path for men and women, but Coover’s experience told her she needed the right people, the right vision and the right focus on the needs of the field to give Isagenix a culture worth believing in. “You have to attract the right quality of people to your company. If it’s not right for our associates, it’s not right for our company,” Coover says.

“I really want the field to know that we care about them. We are there for them because we’ve walked in their shoes,” she says. So she surrounds herself with a team of dynamic, supportive people who enable one another to do what each does best. “I do not just make decisions. I work with my team. We talk things through, think things through financially, logistically. We ask a lot of questions before making decisions,” she says. “Success takes time. You work step by step. You are always re-evaluating looking into the future, looking at what you’ve done right and considering adjustments.”

“Women,” Coover says, “bring a whole new life, heart and spirit into the industry. There’s a huge opportunity for women to be part of the corporate world in network marketing when they come to us with that experience of the field and have built successful businesses. They bring a brilliance of information.”

Why then the shortage of women in corporate jobs? Coover says, “I believe that 82 percent of the field are women and 82 percent of the people who make six-figure incomes in direct sales are women. That’s a clue.”

Admiration for…

Mary Kay Ash: “I admire her and respect her for everything she’s done for women. I know she had struggles and fought through them. I believe like she did: God first, family second and career third. We have to have priorities in our lives. So many women make the family as their excuse for not doing the business, but really the family should be the reason why they do this business.”

Marilyn Evans: “She taught me how to do a great presentation, empower other people and be so authentic in yourself that you let your heart come out and really care about people.”

Isagenix International: Challenging Growth

Isagenix ProductsWhy do accomplished, financially secure people come out of retirement? For Isagenix® International Founders John Anderson and Jim and Kathy Coover, it was because they had a vision: to impact world health and free people from physical and financial pain, and through that goal, create the largest health-and-wellness company in the world.

Their new product category, nutritional cleansing, gave them a solid start. But growth skyrocketed when Anderson created the Isagenix Cleansing and Fat Burning System and the company teamed it with the IsaBody Challenge. The result: Isagenix sales shot up an astonishing 1,300 percent in just five years. It achieved 2011 net sales of $262 million, fueled by its approximately 200,000 independent associates in eight markets.

Inspired by its vision, Isagenix focuses charitable efforts toward protecting and uplifting children. In August Isagenix became a supporter of Make-A-Wish®, the organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Isagenix associates in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia and New Zealand may make tax-deductible donations to Make-A-Wish to impact young lives in their own communities. Isagenix has helped fund the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-Child, since 2004. As the organization’s sole sponsor, Isagenix and its independent associates, customers and employees have raised nearly $3 million in support of the organization.

The Most Influential Women in Direct Selling

by Beth Douglass Silcox and Barbara Seale

Click here to order the Direct Selling News issue in which this article appeared.

Page 1 Mona Ameli,
Dr. Oi-Lin Chen,
Sunrider International
Angela Loehr Chrysler,
Team National
Kathy Coover,
Marjorie Fine,
Page 2 Shelli Gardner,
Stampin’ Up!
Marla Gottschalk,
The Pampered Chef
Jessica Herrin,
Stella & Dot
Andrea Jung,
Bonnie Kelly and Teresa Walsh,
Page 3 Wendy Lewis,
Jeunesse Global
Tami Longaberger,
Candace Matthews,
Cindy Monroe,
Thirty-One Gifts
Kay Napier,
Page 4 Joani Nielson,
Tastefully Simple
Jill Blashack Strahan,
Tastefully Simple
Connie Tang,
Princess House
Heidi Thompson,
Page 5 The Icons of our Industry

October 2012

Throughout the world, more than 65 million women find direct selling to be the answer to gaining control of their own time, often while working in other full- or part-time careers and while being wives and mothers—managers of households. All 65 million, and the hundreds of millions who have gone before, demonstrate the special skills and attributes women bring to an industry built upon the power of relationships.

In celebration of their efforts, along with the celebration of all women in the corporate home offices, Direct Selling News asked 20 of the most influential executive women in direct selling questions about motivation, inspiration, leadership, career advice, opportunity and mentorship.

The path each woman took to the heights of direct selling corporate management is as unique as the individual. Yet all 20 are inextricably linked by the influence they have on the lives of hundreds of thousands, even millions of women across the globe who work in direct sales to enrich their families, make a difference in their communities and in the lives of others, and reach for their own dreams.

Direct Selling News selected this group of women based upon their executive leadership roles in companies that achieved the DSN Global 100 list and $100M Club. It comprises women who help guide our industry through their leadership and vision. There are many women hard at work in far more companies than we’ve listed here. But by proudly honoring these 20, Direct Selling News salutes every female leader—corporate or field—who strives for more, respects those who blazed the trail, and reaches out to those on the way up.

For a detailed list of The Most Influential Women in Direct Selling click here:


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