Avon Foundation Releases New Data on Breast Cancer among Hispanics

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A new study funded by the Avon Foundation for Women lays the groundwork for a better understanding of breast cancer diagnoses among Hispanics in the U.S.

The first-of-its-kind study, Breast Cancer among Hispanic Subgroups in the U.S., was conducted by the Sinai Urban Health Institute and released during the foundation’s biennial Breast Cancer Forum, held Sept. 7–9 in Miami. Furthering breast cancer research and access to quality care is one focus of the Avon Foundation for Women, alongside its efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence.

Drawing from multiple national data sources across multiple years, the new study explores breast cancer prevalence and mortality rates among Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Central and South American women in the U.S. As a whole, Hispanics represent the largest racial/ethnic minority in the country, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. The American Cancer Society reports that breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, and the leading cause of cancer deaths, in Hispanic women.

“As the company for women, Avon is committed to taking actions that matter most to women, and that is why the Avon Foundation is passionate about funding studies like this,” said Cheryl Heinonen, President of the Avon Foundation for Women. “We want to identify where the disparities lie so we can effectively shape and support programs that will have the greatest impact.”

The data shows that breast cancer mortality rates differ widely among the various groups that make up the Hispanic population. At the high end of the spectrum were Puerto Rican women (19.04 per 100,000 women) and Mexican women (18.78), while Central and South American women (10.15 per 100,000 women) were significantly less likely to die from breast cancer than other subgroups observed. According to Bijou Hunt of the Sinai Urban Health Institute, who authored the study, the findings have the potential to greatly improve individualization of care for Hispanic women diagnosed with the disease.

Youngevity Holds Company-Wide Service Project on ‘Be The Change Day’

Everyone has a story, and Youngevity International is helping children tell theirs during the company’s Be The Change Day on Wednesday.

The day-long affair is taking place ahead of Youngevity’s 2016 Convention this week in Salt Lake City. Distributors and employees in town for the event have the opportunity to participate in a company-wide service project through the Youngevity Be The Change Foundation.

To reach the local community, the foundation is teaming up with one of its charitable partners, My Story Matters, an organization that helps families facing difficult circumstances by creating customized storybooks for children. On Sept. 7, Youngevity volunteers visited two locations in Salt Lake City to interview children about their lives and hopes for the future, which will be recorded in a personalized book for each child.

“I don’t think there is a better legacy to give a child than hope for their future and strength for their life’s journey, and I’m so proud that so many of our distributors have volunteered for a 12-hour experience with My Story Matters that will certainly remain in the memory of their hearts for years to come,” said Lisa “Sunshine” Briskie, Director of Youngevity Be The Change Foundation.

In the first half of the day, volunteers visited a local high school, where refugees from more than 70 countries were among the children interviewed. The afternoon session was held at a local homeless shelter that, on any given day, houses about 200 children.

Scentsy Launches Cause Product with Shriners Hospitals for Children

The September 2016 issue of Direct Selling News is available!

Cover Story

Keys to Success part 1: Customer Acquisition

by Andrea Tortora

Of all the misinformation about direct selling, perhaps the most often repeated—even by those who work most closely in the field—is the description of direct selling as an industry. Read more…


Celebrating success is a hallmark of direct selling, and we have two opportunities for you to recognize the great work being done by your corporate teams. Read more…


Like the pink Cadillacs it awards to top sellers, today’s Mary Kay retains a classic feel while embracing innovative thinking and design. Read more…


When husband and wife team Mark and Tracy Jarvis set out to launch their own company, they had listened to numerous suggestions for the name until “zurvita” was proposed and immediately touched and won them over. Read more…


In the year 1855, Reverend J.R. Graves started a mail order company selling books, religious tracts and Bibles. Read more…


It’s another year and you’re gearing up for your convention. Read more…


Over the past decade, rapid developments in technology have fundamentally changed how direct selling organizations operate. Read more…


The speculation started immediately. As soon as the news—Herbalife Settles with FTC—began popping up on mobile alerts and news outlets early Friday morning, July 15, observers inside and outside the direct selling channel began scrambling to understand the bigger picture. Read more…


The U.S. Direct Selling Association held its Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 5 to 7, bringing together direct selling company executives, academics, suppliers and global direct selling leaders for collaboration and conversation about the trends shaping the channel. Read more…


The direct selling industry is at a critical juncture in its long history. Read more…


The role of the U.S. Direct Selling Association (DSA) has never been more clear: to serve as a “listening post,” a place to collect, analyze and address the aspirations and concerns of the direct selling channel. Read more…


For more great stories, please click on our subscription button and subscribe to DSN

ACN Targets Asia in First Market Expansion in Two Years

Essential services and health products firm ACN is expanding internationally for the first time in two years with the launch of operations in Japan.

Initially, the company is making its Benevita health and wellness line available to Japanese consumers. ACN introduced Benevita three years ago in select international markets, diversifying a longstanding portfolio of essential services such as wireless, Internet, and gas and electricity. ACN plans to roll out some of those services in Japan in the future.

The move into Japan puts the company in 26 markets worldwide. The island country is the first market ACN has added since July 2014, when operations commenced in Mexico. The North Carolina company branched into Asia in 2010 with the launch of its South Korea business.

“As the fifth-largest direct selling market worldwide, Japan was incredibly appealing to us,” said Greg Provenzano, President and Co-Founder of ACN. “But it was the people that sealed the deal when selecting Japan to continue our Asian expansion.”

The market will be served by a new regional headquarters located in Tokyo. In addition to corporate offices, the facility houses meeting spaces, a call center and a retail storefront. ACN’s Vice President of Sales, Danny Bae, will oversee operations in the country. Bae, who initially joined ACN as an Independent Business Owner, has been key to the company’s expansion into Asia.

Origami Owl to Roll Out Dreamworks-Inspired Collections

Photo: Products on display at an Origami Owl Jewelry Bar event.


Though the designs are still under wraps, this fall customizable jewelry company Origami Owl will introduce character-inspired collections through a new licensing deal with Dreamworks Animation.

The collaboration is Origami Owl’s largest to date, and the first foray into social selling for Dreamworks, creators of Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon,Kung Fu Panda and other popular film franchises. Origami Owl will launch its first character-inspired offerings Oct. 1, in connection with the release of Trolls, a new animated comedy from Dreamworks. The Arizona-based company said the collection will include its signature Living Lockets, Charms, Dangles and even new product categories.

“It’s been wonderful to collaborate on the pieces,” said Chrissy Weems, Origami Owl President, who co-founded the company in 2010 with her then 14-year-old daughter, Bella. “The film’s themes parallel Origami Owl’s core values and mission ‘to love, inspire and motivate others.’ The feature’s vibrant colors and upbeat, happy music also reflect the sense of joy and energy evoked by the Origami Owl brand.”

Though no specifics have been announced, the company said its agreement with Dreamworks is a long-term one. Following the launch of the Trolls Collection, Origami Owl customers can expect to see additional collections inspired by favorite franchises and characters.

Youngevity Acquires Renew Interests, Owner of SOZO and Integris

Youngevity International LLC on Tuesday announced the acquisition of Renew Interests LLC, which includes the SOZO Global and Integris brands.

California-based Youngevity sells a wide range of nutrition, coffee and lifestyle products through its growing direct sales platform, described as a “network of networks.” The company’s vertically integrated coffee business also serves the commercial and retail channels.

The addition of SOZO and Integris, part of Youngevity’s ongoing acquisition strategy, will expand both the company’s salesforce and its product offerings across the nutrition, coffee, weight-loss, energy and skincare categories.

“The brands we acquired in this transaction exceed our high and stringent quality standards,” said Steve Wallach, CEO of Youngevity. “I believe SOZO’s emphasis on the coffee berry as an ingredient will have particular appeal to our growing customer base.”

SOZO Global’s Co-Founder, President and CEO, Mark Adams, said Youngevity’s extensive product lines, business structure and support system, and experienced management team made joining forces an attractive proposition. “Our team at SOZO Global viewed the unique opportunity provided through Youngevity’s platform as an opportunity we could not pass up,” said Adams.

Founded in 2009, SOZO takes its name from a Greek term meaning health, rejuvenation and wholeness. The Austin, Texas-based company sells a range of wellness and personal-care products. Integris, launched in 1996, is a maker of health supplements and shakes formulated with natural ingredients.

In Nepal, doTERRA Partners with CHOICE on Earthquake-Ready Schools

Photo: Nearly a year after the 2015 earthquake, rubble still fills the streets of Bhaktapur, Nepal.


Essential oil seller doTERRA International and CHOICE Humanitarian recently completed the first two earthquake-resilient schools in Nepal, after a 7.8-magnitude quake devastated the region last year.

In September 2015, doTERRA announced that it would team up with CHOICE to provide aid and create jobs for poverty-stricken communities in Nepal. The international nonprofit is dedicated to ending extreme poverty and improving quality of life through a self-developing, village-centered approach. In Nepal, that approach has included the construction of local schools. The first two, built in partnership with the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation, are also the first in the country to comply with new structural regulations instituted by the Nepali government.

“Through the amazing generosity of our doTERRA Wellness Advocates and those working in Nepal, together we’ve been able to help families begin to reestablish themselves,” said Emily Wright, doTERRA Co-Founder and Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Something as simple as having a school to attend or a safe home makes all the difference. We are honored and happy to be able to play a part.”

In the past year, doTERRA and its Wellness Advocates have donated more than $636,000 to rebuilding efforts in Nepal. The company also has sent several groups to assist in projects CHOICE is orchestrating on the ground. On the manufacturing side, doTERRA is investing in some of the most affected regions of the country through Co-Impact Sourcing of its wintergreen essential oil. The company’s co-impact initiative is focused on forming long-term partnerships with small-scale growers and distillers to bring sustainable income to underdeveloped economies.

Nature’s Sunshine Reports Sales Up, Driven by Growth in Asia

Nature’s Sunshine Products Inc. (NATR—NASDAQ) on Monday reported second-quarter net sales revenue of $89.4 million, up 10 percent compared to sales of $81.2 million in the second quarter a year ago.

This marks the eighth consecutive quarter of net sales growth for the company’s operations in the U.S. and Canada.

The natural health and wellness company said it recorded net income of $2.4 million for the quarter, or 14 cents per common diluted share. On a local currency basis, net sales revenue jumped 11.5 percent.

The Lehi, Utah-based company’s Synergy Asia division delivered 28.5 percent local currency growth in the second quarter.

Unfavorable currency exchange rates caused a negative impact of $1.3 million on net sales revenue. The company also saw sales decline in NSP Russia and its Central and Eastern European segments.

For the first half of 2016, net sales revenue hit $171.8 million, up 4 percent from $165.1 million compared to the first six months of 2015. The growth is driven by an $8.9 million or 23.7 percent increase in Synergy Asia and incremental net sales revenue increase of $4.4 million related to sales through Hong Kong.

Net income for the first six months of 2016 is $4.2 million or 24 cents per diluted common share.

Chairman and CEO Gregory Probert says, “Sustained local currency growth in both NSP United States and NSP Canada continues to reflect the strong foundation within our most mature markets and is a reflection of our high quality products and effective business model. The improvements we have put in place at Synergy WorldWide are delivering strong results across all geographical regions.”

Probert is optimistic about its new market opportunity in China and remains encouraged by the success of Nature’s Sunshine’s patent-pending IN.FORM weight-loss and daily habit of health program.

Nature’s Sunshine shares have risen 25 percent since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Monday, shares hit $12.66, a decrease of 2 percent in the last 12 months.

Le-Vel Donates $240K in Support of Hoyt Foundation

Photo: Jason Camper (left), Dick Hoyt and Paul Gravette at Le-Vel’s annual convention.


Health and wellness company Le-Vel Brands LLC recently announced a $240,000 donation to the Hoyt Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving quality of life for those living with disabilities.

The funds came from sales of Le-Vel’s limited-edition Hoyt Derma Fusion Technology (DFT), a patch worn on the skin to support the body’s metabolism process. In June, Le-Vel allocated $5 from every purchase to the Hoyt Foundation, which aims to build the individual character, self-confidence and self-esteem of America’s disabled young people through inclusion in all facets of daily life.

Last year, the company ran similar cause marketing promotions in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Toys for Tots, generating nearly $400,000 in overall donations.

The Hoyt Foundation was formed in 1989 by Dick Hoyt, a retired lieutenant colonel, and his son, Rick, who was born with cerebral palsy and is unable to speak our use his hands and legs. Despite these challenges, the father-son team has gained recognition for competing in more than 1,100 athletic events in the last 37 years, including 32 Boston Marathons and six Ironman competitions, with Dick pushing his son in a custom-made wheelchair as they run.

“The Hoyts are proof that, with perseverance, belief and a strong support system, we can achieve incredible things,” said Paul Gravette, Co-Founder, Co-Owner and Co-CEO of Le-Vel. “On behalf of our employees, independent Brand Promoters and their customers, we’re honored to support Team Hoyt and the Hoyt Foundation in their tireless efforts to help the disabled and physically challenged live their lives to the fullest.”

The contribution is part of an ongoing partnership between Le-Vel and Team Hoyt. The virtual company, which uses cloud-based technology for its day-to-day operations, previously donated $50,000 to the Hoyt Foundation, and the senior Hoyt was a surprise headline speaker at Le-Vel’s annual salesforce convention in April.