DSN Announces the 2017 Best Places to Work in Direct Selling

Building on the positive results from its inaugural year, Direct Selling News has partnered once again with the employee engagement experts at Quantum Workplace to identify the Best Places to Work in Direct Selling. The contest was open to all direct selling companies headquartered in North America and having at least 50 employees.

The 2017 honorees for the Best Places to Work in Direct Selling are listed below in alphabetical order. All of these companies are equal honorees and are recognized collectively as the Best Places to Work within the direct selling channel.

Click here to view the honorees.

 

Tech Investments Help LegalShield Boost Memberships

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LegalShield is moving into 2017 with memberships at an all-time high, thanks in part to a significant investment in new technologies.

Over the course of 2016, more than 500,000 enrolled in the company’s legal plans, which offer unlimited legal advice and what is touted as the industry’s only 24/7 hotline, for members needing emergency assistance. The Oklahoma-based company also offers a subscription-based service for small businesses. As it enters the new year, LegalShield is serving more than 1.6 million member accounts.

The company’s sizable growth over the past year dovetailed with the launch of several new digital products and services, foremost among them the new-and-improved LegalShield App. The tool enables users to contact a law firm, prepare a will or process a parking ticket with all the ease of placing a mobile order at Starbucks. In the words of LegalShield’s CEO, Jeff Bell, “The LegalShield App is a game changer, because it puts your law firm in the palm of your hand.”

Two additional apps introduced in 2016 are helping the company reach new audiences. The Shake by LegalShield app allows users to create—at no cost—legal forms tailored to their specific U.S. state or Canadian province. The in-house team behind Shake also created Ask by LegalShield, which provides answers to more than 1,500 common legal questions.

The company’s focus on digital initiatives was reinforced by the November promotion of David Coffey to Senior Vice President, Chief Digital Officer. Coffey, formerly LegalShield’s Chief Media Director, has been tasked with leading a continued expansion of online marketing.

USANA Promotes Three to VP Roles

Three have advanced to vice president roles at USANA Health Sciences Inc., the nutrition company announced Thursday.

The past month has ushered in several leadership changes at USANA, beginning with the appointment of Kevin Guest as sole CEO. Guest formerly shared the role with Co-CEO Dave Wentz, who stepped down at the end of November. The company then named Jim Brown as President, in addition to his role as Chief Operations Officer, and hired on Walter Noot as Chief Information Officer.

Now, three executive directors have been promoted to vice presidents over their respective areas. Ashley Collins will serve as Vice President of Marketing and PR, Amy Haran as Vice President of Communications, and Howard Gurney as Vice President of Product Development Process.

“I have had the pleasure of working with these proven leaders for many years now and know firsthand their dedication and commitment to our employees, stakeholders, distributors and customers,” said Guest. “These talented and ambitious individuals have been essential in hitting key benchmarks within the company and will continue taking us to the next level of excellence.”

Collins, who has led USANA’s public relations and social media efforts, will now oversee the marketing and digital marketing teams as well. In 16 years with the company, she has contributed to major campaigns and helped to develop key relationships with athletes and celebrities, as well as USANA’s sponsorship of The Dr. Oz Show.

Heading up communications, Haran will draw upon 13 years of experience with the company. Her new responsibilities include leading digital communications for USANA’s 1,300 employees and 400,000 distributors, and providing guidance to the customer service, translation and content creation teams.

Gurney formerly served as executive director of quality systems and regulatory affairs, managing the company’s regulatory team. As vice president, he will continue to oversee these areas while orchestrating a wider effort to streamline the product development process.

Vemma Settles with FTC

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It’s a new day for Vemma Nutrition Co.

The Federal Trade Commission announced Dec. 15 that it has approved a settlement agreement in its case against the Arizona-based company, bringing an end to a more than year-long, multimillion-dollar legal battle. The agreement offers a clear path forward for CEO B.K. Boreyko to continue operating Vemma as a customer-focused network marketing company, while also establishing specific rules related to distributor compensation and income claims.

The settlement covers Vemma Nutrition Co., Vemma International Holdings Inc. and Boreyko, and a separate settlement covers former Vemma distributor Tom Alkazin and Alkazin’s wife, Bethany, who had been named as a relief defendant in the original federal court action. The settlement outlines specific business practices from which the defendants are prohibited in engaging, including paying compensation to a distributor unless a majority of that individual’s revenue comes from sales to people who are not a part of the business venture, making deceptive income claims and making unsubstantiated health claims. In addition, Vemma has agreed to…

Click here for the full story.

 

DSN will continue to update this story as additional details become available.

Scentsy Opens Doors to Community for Holiday Festivities

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Photo: Scentsy Commons in Meridian, Idaho, lit up for a past holiday season.


Scentsy Inc. opened its doors to the public Tuesday for a holiday celebration that drew about 3,000.

The home fragrance company threw a different kind of holiday party this year, inviting the community out to its Meridian, Idaho, headquarters for a first-ever Thousand Points of Light event. The evening featured a Christmas concert with choirs from local high schools and nearby Boise State University, complimentary refreshments, and the chance to snap a photo with Santa.

Guests also took in a display of some 450,000 lights decorating the Scentsy campus. Since late November, the company has lit up the night with more than 26 miles of lights, hand-wrapped on trees throughout its 73-acre campus.

“Everyone at Scentsy is part of the family,” said Lonni Leavitt-Barker, Senior Manager of Public Relations and Media at Scentsy. “We wanted to invite the community to be a part of that, enjoy a hot drink, partake of the Christmas spirit and see what we’re all about.”

The response from the community exceeded expectations, said Leavitt-Barker, with as many as 3,500 turning out for Thousand Points of Light. The company is already planning to expand the event next year and bring in additional elements, such as a live nativity on the grounds.

In the meantime, guests can continue to enjoy Scentsy hospitality at the Scentsy Commons Kitchen, an on-site café where breakfast and lunch is served up Monday through Friday for employees and the general public.

Scentsy Raises $244K to Date for Shriners Hospitals

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Scentsy Inc. is about halfway to a $500,000 fundraising goal in support of Shriners Hospitals for Children.

In September, the home fragrance company introduced the Love Heals Warmer, a seasonal cause product benefiting Shriners Hospitals. The nonprofit has 22 locations across North America where children can receive expert specialty care, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

Scentsy is supporting the work of Shriners Hospitals with $8 from the sale of each Love Heals product, in a promotion that will run through February. Three months in, and with the holiday giving season in full swing, Scentsy reports that customers have helped to donate $244,000 to date.

The company has earmarked proceeds from its charity products for a variety of causes, including autism awareness and breast cancer research. The Scentsy Family Foundation, the company’s charitable arm, also provides academic scholarships and direct donations to organizations that support families.

Amway Rolls Out Global Volunteer Initiative

Photo: Amway Business Owners (above and below) participate in local volunteer projects.


The world’s largest direct selling company wants to build the world’s largest volunteer force.

Amway Corp. is kicking off a global initiative known as #AmwayVolunteers to highlight the volunteer efforts of its employees and Amway Business Owners, or ABOs, who number more than 3 million worldwide. With that kind of volunteer base, Amway can afford to set some ambitious goals, and it has. The No. 1-ranked direct selling company is gunning to build the world’s largest volunteer force by 2019, when Amway will celebrate 60 years in business.

The concept is simple: ABOs sign up to participate by taking an online pledge to “be the change” in their communities and help people live better lives, specifying what that might look like for them. The next step is to take action and volunteer through the organization or cause of their choice. Finally, the company encourages individuals to share their experiences on social media using #AmwayVolunteers.

“We value the passion and volunteer efforts of Amway Business Owners and Amway employees that are making a dramatic impact in their local communities,” said Jeff Terry, Global Head, Amway Corporate Social Responsibility. “#AmwayVolunteers showcases their individual works (on a global scale) in an effort to create the world’s largest volunteer community by 2019.”

This new undertaking broadens the scope of Amway’s grassroots volunteer efforts, which primarily have focused on the One by One Campaign for Children, centered on causes that support children in need, and the Nutrilite Power of 5 Campaign, which raises funds and awareness to help fight childhood malnutrition.

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Avon Foundation Helps Colleges Take Action on Sexual Assault

The Avon Foundation for Women is funding a first-of-its-kind national leadership program to address gender-based violence on college campuses.

The charitable arm of cosmetics maker Avon is behind a new collaborative of 20 colleges and universities that recently came together for The National Leadership Institute: Changing the Narrative on Campus Gender-Based Violence. The program equips schools with action plans for preventing and responding to sexual violence. Avon tapped the health and social justice nonprofit Futures Without Violence to develop the National Leadership Institute curriculum, which advocates trauma-informed care in cases of assault.

To research, design and implement the curriculum, Futures Without Violence partnered with Harvard Law School’s Gender Violence Program and the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. The resulting material was presented at the first two National Leadership Institute events, held this fall in Boston and Atlanta. According to Lonna Davis, Director of Children & Youth Program for Futures Without Violence, “The Institute is part of a long-term investment to shift the narrative and introduce a primary prevention and trauma-focused approach that engages the entire school community.”

The National Leadership Institute is the brainchild of the Avon Foundation for Women, which also underwrote the project with a $200,000 grant. The foundation has long supported domestic violence awareness and prevention through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program, launched in 2004. For more than five years now, that program has included awareness campaigns and bystander initiatives on college campuses, but with its latest initiative Avon is empowering students and schools to take the lead in addressing assault and sexual violence.

More than 70 schools applied to participate in the program, but just 20 were selected to attend the two-day event, among them Brandeis University, Morehouse College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. With ongoing support, these schools will create a campus action plan that engages students, college administration, campus police and leading consultants. “We’ve just spent two days looking at best practices and solutions to shift campus culture away from victim blaming to a more trauma-based perspective,” said Christine Jaworsky, Avon Foundation Program Director. “Now the real work begins.”

Zija Launches Innovative Moringa-Based Protein Shake

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Moringa oleifera, the “miracle tree” beloved by superfood fans everywhere, is coming to consumers in a brand-new form from Zija International.

The health-products maker has rolled out a new protein shake mix, Core Moringa Plant Protein, which contains a complete protein extracted from the leaves of moringa oleifera. The process of extracting this protein was developed by Zija’s Chief Operating Officer, Joshua Plant, Ph.D. Though no stranger to the superfood—Zija has a variety of moringa-based products in its portfolio—Plant set out to discover new ways to tap into the health benefits of the tree, which delivers more than 90 vitamins, minerals, vital proteins, antioxidants and omega oils.

“Although Moringa has been revered by different cultures around the world for thousands of years because of its diverse benefits and uses—and is continually studied and cited by the health, science and academic communities—it’s personally exciting to find new ways to make it accessible to everyday people as a way to naturally nourish the body,” Plant said in a news release.

Taken gram for gram, Moringa leaves outshine many conventional health foods in terms of nutrient density. They contain four times the calcium of milk, three times the potassium of bananas and seven times the vitamin C of oranges, to name a few. Zija has brought these benefits to market in a vegan protein powder also free of gluten and soy. Each serving of Core Moringa Plant Protein packs 20 grams of moringa, pea and rice proteins. The product is now available in Dutch Chocolate and Vanilla Bean flavors.

SimplyFun Product Donation Brings Christmas Cheer to Children

This holiday season, SimplyFun LLC is extending its support of two organizations making Christmas merrier for children in need.

The maker of educational board games said it will donate $100,000 in product to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, a longstanding initiative of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Along with other brand-new toys, the games supplied by SimplyFun will be delivered to at-risk children across the country. The company has participated in Toys for Tots for the past three years, contributing about $550,000 in product.

For children separated from family as Christmas approaches, Seattle-based SimplyFun also is continuing its partnership with My Stuff Bags Foundation, which provides necessities and toys to kids rescued from abuse and neglect. The games will help to fill duffel bags of new belongings for children entering crisis shelters and foster care.

“We are so fortunate to have a partnership with SimplyFun,” said Janeen Holmes, President and CEO of My Stuff Bags. “For many years, this wonderful company has been providing thousands of unique, creative puzzles and games, which have brightened the lives of the abused and neglected children we serve all across this country.”

SimplyFun has helped to fill My Stuff Bags—often the only possession a child has upon entering foster care—on an ongoing basis since 2008. Through its Simply Caring program, the company has donated about $250,000 in cash and product.

“Every child deserves to play regardless of their circumstances,” said Patty Pearcy, President and CEO of SimplyFun. “SimplyFun is proud to be able to share our games through Toys for Tots and My Stuff Bags to bring joy and create a love of learning in children in need.”