DSA Unveils ETHOS Winners at Annual Meeting

Seven companies received industry-wide recognition Tuesday evening at the Awards Gala capping the Direct Selling Association’s Annual Meeting. Held in San Antonio, the event revealed the winners of this year’s ETHOS Awards, as well as a new inductee into the DSA Hall of Fame.

Last month the DSA announced the ETHOS sub-category winners across seven categories. From those finalists, a panel of industry leaders and outside experts narrowed the selections on the criteria of excellence, creativity and innovation.

In addition to taking home the ETHOS Award for its Project Runway marketing campaign, cosmetics giant Mary Kay saw Senior Vice President Michael Lunceford join other direct selling luminaries in the DSA Hall of Fame. The award honors Lunceford’s longstanding support and leadership of the DSA, where he serves as Chairman of the Government Relations Committee, and the entire industry.

2015 ETHOS Awards

Marketing & Sales Campaigns: Mary Kay Inc., Project Runway/Lifetime TV sponsorship
Product Innovation: LifeWave Inc., Theta One and Theta Active
Excellence in Salesforce Development: Scentsy Inc., Idea Share
Technology Innovation: Rodan + Fields, self-checkout point-of-sale
Vision for Tomorrow: Nu Skin Enterprises, Creating Smiles
Rising Star: All’asta
Partnership Award: Step Into Success


Direct Selling Association President Responds to NYT Op-Ed

Direct Selling Association President Joseph Mariano has a message for New York Times columnist Joe Nocera. Earlier this month, the opinion writer added to the abundant ink that has been spilled on the topic of activist investor Bill Ackman’s $1 billion Herbalife short. This week Mariano penned a Letter to the Editor addressing the questions raised by Nocera.

The salient question appears in Nocera’s headline: “Riddle of the Pyramids: What Is Herbalife?” He compares the volleys between Ackman and Herbalife, with its bullish investors behind it, to a “hotly contested political race”—very entertaining at times, but a sideshow to more serious issues. In Herbalife’s case, that issue is whether a company is duping millions of individuals through deceptive business practices.

It is a question currently under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice. Though the FTC declined to provide comment to the Times editorial page, Mariano gives some background on the regulations governing pyramid schemes in his response.

“There is no riddle,” Mariano writes. “Federal law and statutes in a majority of the states clearly define a pyramid as an operation that pays salespeople primarily for recruiting additional members into a network instead of selling products. The Federal Trade Commission further warns that pyramids may require members to buy large amounts of inventory, meaning you couldn’t consume it yourself, or unwanted items.”

Mariano also points to the clear distinction between the multilevel marketing business model and illegal business operations—a distinction that falls through the cracks of Nocera’s argument.

“We should consider the consequences to the individuals who sell and consume their products—and the communities their parent companies serve—before placing scarlet letters upon their legitimate businesses,” Mariano concludes.

Second Annual ‘Day on the Hill’ Connects Direct Sellers, Policymakers

More than 400 independent direct selling consultants gathered in Washington, D.C. today for the Direct Selling Association’s second annual Direct Selling Day on Capitol Hill. Representing 28 companies and 30 states, the participants met with members of Congress to share personal stories of how direct selling has helped them create a better life.

Direct Selling Day on the Hill is a part of the DSA’s effort to effectively communicate the industry’s positive impact and secure vital political influence—two of the objectives laid out by DSA Chairman Truman Hunt at the beginning of his tenure.

DSA President Joseph Mariano spoke to DSN from Capitol Hill, where five members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, had spoken with the group about independence and entrepreneurship.

“We are thrilled that these individuals are giving Congress an appreciation of people in the field, because the real point of the day is to provide a backdrop for their successes and their challenges in daily life and in their businesses,” said Mariano. “We’re not here today to talk about specific legislation or ask for any funding. It’s about building relationships between the field people and members of Congress.”

About 90 direct sellers represented the industry at last year’s inaugural Day on Capitol Hill. This year’s participation has edged above 435, the goal set by the DSA to match the number of representatives in Congress.

“We’re bringing our own direct selling ‘congress’ to meet with representatives and share the ways that direct selling has personally impacted their lives,” Mariano shared.

In addition to meeting with members of Congress, participants have the opportunity to sign the Direct Selling Proclamation and Compact, which helps demonstrate to policymakers the economic and social impact of direct selling.

Companies across the industry can follow up on today’s initiative by encouraging their salespeople to sign the Proclamation, donating to the DSAPAC, and reaching out to their local, state and federal officials. The DSA also works with companies interested in hosting policymakers at visits to their headquarters.

A New Champion in Direct Selling Education

by Lauren Lawley Head

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

Gary Huggins

Education: Texas Christian University, bachelor of arts in political science and communication

Personal: A Dallas, Texas, native, Huggins now resides in Laurel, Maryland, with his wife and four children, ages 15, 13, 10 and 7

Point of interest: served on George H. W. Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign and Inaugural Committee

After an extensive search, the Direct Selling Education Foundation has chosen its next Executive Director, Gary Huggins.

Huggins comes to the Foundation with deep experience in education reform, innovation, policy and advocacy. He most recently served as CEO of the National Summer Learning Association, an organization that serves as a network hub for thousands of summer learning program providers and stakeholders.

Huggins also served as Director of the Aspen Institute’s Commission on No Child Left Behind, a bipartisan, independent effort dedicated to improving the No Child Left Behind Act, as well as Executive Director of the Education Leaders Council, Education Leaders Action Council, and CSCV, a coalition of corporations, small businesses, and consumer and environmental groups that promoted market-based environmental solutions.

“I am so pleased we were able to introduce Gary Huggins as DSEF’s Executive Director at DSA’s Annual Meeting,” said Amway Chief Sales Officer and DSEF Board Chairman John Parker. “Gary brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will equip him well in leading DSEF.  If you did not have a chance to meet Gary in person in Orlando, I hope you do soon.”

Though he officially begins the role July 7, Huggins attended the Direct Selling Association’s Annual Meeting in Orlando in June and spent some time talking with Direct Selling News.

Industry voices

On June 5, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited opinion in the case of the Federal Trade Commission vs. the multi-level music marketing company BurnLounge. The Direct Selling Association had filed an amicus brief in the case, asserting that internal consumption qualifies as a legitimate sale. The 9th Circuit affirmed the U.S. District Court’s decision that BurnLounge was an illegal pyramid scheme, but it also affirmed the principle that compensation to direct sellers based on their consumption is legitimate—excellent news for the direct selling community.

The opinion was issued while the DSA Annual Meeting was in progress, so it naturally got some attention. Here are some snapshots of what was said:

“The preliminary reading is actually quite good,” DSA President Joe Mariano told meeting attendees that afternoon. “…I think we can be positive and say that some of the work that we have been doing over the last year, two years and indeed for generations, has had an impact and effect on at least partially educating the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.”

“I don’t think BurnLounge today is going to be the catalyst to change the short position on Herbalife,” Canaccord Genuity Managing Director Scott Van Winkle said during the question-and-answer portion of a workshop entitled The Wall Street View.  “I think it helps. I think it is one more building block.”

“I’m excited to be here and excited about this industry,” he said.

Huggins says he will be identifying and developing his priorities in the coming months but knows supporting the Foundation’s academic initiatives will be key. Having university professors and others understand the direct selling business model is important, he says, so that they include discussion of the channel when they teach students about entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial opportunities.

“My work in education has always been very supportive of entrepreneurship in education,” he said. “We (direct selling) ought to be part of Main Street conversations about entrepreneurship.”

It might be the middle of summer, but in many ways it feels like the start of a new year. The Direct Selling News Global 100 celebration and the Direct Selling Association’s 2014 Annual Meeting are behind us, and it’s now time to dig into the work ahead. These are critical times for the direct selling community. Let’s approach the opportunities—and tackle the challenges—head on.

Lauren Lawley Head

Lauren Lawley Head
General Manager


Direct Selling Association’s 2014 Annual Meeting Welcomes over 1,000 Attendees

Photo Above: CEO Panel discusses unity within DSA.

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

Exclusive Coverage | Shaklee’s Marjorie Fine Inducted into DSA Hall of Fame | DSEF Circle of Honor Welcomes Elizabeth Owen | 2014 Direct Selling Association ETHOS Award Winners | Roundtable with Direct Selling’s Female CEOs

The Direct Selling Association held its 2014 Annual Meeting this past June 1–3. More than 1,000 executives from direct selling and vendor partner companies gathered in Orlando to celebrate achievements and to discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the industry.

Underscoring the meeting’s theme of ONE, the first two general sessions on Monday delivered a clear message about the importance of the industry presenting a united front and sharing the same message for those outside the industry: that direct selling offers a better life for 16 million Americans in addition to providing economic independence, a sense of fulfillment and a quality of life others cannot achieve through traditional workplace environments.

In the morning session, keynote speaker and acclaimed author of Good to Great and Great by Choice, Jim Collins, shared his extensive research on what produces great, enduring companies. “Whether we fail or thrive depends more on what we do to ourselves than what the world ‘out there’ does to us,” he told the crowd.

That sentiment was echoed in the afternoon session by the seven direct selling CEOs who took the stage to discuss unity across the entire industry. The panel, led by Nu Skin President and CEO Truman Hunt, included Natura CEO Alessandro Carlucci, Herbalife Chairman and CEO Michael O. Johnson, The Pampered Chef Founder, Interim CEO and Chairman Doris Christopher, Amway President Doug DeVos and Thirty-One Gifts Founder and CEO Cindy Monroe.

The group encouraged industry action to ensure companies can continue to thrive despite outside forces, such as the calculated attacks by short sellers and the regulatory challenges around the world, and affirmed the need to unite in securing vital political influence.

“This is a moment we should be thinking about unification more than ever before,” said Johnson, whose company has spent the past 18 months weathering attacks by Herbalife short seller Bill Ackman—a campaign Johnson described as “selfish, self-righteous and egregious in ways you don’t even know.”

New Officers, Directors for DSA Board

During the DSA’s 2014 Annual Meeting, the DSA Board of Directors nominated and approved Truman Hunt, CEO of Nu Skin Enterprises, as Chairman. In addition, the following executives will also serve for the 2015 term:

  • Vice Chairman: David Holl (Mary Kay)
  • Vice Chairman: Lori Bush (Rodan + Fields)
  • Treasurer: Matt Blok (Amway)
  • Immediate Past Chairman: Orville Thompson (Scentsy)
  • Past Chairman: Brett Chapman (Herbalife)


Eight new Directors will help form the class of 2017. They will serve three-year terms:

  • Doris Christopher (The Pampered Chef)
  • Jonathan Gelfand (Team Beachbody)
  • Erik Johnson (Hy Cite)
  • Allison Levy (AdvoCare)
  • Raymond Mily Jr. (The Kirby Company)
  • Doug Robinson (LifeVantage)
  • Frank VanderSloot (Melaleuca)
  • John Wyckoff (Dove Chocolate Discoveries)

The attacks aimed at Herbalife affect the entire industry, said Monroe. Party-plan companies like Thirty-One Gifts have a mutual interest in protecting the independent status of their salespeople, which is why the company has worked to ensure their earnings opportunity extends to all levels of the organization.

“With everything we do at Thirty-One, we try to make sure we’re helping the salesperson make as much money as possible,” she said. “As an industry, we have to show the statistics that our sales reps are making income, and they are making it regardless of whether they have to invest in tools.”

DeVos encouraged executives to actively support initiatives that give direct selling a greater voice in Washington. “We have to have a purpose, a plan and the financial and human resources necessary to stand up and be counted,” he said.

Christopher emphasized participation in the DSA and its initiatives as a key to furthering the conversation in Washington. “As a part of it, we all share reputation, responsibility and a love of the opportunity we offer to our independent contractors,” she said. “The most effective way to fight challenges is to do it together.”

During the three-day event DSA’s Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting. Among a number of items of business for the session, the group elected new executives and directors to the Board and unanimously approved a number of changes to the Code of Ethics.

“The most significant changes are to the explanatory provisions,” DSA President Joe Mariano noted. “The changes relate to how the Code defines a pyramid scheme, the buyback policy and inventory loading, and are the result of some self-examination of the industry due to the attacks we’ve been facing.”

The Code of Ethics is regularly evaluated to ensure it meets the demands of the current marketplace environment. Changes are considered continuously as challenges arise, and as the Code of Ethics Administrator indicates, they are necessary to continue the sales channel’s exemplary history of self-regulation.

The Board Directors were also introduced to the new executive director of the Direct Selling Education Foundation, Gary Huggins.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Gary to the Foundation,” said Amway Chief Sales Officer and DSEF Chairman John Parker. “Gary comes to us with a great deal of experience in advocacy roles for nonprofits in the education arena in particular. He’s here with us throughout the meeting, and I’d love for him to have the opportunity to talk to and learn from all the great leaders in this room about the industry.”

The Board was also briefed about ongoing and upcoming government relations activities in response to current marketplace challenges. Incoming Government Relations Committee Chairman Michael Lunceford of Mary Kay briefed the body about his expectation of industry activity at the federal level to respond to current events, either involving passing legislation friendly to direct selling or killing legislation that is harmful to it.

DSA Immediate Past Chairman Orville Thompson passes the gavel to incoming Chairman Truman Hunt.DSA Immediate Past Chairman Orville Thompson passes the gavel to incoming Chairman Truman Hunt.

“There are steps that need to be taken right now,” Lunceford advised the Board. “Get to know your Member of Congress—DSA can help you with this… and survey your field and ask them who they know. You’ll be surprised at the contacts they have…. Introducing a piece of legislation and passing it is arduous. It is far harder than trying to kill one. Do these small things to help yourselves.”

“To move the things we’re talking about takes a lot of time, money and effort,” noted DSA Executive Vice President Adolfo Franco. “It takes years… we need the commitment now for the long haul.”

Since 1910, DSA has worked to promote the impact of direct sellers and ensure a fair and open marketplace. The Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for industry executives to unite in the interest of their shared vision, message and future.

This year’s event featured an adjusted schedule from the previous years, including enhanced time in the exhibit hall for learning opportunities on Sunday afternoon, before the Grand Opening Reception. Express Learning Sessions featured more than 30 mini-workshops by vendor partners and a 90-minute interactive Perfecting Partnerships Roundtable helped executives and vendor partners forge deeper, strategic working relationships.

From innovative uses of technology to marketing tactics to international expansion fundamentals, the more than 40 speakers at this year’s DSA Annual Meeting offered a closer look at today’s crucial business-building topics.

The 2015 Annual Meeting will be held in San Antonio, Texas, from Sunday, May 31 through Tuesday, June 2.

Exclusive Coverage | Shaklee’s Marjorie Fine Inducted into DSA Hall of Fame | DSEF Circle of Honor Welcomes Elizabeth Owen |2014 Direct Selling Association ETHOS Award Winners | Roundtable with Direct Selling’s Female CEOs

UK DSA’s Southworth to Join Order of the British Empire

Photo above: The Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Paul Southworth, outgoing Director General of the U.K. Direct Selling Association, has been named an Officer in the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

As part of the celebration honoring Queen Elizabeth II’s 88th birthday, the royal honors recognize individuals for their achievements in public life and their service to Britain. Southworth will receive the award “for services to Business, Arts and the community in Northamptonshire” from her majesty during a special investiture at Buckingham Palace.

“The award came as a complete surprise and I feel both honoured and humble to receive such recognition,” Southworth told DSN. “As always it could only have happened because of the incredible team of people I have the privilege to work with, and it is as much their recognition as mine.”

Southworth’s career in direct selling has included the role of President and CEO of Northampton-based Avon U.K. He has also chaired the Trustees Board at Northampton Theatres and sat on the Board of the Northamptonshire Arts and Management Trust. For nearly 10 years, Southworth was Chairman of the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), previously Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited (NEL), where he helped secure millions of dollars in support of local economic development.

Southworth will continue to support the U.K. DSA in an ambassadorial role after retiring this year. The Association’s current Deputy Director General, Lynda Mills, will step into the role of Director General.

Direct Selling Execs Share Insight in Women’s CEO Panel

Tuesday’s closing general session of the Direct Selling Association Annual Meeting featured an insightful roundtable discussion with four of the industry’s women executives.

While women have always represented the overwhelming majority of direct sellers, their presence in board rooms and executive suites has more closely resembled the makeup of wider corporate America. In 1972, only 4 percent of U.S. businesses were run by women. By 1991, that number had grown to 38 percent. Today, women run 8.3 million businesses nationwide.

To hear firsthand their perspective on challenges and opportunities facing the industry—and its women leaders—Ruth Todd, Nu Skin Vice President of Public Affairs, sat down with Lori Bush, President and CEO of Rodan + Fields; Traci Lynn Burton, Founder and CEO of Traci Lynn Fashion Jewelry; Kay Napier, CEO of Arbonne; and Connie Tang, President and CEO of Princess House.

From their vantage point, the women have witnessed many changes for their fellow women in the industry. A current trend, said Napier, is the increasing number of professional women, and men, entering direct selling.

“It’s become more of a legitimate choice to choose this profession and lifestyle, and not just as a side job, a hobby or a social outlet,” Tang agreed. “People see it more in terms of truly providing something meaningful for women and their families.”

The panel also shared some common misperceptions they encounter as women leaders, including the notion that they can’t handle constructive criticism. “By virtue of what position we’re in, people infer we don’t want feedback or to know when we’re wrong,” said Napier. “I’ve worked to surround myself with people who aren’t afraid to tell me when I’m off track.”

One point from Tang struck a chord with her fellow panelists, who enthusiastically agreed. “I think there’s a myth that we’ve figured out how to balance life and work. There is no such thing!” said Tang. “Balance is interpretive and unique to each individual. Work-life balance implies there are equal parts, and that’s a myth.”

When the conversation turned to connecting with salespeople in the field, Burton encouraged leaders to make sure their interactions involve more than just products and business.

“What I would suggest is that you give them a value add—something that has nothing to do with the product. If you want to develop that relationship, you have to have the value add of personal development,” Burton said.

Bush shared a piece of life wisdom she often tells her own salespeople at Rodan + Fields: “Embrace the journey. You might not find that success makes you happy; there’s a higher possibility that happiness will make you successful.”

Industry CEOs Call for Unity at Annual Direct Selling Meeting

Through a series of speakers on Monday, the Direct Selling Association’s Annual Meeting delivered a clear message about the importance of the industry presenting a united front.

“Whether we fail or thrive depends more on what we do to ourselves than what the world ‘out there’ does to us,” keynote speaker Jim Collins told the crowd during a Monday morning session.

Collins, acclaimed author of titles including Good to Great and Great by Choice, was referring to his extensive research on what produces great, enduring companies, but the sentiment was echoed later by the seven CEOs who took the stage to discuss unity across the entire industry.

The panel, led by Nu Skin’s Truman Hunt, included Alessandro Carlucci (Natura), Michael O. Johnson (Herbalife), Doris Christopher (The Pampered Chef), Doug DeVos (Amway) and Cindy Monroe (Thirty-One Gifts). Amid calculated attacks by short sellers and regulatory challenges around the world, the group encouraged industry action to ensure companies can continue to thrive despite outside forces.

“This is a moment we should be thinking about unification more than ever before,” said Johnson, whose company has spent the past 18 months weathering blistering attacks by Herbalife short seller Bill Ackman—a campaign Johnson described as “selfish, self-righteous and egregious in ways you don’t even know.”

The panel particularly affirmed the need to unite in securing vital political influence, which Hunt has identified as a primary objective in his role as newly appointed DSA Chairman. DeVos encouraged executives to actively support initiatives that give direct selling a greater voice in Washington.

“We have to have a purpose, a plan, and the financial and human resources necessary to stand up and be counted,” said DeVos.

Doris Christopher emphasized participation in the DSA and its initiatives as a point of pride for her company and a key to furthering the conversation in Washington. “As a part of it, we all share reputation, responsibility, and a love of the opportunity we offer to our independent contractors,” said Christopher. “The most effective way to fight challenges is to do it together.”

DSA Board Welcomes New Members, Officers at Annual Meeting

The Direct Selling Association board of directors met Sunday in Orlando as a part of the DSA’s 2014 Annual Meeting. With the extraordinary focus currently placed on direct selling, both by media and regulators, DSA President Joe Mariano encouraged members to pursue positive, constructive conversations with the public in addition to defending the model against detractors.

“I think it’s important to remember that we must not only defend ourselves, but also talk supportively and encouragingly,” said Mariano.

The DSA’s Government Relations Committee maintains that ongoing dialogue with policymakers. As newly appointed head of the committee, Mary Kay’s Michael Lunsford underscored the importance of laying groundwork now to influence future legislation. To effectively communicate their message to lawmakers, Lunsford says, it is crucial that executives proactively establish relationships with their congressional representatives.

“Survey your salespeople and ask them who they know in the political sphere,” Lunsford urged. “It’s a very easy way for you to harness the power of your salesforce.”

Communications Committee Chair Mark Stastny, Chief Marketing Officer of Scentsy, also encouraged the board to mine the considerable resource that direct selling companies have in their sales representatives. “Look for ways that we can increase working with our field organizations and helping them understand how their daily interactions represent our industry—that’s where the perception is largely built,” said Stastny.

The board also heard from Arbonne’s Heather Chastain, who heads up the Ethics & Self-Regulation Committee, on the Association’s efforts to raise awareness of the buyback policy. The buyback policy is a critical consumer protection measure incorporated in the DSA’s Code of Ethics. A Code of Ethics Communication Initiative is currently underway at the DSA to recognize companies who are taking coordinated, purposeful steps to promote the Code and what it means to their organization.

“This is not only about legislation and defensive action; it’s about making sure our house is in order,” said Mariano. To further that effort, the Association has added a staff attorney tasked with ensuring that member companies are operating correctly and in compliance with the Code of Ethics.

To conclude the meeting, Chairman and Scentsy CEO Orville Thompson passed the gavel to incoming Chairman Truman Hunt, CEO of Nu Skin. The board approved the nomination of Hunt and the following officers to serve the 2015 term.

Chairman: Truman Hunt, President and CEO, Nu Skin Enterprises

Truman Hunt was appointed President of Nu Skin Enterprises in January 2003 and was named CEO in May 2003. Under his leadership, the company conducts business in 47 markets, with recent expansion into China, Eastern Europe and Latin America. The company increased its revenue in 2013 by $977 million, reaching $3.18 billion and climbing to No. 7 on the DSN Global 100 list.

Hunt began his tenure at Nu Skin in 1996 as Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to joining Nu Skin, he served as President and CEO of Better Living Products Inc., a Nu Skin affiliate involved in the manufacture and distribution of houseware products sold through traditional retail channels. Prior to joining Better Living Products in 1991, he was a securities and business attorney in private practice.

He earned a bachelor of science degree from Brigham Young University and a law degree from the University of Utah, and he serves on the advisory boards for the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation and Nourish the Children Initiative.

Vice Chairman: David B. Holl, President and CEO, Mary Kay Inc.

David Holl joined Mary Kay Inc. in June 1993, became Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer in 1996, and was named President and COO in 2001. He assumed the title of CEO in 2006.

During his tenure as President and CEO, Holl has led Mary Kay through a period of expansion, doubling global revenue and making significant progress on such key strategic initiatives as global rebranding and standardization of core systems and processes. With $3.6 billion in revenue in 2013, the company ranks fifth on the DSN Global 100.

Prior to joining Mary Kay, Holl was a Vice President at Citibank in New York, and, before that, a financial analyst for Union Texas Petroleum in Houston.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in finance from Clemson University, where he currently serves on the President’s Advisory Board, and his MBA from the University of South Carolina, where he was designated the outstanding MBA candidate and, in 2008, received USC’s Moore School of Business Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Vice Chairman: Lori Bush, President and CEO, Rodan + Fields

With more than 25 years’ experience in the consumer and health-care products industries, Lori Bush oversaw Rodan + Field’s entrance into the direct selling arena, and she is responsible for the management and guidance of the company, which ranks 64th on the DSN Global 100, with 2013 revenue of $196 million. She also co-authored the best-selling book Write Your Skin a Prescription for Change with the company’s founders, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields.

Prior to joining Rodan + Fields, Bush served as President of Nu Skin International and has held several leadership positions within the skincare franchise of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Companies, including Worldwide Executive Director Skin Care Ventures and Vice President of Professional Marketing at Neutrogena.

She earned a bachelor of science degree in medical technology from The Ohio State University and an MBA from Temple University.

Immediate Past Chairman: Orville Thompson, CEO and Co-Owner, Scentsy Inc.

Thompson and his wife, Heidi, purchased the Scentsy product line in 2004 and have grown the business through the direct selling model into a $485 million company that ranks 25th on the DSN Global 100.

Prior to Scentsy, Thompson operated a large specialty retail company that sold consumer products through state fairs, trade shows, mall kiosks and direct response television commercials. But his experience as an entrepreneur dates back to 1979 when, at the age of 10, he bought a flock of sheep from a neighbor. Over the next few years, he shifted from crossbreeds to a purebred flock and developed a business selling sheep at auction and to students interested in participating in 4H programs. By the time he graduated from high school, he had saved $14,000.

Thompson earned his bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of Washington and had once planned to attend graduate school to become a history professor. These days, when time allows, he enjoys golfing, reading, eating pie and teaching a little history to those who will listen.

Past Chairman: Brett R. Chapman, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Herbalife

As Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of Herbalife, Brett Chapman has responsibility for all legal, regulatory and government affairs matters relating to the company’s business around the world. With $4.8 billion in revenue in 2013, Herbalife ranks third on the DSN Global 100.

Chapman, like Herbalife CEO Michael O. Johnson, joined the company after more than a decade with The Walt Disney Co. He served most recently as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Disney, with responsibility for all legal matters relating to Disney’s Media Networks Group, including the ABC Television Network, the company’s cable properties including The Disney Channel and ESPN, and Disney’s radio and Internet businesses.

Prior to joining Disney, Chapman was with the Los Angeles office of law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, and the London office of the international law firm Linklaters.

In addition to his work with Herbalife and the DSA, Chapman sits on the board of the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Herbalife Family Foundation.

Treasurer: Matt Blok, Chief Financial Officer, Amway Korea

When Blok took on the management of Amway Korea’s $850 million finance division, he was already a veteran of the company. His experience at Amway spanned four positions on two continents. Following a stint as Senior Accountant at Ernst & Young, Blok joined Amway in 1997 as a Senior Auditor within the company’s Internal Audit Services.

Blok went on to become a member of the startup team at the Van Andel Institute, established in 1996 by Amway Co-Founder Jay Van Andel and his wife, Betty, to support worldwide biomedical research and science education. In 2004, he transitioned back to Amway corporate and filled the role of Associate Manager at the company’s Internal Audit Services. Blok’s career then crossed the pond to Amway Europe, where he supervised the company’s U.K. and Republic of Ireland finance team before taking on his role at Amway Korea.

Blok received his Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting, in 1994 from Western Michigan University.

In addition to the six officers, the following individuals joined the DSA board of directors with terms expiring in 2017:

Erik Johnson, Chairman and CEO, Hy Cite Enterprises LLC
Allison Levy, Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, AdvoCare International LP
Douglas Robinson, President and CEO, LifeVantage Corp.
Frank VanderSloot, CEO, Melaleuca Inc.
John Wyckoff, President, Dove Chocolate Discoveries

Let’s Send the Right Message to Congress: Help us spread the word to get 100,000 signatures

by Orville Thompson

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

As leaders within direct selling, you may know our industry has come under attack in recent months. A billionaire hedge fund manager on Wall Street has made accusations against one direct selling company, and, by implication, against all direct selling companies. There have also been efforts to lobby members of Congress and federal regulatory agencies to investigate our industry.

Some of these attacks are motivated by greed, and others are motivated by fear or ignorance about how DSA members do business. Regardless, they cannot be left unanswered without serious risk to an industry that annually helps 15.9 million Americans provide a better life for their families.

To help lawmakers better understand the tremendous benefits of direct selling and the code of ethics we follow, Scentsy was part of a group of direct selling companies that sent consultants to Washington, D.C. last October to lobby Members of Congress.

While they were in Washington, our consultants met with staff from their state’s Congressional delegation and, in some cases, directly with their Member of Congress to tell the story of how direct selling has been a blessing in their lives. As part of that lobbying effort, they also signed a proclamation pledging to do what DSA has always done—to market the direct selling opportunity with the highest degree of business ethics and service to customers. DSA’s goal was to get 100,000 signatures.

Scentsy thought the proclamation was so important to send the right message to Congress that we appealed to our Consultants to go online and sign it. We did this in several ways:

    • I personally asked our leadership to sign the proclamation in my weekly call and urged them to spread the word to their downlines.
    • We sent an email to every one of our U.S. Consultants outlining why Congress needed to hear their success stories and support for direct selling. We let them know an effective way to do this was by signing the proclamation.
    • We posted an article about the DSA proclamation to our online newsletter.
    • Finally, and perhaps most effectively, we made an appeal on our social media networks and encouraged our Consultants to sign the proclamation and then share, share, share.


We got a good response. Over 4,500 Scentsy Consultants signed the DSA proclamation—almost a third of the total 15,000 people to sign the proclamation so far.

But we’re still far short of our 100,000 goal. We need to make sure the message Congress hears is not one of greed, fear, or ignorance—but a message of success, personal achievement and hope.

As Chairman of the DSA Board of Directors, I am asking all of us to stand together with those who have already signed the DSA proclamation to let members of Congress and the federal regulatory agencies know that direct selling has helped you—whether it’s making a car payment, helping with the grocery bill, or allowing greater flexibility to manage work and family.

Please challenge your teams and your companies to help us reach the goal of 100,000 signatures. Go to www.dsa.org/proclamation and add your name to the DSA proclamation today.

Help us send a message that direct selling is an industry that benefits millions of Americans—and you are proof of that.

Orville Thompson

Orville Thompson is the CEO of Scentsy Inc. and the Chairman of the DSA Board of Directors for 2013-2014.