Forces Under 40 2017

by DSN Staff

Click here to order the March 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


DSN is thrilled to showcase the most outstanding young professionals working in direct selling companies today. These honorees represent all aspects of the business—from technology and marketing to finance and field services—and represent the fine talent of tomorrow. We know it is imperative to nurture and encourage the young leaders in our channel in order to secure the brightest future possible for all.

These dynamic young leaders are broadening the scope of the companies they work for as well as our entire channel of distribution. Based upon the enthusiastic nominations of the honorees presented here, the future is bright indeed. The program was open to all full-time professionals working in active direct selling companies who turned 40 years old on or after Jan. 1, 2017. The honorees are presented in alphabetical order with each profile including the thoughts and words of the honoree’s respective company.

We also want to thank our generous sponsors, Avalara and Fossil.


PROFILES:

…. Continue to the Honoree’s profiles.

 

 

4Life India Moves into New Mumbai Headquarters

Pictured: 4Life India leaders light a traditional Indian lamp to inaugurate the new office.


4Life recently celebrated a milestone in India, where the company hosted employees and top leaders at the grand opening of its new office in Mumbai. The facility will serve as the new headquarters of 4Life India, which has operated from Mumbai, the capital city of the state of Maharashtra, since the market’s launch in 2008.

The Salt Lake City-based company has also announced an expansion of its Surabaya, Indonesia office. Like most direct selling companies, 4Life designs its offices with the independent distributor in mind. The Mumbai headquarters features meeting rooms for distributor training, a sales counter, and large office space for operations, marketing and distributor services.

“Our office includes a beautiful distributor area with ample space for distributors to interact with their prospects and share the message of 4Life,” said Manoj Shirodkar, 4Life India General Manager. “The look of the office is full of positive energy and represents the 4Life philosophy of Together, Building People.”

India is one of direct selling’s billion dollar markets, and while the regulatory atmosphere has posed challenges to many companies, industry sales show no signs of slowing. Retail sales topped $1.2 billion in 2013, an 11.7 percent increase over the prior year. India ranked sixth—behind China, Argentina, Venezuela, Indonesia and the Philippines—in terms of sales percentage growth.

Team 4Life Welcomes Olympic Gold Medalist

Australian professional snowboarder Torah Bright, who was a stand-out competitor and medalist in the 2014 Winter Olympics, has joined Team 4Life. Already a fan of the health and wellness company’s products, she will endorse 4Life’s Transfer Factor® line.

Bright was a Silver medalist in the Half-pipe competition of the most recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, winning Australia its first medal of that year’s Games. Adding to the Gold she had won in the same category in the previous Olympics in 2010, Bright became Australia’s most successful Winter Olympics athlete. She’s also won two Gold and two Silver medals for her performance in the Snowboard SuperPipe competition at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, and in 2013 took first place at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colorado.

Growing up in Cooma, New South Wales, Australia, Bright was first introduced to 4Life products in 2013 through her mother, Marion, who was already a long-time distributor for the company.

“Torah’s spirit, discipline, and character exemplify what we look for in Team 4Life members,” said Trent Tenney, Senior Vice President of Marketing. “I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with her at 4Life Global Headquarters and I can attest to the passion and determination she demonstrates in competition. We are thrilled to welcome her as the first new Team 4Life member in 2015.”

By joining Team 4Life, Bright, who just won Bronze in the Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe competition for the 2015 Winter X Games in Aspen last week, will become part of a group of world-renowned athletes who excel in their disciplines.

The Secret To Long Term Success In Direct Sales

The Secret To Long Term Success In Direct Sales Ongoing Professional Development:  A Key to Long-Term Success in Direct Sales

Continuing your education is a critical ingredient to the long-term success of your direct selling business. Make sure to take advantage of your company’s training and educational offerings such as webinars, monthly conference calls and, of course, your company’s annual convention. You’ll also want to participate in training offered by your upline and regional leaders. And, if you are in the Salt Lake City or Ann Arbor areas, you can soon take a direct selling entrepreneurship course at your local community college!

The Direct Selling Entrepreneur Program (DSEP) is a thirty-hour, non-credit course designed to help independent representatives—and those interested in exploring a career in direct selling—operate stronger, more profitable businesses. Through this personalized approach to entrepreneurship, any small business owner or independent contractor can learn real-world skills to start or grow a successful business. If you’re a direct seller, or considering a career as a direct selling business owner, this course is a great way to gain small business management skills such as:

  • Business Operations
  • Using Technology
  • Goal Setting & Future Strategy
  • Marketing & Selling
  • Communication
  • Financial Management
  • Leadership & Ethics

This fall, DSEP is coming to Salt Lake Community College in Sandy, UT; and to Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, MI. Details are below:

Direct Selling Entrepreneur Program at Salt Lake Community College

Where: Larry H. Miller Campus

MCPC 115, 9750 S 300 W

Sandy, UT

When:  Thursdays 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM from September 18, 2014 – November 20, 2014

Cost: $99 tuition + $20 manual

Register: To register, call (801) 957-5200

For more information, contact Kay Carter at kay.carter@slcc.edu or visit www.slcccontinuinged.com/DSEP. DSEF thanks 4Life, Nu Skin and USANA for their support in bringing DSEP to Salt Lake City.

Tuition Assistance Opportunity: Tuition assistance is available to cover up to 50% of the cost. To see if you qualify, contact Kay Carter, Encore Institute Manager at (801) 957-5373 or kay.carter@slcc.edu

 

Direct Selling Entrepreneur Program at Washtenaw Community College

Where: 4800 E. Huron River Drive

Ann Arbor, MI  48105

Morris Lawrence Building

When: Tuesdays, Thursdays 6:00 p.m. – 8:55 p.m. Oct. 7, 2014 – Nov. 6, 2014

Cost: Register by Sept. 30, 2014, for a reduced tuition rate of $125. After Sept. 30, tuition is $325.

Register: Click here.
For more information, call (734) 677-5060 or email ecdevelopment@wccnet.edu. DSEF thanks Amway for its support in bringing DSEP to the Ann Arbor area.

Taking a course like this is a great way to learn how to bring your business to the next level. Remember that you should always aim to move your business forward, and that requires commitment to ongoing learning. Seek out opportunities to learn more about the direct sales industry, keep up with current industry trends, improve your salesmanship and learn ways to efficiently run your business more efficiently.  DSEF will announce more courses soon, and you can check for the updated schedule here.

What are some ways that you have continued your education? Would you consider taking a course like this? Please share your comments below!

4Life Bolsters Scientific Research with Auburn University Partnership

A new partnership between wellness company 4Life Research and Auburn University will advance academic studies on the safety and effectiveness of 4Life products. The company recently made a $100,000 gift in support of The Molecular and Applied Sciences Laboratory in Auburn’s School of Kinesiology.

The research will range from specific ingredients and how they affect physiological systems, to safety studies and new ingredient discovery. 4Life has developed a product line based upon its trademark Transferceutical Science, which supports the immune system in remembering and responding to potential health threats.

“Companies are always looking for ways to generate scientific credibility in their research, and this is an area where 4Life is truly committed,” said Vice President of Communications Calvin Jolley.

4Life has collaborated with a number of universities in the past, but the Auburn partnership is by far the most significant. The company’s willingness to invest resources in academic research was a major draw for Chief Scientific Officer Chris Lockwood, Ph.D., CSCS, who joined 4Life last year.

“Prior to coming to 4Life, I did consulting with a lot of different companies within the industry,” Lockwood told DSN. “It’s been great to see the support our founders, David and Bianca Lisonbee, have given to exploratory research that doesn’t necessarily guarantee results.”

Lockwood met Auburn’s Dr. Michael Roberts, Director of the Molecular and Applied Sciences Lab, when the two worked together at the University of Oklahoma. Since then Lockwood has continued to run research through Roberts, whom he calls “an incredibly brilliant and gifted person.”

The studies will take place in the 58,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art kinesiology research facility that opened on Auburn’s campus last fall. “When we first visited the facility, we were shocked to realize the depth of their research capabilities across the spectrum of anything we would want or need to do,” Lockwood shared.

The Auburn partnership will support 4Life’s in-house R&D department in its commitment to innovation, substantiation and education. 4Life also enlists the expertise of physicians and nutrition experts worldwide who sit on its Health Sciences Advisory Board (HSAB). The board gathered last week for its annual HSAB Symposium, where members have the opportunity to share insights on product evaluation, scientific study, and technical interpretation.

4Life Research: Hope to See beyond Tomorrow

by Karyn Reagan

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

Foundation 4Life

Company Profile

  • Founded: 1998
  • Headquarters: Salt Lake City
  • Founders: David and Bianca Lisonbee
  • Products: immune support, general wellness

Foundation 4Life service projects focus on equipping disadvantaged individuals around the world with the tools they need to move beyond bare survival.

David Lisonbee was searching for answers to health issues that were not responding to anything he tried when he stumbled across a scientific finding from 1949. New York University professor Dr. H. Sherwood Lawrence, an immunology pioneer, wrote about how immune system experiences from one mammal could be transferred through factors in the body to another mammal. The receiving mammal’s immune system could be educated by those factors, now known as transfer factors. Lisonbee gave his own immune system the boost it needed using clues from the research, and the results were convincing.

According to Calvin Jolley, Vice President of Communications at 4Life Research, when Lisonbee shared the success with his wife, Bianca, she felt that this discovery should be made available to the world. He agreed, and in 1998 they launched the company with a signature product dubbed Transfer Factor Classic.


4Life has grown every year since its formation and now has a presence in over 23 countries around the world.


Lisonbee’s experience in direct selling and publishing in the health and wellness sector supported his decision to use direct selling as the marketing vehicle. 4Life has grown every year since its formation and now has a presence in over 23 countries around the world. And the original signature offering has been joined by a full line of Transfer Factor products that support various body systems.

In addition to the results of the products, 4Life’s growth is due in part to the extensive training offered to its distributors as well as its use of technology. “We are heavily involved in social media, including photos, action items, company news and product updates,” Jolley says. “Our e-news, which has received recognition by the DSA, is sent around the world via email providing current updates and information. We also utilize text messaging, Facebook (with over 70,000 likes on our page), Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube to communicate with our distributors regarding company news, product updates and action items for business building. Every medium carries consistent weekly messages.” There is even a mobile app that distributors can utilize to access account information, company news and training materials wherever they have an Internet connection. 4Life also hosts corporate sponsored conference calls, inviting corporate and field leaders in the company as guest speakers to inspire and motivate attendees.

Commitments That Lead to Change

The Lisonbees built 4Life on a three-tiered foundation of Science, Success and Service. “The science of the products has brought the success of the company and its distributors, who are then encouraged to serve those in need,” Jolley says. In 2006, the charitable work that the company had always engaged in was formalized into a nonprofit entity called Foundation 4Life.


“We look for projects where we can enter into a long-term relationship and build a new legacy of hope for otherwise hopeless situations.” —Tracie Kay, Director of 4Life Service


Tracie Kay is the Director of 4Life Service, which includes Foundation 4Life and the 4Life Fortify nutrition program. She explains that the focus of the foundation is to lead a community in need to a place of self-sustainability. “We look for projects where we can enter into a long-term relationship and build a new legacy of hope for otherwise hopeless situations,” she says. “Our focus is to provide the essential needs of children—nutrition, shelter, and education—but the cycle of poverty is most heavily influenced through education on several different levels for both the children and the parents.” The foundation partners with entities already working in the community and commits to getting them to a level where the individuals they are helping can stand on their own feet. “We teach educational skills to kids and parents as well as basic survival skills such as gardening, baking and even managing chicken farms. It depends on the culture,” Kay says. “For example, if a family can grow and manage their own food, we have started them on a path of newfound hope. It’s definitely a long-term commitment.”

Currently, there are philanthropic projects taking place in over 30 countries where 4Life distributors are active. “We encourage distributors to become involved in the projects,” she says. “Some are even drawn to the business by first being involved in what we are doing in their community.”


5-year-old Juanita attends kindergarten in a Honduras community where Foundation 4Life has committed to help families and children. 5-year-old Juanita attends kindergarten in a Honduras community where Foundation 4Life has committed to help families and children. Aneurys Perez, a recipient of Foundation 4Life’s giving in the Dominican Republic, returns the blessing to his aging grandparents.Aneurys Perez, a recipient of Foundation 4Life’s giving in the Dominican Republic, returns the blessing to his aging grandparents.

A Glimpse at the Global Impact

The first country Foundation 4Life reached into with assistance was the Dominican Republic, specifically through La Casa Rosada, an orphanage for children with HIV. “We launched the Foundation in 2006 with a major donation to expand the facility operated by the Catholic Church,” Kay says. “Once there was sufficient shelter for the orphans we went to work on providing educational opportunities.” There was a need for some of the 3- to 5-year-old children to be better prepared for school on a social level. “They had a tendency to act up and get kicked out of regular schools,” she says. “The sisters running the orphanage recommended a Montessori-style preschool. We acted on their suggestion and have seen great results with the social and academic preparedness of the children for mainstream schools, and they are able to learn like their peers.” Montessori teaching is characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical and social development. The on-site preschool teachers also work with individuals with special needs. 4Life Fortify and other 4Life Transfer Factor products are also donated to the orphanage to provide better nutrition for all who live and work there.

Aneurys Perez is one of the first two residents at La Casa Rosada to graduate from high school. His mother died of HIV when he was young, and because his grandparents were unable to support him and his younger brother the orphanage became their home. “Foundation 4Life was able to provide Aneurys with a full scholarship, including room and board, to a local Santo Domingo university,” Kay says. “He was also given his first job by a local 4Life distributor who needed administrative support running his 4Life business.” Aneurys later applied to work at the local airport, was hired as an immigration officer and has since received promotions as he continues to work on his bachelor’s degree in marketing.


Through education and hands-on experience, Foundation 4Life hopes to train as many families as possible how to sustain themselves and their community.


Aneurys has learned the power of giving and now returns the blessing to his aging grandparents. He has paid for them to install running water in their modest home, pays their monthly water bill and purchased a washing machine and refrigerator for them. He is also funding extra-curricular classes for his younger brother in preparation for high school graduation this year. “It feels great to have been a part of changing a life and a legacy for Aneurys and his family,” Kay says.

In Honduras, parents send their children into the streets to sell a variety of items or do odd jobs in order to add a dollar or two to the meager family income. Kay says that often education is not a priority; survival is. “In response to the desperation of the people of Jardines del Norte, Honduras, we have made a six-year commitment to reach out through programs at a community center for which we sponsored the construction,” she says. “We are working hard to create a paradigm shift, changing a mindset adopted through years of poverty.”

Through education and hands-on experience, Foundation 4Life hopes to train as many families as possible how to sustain themselves and their community. “Many mothers join their children at the center and are offered classes specifically designed for them,” Kay says. “Lessons in good hygiene and nutrition are at the top of the list. We also teach jewelry-making skills, providing the mothers a way to contribute to the household income.” And there is a huge garden on the property to teach families how to plant and harvest their own food to consume and sell. “The people of this community shop for one meal at a time because that is all they can afford. There is a sense of desperation and day-to-day survival,” she says. “We work to offer them hope to see beyond tomorrow.”

Closer to Home

Through Foundation 4Life’s support, Juanita is able to receive a healthy meal and school materials.Through Foundation 4Life’s support, Juanita is able to receive a healthy meal and school materials.


In the United States, Foundation 4Life implemented a program in 2009 to help less fortunate children at the Guadalupe School in Salt Lake City. “Every year we provide school supplies to those who cannot afford them, and two years ago we began sponsoring the early childhood education program at the school. Additionally, Foundation 4Life was a major contributor for the construction of their new school that is currently on track to open this fall,” Kay says. “Last fall we extended our educational initiatives to three additional cities in the country.” Local 4Life distributors rallied to help in Barberton, Ohio; Miami, Fla.; and Downey, Calif., distributing backpacks and hygiene supplies, depending upon the needs of the students.

“During the holiday season Foundation 4Life also gave follow-up donations to high-risk students in each school,” she says. “For instance, over 200 uniforms were provided to the school in Miami. Two hundred sweatshirts were given to students in Downey to help them through the cooler winter months, and three families were treated to a substitute for Santa by local distributors.” Children at the school in Utah received additional school supplies, and 4Life supported a Christmas store where parents could procure gifts for their children. “When we heard from mothers of the kids who received the gifts, they were overwhelmed by the support of total strangers,” Kay says. “And although some of the projects are small, these four schools know they can count on us to lighten their financial burdens two to three times each year for an indefinite period of time.”

Foundation 4Life is funded by the generous donations of its distributors. The methods of giving include:

  • a one-time donation added to any product order
  • a recurring donation from bonus checks
  • purchasing an autoship pack of products that includes a built-in donation

 

Another way to give to the charitable arm of the company is by participating in the 4Life Fortify program. “We implemented this program in 2010 as a way for distributors to participate in providing essential nutrition directly to children in need,” Kay says. “4Life Fortify is a separate for-profit arm of the company that focuses specifically on fighting childhood malnutrition. Our Fortify product is made up of a great-tasting blend of red beans, lentils, and long grain white rice, plus a complex of the vitamins and minerals that growing kids’ bodies desperately need.” At any time, distributors may purchase Fortify, which is then sent to a hungry child by the company. She says distributors do earn commission volume for the purchase, providing a great opportunity for them to build their 4Life business while helping service the nutritional needs of children around the world.

At the Top of Their Game

Through the power of networking, some 4Life distributors have shared their nutritional supplements with athletes who have experienced noticeable results. The athletes include world hall-of-famers, a discus thrower in Germany, Denver Broncos team member Manny Ramirez and 2010 World Series MVP Edgar Renteria. “Once they become customers, the distributors let us know and we engage in a public relations initiative with the athlete and provide them with products at no charge,” Jolley says. “We do not pay them, but they are invited to join Team 4Life and endorse our products. Once they have joined the Team, we look for ways to incentivize the relationship through opportunities such as speaking at district and national 4Life events.”


“The commitment [of founders David and Bianca Lisonbee] to making life better for as many less-fortunate people as possible is the reason that 100 percent of every dollar donated actually goes to fund one of our projects.” —Tracie Kay


A beautiful picture of giving back can be found in the generosity demonstrated by the athletes on Team 4Life as they are involved in community and youth leagues. “Edgar Renteria has actually opened a baseball academy in Colombia,” Jolley says. “He takes kids off the streets, puts them in a stadium in a baseball uniform, and teaches them teamwork and leadership while they play the game.” His commitment to helping these kids has encouraged other Major League Baseball players to join Team 4Life. The foundation recognizes that Renteria’s mission is in perfect alignment with theirs and donates a sizeable annual contribution to the baseball academy. “He doesn’t want pay,” Jolley says. “But he gladly welcomes financial support as he works to save the lives of as many young people as he can in Colombia.”

With so many needs in the world, choosing which ones to address can be a unique challenge. Kay says, “The strategy implemented by our 4Life Service programs is to look in markets where there is strong 4Life distributor leadership and presence. We also have an outside board of reviews that officially signs off on all projects and spending.”

But both Jolley and Kay desire to make it clear that the generosity that gives life to every 4Life Service program was etched into the culture of the company from the moment it was established by David and Bianca Lisonbee. “Their commitment to making life better for as many less-fortunate people as possible is the reason that 100 percent of every dollar donated actually goes to fund one of our projects. All operating costs incurred by our programs are paid by 4Life,” Kay says. “And as the company continues to grow, so will our service to the needs of the world.”

Direct Sellers Donate to TODAY Show Gift Drive

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

The Direct Selling Association (DSA) helped ring in the holiday season by presenting the direct selling industry’s collective donation to the TODAY Show Holiday Gift Drive on Nov. 25 at NBC Studios in Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.

Twenty-six direct selling companies donated a total of $14.9 million in products and cash to the Drive. Of the 26, seven were featured in their own spots on the TODAY show during the holiday season. In its 10 years of participation, DSA member companies have donated more than $110 million in products, services and cash to the Drive.

The TODAY Show Holiday Gift Drive is a project of the TODAY Show Charitable Foundation Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donations are matched with the needs of more than 200 organizations with which theTODAY Show Charitable Foundation works. As part of this year’s Drive, DSA member companies sent items to dozens of organizations in states from California to New York.

DSA is the national trade association of the leading firms that manufacture and distribute goods and services sold directly to consumers. Among its more than 240 active and pending members are companies selling both via a party-plan method and in the traditional person-to-person style. In 2012, U.S. direct sales were more than $31.6 billion with nearly 16 million direct sellers nationwide. The vast majority are independent business people—micro-entrepreneurs—whose purpose is to sell the product/service of the company they voluntarily choose to represent. Approximately 90 percent of direct sellers operate their business part-time.

The following direct selling companies donated products to this year’s Toy Drive: 4Life, All Dazzle, Amway, Arbonne, Avon, Bona Clara, Clever Container, CUTCO, DeTech, Initials Inc., Jewel Kade, Jusuru, lia sophia, Living Fresh Collection, Mary Kay, Nu Skin, PartyLite, Princess House, SeneGence, Shaklee, Southwestern Advantage, Stampin’ Up!, Team National, Thirty-One Gifts, Vantel and Yor Health.

For more information on direct selling, DSA and its Code of Ethics, visit DSA’s website, www.dsa.org.

DSA’s Direct Selling Summit Connects Direct Sellers, Members of Congress

by Alyssa Wolice

Photo above: Summit attendees gather with DSA staff for a formal presentation of the Direct Selling Proclamation and Compact on the Capitol steps.

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


On Wednesday, Oct. 23, more than 100 independent direct selling consultants and industry executives from across the country came together on Capitol Hill for the Direct Selling Association’s (DSA) first-ever Direct Selling Summit.

Independent consultants from more than two dozen companies shared their personal success stories with Members of Congress and their staffs. For many direct sellers, the event marked their first-ever visit to the nation’s capital and their first experience connecting with their Members of Congress. All told, direct sellers took part in more than 70 individual meetings.

Additionally, Summit attendees renewed their commitment to the highest standards of ethical business practices, innovation and customer service by signing the Direct Selling Proclamation and Compact. The proclamation was displayed throughout the day to remind participants, as well as bystanders and others on Capitol Hill, of the role direct selling plays in the economy and in the lives of millions of men and women across the country.

“Do not underestimate the importance of what you are doing,” Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said to this year’s Summit attendees. “Do not underestimate the importance of folks like me seeing the real-life implications of what… the Federal Trade Commission or anyone else is doing. Because when you’re up here [as a Member of Congress], you see the end results, and it’s all numbers and statistics. The reality is that’s not what this is about. It’s you. … You might say, ‘I don’t see how what I did [during meetings with Members of Congress] is that important.’ Just your presence—for people to see, to visualize what we’re dealing with—is so important.

“Democracy does not work by osmosis,” he continued. “It requires involvement. You’re involved in your industry and your businesses. You’re also standing up for wealth creation, for what has made this the most prosperous and, therefore, the most generous country in history.”


“You’re standing up for wealth creation, for what has made this the most prosperous and, therefore, the most generous country in history.”
—Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.)


Prior to meeting with Members of Congress and their staffs, attendees were provided with an overview of the direct selling industry, DSA and the purpose of the day’s events. From there, attendees were briefed on how to prepare for meetings with Members of Congress and their staffs, as well as media interviews. DSA President Joseph N. Mariano said, “We thought it important that we, at least indirectly, answer some of the misinformation and myths that are out there to make sure that they don’t grow or, more importantly, end up a part of legislation here in Washington, D.C., or the states that could affect direct selling businesses negatively.”

“That is why it is more important than ever that we bring our folks to Washington so that Members of Congress and their staffs, as well as regulatory agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission, can gain a better understanding of who we are,” he said. “In fact, we represent a diverse population of people from all around the country with diverse motivations, different demographic backgrounds, races and religions.

“Some of the most impressive people I have ever met are independent direct selling consultants,” he continued. “So many people have pulled themselves up from nothing and built businesses to help their families and increase their skills. Many are newly immigrated to our country or have no significant education or prior business experience, and yet they now find themselves with much more affluence and a renewed sense of confidence in their business and leadership capabilities.”

After the morning briefing, direct sellers, executives and DSA staff came together for a formal presentation of the proclamation and a picture on the Capitol steps. Attendees were also invited to take individual portraits with Mariano, and many took advantage of the opportunity to capture snapshots of the Capitol building and the Washington Monument.

“Direct selling is my life,” said Theresa P., an independent consultant with Traci Lynn Fashion Jewelry. “I’m in this full time and, for that, it is so important to me that Congress knows about this industry. My favorite thing about direct selling is the transformation—seeing someone come in shy, intimidated or down on themselves and watching them gain confidence as they achieve their goals.”


“In almost every other industry, legislation has been required to ensure there is truly equal opportunity for everyone. In direct selling, that’s not the case. Anyone can pursue a career in direct selling…”
—Mark Petersen, Vice President of Field Development, 4Life Research


Mark Petersen, Vice President of Field Development for 4Life Research, accompanied one of 4Life’s independent consultants on the trek to Capitol Hill. He said, “One of the many things most important to me about direct selling is the fact that, in almost every other industry, legislation has been required to ensure there is truly equal opportunity for everyone.

“In direct selling, that’s not the case,” he continued. “Anyone can pursue a career in direct selling regardless of their education or background. Direct selling truly provides an equal opportunity for everyone, and it really becomes apparent when we hear some of the success stories direct sellers have shared. In direct selling, success is directly tied to effort and perseverance, rather than who you are, where you come from, where you were educated or what you believe.”

Throughout the day, attendees donned T-shirts that read “Create a Better Life as a Direct Seller” across the front. On the back of the shirts was a word cloud, which featured adjectives such as empowering, innovative, entrepreneurial, genuine and enriching—just a few of the words direct sellers used throughout the day as they shared their stories with Members of Congress, DSA executives and one another.

“There is no doubt that the biggest reward I have found through direct selling is being able to help other people reach their goals,” said Cynthia D., an independent consultant with LifeVantage Corp. “You start out in this industry seeing the big picture of the possibilities that could impact your own family’s future, but helping other people, that’s the true essence of being a part of direct selling.”


Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.)Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) Summit attendees sign the Direct Selling Proclamation and Compact.Summit attendees sign the Direct Selling Proclamation and Compact. Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah)Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah)

Addressing Summit attendees, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said, “We appreciate you being here. This is a critical, critical part of the process. As a Member of Congress, we represent about 800,000 people. That’s a very difficult task—to try to be in touch and in tune. There’s nothing more important to us than meeting with people from our own districts and from across the country—those who are feeding real families, who are trying to take care of themselves and trying to improve their lives or the quality of life for others.”

Congressman Chaffetz shared his story of how he first experienced direct selling when he worked for Nu Skin more than 10 years ago.

“You can’t be successful unless you help other people,” he said. “That’s the beauty and the magic of direct selling and the companies you’re with. You’re only successful if you help others to reach their goals and aspirations. If somehow, some way, you can capture that message and share it with Members of Congress, that will be very helpful.”

Congressman Chaffetz briefly addressed challenges that have impacted—and could impact—the direct sales channel, such as product agreements and labeling issues, as well as tax laws and threats to the independent contractor status.

“Please, keep invested in this,” he said. “I talk to my district office every single day, and you should be communicating with those people as well. You’ve got great leadership here in the DSA. I believe in [direct selling] in my heart. I know this helps people; it gives us opportunity and creates real success for people’s lives. That’s what it’s all about.”


“I believe in [direct selling] in my heart. I know this helps people; it gives us opportunity and creates real success for people’s lives. That’s what it’s all about.”
—Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah)


To cap off the day’s excitement, Summit attendees gathered in the Rayburn House Office Building for an ice cream social open to all Members of Congress and their staffs. Direct sellers shared their stories with executives, DSA staff and Congressional staffers while posing for pictures and celebrating the day.

“I went to a Viridian Energy meeting three years ago, and I had, at that time, just reached a point in my life that I knew would come—I had three kids in college at the same time,” said James K., an independent consultant with Viridian. “I had been in the printing industry for years, but when I saw the opportunity that Viridian could offer, I said to myself, ‘This is real. This is something I can put my time into.’ Now that I’ve been with Viridian for three years, the thing I find most rewarding about my direct selling career is the ability to help others become successful and watch direct selling change their lives. It’s an amazing experience, and you get such good feelings when you see others achieving success as well.”

Sherri G., an independent consultant for Scentsy, also reflected on the event with DSA staff. “I am so thankful DSA gave us this opportunity to have our voices heard,” she said. “This is a critical part of what makes direct selling so successful, what can help make our businesses successful; and it’s important that Congress hears from us. DSA has given us our voice, and we appreciate that.”

DSA is continuing its efforts to see all direct sellers have their voices be heard by launching an online Proclamation page (www.dsa.org/proclamation), where individuals can affirm their promise to uphold the highest standards of business ethics and reinforce the positive impact direct selling has on people from all walks of life.

“Each of the names affixed to the Direct Selling Proclamation represents a life impacted by the direct selling industry,” said Mariano. “These men and women represent not only a sample of today’s direct sellers, but also family, friends, customers and supporters who recognize what direct selling means to the U.S. economy, to the livelihoods of nearly 16 million people and their families, and to beneficiaries of direct selling’s countless charitable undertakings.”

While the Proclamation resonated with this year’s Direct Selling Summit participants, as well as Members of Congress, their staffs and passersby, those in attendance represented a very small percentage of the entire sales channel.

“This Proclamation is about reaffirming who we are: a sales channel that helps those involved create better lives for themselves, their fellow sellers and their communities,” observed DSA Chief Marketing Officer Amy Robinson. “We know there were companies who were not able to send their sellers to Washington, D.C., to talk to Congress, but they too are represented by this Proclamation, and they should have the opportunity to sign it.”

DSA encourages all of its member companies to make their salesforce members aware of the online Proclamation and ask them to lend their support for all that is good about the channel. Doing so will provide independent direct selling consultants with an opportunity to show solid commitment and support for direct selling as the new year approaches. It will also demonstrate the breadth and reach of the direct sales channel to Congress, as well as to the general public.

“Once we’ve gathered the signatures, we’ll send this Proclamation to relevant federal and state agencies and legislative bodies to showcase the strength of the sales channel,” Robinson said. “The more DSA member companies make their field members aware of the Proclamation and encourage them to sign it, the greater the impact we’ll have.

Mariano added, “There are countless stories out there of lives changed by the direct selling opportunity, and this Proclamation serves to recognize as many of them as possible. Direct sellers sent more than 17,000 letters to the FTC when they were considering changes to the Business Opportunity Rule. If even a fraction of direct sellers sign this proclamation, we will eclipse that incredible success 10 times over.”


Alyssa WoliceAlyssa Wolice is Communications Specialist at the U.S. Direct Selling Association.

DSN Global 100 Profiles – 41 Through 50

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


IN THIS ISSUE:

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

BRAVO AWARDS: 
• Leadership • Growth • Momentum


41. Eureka Forbes Limited

2012 Net Sales: $318 million
Country: India

Eureka Forbes Limited, a pioneer and leader in vacuum cleaners, water purification solutions, air purification systems and electronic security solutions, is India’s leading health and hygiene company. For over 31 years, the company has successfully created a happy, healthy, safe and pollution-free environment based on trust and lasting relationships with over 10 million customers.

2011 Rank: 40
2011 Net Sales: $313 million
Sales Method: Person-to-Person
Compensation Structure: 60% Fixed/ 40% Variable
Products: Vacuum cleaners, water purifiers, air purifiers, electronic security solutions, domestic fire extinguishers, home automation solutions
Markets: 36
Salespeople: 25,200
Employees: 10,000
Headquarters: Mumbai, India
Executive: Suresh L. Goklaney
Year Founded: 1982
Website: www.eurekaforbes.com


42. LR Health & Beauty Systems

2012 Net Sales: $313 million
Country: Germany

LR attributes its success to four distinctive key factors of success: top products with German quality standards, portfolio of celebrities, unique marketing plan and car concept.

2011 Rank: 39
2011 Net Sales: $320 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Cosmetics, personal care, supplements, jewelry
Markets: 32
Salespeople: 300,000
Employees: 940
Headquarters: Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Executive: Dr. Jens M. Abend
Year Founded: 1985
Website: www.lrworld.com


43. Team National Inc.

2012 Net Sales: $301 million
Country: USA

Team National provides membership savings on products and services in more than 20 industries, including factory direct pricing on home furnishings and more.

2011 Rank: 48
2011 Net Sales: $230 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Clothing and accessories, cosmetics and personal care, food and beverage, home décor, kitchenware and appliances, services, wellness
Markets: 1
Salespeople: 369,000
Employees: 48
Headquarters: Davie, Florida
Executive: Angela Loehr Chrysler
Year Founded: 1997
Website: www.bign.com


44. Longrich (Jiangsu Longliqi)

2012 Net Sales: $287 million
Country: China

Longrich is a well-known mainland manufacturer of cosmetics, personal-care products, and health and wellness products.

2011 Rank: 57
2011 Net Sales: $167 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level and single-level
Products: Cosmetics, personal care, wellness
Markets: 2
Salespeople: Not available
Employees: 200
Headquarters: Changshu, China
Executive: Not available
Year Founded: 1985
Website: www.longliqi.com


45. 4Life Research L.C.

2012 Net Sales: $268 million
Country: USA

Launched by Founder and Co-Founder David and Bianca Lisonbee, 4Life has offices on five continents to serve a global network of independent distributors through science, success and service. Since 1998, the company has grown significantly every year. Foundation 4Life conducts charitable work in 25 countries.

2011 Rank: 45
2011 Net Sales: $250 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Immune support, general wellness
Markets: 23
Salespeople: Not available
Employees: 600
Headquarters: Salt Lake City, Utah
Executive: Steve Tew
Year Founded: 1998
Website: www.4life.com


46. Charle Corp. Ltd.

2012 Net Sales: $258 million
Country: Japan

Charle Corp. is a Japan-based company principally engaged in the wholesale of women’s undergarments. The company sells its products through distributors in a home-party setting.

2011 Rank: 42
2011 Net Sales: $288 million
Sales Method: Party plan
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Women’s lingerie, cosmetics
Markets: 35
Salespeople: Not available
Employees: 367
Headquarters: Hyogo, Japan
Executive: Not available
Year Founded: 1993
Stock Symbol: 288—HKG
Website: www.charle.co.jp



47. AdvoCare International LP

2012 Net Sales: $255 million
Country: USA

AdvoCare is a premier health and wellness company offering world-class energy, weight-loss, nutrition and sports performance products.

2011 Rank: 62
2011 Net Sales: $138 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Wellness
Markets: 1
Salespeople: 251,362
Employees: 150
Headquarters: Carrollton, Texas
Executive: Richard Wright
Year Founded: 1992
Website: www.advocare.com


48. PM-International AG

2012 Net Sales: $249 million
Country: Germany

PM-International’s core focus on efficient nutrition transport has been rewarded by it being named one of Germany’s Top 100 innovative companies 11 times in a row. Its commitment to ethics has led to an extremely high reputation both in the industry and among the general public.

2011 Rank: 46
2011 Net Sales: $232 million
Sales Method: Person-to- person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Cosmetics, personal care, food and beverage, wellness
Markets: 34
Salespeople: 150,000
Employees: 300
Headquarters: Speyer, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Executive: Rolf Sorg
Year Founded: 1993
Website: www.pm-international.com


49. Ann Summers

2012 Net Sales: $235 million
Country: United Kingdom

Ann Summers is the UK’s leading relationship enhancement party-plan company, allowing women the unique opportunity to get together with friends and buy products in their homes. The party-plan concept was introduced in 1981 and today boasts over 7,500 Party Organisers throughout the UK who hold on average 3,500 parties per week.

2011 Rank: N/A
2011 Net Sales: N/A
Sales Method: Party plan
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Lingerie, relationship enhancements
Markets: 1
Salespeople: 7,500
Employees: Not available
Headquarters: Surrey, England
Executive: Jacqueline Gold
Year Founded: 1981
Website: www.annsummers.com


50. Naturally Plus Co. Ltd.

2012 Net Sales: $233 million
Country: Japan

Naturally Plus is a Tokyo-based company selling health-related products. It focuses on increasing people’s “three healths”: mental health, economic health and social health. Products include Naturally Plus, Super Lutein and IZUMIO.

2011 Rank: N/A
2011 Net Sales: N/A
Sales Method: Membership direct selling system
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Nutritional products
Markets: 5
Salespeople: Not available
Employees: 297
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
Executive: Takaaki Nagoshi
Year Founded: 1999
Website: www.naturally-plus.com

Direct Selling Companies Donate Nearly $17 Million to TODAY Show Toy and Gift Drive

 

DSA Donation on the Today Show

The Direct Selling Association helped kick off the 19th Annual TODAY Show Holiday Toy and Gift Drive Nov. 19 by presenting the direct selling industry’s donation live in Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.

Twenty-one direct selling companies donated a total of nearly $17 million in products and cash to the Toy Drive. Of the 21 participating companies, at least 10 will be featured in their own spots on the TODAY Show during the holiday season. In its nine years of participation, DSA member companies have donated more than $100 million in products, services and cash to the Toy Drive.

Participating companies donated items from books, stuffed animals and fashion accessories to clothing and toiletries for children and families across the country.

“The TODAY Show Holiday Gift Drive is just one example each year of how direct selling serves as a force for good in our communities, across the country and throughout the world,” said Amy Robinson, DSA’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Every day, direct sellers help others achieve their goals through the products and opportunities they offer, but their involvement in charitable and philanthropic activities reinforces the positive impact direct selling has on millions of lives each year.”

The TODAY Show Toy Drive is a project of the Today Show Charitable Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donations are matched with the needs of more than 200 organizations with which the Today Show Charitable Foundation works. As part of this year’s Toy Drive, DSA member companies will send items to dozens of organizations in states from California to New York.

The following direct selling companies donated products to this year’s Toy Drive:

For more information on direct selling, DSA and its Code of Ethics, visit the DSA website at www.dsa.org.

To view DSA presenting the donation on the TODAY Showclick here.