USANA and Women’s Tennis Association Kick Off Aces for Humanity

Photo: USANA’s newest Brand Ambassadors in the WTA, Kristina Mladenovic and Alizé Cornet of France. (Photo by Getty Images) (PRNewsFoto/USANA)


USANA Health Sciences Inc. and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) are turning serves into service opportunities with the third annual Aces for Humanity campaign.

Beginning with this week’s BNP Paribas Open in California, Aces for Humanity guarantees a $5 donation to the USANA True Health Foundation for every ace—or serve untouched by an opponent—at Premier-level WTA events throughout the 2016 season. Nine WTA players, including recent additions Kristina Mladenovic and Alizé Cornet of France, currently represent USANA as Brand Ambassadors. Each time a Brand Ambassador serves an ace, the WTA will up its donation to $10.

The partnership between the WTA and USANA extends back to 2006, when the nutrition company became the Official Health Supplement Supplier of the WTA. Since 2011, the global tennis organization has contributed more than $115,000 to the USANA True Health Foundation, which focuses on meeting both immediate and long-term needs of suffering populations.

All donations are funneled directly toward helping those in need, said foundation President Deb Jordan. “The support we have received through the WTA and our Brand Ambassadors has allowed us to help millions around the world, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their continued support and partnership.”

In 2015 alone, the charity provided $600,000 in meals around the world; $225,000 in disaster aid, vaccines and water purification tablets; and $155,000 worth of Usanimals multivitamins for orphanages and clinics. After Typhoon Yolanda devastated portions of Southeast Asia, the True Health Foundation also distributed $87,000 in materials to help survivors rebuild fishing boats. More than $50,000 in donations went to assist various organizations focused on educating disadvantaged children.

“I’m really impressed by USANA’s commitment to helping others and what the USANA True Health Foundation has accomplished over the past few years,” said USANA Brand Ambassador Caroline Wozniacki, who represents Denmark. “I’m proud to be part of this campaign and to help raise more awareness of their efforts.”

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Utah Force for Good Day Honors Nu Skin Humanitarian Efforts

Photo: Volunteers take part in Nu Skin’s 11th Annual Force for Good Day.


Former DSA Chairman Truman Hunt, President and CEO of Nu Skin, has passed the gavel to Chairman David Holl, CEO of Mary Kay, but Hunt’s work to advance the industry as a force for good continues at Nu Skin’s Utah headquarters, where the Governor’s Office has declared today Utah Force for Good Day.

The statewide observance is a nod to Nu Skin’s Force for Good Day, now in its twelfth year. The company’s employees and distributors celebrate the day by participating in service projects that benefit children.

“Nu Skin’s annual Force for Good Day celebration has become a tradition where our global employees and sales leaders devote their time and resources to helping children in their local communities,” Hunt said in a statement. “It celebrates the company’s mission and efforts of the Nu Skin family to be a force for good not just on this one day but all year long.”

Local participants are supporting the work of the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation by assembling 10,000 kids’ care bags and making 200 fleece quilts for children confined to a hospital stay. Globally, projects include donating and distributing education kits, serving children in orphanages, and sponsoring clothing drives.

Mannatech: Social Entrepreneurship: Helping People Help the World

by Barbara Seale

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


Company Profile

Founded: 1993
Headquarters: Coppell, Texas
Executives: CEO and Chief Science Officer Robert Sinnott
Products: Naturally sourced nutritional supplements and skin care


Robert Sinnott

Robert Sinnott

For a company based on the science of nutrition, Mannatech’s decision to help improve the health of malnourished children around the world through its charitable programs just made sense.

The effort started with Mannatech Founder Sam Caster and his wife, Linda. They were in the process of expanding their personal philanthropic activities as they adopted five children from all over the world. During that time they became involved in supporting a Romanian orphanage. That’s when they learned that in that single organization, 35 to 40 of its children died every year from malnutrition. Their hearts broke, but Caster knew exactly what to do. Mannatech donated a year’s supply of a special blend of its Real Food Technology solutions for every child in the orphanage. At the end of the year the results were astounding. Not one child had died. All were healthy. Mannatech executives made the only possible decision. Get their nutritional powerhouse products, such as PhytoBlend™ powder, into the mouths of as many malnourished children as possible.

Since Mannatech was founded in late 1993 it has been actively involved in children’s philanthropic efforts, and as the company and its product line have matured, Mannatech has aligned its charitable outreach with one of its corporate strengths, the real-food technology at the core of its products. In 1999, the Casters opened MannaRelief, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing life-giving nutrients to children in need around the world. MannaRelief is a separate entity from Mannatech but partners with the company to purchase, donate and deliver Mannatech invention PhytoBlend, a highly concentrated powder of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that can be added to any food. The independent associates and employees of Mannatech and MannaRelief wholeheartedly supported the cause for the first 10 years, and with the help of charitable donations, were able to feed thousands of children in more than 80 countries.

By 2013 the process had allowed Mannatech to donate more than 16 million servings of PhytoBlend powder during that year. Since Mannatech began donating to nutritional feeding programs 11 years ago it has distributed more than 80 million servings of PhytoBlend to 252,468 malnourished children around the globe. As impressive as those numbers are, Mannatech executives know they’re just a dent in the staggering numbers of undernourished children. Consider this: According to the World Health Organization, every year some 5 million children die from malnutrition—one child every six seconds.


Through social entrepreneurship, a donation to nutritional feeding programs is made for each and every sale of a Mannatech product.


Reflecting this statistic, Mannatech’s mission to fight global malnutrition became expressed most recently in Mission 5 MillionSM, or M5M, a movement to nourish 5 million malnourished children through the sales of Mannatech products to 5 million people. Every time a Mannatech product is purchased on automatic order, a donation is made to MannaRelief, which distributes PhytoBlend powder to orphanages and relief organizations all over the world.

The effort isn’t simply a philanthropic sidebar for Mannatech. It’s at the company’s very foundation. Injecting its direct selling model with a big dose of social entrepreneurship made both the company and its philanthropy more robust.

 

Mannatech Inc. headquarters in Coppell, Texas

Social Entrepreneurship, Direct Selling Style

It would be easy to think that social entrepreneurship was just one more moniker adopted by a direct selling company. After all, the industry describes itself in a variety of ways: social sellers, social marketers, direct marketers, just to name three. All the names refer to the one-to-one or—with the advent of social media—one-to-many interactions that result in the sale of merchandise by a distributor to his or her warm market.

But because direct selling companies are also known for their philanthropy, combining that generosity with merchandise sales by an army of enthusiastic and mission-committed direct selling distributors gets you social entrepreneurship, direct selling style.

“Mannatech’s philanthropy through social entrepreneurship is part of our core values,” explains CEO and Chief Science Officer Robert Sinnott. “Our company was built around …” Read the rest of the article on Direct Selling News

 

We Don’t Need to Change Or Do We?

by John Parker

We’ve all heard that it’s lonely at the top, or that leadership is the other side of the coin of loneliness. Many have embraced this notion, but I would invite them to closely study—and experience—how direct selling really works. It just might change their minds.

Entrepreneurship in our industry is far from a lonely proposition. In fact, it’s just the opposite. As insiders, we know that. But when a well-respected business professor and author on global entrepreneurship recently asked me about it, I realized we still have a lot of work to do to prove it. She said, “I spend every day with students, both in the U.S. and abroad. If there is one thing they seem to have in common, it is a desire for work that is meaningful above and beyond what it pays them. They want their careers to leave a positive impact on society. How is your industry changing to prepare for them?”

My first thought was: Changing? But we don’t need to.

Direct selling companies are unique in how we create an environment where communities naturally form. If we were a sport, we would be a team, not an individual sport.

But here’s what I think is tough for us to grasp as industry executives: Lasting communities form around causes or values—not products or brands. In fact, some of the most successful organizations at Amway have discovered that what identifies them as a team is not the dietary supplements or anti-aging creams they offer. It’s about a shared value system and the “something bigger—achieved together” the professor was asking about.

In 2013, two legendary Amway leaders passed away. As we mourned, we also reflected on this very concept. We focused on the legacies they left in the world, not as entrepreneurs, but as people. Their legacies were about helping others, whether it was building orphanages together, ensuring no one who needed a wheelchair in one country went without, eradicating hunger in a rural school system, or raising millions of dollars for Easter Seals families.

They are two reflections of the many real and powerful stories that prove what direct selling—communities with a common purpose—can do. These stories have little to do with product or compensation plans.


Lasting communities form around causes or values—not products or brands.


The opportunity we have as leaders in this industry is to respond to and state our support for the desire that people—especially young people—have to leave a mark on the world. It’s an opportunity to meet their needs as a community without attempting to define and manage them at every turn.

We have the ability to do that. We can talk to prospects about their aspirations to leave a legacy, and about the platform direct selling gives them to do it. We can teach them to find others with similar passions. We can give people an opportunity to dip their toes in the water of entrepreneurship and economic freedom—all while building lasting relationships, developing others, and providing hope and change on a very large scale.

What better foundation than direct selling is there to make a lasting difference like this in the world?


The opportunity we have as leaders in this industry is to respond to and state our support for the desire that people—especially young people—have to leave a mark on the world.


The more I think about it, the more I realize this might make us uncomfortable because, as corporate employees, we exist outside of these naturally formed communities. We help them via our unique products, compensation plans, and support, but they live and breathe for each other, not for us. We’re not shy when it comes to talking to the media, or other influencers, about the unique “product + people + plan” equation that makes direct selling tick, but have we done our job describing our communities—and their passions—as fully as possible?

I believe the answer is “no.” Otherwise, questions like the one I was asked by that professor, and those by other outsiders, wouldn’t come our way.

We can start by reminding ourselves that “people” and “social networks” are not the same thing as “community.” Much like teams in sports, communities have a goal in mind and will not rest until it’s met. People are still individuals. Social networks allow people to communicate, but they don’t always inspire people to act on a common purpose or passion.

Communities share a common belief. Our industry community exists with the shared belief that individuals can control their futures and that raising up entrepreneurs is an important contribution to society. So we are a community, and we provide community. Great, but how do we help our next generation of independent representatives understand and embrace this?

Maybe it starts with less focus on independence. Perhaps our message should be: If you’re looking for a community in which you can make a difference, direct selling is already here! We allow and support you to make your mark on the world.

We need to use our time, treasure and talent to talk about the common-purpose communities that live within our businesses. Yes, it’s a little scary because those are the very communities we don’t always directly control. But it proves to others that direct selling is one very exciting, very doable, very legitimate route to working with others to achieve that “something bigger.”

In 2014, I challenge all of us to find the communities of direct sellers within our businesses making an impact that resonates with the next generation of entrepreneurs—to show prospects that we’re businesses that don’t exist for selfish reasons, but who work to solve the problems of one person, or one community, or one country.

Speak out about how direct selling communities are a unique way to pay it forward, and how direct selling embodies optimism, which is the first thing a person needs to change the world.


Modify the conversation about direct selling. Focus on how we have and how we will serve and better entire communities.


Show people that direct selling will help them make a difference in ways they can’t even imagine because of the sheer number of people they would be able to meet and energize around any cause they choose.

In other words, modify the conversation about direct selling. Focus on how wehave and how we will serve and better entire communities. Use a new communications formula that every time includes product + people + plan, just as before, but adds “passionate purpose.”

Let’s prove that no one understands people’s desires to start socially conscious businesses better than we do, and let’s remind everyone that with a career in direct selling it’s never lonely at the top—or in any position along the way.

Before we know it, smart people won’t be asking us if we’re doing anything to prepare for a new wave of worker. They’ll be asking how they can follow in direct selling’s footsteps.


John Parker is Chief Sales Officer at Amway.John Parker is Chief Sales Officer at Amway.

Video Vision at Talk Fusion

by Barbara Seale

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

Company Profile

  • Founded: 2007
  • Headquarters: Brandon, Fla.
  • Top Executive: Founder and CEO Bob Reina
  • Products: Web-based video communications services

It has been said that the most successful companies fill a need in the marketplace. Maybe that’s why 7-year-old Talk Fusion has grown so rapidly. Talk Fusion Founder and CEO Bob Reina got a personal glimpse of the market’s needs while he was on vacation in North Carolina in 2004. He toured a vacation home and considered purchasing it. He took a video of the home and tried to email it to friends. No go. The 10-second video file was too large for AOL to carry.

Bob Reina

Bob Reina

Reina began to think of how many other people had probably been faced with the same frustrating experience. And as he did, his inner entrepreneur kicked into high gear. He realized that he was looking squarely at a business opportunity that could have massive appeal. When he returned home, he talked with a friend he calls “an IT genius.” The friend figured out how to create video email, and Reina figured out how to turn the idea into a business—not just any business, but a direct selling business. In his mind, there was barely any choice. For years he had supplemented his income from his day job as a deputy in the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office with a substantial secondary income as a distributor in several direct selling companies. Reina had fallen in love with the industry, and he had learned to build large organizations. He knew direct selling’s power and potential, and he saw a match between the excitement of cutting-edge video technology and the reach of thousands of enthusiastic, hard-working distributors. In 2007, he launched Talk Fusion, offering its initial product to both individuals and businesses.

Since that launch, Reina’s vision for the future of video has proven correct. Just check out these numbers:

    • 92 percent of mobile video viewers currently share videos with others.
    • Online video now accounts for 50 percent of all mobile traffic and up to 69 percent of traffic on certain networks.

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  • People now watch about 6 billion hours of YouTube videos per month.
  • Video communication is poised to make up 90 percent of all online traffic by 2015.
  • Online video users are expected to double to 1.5 billion in 2016.

In just seven short years, Talk Fusion has become a leader in video emails and video newsletters, and it is the eighth-largest online video content provider in the world—surpassing respected industry giants such as Yahoo, AOL, Viacom, CBS and MegaVideo, Reina says proudly. But it also offers social media tools, video auto-responders, mobile applications, video conferencing and more.

“Six or eight years ago, people laughed at this idea,” he recalls. “They said video would never catch on, that it was a short-lived trend. But now the whole world is continuing to move more and more toward video, and we’re continuing to develop cutting-edge video technology for today’s marketplace—both personal and business.”

Mass Appeal Made Easy

Video has become widely used today, and Talk Fusion is part of the movement. That’s partly because it continues to develop new video technology applications, but it’s also because it abides by the direct selling mantra: Keep it simple. Talk Fusion makes its products easy to demonstrate and use. The combination makes Talk Fusion’s products attractive to customers and creates a magnetic opportunity for the company’s army of independent associates.

Even though millennials love video, Talk Fusion seems to appeal to every segment of the population. Reina believes video was an inevitable part of the evolution of communication mediation, beginning with the spoken word on radio, then moving pictures on television, then email carrying the written word—and now email, smartphones and tablets that carry video. He believes that nothing helps people or businesses communicate better than video.


Video Newsletters


In just seven short years, Talk Fusion has become a leader in video emails and video newsletters, and it is the eighth-largest online video content provider in the world.


“One of the challenges when I started the company was what vertical market to target,” Reina says. “The answer was: none. Any business or any person can be considered a prospect—both product-wise and opportunity-wise.”

Talk Fusion has made it easy for individuals and businesses to get started. Every product is web-based. Customers register online, instantly get an ID and password, log on to the video communications center and start using their product of choice immediately. Product tutorials are available in more than a dozen languages, and the products themselves are translated for the market where they’re sold.

Associates and customers quickly become experts and find new reasons to use the services. Families who traditionally sent their holiday newsletter as a story typed into an email message may morph it into a video newsletter. Proud parents may mark their child’s special birthday or graduation with a video documenting everything from birth to the big day. Realtors can promote new listings through video email or send a quick home tour to their clients’ smartphones. A broad range of large companies such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Applebee’s Restaurants, DHL and CIGNA Insurance Co. all use Talk Fusion products to reach and connect with online customers using the power of Talk Fusion’s email marketing. So does West Point Military Academy and numerous police departments and charities.

The range of uses and applications is one of the key attractions for Talk Fusion prospects. “The irony is that our associates are not necessarily into technology,” Reina notes. “Our products are fun and easy to use. They appeal to people of all ages, from very young to older, so the marketplace for our associates is vast. We’re proud that every product is designed to be simple so that the average person can use it.”

Instant Service, Instant Pay

And since people usually join direct selling companies to earn extra money, the Instant Pay feature of the company’s compensation plan gets their attention. The company deposits compensation into its associates’ Talk Fusion-branded Visa cards or electronic bank accounts. When an associate makes a sale, the customer can begin using their product immediately, and the associate’s commission is loaded to their account within three minutes. Binary, matching bonuses and almost every other element of compensation is paid instantly. And because each service has a monthly subscription rate, commissions are recurring, providing associates with a regular, reliable monthly income.

“We developed Instant Pay because what gets rewarded gets repeated,” Reina explains. “It gives people money for pressing needs. We’ve been doing this for about two years. It validates the business, speaks to the financial strength of the company and also creates an excitement factor that people are attracted to when they consider becoming a Talk Fusion associate.”

e-Sub-Forms

“We developed Instant Pay because what gets rewarded gets repeated.” —Bob Reina, Founder and CEO


The lure of Instant Pay is also tempered with practicality. In Talk Fusion’s recruiting materials Reina makes a point to set realistic expectations for any prospective independent associate. He is upfront, saying that direct selling is only an opportunity. Hard work, diligence, leadership and the willingness to learn and then teach others are all required. Even then, he says, a new associate should expect to work their business consistently for 7–10 hours a week for at least a year before they can realistically evaluate their prospects for long-term success. That straight talk gives Talk Fusion street cred, and the company works hard to maintain that trust.

“In our culture we’re very transparent,” Reina says. “Because I was in the field so long, I know what it takes to become successful. I don’t want anybody to become disappointed. If people put hard work into it, they have an opportunity to become successful. But if someone isn’t willing to work hard, I tell them please don’t join.” He adds, “That advice doesn’t eliminate the get-rich-quick idea, but they know where we stand on the matter. I think it’s important for Talk Fusion and for the reputation of the industry as a whole.”

Fast Forward to the Future

That hard-working culture has produced a fast-growing company, and Reina is bullish on its future. Talk Fusion already does business in more than 140 countries and, though Reina didn’t share revenue numbers, he says the company grew in 2012 by 42 percent over the prior year. While the domestic market continues to expand, growth is gaining momentum in international markets, especially Mexico, Brazil and other Latin American markets. Reina laughs that translations are one of his largest budget line items. The company’s global reach gives associates a virtually unlimited marketplace in which to build their business.

The company is poised to introduce a series of new products and technology in the immediate future. Talk Fusion CONNECT, a powerful three-in-one live broadcasting, video conferencing and desktop share product, was launched late last year. Its users: primarily businesses. Reina describes it as the first of its kind and predicts that it will become the company’s flagship product.

His goal for Talk Fusion is to keep changing as many lives as he can and to continue developing cutting-edge products. That means staying ahead of the fast-moving technology curve—not an easy task. But the company keeps tabs on industry, consumer and business trends, and it already has technology development offices in two states.

“We’re growing as a technology company, and we own and develop our own products,” Reina says. “We’re debt-free, and we’re growing in revenue and in marketplaces. This is the most exciting time ever for us.”

A Culture of Generosity

Talk Fusion’s Founder and CEO Bob Reina believes in sharing the fruits of his labor, and he encourages the company’s independent associates to follow his example.

“With great success comes greater responsibility,” he says.

Talk Fusion’s success—it has expanded to operate in 140 countries over its seven years and grew more than 40 percent last year—has allowed Reina and his company to support a variety of causes in its home state and beyond.

Bob Reina presents a $45,000 check to SPCA Florida to support animal welfare.


Reina is an animal lover who shares his home with several pets and on most days also shares his office with at least one. Many of his philanthropic efforts support animal welfare, including his quest to help build the Humane Society of Tampa Bay Animal Health Center sponsored by Talk Fusion, which has become a reality. Reina and Talk Fusion made a $1 million donation, followed a few months later by a $100,000 donation that represented $1,000 for each of the Humane Society’s 100 years of saving animal lives. Those donations inspired additional contributions from Talk Fusion associates from more than 30 countries. Other animal organizations, such as the SPCA Florida and no-kill shelter Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.), are also beneficiaries of Talk Fusion’s support.

Humans benefit from Talk Fusion’s generosity, too. The company has supported programs that help at-risk youth and athletic programs for young people in nearby communities, and has helped individuals in crisis. In addition to its financial support, Talk Fusion lends its video capabilities to nonprofit organizations to help them with marketing and fundraising efforts.

Talk Fusion and its associates also take care of each other around the world. During a recent sales convention in Russia, Reina and Vice President of Training and Development Allison Roberts reminded the sold-out crowd of Talk Fusion’s commitment to giving back, telling the story of a Ukrainian associate whose young son suffers from debilitating spina bifida. They announced that Talk Fusion was working with Russian charitable organization RusFond to help raise awareness of the needs of children with spina bifida. Then they donated $40,000 for the child’s much-needed surgery. Talk Fusion associates from around the world immediately followed their example, giving a total of more than $80,000.

The company’s major gatherings routinely include an opportunity to give back. In Indonesia, associates who attended a sales conference were so inspired by the announcement of $100,000 to build a local orphanage that they donated an additional $30,000.

In another instance, when a gold-level associate became seriously ill, Reina, on behalf of Talk Fusion, surprised the associate with a check for $10,000 to help defray her medical expenses. Upon hearing the news, associates everywhere quickly moved to show their support, raising a total of more than $22,000.

“Sometimes worthwhile causes choose me,” Reina observes. “There’s a need that’s brought to my attention, and if I can help, I try to. I also encourage associates, as part of their growth process, to care about others more than themselves. It’s neat to watch what happens to people.”

Philanthropy is so important at Talk Fusion that one of Reina’s goals is to develop a foundation to handle the company’s charitable involvement. It already raises awareness of philanthropic gestures and needs through its dedicated website, TalkFusionGivesBack.com.