Stream Honors Veterans with Donation to Red Cross Armed Forces Program

Dallas-based Stream marked Veterans Day on Wednesday with a contribution to the American Red Cross of North Texas. The donation was made on behalf of Stream’s veterans, both employees and Independent Associates, to the Service to the Armed Forces Program.

The funds will help the Red Cross launch a technology-driven pilot project to efficiently connect veterans to emergency resources. Under the Service to the Armed Forces Program, the Red Cross is rolling out a national client management system to integrate its extensive referral network.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the American Red Cross and especially excited to kick off our partnership by supporting this pilot project,” Kimberly Girard, Stream’s Manager of Community Relations and Events, said in a statement. “Stream is committed to innovation through technology and big thinking, and this project fits right in with our company values and philanthropic mission.”

Currently, more than 40,000 nonprofits provide services to veterans. The Red Cross Emergency Communications Center puts those resources into the hands of men and women who have served, or are currently serving, in the armed forces. The new system will feature a network of vetted organizations, as well as a follow-up process to ensure each client’s needs are met.


ViSalus Co-Founder Endows $200K to Entrepreneurial Program

A recent donation from ViSalus Co-Founder Nick Sarnicola and his wife, Ashley, will support up-and-coming entrepreneurs in Sarnicola’s native Michigan.

Through their Next Generation Entrepreneurs (NextGEn) Foundation, the philanthropic couple has provided a $200,000 permanent endowment to the Muskegon Community College Entrepreneurial Studies program. The fund will supply a $10,000 annual award to graduates of the program.

The Sarnicolas’ gift goes hand-in-hand with a contribution from longtime friend and local real estate developer Jonathan Rooks, who donated the downtown Muskegon Masonic Temple building for the program’s use. The facility is slated to re-open by fall 2017 as the Rooks Sarnicola Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

“Jon and Nick are making history at MCC with these incredibly generous gifts,” Tina Dee, Director of the Foundation for Muskegon Community College, said in a statement. “The total value of $550,000 is larger than any other single past contribution and will have an enduring and positive impact on our students and the greater community we serve.”

The Sarnicolas, who travel the world as Global Ambassadors for ViSalus, set up the NextGEn Foundation to provide scholarships, seed capital and mentoring for budding entrepreneurs.

Hy Cite: The Recipe for Growth

by Barbara Seale

Click here to order the February 2015 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

Company Profile

  • Founded: 1959
  • Headquarters: Madison, Wisconsin
  • Executive: Chairman and CEO Erik Johnson
  • Products: Cookware, air and water filtration systems, juice extractors, dinnerware, cutlery

Family-owned direct seller Hy Cite Corp. is a master chef when it comes to cooking up growth. They do it by actively and enthusiastically embracing a community that many direct selling companies seek to engage: the Latino community.

Peter O. Johnson, Founder

Peter O. Johnson, Founder

Erik Johnson, Chairman & CEO

Erik Johnson, Chairman & CEO

Hy Cite’s engagement constitutes far more than simply speaking Spanish. Some 90 percent of its market and distributors are Hispanic. This demographic grew from three Hispanic distributors—two on one coast and one on the other—who were extremely successful in the early 1990s. Their legacy plus the commitment of Hy Cite managers to listen closely to the needs of distributors and consumers has resulted in a company that has grown by more than 15 percent average annual growth since the year 2000. In fact, except for the two toughest years in that economic period, growth has been closer to 20 percent.

Hy Cite was founded in 1959 as the Hope Chest Club (HCC) by Dave Johnson, but it was Peter O. Johnson, an unrelated college student, who carried the company into the future. Peter paid his college expenses by selling the company’s products to young women who collected its cookware, china and flatware as they anticipated their marriages. After college Peter worked for another cookware company for a short time to learn more about the cookware business. He was a fast learner, and he rejoined HCC as a partner in 1961. Dave eventually left the business, but Peter carried on. He grew the business and evolved it as the country’s culture changed and the “hope chest” market shrank. He expanded the original vision, and with that expansion came a name change.

Some 90 percent of Hy Cite’s market and distributors are Hispanic.

“As folklore has it, we realized we needed a different name, but we had a lot of letterhead that said HCC,” explains Hy Cite’s Chairman and CEO Erik Johnson, Peter’s son. “Things were tight right then, but the top managers had ‘high sights’ for the future. So they had a meeting and came up with a name that would let them maintain the corporate brand: HCC—Hy Cite Corporation.”

Erik wasn’t in that meeting in 1974. He hadn’t even had his first of many part-time jobs at the company: working in the warehouse during the summer at age 12. Throughout high school and college he continued to work in most departments, but, like his father, he went to work at another company after college. He spent five years at Procter & Gamble. Then he returned to his family business in 1995 as a project manager focused on improving its business systems. When Peter retired in 2000 Erik was named Chairman and CEO. He and his brother Peter, Hy Cite’s President and COO, continue to run the company.

Andrea Legarreta, a well-known TV personality in the Hispanic market, is the Brand Ambassador for the Royal Prestige® line of cookware.Andrea Legarreta, a well-known TV personality in the Hispanic market, is the Brand Ambassador for the Royal Prestige® line of cookware. Founded in 1959, Hy Cite has expanded into 20 countries over the last two decades.Founded in 1959, Hy Cite has expanded into 20 countries over the last two decades.

Erik says that much of the company’s success is product-based. It has three brands of cookware—Royal Prestige, its first and biggest brand of top-quality products, especially in the Hispanic market; NutraEase, a high-quality stainless steel line sold at in-home dinner parties; and its latest, Kitchen Charm, which was introduced in early 2014 and is focused on the bridal market. Each includes supporting products, such as water filtration units, juice extractors and air purifiers, but the core product in each line is cookware. Both distributors and consumers know the company by its cookware brands, rather than by the corporate name. Distributors focus on … Click here to read the entire at Direct Selling News.


Executive Connection with Erik Johnson, Chairman and CEO, Hy Cite

New Foru President Targets Growth with ‘Mission Critical’ Focus

As foru International enters its third year of business, the skincare and nutrition company is welcoming a familiar face to its executive team. Foru has named Sharon Morgan Tahaney as President, succeeding Karl Krummenacher, who came on board when foru Holdings Inc. acquired the business in 2012.

Tahaney has held other executive leadership positions in direct selling, including a stint as president of foru predecessor GeneWize Life Sciences. Like foru, GeneWize marketed personalized nutrition products based upon an individual’s DNA results. Tahaney joined GeneWize just 8 months after the company launched in 2007. Prior to serving as president, she headed up the brand’s marketing efforts.

A family move ended Tahaney’s work with GeneWize, but in the interim the company has relocated its corporate headquarters to her new hometown of Dallas. When the opportunity arose to rejoin the company, foru’s unique product and story once again drew her.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that science and technology allow us to personalize nutrition and skincare according to our DNA,” Tahaney told DSN. “What’s missing from all the other product offerings out there is you—what do you specifically need and lack based on your genetic structure? We help people figure that out so they can look and feel their best.”

One of Tahaney’s first actions as President was to sit down with top foru Brand Partners and gather feedback on their needs and their vision for the future. She is reinforcing that same posture toward the company’s sales network among her corporate team members.

“We understand that we are a service organization to entrepreneurs in the field who are building their businesses,” said Tahaney, who has authored four personal finance books for independent entrepreneurs and a strategy book for direct selling executives.

To guide foru into the future, Tahaney and her team have developed a five-year plan that includes achieving 100 percent growth in 2015, advancing philanthropic efforts, taking DNA swabs of 1 million people, and earning a spot on the DSN Global 100. Having laid out a clear vision for the company, Tahaney says her primary goal is “to keep us focused on the mission critical, not every shiny new thing that comes along.”

Part of that mission is to create buzz and attract customers, and the young company is stepping up its media outreach and PR efforts, as well as its use of automated marketing tools. Last month, foru announced a strategic alliance with YEA Networks LLC, a media company whose lineup of popular, syndicated radio programs includes The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show. Two of the show’s hosts, J-Si Chavez and Jenna Owens, will promote foru’s products through YEA Networks’ online properties.

“This company has such an incredible story, and it’s been so unsung,” said Tahaney. “I want to change that.”

Party Plans on Fire

by Andrea Tortora

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

Ignited by emotional connections forged with customers, access to products once only available at expensive salons and an embrace of social media, a handful of party plan companies are seeing their business boom—with no signs of a slowdown.

Nail wrap creator Jamberry, beauty products firm Younique, personalized jewelry maker Origami Owl and two newcomers—jewelry boutique Chelsea Row and nontoxic cosmetics maker Beautycounter—are experiencing significant advances in profits and popularity at a time when overall growth for the party plan model is stuck in a plateau.

Data from the U.S. Direct Selling Association’s 2014 growth and outlook report reveals that between 2008 and 2013, party plans dropped from 26 percent to 23 percent of market share as a direct selling platform.

“Home parties in terms of their success are fairly cyclical,” says DSA President Joe Mariano. “When we think it is hitting a low point that is when we see a rebirth.”

While 40 million business-related fan pages exist on Facebook, only 17 percent are equipped to sell directly through the social media channel. This is where direct selling has an edge.

Top-Ranked Companies

These five standout companies are evidence of that resurgence. Two of them—Jamberry and Younique—are in the Top 10 six-month trend rankings at and, which track public interest and Internet popularity of most party plan direct sellers.

Jamberry reports revenue is more than $10 million a year. Younique’s distributors have said the company sold more than $25 million in September, up from $1 million in December 2013.

Origami Owl is consistently listed in the Top 5 for overall rankings at both sites. It posted 2013 revenue of $233 million and grew by 870 percent for the year. As a reflection of this growth it was ranked at No. 50 on the 2014 DSN Global 100 and received the DSN Bravo Growth Award Based on Percentage this year.

Chelsea Row, launched in September 2014, is too new to have its own rankings. A spinoff of e-commerce selling platform company Kitsy Lane, Chelsea Row is turning the traditional home party on its head with vParty—a truly immersive, real-time virtual party that lets guests shop together online while being connected on audio and video.

Beautycounter launched in March 2013 and offers a safe and nontoxic line of skincare products that work. The company now counts 4,000 consultants in more than 44 states, with 23 percent average monthly revenue growth. Between January and October 2014, Beautycounter posted 424 percent sales growth.

Beautycounter’s “Never List” is “a robust roundup of ingredients that you will never find in Beautycounter products,” as many are known or believed to cause irritation, allergic reactions or cancer.

Embracing Social Media

The founding philosophies of these companies are rooted in a desire to better the lives of women by empowering them with products that aid self-expression and by providing the flexibility, resources and training needed to build a career. Each utilizes social media such as Facebook to drive sales, although the strategy is different for each business.

To maintain growth, diving deep into social media selling is likely to yield even larger dividends. Here’s why: An analysis by marketing firm Vocus projects that by 2015, half of all web transactions will occur through social media, accounting for an estimated $30 billion in sales. While 40 million business-related fan pages exist on Facebook, only 17 percent are equipped to sell directly through the social media channel. This is where direct selling has an edge.

The Power of Virtual Parties

Jamberry, Younique and Origami Owl use the Facebook event model to host virtual parties.

Younique sells almost exclusively on social media. Jamberry and Origami Owl independent consultants use Facebook events to supplement the home party experience. Origami Owl Chief Sales Officer Sandy Spielmaker says the technology “extends the reach of the home party.”

Best known for its 3D fiber lashes, Younique built its selling model on virtual parties for two reasons, Co-Founder Melanie Huscroft says. “The overall feeling among women was they are so over the traditional home party and having to clean the house, make the food and send their husband and kids away,” she says. “The virtual platform allows the invite list to be limitless, and location doesn’t matter.”

Virtual parties typically run for seven to 10 days, with independent consultants making frequent posts to encourage interest and spotlight products. Consultants do not carry inventory. They sell through their own branded e-commerce websites.

Many consultants also create videos or use those provided by Younique, Jamberry or Origami Owl to explain how to use the products and suggest ways to mix them up to create new styles. Guests link to these videos through the Facebook event page for their specific party.

The model is working for Younique. In the near future, its virtual party model will also work on other social media platforms, such as Twitter and Pinterest. At 2 years old, Younique now counts 121,285 presenters in five markets. When it entered the U.K. on Oct. 1, 999 presenters signed up within 26 minutes.

Huscroft says people want to sell Younique because of its “simple and generous” compensation plan. Younique pays presenters within three hours of making a sale. Each presenter receives a bank account and a Younique debit card.

“It doesn’t matter what the compensation plan is from a corporate perspective. Everyone pays out … Click here to read the full article




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


Gold Canyon: Turnaround Toward Growth

by Barbara Seale

Company Profile

Founded: 1997
Headquarters: Chandler, Arizona
Executives: Managing Directors Lynae Parrott and Gail Gioffredi
Products: Scented candles and accessories

After a season of sluggish sales, the sweet smell of success seems to be returning at Gold Canyon. The scented-candle seller and manufacturer has instituted sweeping changes that have boosted both morale and sales. Led by a new management team that streamlined everything from the product line to the sales process, Gold Canyon looks like a happier, more fun version of its former self.

Earlier this year the company appointed two new managing directors, Lynae Parrott and Gail Gioffredi, who lead Gold Canyon with a combination of company experience and new eyes. Parrott has been with Gold Canyon since its early days, starting in its field sales organization. In 2000 she was asked to join the corporate staff, where she learned the full scope of the headquarters organization by holding positions in several departments before leading its marketing efforts. Gioffredi joined Gold Canyon in January 2012 after gaining expertise in several other direct selling companies. Parrott explains that while she primarily leads the company’s internal team and Gioffredi predominantly focuses on external sales, the two work in lockstep to push the company into the future and to focus on creating the best possible opportunity for the field sales organization, which it calls Fragrance Consultants.

“One of the first exercises Gail and I did was to evaluate our vision of the company, and we quickly identified that our business was overly complicated,” Parrott explains. “It needed to be more simple, more fun. That was the premise of a lot of the changes we started to implement immediately.”

Lynae Parrot and Gail Gioffredi

Lynae Parrot and Gail Gioffredi

Simple, Substantial

They asked themselves what they wanted the company to represent and what its mission was. Their answer: to empower others to create their own destiny.

They also identified the four core values that drive the company—both now and into the future:

  1. Do the right thing.
  2. Continually improve.
  3. Give back.
  4. Have fun!

The leaders embedded their mission and values into three key projects that would turn the company around. They emphasize proudly that throughout the turnaround Gold Canyon has been profitable, even increasing its profitability each month. But they believe that its new branding, enhanced career plan and Simple Selling System™, along with improved technology, will re-launch the company toward the growth it previously was struggling to achieve. Parrott and Gioffredi initially hired consultants to develop the bones of the career plan, but the Gold Canyon team fleshed it out, along with the rest of the turnaround plan.

The first step—because it had to be in place to launch others—was rebranding the company. The new look, revealed in February, had to work hard. It needed to reflect the company’s mission and values, but it also had to attract a younger demographic of Fragrance Consultants and customers.

In June the company had 79 promotions to leader and above, as well as 27 percent sales growth.

“We wanted the new brand to be happy, open, communicative, authentic, transparent, friendly, energetic—all those words resonate differently with different people,” Parrott elaborates.

Because a brand is more than a look, it had to have the backing of employees, too. So Parrott and Gioffredi worked hard to make sure that the staff was on board and understood what the brand stood for.

“They are our brand ambassadors,” Parrott says. “For us to achieve our strategic initiatives, they must be on board. We have been very open with them about what this brand stands for. Not only have we given them presentations, but then we have made a very conscious effort to walk the talk. When we talk about being happy and communicative, we are!”

Earning Trust

Both managing directors understood that employees had heard management promise open doors and open communication in the past, but follow-through had failed. The new executives had to earn trust. To follow up on their promise, they hold management meetings every two weeks, and they also created a Culture Club aimed at breaking down barriers and opening the lines of communication throughout the headquarters organization, including manufacturing. The group has already surfaced and addressed practices that were out of alignment with the company’s vision.

The workplace, including the 250,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility, got a face-lift that reflects the new branding. The playful lettering and polka dots that adorn new marketing elements are also on company walls. Employees now enjoy a social area called the Company Lounge, complete with television, Wi-Fi, a pingpong table and a coffee bar where people gather. The objective: Create happy employees who are building relationships with each other while demolishing communication barriers among functional areas. In less than a year, the small steps have yielded big results. The formerly quiet work space now buzzes with life and laughter.

Gold Canyon’s new managing directors emphasize that throughout the turnaround Gold Canyon has been profitable, even increasing its profitability each month.

The energy filters into the field, too. Happy, more engaged employees help provide better service to the salesforce, whether they’re answering calls or fulfilling orders. Fragrance Consultants experience the energetic new brand beginning with catalogs and the starter kit, which is now dubbed the Dotty Box. The energy extends through the language of everything the company does. Parties are now called Mixers, a key printed piece in the starter kit is called the Know-It-All Guide, and the annual convention is called Palooza. The fresh, modern approach has pumped up sales leaders, who help drive home the company’s messages throughout their downlines.

Complementing the rebranding is a new compensation plan they refer to as their “enhanced career plan” that Gioffredi says simply makes more sense.

“The old career plan had unnecessary levels, complexities that didn’t serve a purpose and requirements that were too difficult,” Gioffredi says. “When the field doesn’t understand something, they freeze. Sales and sponsoring stop. A consultant’s long-term happiness is achieved by growth. We get there by rewarding the right activities and getting new people to join the business.”

Show Me the Money

Because growth comes from the bottom up, the new plan increases the income of early and mid-level leaders. First, they created an initial leadership level, simply called Leader. The new compensation plan gave that group a 40 percent increase on their Level One recruits’ results. Two levels up, team leaders received a 100 percent increase on their Level One recruits’ results, as well as an increase on Level Two. In June the plan also simplified the company’s luxury car program to make it more achievable for leaders to drive their choice of Mercedes. That month alone, the company had 79 promotions to leader and above, as well as 27 percent sales growth. July growth, especially sponsoring, was also strong. The company currently has about 200,000 Fragrance Consultants.

Parrott and Gioffredi emphasize that Gold Canyon’s internal team executed a flawless launch of the plan—the first in the company’s history.

“There were absolutely no technical hiccups,” Parrott points out. “Everything transitioned perfectly. Our inside IT department has created our own genealogy and commission structure. We now own that platform, which helps us control our own destiny. We believe that’s not only our purpose in the field, but internally as well.”

The enhanced career plan is designed to support Gold Canyon’s Simple Selling System, introduced in February. Preparing for that system required the company to reduce its unwieldy product line by 25 percent. Then with a more streamlined but harder-working collection of products, Gold Canyon introduced a three-step shopping guide to help customers choose the candles and accessories that matched their personalities and home décor. Step 1: A quiz guides customers to the scent category that fits them best, simplifying the process of navigating the 100 fragrances Gold Canyon offers. Step 2: They “shop the studio,” deciding whether they want their fragrance in traditional scented candles or wickless candles, like scent pods. Step 3: They choose their own style of candle holders and accessories to embellish their products.

“We’re creating the BLT: Believability, Likeability, Trustability. And we’d rather our consultants love us than like us!”
—Gail Gioffredi, Managing Director

The system encourages larger orders, as well as increases the net proceeds from each mixer, while it creates a fun, interactive, rewarding experience for attendees and hosts. Everybody wins.

In September, the company introduced a new scent-select candle that complements the Simple Selling System. Gold Canyon produces—to order—a jar designed with the customer’s choice of pattern and filled with a candle in the specific scent the customer chooses. The combination of scents and printed patterns generates some 250 customized options for Gold Canyon Fragrance Consultants to sell.

Philanthropic Re-Focusing

Giving back came early in Gold Canyon’s history. By its third year in business, Founders Curt and Karen Waisath started the Prayer Child Foundation to make a difference in the lives of children with physical and emotional challenges. Over its lifetime, Gold Canyon has donated $2.7 million. Later the company began donating to two different organizations that support U.S. and Canadian military troops, donating $30,000 to the two groups. More recently, it partnered with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, contributing $205,000.

The company is proud of its commitment to charitable donations and has sustained the financial flow through the sale of specific candles dedicated to each cause. As the company identified its core values, it also looked at every aspect of the company to ensure that they were reflected, including philanthropy—not to reduce it, but to be sure that contributions were being made to the organizations closest to the hearts of its Fragrance Consultants.

At the time Managing Directors Lynae Parrott and Gail Gioffredi spoke with Direct Selling News, they had just asked Gold Canyon’s field sales organization to provide feedback on its philanthropic projects. They posted an online survey asking consultants to tell them the organizations and causes that are most important to them.

“We’re going to realign with our field to make sure we are all in agreement about the type of organizations we’ll support in the future,” Parrott explains. They also announced that they want consultants to walk the philanthropic talk, giving back through volunteering, serving others or—one of the company’s core values—just bringing happiness to others. And Gold Canyon will reward their efforts.

“We just launched a new philanthropic award process that will recognize the give-back philosophy,” Parrott says. “Consultants will be able to nominate other consultants for the award. Honorees will be on stage at Palooza next year, and Gold Canyon will give a donation to the organization they support.”

For the first time in the company’s history, Gold Canyon also will incorporate give-back efforts on sales incentive trips.

The new philanthropic practices will be one more step toward aligning all of Gold Canyon’s programs with its mission and core values.

Investing in Growth

Offering all those new options required Gold Canyon to invest in some new manufacturing machinery, and the company made sure it could deliver customized products accurately and in the same timeframe that existing customers and consultants had come to expect.

“We have done lots of test runs that have been very successful to make sure we’re up to production,” Parrott says. “We anticipate no delays. In our research of customization, we learned that it usually demands a 60 percent surcharge, but we aren’t passing the customization fee on to customers. With the efficiencies delivered by our focus on technology, we kept our cost in line. The price point remains the same as other candles in the same look and feel.”

The improvements are intended to have long-term benefits in sales and recruiting by creating more committed consultants.

“We’re creating the BLT: Believability, Likeability, Trustability,” Gioffredi notes. “And we’d rather our consultants love us than like us! Those are successful company ingredients. That’s what we’re building on. If consultants are excited and happy, they’ll spread the word.”

Even though Gold Canyon launched major improvements in the first half of 2014, it announced even more to come at its August convention, Palooza. Some changes, such as redesigned outer shipping boxes, were minor, but other announcements will change the face of the company over time. For example, it announced a soft launch into the Hispanic market, starting with new Opportunity Brochures and product catalogs in Spanish.

The company also announced the next phase of its technology upgrades: updated personal websites. The websites will be milestones on a number of levels. They will continue the company’s new commitment to controlling its own destiny by building its technology internally.

“One of the attributes we’re building is being tech savvy,” Parrott says. “As a company, we don’t have a high-tech reputation. It’s probably our biggest weakness. When Gail and I came into this, we knew we needed to build our own platforms. The ones in place at that time had Band-Aid on top of Band-Aid. Long term, that wasn’t sustainable, and we’re improving our technology dramatically.”

The new websites will be enhanced with features consumers have become accustomed to, such as mobile platforms, wish lists, social media links and customer reviews.

At the same time it upgrades its technology, Gold Canyon also will upgrade its human touch. The company’s service department, called Partner Support, will have extended hours. And with the expansion into the Hispanic market, the company added its first bilingual field development manager to support consultants and leaders.

Quality Continues

The numerous changes are built on the company’s strong foundation of candle manufacturing. Gold Canyon is proud to produce The World’s Finest® scented candles, using pure fragrances that waft throughout the home; cool, food-grade wax; and self-extinguishing wicks. Having its own manufacturing facility gives Gold Canyon more than a recognizable scent in its hometown. It also gives it a competitive edge.

“It allows us to respond to what consumers ask for,” Parrott says. “Our product development team and manufacturing team work together to get new ideas for products that set us apart from the competition. And that’s a great story for our field to tell. They’re not just offering a candle that is made in some unknown spot somewhere in the world. Instead, they’re proud that what they’re selling keeps people in America employed. And our Canadian consultants love it because the wax is from Canada.”

The Simple Selling System drives up the amount of the average order, as well as the net proceeds from each mixer, while it creates a fun, interactive, rewarding experience for attendees and hosts.

The managing directors believe Gold Canyon’s strong foundation and recent improvements are setting the company up for future success. They’ll know they are successful as they see Gold Canyon become a household name. Achieving their objective business goals—sustained double-digit growth, quadruple their sales field count, and international expansion—will make that happen.

“When Lynae and I took on this awesome responsibility of providing leadership to the company, we knew that many people were relying on us, from investment groups to vendors and the sales field,” Gioffredi says. “We have to balance them all and make sure that our Fragrance Consultants are successful. If they’re successful, we will be. We’re aligning everything to create that success.”

Nu Skin Enterprises Inc.: 30 Years of Innovation for an Anti-Aging Giant

by Barbara Seale

Click here to download this issue to your mobile device.

Company Profile

Founded: 1984
Headquarters: Provo, Utah
Executives: Truman Hunt, President and CEO
Products: Comprehensive anti-aging portfolio including both skincare and nutritional

Nu Skin

Truman Hunt

Truman Hunt

Joseph Chang height=

Joseph Chang

When a company reaches its 30th anniversary, it can bask in its maturity. But while 30-year-old anti-aging company Nu Skin Enterprises celebrates its decades of success, it revels in its history of innovation.

Innovation isn’t easy to achieve consistently, but it’s one of the key elements of the Nu Skin culture. From its forever-young business opportunity to its science-based approach to the development of its robust anti-aging product line, the company defies any stereotypes that getting older equals slowing down. It even had a jaw-dropping 49 percent annual revenue increase in 2013—a cool $977 million in growth, placing it in the No. 7 spot on the Direct Selling News Global 100 list.

Joseph Chang, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President, Product Development, believes that the company’s strategic focus on anti-aging has been the most significant product decision in its history.

All that innovation has helped the company succeed in one of its key areas of focus: increasing commissions to distributors. In its 30-year history, the company has paid more than $10 billion in total commissions and sales incentives. It is proud to offer what it calls one of the most rewarding commission structures in the industry, with 45 percent of revenue paid out in sales compensation and promotional incentives in 2013.

So how does it achieve such laudable success? President and CEO Truman Hunt, who this year alone received the Direct Selling News Bravo Leadership Award and was elected the new Chairman of the U.S. Direct Selling Association, points to three keys.

Secrets to Success

First, he notes that the company has worked hard to continually renew the vibrancy of its business opportunity throughout its 53 countries.

“We were one of the first companies in direct selling to offer sales leaders the opportunity to do business globally and be compensated for sales volume in their home market through our seamless global compensation program,” he recalls. “It’s a reflection of our commitment to innovation.”

Second, its anti-aging product line includes both skincare and nutrition product lines, and revenues are equally strong from each. In fact, Joseph Chang, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President, Product Development, believes that the company’s strategic focus on anti-aging has been the most significant product decision in its history.

“From a product perspective, we built a bridge between the two categories so that we have a single story and a single common thread that goes through skin care and supplements,” he explains.

“When people know what product is coming down the pike and can get behind it, we find we get more impact than when sales leaders show up not knowing and we surprise them. There’s great power in alignment.”
—Truman Hunt, President and CEO

Finally, the company’s unique product launch process has driven sales leaders and revenue growth. Nu Skin calls it their Limited Time Offer. Distributors learn about a new product a year in advance, rather than in a surprise convention announcement. That lets them get personal experience with the product, build a testimonial on it and align their teams around it. Then when Nu Skin launches the new product formally, it gets great attention and helps leaders move forward.

“With every launch we’ve learned new things that help us launch products with increasing impact,” Hunt says. “Perhaps one of the most critical insights we’ve gained is that it’s based on the power of alignment. When people know what product is coming down the pike and can get behind it, we find we get more impact than when sales leaders show up not knowing and we surprise them. There’s great power in alignment. We’ve always known this from a corporate perspective. To be able to transition that same principle has produced the magic of executing a great product launch.”

Nu Skin Employees

In June employees participated in Nu Skin’s annual Force for Good Day by volunteering to assemble school supplies for local Hunt, President and CEO, for the company’s 30th anniversary celebration.

Nu Skin Products

Nu Skin founders Steve Lund, Executive Chairman of the Board, Executive Director of Nourish the Children, and Sandie Tillotson, Executive Vice President, join Truman Hunt, President and CEO, for the company’s 30th anniversary celebration.

Those launches are built on commitment that started 30 years ago with the company’s founders—Blake Roney, Sandie Tillotson and Steve Lund. They decided to build a company that would combine innovative personal-care products with ingredients that subscribed to the philosophy of “all of the good, none of the bad.” They were concerned that many artificial ingredients found in traditional skincare products weren’t actually good for the skin when used continuously. Some of the then-new company’s first products became so cherished by users that they are still being sold today in updated formulas.

“Historically we know that natural ingredients are good for the skin without causing potential side effects,” Chang notes. “Natural ingredients are still our major focus, and we couple that focus with additional insights through scientific studies.”

Nu Skin’s commitment to products backed by scientific research and testing is a key method for maintaining product innovation. It’s also one of the main reasons Chang became part of the Nu Skin management team. He was an executive at Pharmanex when Nu Skin acquired it in 1998. Previously he had served as both President and Chief Science Officer at Binary Therapeutics and at OsteoArthritis Sciences Inc., not to mention that he held various executive research management positions at Wyeth-Ayerst, Rhone Poulenc Rorer and other biotech companies with numerous articles, reviews and books to his name. With his impressive credentials, he could have worked anywhere in the world if he had decided to make a change. But Nu Skin’s commitment to science convinced him to stick around.

“The promise they made was that Pharmanex would be a great strategic fit with Nu Skin because of its robust research and development organization and the scientific engine we had built to support products. That engine would be equally applied to the skincare line, as well,” Chang recalls. “That promise was what drew me, and the company has always kept that promise. The R&D budget and investment have always gone up. When an acquirer makes a promise, it often dissipates over time, but Nu Skin hasn’t gone back on its word. That’s critical, because to innovate you need to do R&D.”

Innovation = Growth

Today the company’s full team of in-house scientists conducts research on the ingredients that go into Nu Skin products. They collaborate closely with the Nu Skin marketing team, which keeps tabs on trends and consumer needs. When marketing identifies a need in a particular product category, they bring that need to the scientists.

“That type of collaboration between marketing and scientists has driven us to focus on the anti-aging category,” Chang points out. “That has led us to be a leading anti-aging company, both in skin care and supplements.”

The most visible result of that collaboration is Nu Skin’s ageLOC family of skincare and weight-management products and supplements. The science behind the products—a genetic approach to product development—combined with the company’s brilliant product launch process created the company’s most successful product launch ever. Since the line was introduced in 2008, the ageLOC family of products has delivered $3 billion in sales. Customers are so committed to ageLOC and other Nu Skin products that many subscribe to them through auto-ship. The predictability is good for the publicly held corporation and equally as good for distributors.

Culture of Integrity

If innovation is Nu Skin’s muscle, its mission to be a force for good throughout the world is its heart and circulatory system.

“It’s so much a part of our culture that sometimes we take it for granted,” Hunt says. “It’s how we define our very existence. It’s our mission statement. Those elements really have been part of our DNA from the very beginning. Our founders were people of such strong character and values that we have always wanted to make sure that when people encounter Nu Skin, they have a good experience and come away a better person. Whether through our product integrity, the opportunity we offer or the culture we promote, we try to be a force for good.”

He adds, “I recall a quote by one of our founders Blake Roney: ‘Being a force for good may be only 5 percent of what we do on a daily basis, but it’s 95 percent of who we are.’ That whole notion of ultimately overcoming skepticism by being people of sound character and values is part of what has enabled us to survive and thrive for 30 years.”

If innovation is Nu Skin’s muscle, its mission to be a force for good throughout the world is its heart and circulatory system.

And indeed, Nu Skin has thrived. The company announced 2013 revenue of $3.177 billion, a 49 percent year-over-year improvement. So how did it celebrate those impressive accomplishments on its 30th anniversary? How else? By doing good things around the world. Starting at this year’s annual sales convention, a gala attended by sales leaders raised $2.2 million for the Force for Good Foundation, Nu Skin’s philanthropic organization. Then on June 5, Nu Skin celebrated its official 30th Anniversary and annual Force for Good Day by donating children’s books and assembling school supplies into learning kits to benefit local schools with high percentages of disadvantaged children. Throughout June, distributors around the globe continued the celebration, individually and collectively doing everything from picking up trash to raising funds for worthy causes. Just a few of the projects: In Southeast Asia distributors continued their long-term support of the Children’s Heart Fund by raising funds for heart surgeries for children whose families don’t have the means to pay for the surgeries; in Russia they helped in an orphanage; in Malaysia distributors took gifts to children in hospitals; distributors in Northern Europe raised 32,000 Danish Krona (US$5,800) to buy 30 beds for a Romanian orphanage; and Canadian distributors made lunches for homeless families. (See sidebar for more information on Nu Skin’s philanthropic efforts.)

Whatever projects employees or distributors chose, each reflected their pride and gratitude in being part of a company that has provided opportunities and a better life for people around the world for 30 years.

“We at Nu Skin don’t feel we’ve arrived yet where we want to be, even though we’ve enjoyed record levels of growth, commissions paid to the salesforce, and the good we’re doing for society through our corporate social responsibility initiatives.”
—Truman Hunt

“We at Nu Skin don’t feel we’ve arrived yet where we want to be, even though we’ve enjoyed record levels of growth, commissions paid to the salesforce, and the good we’re doing for society through our corporate social responsibility initiatives,” Hunt says. “Our ambition is to be the world’s leading direct selling company by generating more income for our sales leaders. We have the goal of being a $10 billion company by the year 2020. That will enable us to pay between $4 billion and $5 billion to our salesforce. As we look at the environment, we believe that we can generate that level of success.”

A Foundation of Goodness

When Vice President of Public Affairs Ruth Todd joined Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. in January, she had heard the company’s mission statement, “to be a force for good.” But when she experienced it herself, she was dazzled.

“Our commitment to being a force for good is baked into every decision on every level,” she says. “As a new person, it was impressive to see that the commitment lives in the company from day to day.”

While that culture permeates the company’s actions, nowhere is it more front-and-center than in Nu Skin’s philanthropic projects. From the Force for Good Foundation to the Nourish the Children initiative, Nu Skin reaches out with its money, its products and its efforts to make life better—to create smiles, as they affectionately say—around the world.

In 2013 alone, the nonprofit Force for Good Foundation and its charitable partners contributed nearly $5 million to improve the lives of children throughout the world by offering hope for a life free from disease, illiteracy and poverty. The foundation is funded by Nu Skin distributor and employee donations, as well as by 25 cents from the sale of each Nu Skin Epoch product. Nu Skin covers all administrative and overhead costs, allowing 100 percent of donations to be used for humanitarian and charitable causes.

Its Nourish the Children initiative recently surpassed 350 million donated meals. Since its inception in 2002, Nourish the Children has been supported by a steady stream of VitaMeal purchases and donations from generous Nu Skin employees and distributors. Nu Skin produces VitaMeal, specially formulating it for malnourished children and their families.

The efforts of the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation and the Nourish the Children initiative converge in Malawi, Africa, where in 2007 the School of Agriculture for Family Independence (SAFI) was founded. Many residents were small-scale farmers, and the drought drained the natural resources they relied on to survive, creating a crisis for families who were forced to travel from village to village just to find food. SAFI initially recruited mothers and fathers from 30 families, housing them and their families on an acre of land in the SAFI village for a year, and teaching them agricultural techniques, animal husbandry, and nutrition information that helped them better use the natural resources available to them. During that year, their children attended school. The experience and knowledge they gained completely changed the families. When they returned home, they were able to improve their agricultural yields by as much as 700 percent. Just as importantly, they now teach others the techniques they learned.

Nu Skin then collaborated with government agricultural workers to develop Brighter Future, an extension of the original program, which teaches many families at one time in villages throughout the region.

“We partnered with locals and asked, ‘What do you need and how can we be helpful?’ That set us apart from the beginning,” notes Kara Schneck, Nu Skin’s Senior Director of Corporate Communications. “Where Nu Skin is especially strong is in its direct selling model that helps people run a business and then turn around and help others do the same. We’ve used a similar model in Malawi as we help families learn life-saving agricultural skills and then empower them to share their skills with those in their community.”

Nu Skin philanthropies are as far-reaching as its 53 markets, and the future is unlimited.

“Going forward, we have a great foundation and a company with a great mission,” Todd says. “When you talk about the circle of entrepreneurship, what’s unique about it at Nu Skin is there is a consistent level of charitable donations. The economy may be up or down, but we have a very giving, compassionate group of distributors and sales leaders who are able to be a force for good and help children around the globe.”

Mary Kay Foundation Awards 2014 Cancer Research Grants

The Mary Kay Foundation has selected 12 of the nation’s top research institutions as recipients of its 2014 cancer grants. Totaling $1.2 million, the grants will fund research of the second leading cause of death for women in the United States.

The philanthropic arm of cosmetics giant Mary Kay, recently named to DSN’s $100 Million Growth Club, dedicates its resources to two causes: supporting research of cancers affecting women and increasing prevention and awareness of domestic violence.

Dr. Jerry Shay, Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Cell Biology for The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, chairs The Mary Kay Foundation Scientific Review Committee. The committee of prominent medical scientists and doctors considered more than 80 applicants in its review process.

“This year, we ranked all grant applicants on a scale system and narrowed the pool to the top 12 most promising and innovative research teams, doctors and medical scientists in the country.” Shay said in a statement. “Thanks to grants like these, we are giving the medical community the tools to explore and develop early diagnosis and new treatments for cancers affecting women.”

View the full list of 2014 Cancer Grant Recipients.

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.”