ViSalus Co-Founder Blake Mallen Promoted to President

The longtime head of sales and marketing at ViSalus, Blake Mallen, is stepping into an expanded role as President of the healthy lifestyle company.

Mallen founded the weight-loss shake and supplement seller in 2005 alongside company Chairman and CEO, Ryan Blair, and Global Ambassador, Nick Sarnicola. In 2008 the young executives struck a deal with Connecticut-based Blyth Inc., which acquired a 43.6 percent stake in ViSalus and brought crucial infrastructure and operational expertise to the business. The partnership lasted until late 2014, when the trio and a handful of other preferred stockholders bought back all the shares that Blyth owned, minus 10 percent.

In 11 years at the company, Mallen has spent time working in the field as a ViSalus Promoter, as well as building the business from the corporate side. As Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, he crafted a marketing strategy, centered on the Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge, that powered more than 600 percent sales growth in a single year. Mallen also has been instrumental in building a global infrastructure that has enabled ViSalus to expand recently into 12 European countries, building on its operations in the U.S., Canada and Jamaica.

“Blake has been a vital asset to the creation and evolution of ViSalus, and I’m honored to be handing off the presidential reins to my fellow co-founder and longtime right hand,” said Blair. “He possesses a rare blend of creative and innovative passion, with the ability to execute with precision. I look forward to partnering with him to bring even more Vi innovations to life so that we continue to provide our Promoters with the ultimate entrepreneurial vehicle for success.”

In the past 14 months, ViSalus has expanded its product portfolio with the launch of NEON Energy Drink, Nutra-Bar and Vi Bites healthy snack offerings, and the newly introduced Vi Shape Superfood Shake. The company reports that sales of NEON, launched in the U.S. in April 2015, have surpassed $5 million. According to a Wednesday announcement from ViSalus, the company commenced international distribution of the energy drink at its EU Leadership Launch, held last week in London.


ViSalus Expands On-the-Go Offerings with NEON Energy Drink

ViSalus is adding to its portfolio of nutritious, on-the-go snacks with another strategic acquisition, this time in the booming energy drink category.

At its National Success Training event in Florida earlier this month, the healthy lifestyle brand introduced independent Promoters to its latest offering, NEON Energy Drink, acquired in a January deal with Altairia Corp. NEON is the creation of Altairia President and CEO Dakota Rea, who has since become a ViSalus Promoter.

The company’s national event also featured a birthday bash celebrating 10 years in business. The past year has been an eventful one for ViSalus. In September, co-founders Ryan Blair, Blake Mallen and Nick Sarnicola led a management buyout to regain ownership of the company from Blyth Inc., which now holds just 10 percent of ViSalus common stock.

Discussing the deal with DSN, Mallen said the brand will maintain its original product strategy of becoming the “largest healthy fast food provider in the world.” With that aim ViSalus has expanded its product portfolio of nutritious shakes and cereals with the acquisition of Go Bites, tweaked and launched in September as the Vi Bites line, as well as NEON Energy Drink.

Energy drinks are a hot commodity, with industry sales of $27.5 billion in 2013, according to market research firm Euromonitor. Global sales skyrocketed 620 percent from 1999 to 2013, and sales of energy drinks are rapidly approaching the level of coffee sales in the U.S.

With the launch of a decidedly global product, ViSalus sees an opportunity to build its international markets. NEON has at least one factor setting it apart from the competition: the drink earned its name from the glow it emits under black light, due to an element found in the South American Cinchona tree.

‘All In’ for the Third Time: ViSalus Co-Founder Blake Mallen Talks

by DSN Staff

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

On Sept. 2, Greenwich, Connecticut-based Blyth Inc. announced that the company had reached an agreement to sell the majority of its ViSalus subsidiary to the founders and certain other preferred stockholders of ViSalus. They completed the transaction, which involved exchanging shares of redeemable convertible preferred stock of ViSalus for shares of ViSalus common stock, on Sept. 4. Blyth now owns approximately 10 percent of ViSalus. DSN sat down with Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of ViSalus Blake A. Mallen to discuss the deal. Here’s what he had to say.

DSN: Start at the beginning for us. This is quite a transaction. How did it all come about?

BAM: Yes, it’s obviously a big move. We think the ViSalus story is made up of three big “All In” moments. In the beginning, it was definitely kind of an “All In” spirit that gave rise to the company back in 2005. Nick (Sarnicola), Ryan (Blair) and I took all the money we had back then and acquired the assets of a failing company and birthed the idea of ViSalus and our mission. We had very humble beginnings—about 18 months or so without a single paycheck.

We had developed a great relationship with the Goergen family and Blyth when Nick, Ryan and I were still young executives in our mid-20s. By 2008, we felt that joining Blyth was the best move for ViSalus in order to provide a lot of the infrastructure and the operational expertise to help us accomplish what we wanted for the long term. So we created a partnership and a great relationship.

Shortly after we announced the deal with Blyth in 2008, the economy collapsed and Nick, Ryan and myself again took our last money that we had at the time to self-fund the company, and reinvent in 2009—our second “All In” moment. The irony is that this moment gave birth to the Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge, which is the brand that made us who we are today with the meteoric rise over the last few years.

Now we’re in a rebuilding and expansion mode, and we wanted to go all in again, so we approached Blyth a couple of months ago with the idea to buy back all the remaining shares that Blyth owned, minus 10 percent. They saw our passion, and they know we’re founders and ViSalus is our baby, and running it is something we want to do for life.

This last transaction is our third “All In” moment. Most of the transaction included money owed to us in the original agreement with Blyth. Basically, we walked away from it and rolled it back into the company. We took back, between us and our field, 90 percent of ViSalus. We’re all excited to have full ownership back and a new beginning and a new birth.

DSN: So when you look at that new beginning and new birth, how does this ownership change better position ViSalus?

BAM: Focus is probably the best word to use, and regaining the ability to put our resources 100 percent into … CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW

ViSalus Management Buyout Will Cut Blyth Stake to 10%

The co-founders of ViSalus will lead a management buyout of the weight-loss and fitness brand, according to a disclosed agreement with parent company Blyth Inc. Following Tuesday evening’s announcement, shares in Blyth jumped during pre-open trade and rose 36 percent on Wednesday to close at $9.07 per share.

Blyth first invested in ViSalus in August 2008, when it acquired a 43.6 percent stake in the company. Blyth currently holds an 80.9 percent ownership interest, while ViSalus’ co-founders and other preferred stockholders own the remaining 19.1 percent. In the announced transaction all preferred stockholders will exchange their shares for ViSalus common stock, relieving Blyth of its $143 million guarantee of the preferred stock.

ViSalus will revert to private ownership under co-founders Ryan Blair, Blake Mallen and Nick Sarnicola, as well as ViSalus employees and early stockholders, who will take on a 90 percent stake in the company. Blyth will remain an equity holder with 10 percent of ViSalus common stock.

“The co-founders and I are very excited to go ‘all in’ on a business that we started and the future prospects of which we believe in wholeheartedly. I am also personally grateful to the Goergens and to Blyth for nearly 10 years of mentoring and support,” ViSalus CEO Ryan Blair shared in a statement.

According to a recent announcement, ViSalus’ future prospects include an extensive leadership development program. The company has partnered with leadership expert, speaker and best-selling author John C. Maxwell to launch its Leadership & Influence Development (LID) program.

“I have had the opportunity to mentor ViSalus’ three founders, who each have unparalleled creativity, intelligence and leadership potential,” said Maxwell on the new collaboration. “It’s been a real joy to be able to pour my life into the Vi founders, whom I often affectionately refer to as the Three Musketeers.”

The LID program will develop top ViSalus Promoters through skills training and mentoring. The inaugural LID group, which will work directly with Maxwell and the founders over the course of a year, held its first of three annual meetings in Atlanta this June.

Field Goals: ViSalus Brings Fitness Challenge to Youth Football Sponsorship

American Youth Football & Cheer Inc. (AYF) recently selected weight-loss and nutrition company ViSalus as its Official Nutrition and Wellness Sponsor.

AYF works within communities to train children in football or cheer, with a strong emphasis on positive traits like self-confidence, teamwork, self-discipline and community involvement. The organization, which often establishes programs where children cannot access them through the school system, serves more than 1 million members nationwide.

The sponsorship came about through a ViSalus National Director whose family participates in AYF. The organization’s team fundraisers presented an opportunity to educate players about healthy nutrition while furthering AYF’s mission. This year the athletes will cash in on personal health goals by selling ViSalus nutrition products, with proceeds benefitting the youth football and cheer programs.

ViSalus offers its users an added weight-loss incentive through the PROJECT 10 Kids program. The company’s trademark PROJECT 10 Challenge encourages customers to lose 10 pounds of fat or add 10 pounds of lean muscle. Every time a person meets the challenge, the company donates 30 of its Vi-Shape Nutritional Shake Meals to a child in need.

ViSalus Co-Founder and CEO Ryan Blair recently spoke to Fast Company about his own youth and the mentors who helped him make the journey from gang member to successful serial entrepreneur. In 2013, Blair published his story in The New York Times bestseller Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur.

5 World-Class Athletes Take the ViSalus Challenge

ViSalus recently announced that five world-class athletes are taking part in the nutrition company’s PROJECT 10™ Challenge. The challenge promotes a lifestyle of personal health and fitness supported by the Vi community and products.

Every week, ViSalus rewards $1,000 to 10 individuals who have lost 10 pounds or added 10 pounds of lean muscle during their Body by Vi Challenge™. As they shed pounds, participants also help the next generation live healthier lives. For each 10 pounds lost, ViSalus donates 30 Vi-Shape Nutritional Shake meals to supply a child with better nutrition through the company’s PROJECT 10 Kids program.

The latest athletes to sign on to the challenge share a successful history in their respective sports and a determination to pursue health regardless of age or circumstance. Jamaican bobsled competitor Devon Harris, whose team inspired the 1993 film Cool Runnings, joins U.S. Women’s Soccer team champion and three-time gold medalist Heather Mitts; 67-year-old National Ski Hall of Famer Suzy “Chapstick” Chaffee; hockey champion and silver medalist Nancy Drolet; and luge athlete Ann Abernathy, a six-time International Winter Games competitor for the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“I believe that being fit is a key component to successful living. Since I have been away from the rigors of competing at a high level, my fitness is not where it should be,” said Harris. “I am doing this challenge to improve my fitness level and also to inspire those with similar goals to pursue them.”

ViSalus has also announced its expansion into Germany and Austria. Co-Founder and CEO Ryan Blair says the company is taking its business overseas to tackle an obesity epidemic similar to that occurring in the U.S. “Germany and Austria share similar health and fitness demographics with North America and the UK, so our Promoters and products will deliver The Challenge at a critical time to change more lives.”

Read the full announcement from ViSalus.

ViSalus CEO Featured in Upcoming Documentary

ViSalus Co-Founder and CEO Ryan Blair became a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author following the 2011 publication of Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain­. In the book, Blair shares his personal journey—from living as a young gang member in Los Angeles to eventually becoming a multimillionaire entrepreneur. Blair’s inspirational message is now coming to film audiences in “Nothing to Lose,” a new online documentary.
Some of Blair’s story takes place at ViSalus, where he has helped lead the company from near-bankruptcy following the 2009 fiscal crisis to sales of $1 billion as of this March. Blair and his co-founders, Blake Mallen and Nick Sarnicola, sold ViSalus to parent company Blyth Inc. in January 2012. ViSalus’ performance in 2012 earned it the No. 21 ranking on the DSN Global 100 list of the top revenue-generating companies in the world.

Those highs and lows follow upon many others recounted by Blair in the upcoming documentary. “Nothing to Lose” will premiere Dec. 12 on Blair, who has a son with autism, has announced that he will donate all proceeds to organizations, such as Autism Speaks, that support children with autism.

Read the full story from Upstart Business Journal.

TSFL Co-Founder Authors New York Times Best Seller

Discover Your Optimal Health, a new book by Take Shape for Life Co-Founder Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen, has made its way onto the New York Times Best Sellers list. Following its July release, the diet and weight-loss manual reached the No. 4 spot in the “Advice and How To” category.

The book offers insight into making daily adjustments to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Discover Your Optimal Health is a guide to achieving long-term health, as indicated by the subtitle: “To live better, happier, and healthier into your 80s, 90s, and beyond.”

Dr. Andersen serves as Medical Director of Take Shape for Life and Executive Director of the Health Institute, a training and certification organization in the emerging field of health coaching. According to Dr. Andersen, “Discover Your Optimal Health was written as a tool to inspire people as they begin their health journey, and I’m glad to see so many people respond positively to the book in such a short time.”

The Take Shape for Life co-founder joins other direct selling leaders whose tomes have appeared on the New York Times list, including Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain by Ryan Blair, CEO of ViSalus, and The Healthy Home by USANA Founder Dr. Myron Wentz and his son, CEO Dave Wentz.

Read the full press release from Take Shape for Life.

DSN Global 100 Profiles – 21 Through 30

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


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

• Leadership • Growth • Momentum

21. ViSalus (Blyth)

2012 Net Sales: $624 million
Country: USA

ViSalus is the company that markets the Body By Vi Challenge, the No. 1 personal weight-loss and fitness platform in North America. ViSalus is majority-owned by Blyth Inc.

2011 Rank: 47
2011 Net Sales: $231 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Wellness
Markets: 2
Salespeople: Not available
Employees: 487
Headquarters: Troy, Michigan
Executives: Ryan Blair, Nick Sarnicola and Blake Mallen
Year Founded: 2005
Stock Symbol: BTH—NYSE

22. ACN Inc.

2012 Net Sales: $582 million
Country: USA

ACN is the world’s largest direct seller of telecommunications, energy and other essential services people use every day, including phone service, wireless, natural gas and electricity, high-speed Internet, and home security and automation.

2011 Rank: 19
2011 Net Sales: $550 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Telecommunications, energy
Markets: 23
Salespeople: 200,000
Employees: 1,500
Headquarters: Concord, North Carolina
Executives: Robert Stevanovski, Greg Provenzano, Tony Cupisz and Mike Cupisz
Year Founded: 1993

“The DSN Global 100 is truly the benchmark for our industry, further proving that our industry has stood the test of time and continues to remain relevant even in our constantly changing world. For ACN, operating in this space has always been a tremendous privilege and blessing for us, and certainly ranking among the Top 100 direct sales companies—the best of the best in the world—is an incredible honor.”
—Greg Provenzano, Co-Founder and President, ACN

23. Scentsy Inc.

2012 Net Sales: $560 million
Country: USA

Scentsy Group is a rapidly growing, international party-plan company dedicated to creating a social shopping experience that gives Consultants and customers variety, value and a level of personalization they can’t find anywhere else. Scentsy Inc. owns a family of brands, including Scentsy Fragrance, Velata and Grace Adele.

2011 Rank: 20
2011 Net Sales: $537 million
Sales Method: Party plan and group sales
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Clothing and accessories, cosmetics and personal care, food and beverage, home décor, kitchenware and appliances
Markets: 5
Salespeople: 218,159
Employees: 1,046
Headquarters: Meridian, Idaho
Executives: Orville and Heidi Thompson
Year Founded: 2004

24. Hermes

2012 Net Sales: $550 million
Country: Brazil

Hermes is a 70-year-old, family-owned company that has been focusing on the direct sales channel since 1989. Over 15,000 SKUs are sold in the channel, including apparel, household utilities, bedding, kitchenware, cosmetics, bijouterie and lingerie. The company has over 600,000 sales consultants all over Brazil.

2011 Rank: N/A
2011 Net Sales: N/A
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Single-level
Products: Clothing and accessories, cosmetics and personal care, home décor, kitchenware and appliances, home care, leisure and educational
Markets: 1
Salespeople: 600,000
Employees: 1,500
Headquarters: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Executive: Gustavo Bach
Year Founded: 1942

25. WIV Wein International AG

2012 Net Sales: $539 million
Country: Germany

WIV Wein is a direct seller of wine, providing at-home wine tastings for customers. The company has its own estates and cellars, and forms partnerships with top-quality wineries. Its largest markets are Germany, France, Great Britain, Japan, the United States and Italy.

2011 Rank: 33
2011 Net Sales: $365 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Not available
Products: Wines
Markets: 23
Salespeople: 4,000
Employees: 1,511
Headquarters: Burg Layen, Germany
Executives: Andreas Pieroth, Dr. Johannes Pieroth and David Samuel
Year Founded: 1965

26. AmorePacific

2012 Net Sales: $520 million
Country: South Korea

AmorePacific was founded by Sung-Whan Suh, who believed Jeju Island off the coast of Korea was an optimal environment for growing the most powerful and potent green tea. AmorePacific is the only cosmetics company in the world to grow and harvest its own green tea, which is then used in its skin-care formulas. The company holds over 140 global patents in green tea and skin-related technology.

2011 Rank: 16
2011 Net Sales: $600 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Not available
Products: Cosmetics, personal care, health and wellness
Markets: 3
Salespeople: Not available
Employees: Not available
Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea
Executive: Kyung-Bae Suh
Year Founded: 1945
Stock Symbol: 090430—Korea

27. Market America Inc.

2012 Net Sales: $505 million
Country: USA

Market America is a product brokerage and Internet marketing company that specializes in one-to-one marketing. The company has generated over $4.3 billion in accumulated retail sales through its international operations in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, the United Kingdom and Mexico.

2011 Rank: 25
2011 Net Sales: $462 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Single-level
Products: Cosmetics, personal care, food and beverage, home care, leisure and educational, services, wellness
Markets: 7
Salespeople: 180,000
Employees: 700
Headquarters: Greensboro, North Carolina
Executive: JR Ridinger
Year Founded: 1992

28. The Pampered Chef Ltd.

2012 Net Sales: $500 million
Country: USA

The Pampered Chef sells more than 500 gourmet kitchen tools, cookware, cookbooks and foodstuffs. Founded in 1980, Pampered Chef was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by billionaire Warren Buffett, in 2002.

2011 Rank: 22
2011 Net Sales: $500 million
Sales Method: Party plan
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Cookware, kitchenware
Markets: 5
Salespeople: 65,000
Employees: 800
Headquarters: Addison, Illinois
Executive: Marla Gottschalk
Year Founded: 1980
Stock Symbol: BRK-A—NYSE

29. For Days Co. Ltd.

2012 Net Sales: $445 million
Country: Japan

For Days sells cosmetics and nutritional products that focus on beneficial nucleic acids as well as scientific research and development and testing.

2011 Rank: 29
2011 Net Sales: $400 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Personal care, cosmetics
Markets: 1
Salespeople: 288,000
Employees: 187
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
Executive: Keiko Wada
Year Founded: 1997

“It is an honor to be recognized in the DSN Global 100 ranking. From the time our company was founded, we have always placed a high value on building person-to-person relationships. We firmly believe that the direct selling industry is a place where all those involved are able to continue to build stronger relationships with those around them. ”
—Keiko Wada, CEO, For Days Co. Ltd.

30. Southwestern

2012 Net Sales: $427 million
Country: USA

Southwestern is the oldest direct selling company in the United States. The company has 12 divisions, including Southwestern Advantage, which helps college students run their own businesses during their summer breaks to offset their educational expenses.

2011 Rank: 34
2011 Net Sales: $353 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Family-oriented educational reference books and software
Markets: 3
Salespeople: 2,800
Employees: 1,199
Headquarters: Nashville, Tennessee
Executive: Henry Bedford
Year Founded: 1855

DSN Celebrates the Global 100 Companies

by J.M. Emmert

Amway was recognized as this year’s new No. 1 direct selling company in the DSN Global 100 ranking.


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

• Leadership • Growth • Momentum

DSN Global 100

Direct Selling News celebrated the DSN Global 100 ranking on April 3 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas, with a dinner and awards ceremony. The event marked the fourth consecutive year that DSN has recognized the achievements of the global direct selling leaders.

The event was hosted by DSN Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming. Brian Connolly, Chairman of the Board of Miche Bag and former Executive Vice President of Avon Products Inc., served as master of ceremonies.

More than 300 direct selling executives attended the event, including Cindy Monroe, CEO of Thirty-One Gifts; Jim and Kathy Coover, Co-Founders of Isagenix; Wayne Coupland, Network Director of Telecom Plus; Jerry Brassfield, Executive Chairman of GNLD; John Addison, Co-CEO of Primerica; Rob Snyder, Chairman of Stream Energy (Ignite); Connie Tang, CEO of Princess House; Chris Chambliss, a Co-Founder of Ambit Energy; Dave Wentz, CEO of USANA; Robert Goergen Jr., President of PartyLite; Keith Harding, CEO of Sportron; Robert Sinnott, CEO of Mannatech; Ryan Blair, CEO of ViSalus; Jill Blashack Strahan, CEO of Tastefully Simple; Mike Azcue, CEO of WorldVentures; and Orville and Heidi Thompson, Co-Owners of Scentsy.

Special guests included Joseph Mariano, President of the U.S. Direct Selling Association; Charlie Orr, Executive Director of the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF); and two DSEF Circle of Honor winners: J. Stanley Fredrick, Chairman of Mannatech; and Michael Lunceford, Senior Vice President of Mary Kay. Malou Caluza, Chief Marketing Officer of QNET, traveled from Hong Kong to attend the event.

The Bravo Awards

The evening began with the presentation of two DSN Bravo Awards for excellence.

Momentum Award

It Works! Global was honored with the Bravo Momentum Award, which was created for this year’s celebration to recognize a previously unranked company that had demonstrated not only significant growth in 2012, but also the most significant first-time ranking on the DSN Global 100 list.

“It just shows any company in here that if you really focus and persevere you can do this—you can be a 10-year overnight success.”
—Mark Pentecost, Founder and CEO, It Works! Global

Founder and CEO Mark Pentecost had attended last year’s event and decided then that he wanted It Works! to be a Global 100 company. He and his team put together a strategic and operational plan to achieve that goal. In 2011, It Works! had revenue of $45 million; in 2012, revenue jumped to $200 million, placing the company in the 56th position in the 2012 ranking.

“We started from the bottom, and now we’re here,” said Pentecost. “It just shows any company in here that if you really focus and persevere you can do this—you can be a 10-year overnight success.”

Growth Award

Nerium International won the Bravo Growth Award, which is presented to the company achieving the highest percentage of growth over the prior year.

Last year’s winner, ViSalus, won the award for its 600 percent growth, going from $34 million in 2010 to $231 million in 2011. Nerium achieved an astounding 3,900 percent growth, going from $2.5 million in revenue in 2011 to $100 million in 2012. The company, which was founded in the fall of 2011 with only one product in the anti-aging category, placed 86th in the ranking.

Nerium’s founders—CEO Jeff Olson, President Dennis Windsor, Corporate Liaison Renee Olson and Vice President of Marketing and Culture Amber Olson—accepted the award.

“It’s been a fun year,” said Jeff Olson. “We’ve really enjoyed the growth and look forward to a great year coming up.”

Leadership Award

The third award in this category, presented later in the evening, was the Bravo Leadership Award, which was given to Alessandro Carlucci, CEO of São Paolo, Brazil-based Natura and Chairman of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations.

The Leadership Award is presented to an individual who personifies leadership, guiding those around him toward greater good, progress and achievement all while earning the respect and admiration of those he leads. Previous winners in this category include John Addison of Primerica (2009); Greg Provenzano, Robert Stevanovski, Mike Cupisz and Tony Cupisz of ACN (2010); and Doug DeVos of Amway (2011).

Carlucci was recognized for embodying those traits. He joined his company in 1989 as a member of the sales and marketing team. In 2005, he was named CEO, becoming the company’s first top executive from outside its controlling stockholders. Under his guidance, Natura has grown to be the largest cosmetics company in Brazil.

In October 2011, Carlucci assumed the Chair of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations, where he now helps guide the industry on a global scale. He believes his responsibility as a leader is to “show to the world our transformation and entrepreneurship capacity,” which will increase business opportunities and the positive impact direct selling has on the lives of millions of people.

“I am very deeply honored to receive this,” said Carlucci upon receiving the Leadership Award. “I am happy to be here because every time I can be together with friends in direct selling, it makes me feel better about the decision I made many years ago to join this industry. It’s a moment to see good friends and the opportunity to make new good friends. This is one of the most important characteristics of our industry—we make friends for life. It is an amazing industry.”

Brian Connolly, Chairman of the Board of Miche Bag, served as master of ceremonies.Brian Connolly, Chairman of the Board of Miche Bag, served as master of ceremonies. Over 300 industry executives attended the Global 100 Celebration.Over 300 industry executives attended the Global 100 Celebration. Alessandro Carlucci, CEO of Natura and Chairman of the WFDSA, gave the keynote address.Alessandro Carlucci, CEO of Natura and Chairman of the WFDSA, gave the keynote address.

Keynote Address

Carlucci was also the keynote speaker for the evening. He spoke of the interconnectedness of direct selling companies, distributors and consumers, and the impact the industry has on the world at large.

“Relationships are the foundation of our company and our business. In the end, relationships move the world; relationships move the business; relationships move people,” he said.

“There is nothing more contemporary than direct selling, and the world is calling for us to help people, to be better leaders, to do the right thing, to transform lives, to generate economic health.”
—Alessandro Carlucci, CEO of Natura and Chairman of the WFDSA

“We see people trying to really produce positive impact,” Carlucci continued. “At the same time we see a huge change in consumer behavior. And when we see all these things together, and we look for the fundamentals of our industry, there is a call for us—a call for our industry because we transform people’s lives, we affect their social aspects, we can do good things for the environment and, economically, we can offer opportunities for people. There is nothing more contemporary than direct selling, and the world is calling for us to help people, to be better leaders, to do the right thing, to transform lives, to generate economic health.”

As Chairman of the World Federation, Carlucci re-emphasized the relevance and importance for direct selling companies to be examples of trust, transparency and good business—“Business that can really change the quality of life on this planet,” he said.

The DSN Global 100

The most anticipated segment of the evening was the announcement of the DSN Global 100.

Before announcing the list in reverse order, Emcee Connolly shared some statistics about the 2012 ranking. A total of 16 countries were represented—including Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Luxembourg, Peru, Russia, South Korea and Switzerland—with 24 newcomers to the list, hailing from Japan, Malaysia, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, China and Cyprus.

By region, there were 57 companies from North America, four from South America, 14 from Europe/Africa and 24 from the Asia-Pacific arena.

In all, the DSN Global 100 companies achieved over $72 billion in net sales in 2012, up from $63 billion one year ago. The Top 10 companies, which collectively represented 625 years of direct selling business across the globe, achieved $44 billion in revenue.

Representatives from nine of the Top 10 companies were present at the event.

“We want to dedicate this distinction to our amazing independent beauty advisors because without their passion, their commitment and their hard work on a daily basis… this would never have been possible.”
—Mona Ameli, General Manager, Belcorp USA

Mona Ameli, General Manager of Belcorp USA, accepted for Peru-based Belcorp Ltd., which placed 10th. “This is a very special year for us as we celebrate our 45th anniversary. This acknowledgment reflects the extraordinary efforts of our 9,000 employees. We want to dedicate this distinction to our amazing independent beauty advisors because without their passion, their commitment and their hard work on a daily basis, from the outskirts of the Amazon to the streets of San Francisco, this would never have been possible.”

Oriflame Senior Vice President Michael Cervell accepted for the Luxembourg-based company, which placed 9th. “On behalf of Oriflame, we are very proud to be in this [ranking], but we are not satisfied. We want to be higher than we are now.”

Greg Darlington, Vice President of Nu Skin, accepted for his company, which placed 8th. “On behalf of our 900,000 distributors and our customers around the world, we thank you for the opportunity to receive this award.”

No. 6 Mary Kay was represented by Senior Vice President Nathan Moore. “Mary Kay always said that if you aim for the moon and you miss, you land amongst the stars. It’s an honor to be among all of you stars tonight.”

Keynote speaker and Bravo Leadership Award winner Carlucci accepted for No. 5, Natura. “On behalf of our 1.5 million consultants around Latin America, we would like to say ‘thank you.’ ”

Hans ter Pelle, Chief Financial Officer of JAFRA Cosmetics, accepted for Germany-based Vorwerk, the No. 4 direct seller. “On behalf of the owner family of Vorwerk and the managing partners, I will gladly take this award and pass it on to them. We aim for higher goals, and we aim for touching many more people on this globe, so let’s put in some healthy competition and see where we end up next year.”

“With leadership comes responsibility, and as such, we will continue to support the industry and its interests going forward.”
—Sandy Spielmaker, Vice President of Sales, Amway North America

The No. 3 direct seller in the world, Herbalife, was represented by Brian McKinley, Senior Director of Corporate Alliances. “Don’t believe everything you read,” McKinley said in reference to recent scrutiny of the company. “Our company is fantastic, our industry is amazing and the future is very bright.”

Angelo Rossi, Avon Group Vice President, accepted for the No. 2 direct seller. “We are honored to be here and accept on behalf of the over 30,000 associates and 6 million independent contractors around the world. I would also say we are honored and humbled tonight to recognize the new top direct selling company in the world.”

AmwayThe new No. 1 direct seller was Ada, Michigan-based Amway, which achieved $11.3 billion in revenue for 2012. Sandy Spielmaker, Vice President of Sales for Amway North America, accepted for the company. “It is really an honor to be a leader in an industry of such great, reputable companies. With leadership comes responsibility, and as such, we will continue to support the industry and its interests going forward,” said Spielmaker. “We also know that, as an industry, we are being attacked by outsiders, but we are not in this alone. We are in it together and we will continue to support each and every one of you and this entire industry.”