DSN Makes Its Global 100 Celebration an Event to Remember

by DSN Staff

Click here to order the June 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


2017 DSN Global 100 List
2017 Profiles
DSN Makes its Global 100 Celebration an Event to Remember
Frequently Asked Questions about the Global 100 Ranking
By The Numbers


Leadership: It Works! CEO Mark Pentecost: On the Road to Legendary
Leadership: Isagenix’s Jim & Kathy Coover: Agents of Change
Growth: Jeunesse: Forging an Uncharted Path to Billion-Dollar Growth

In appreciation of those companies that lead the way in offering an unparalleled opportunity for individuals to start their own businesses through shared connections, Direct Selling News honored the group during its eighth annual DSN Global 100 Celebration. The awards ceremony and dinner, held April 19 at the InterContinental in Dallas, served as the backdrop for the unveiling of our exclusive ranking of the top revenue-generating companies in direct selling.

DSN’s Lauren Lawley Head and John Fleming hosted nearly 400 executives from around the world. In fact, the Global 100 list represents companies based in 17 countries this year and is a collective effort to show the impact and potential of the $183.7 billion direct selling industry.

“Each year, the DSN Global 100 gives us an opportunity to recognize the leading companies in direct selling today,” said Lauren Lawley Head, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Direct Selling News. “The companies on the list represent a wide range of products and services, but they share a passion for developing a community of independent business owners who share those products and services with customers in their personal networks. It is a unique and powerful distribution channel.”

Fleming added, “The announcement and reveal of the top 100 Direct Selling Companies in the world is a most exciting moment in our year! Congratulations are always extended to those companies who are listed.”  He continued, “The DSN Global 100 is not a competition, it is a listing. The privately held companies who voluntarily submitted their certified revenue for the previous year contribute to the transparency needed to constantly inform a global audience of the impact direct selling companies are making on economies and individual lives around the world.”

For the fifth consecutive year, Ada, Michigan-based Amway claimed the top spot as the No. 1 direct seller in the world, with $8.8 billion in revenue in 2016. The company is truly a global giant, with a large portfolio of brands—including the best-selling nutritional brand in the world, Nutrilite, skincare brand Artistry, as well as the XL Energy Drink business. Amway does business in over 100 markets through more than 3 million independent Amway business owners.

In attendance and accepting the award on behalf of Amway was Jackie Nickel, Chief Marketing Officer of the Americas.

“We’re truly honored to be recognized as a leader in this great industry,” Nickel said. “We credit such a privilege to our millions of Amway Business Owners worldwide, who are at the heart of our business.”

Special Guests

DSN welcomed very special guests to the dinner, esteemed members of Direct Selling Association’s Hall of Fame and the Direct Selling Education Foundation’s Circle of Honor: Charlie Orr, CEO of Canada’s Immunotec; Brian Connolly, CEO of AdvoCare; Stan Fredrick, Chairman of the Board, Mannatech Inc.; and our own John Fleming.

Also in the audience was President of the Direct Sellers Association of Canada James Smith and Chairman of the Direct Selling Education Foundation Dave Wentz.

DSN Global 100

In all, the Global 100 companies achieved more than $82 billion in net sales in 2016, up a fraction from 2015.

The Top 10 companies achieved $40.53 billion in revenue, with the total number of salespeople at about 24 million. It is also a testimony to the power and strength of the direct selling channel that a number of companies reached milestones in 2016. Ten companies grew $100 million or more last year, and 22 companies each reported annual revenue of $1 billion or more.

TextJackie Nickel, Chief Marketing Officer of the Americas at Amway, accepts the night’s top prize for the company, which placed No. 1 on the Global 100.

By region, there were 46 companies from North America in the Global 100; five from South America; nine from Europe/Africa; and 40 from Asia/ Asia-Pacific. A total of 17 countries were represented on the list—Brazil, China, Colombia, Cyprus, France, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Companies appearing in the ranking for the first time included Quanjian from China (No. 8); Marketing Personal from Colombia (No. 81); Global Ventures Partners from the U.S. (No. 92); and Shinsei from China (No. 99). Companies returning to the list were JoyMain from China (No. 13); SUN HOPE from China (No. 23); LegalShield from the U.S. (No. 43); Faberlic from Russia (No. 48); Merro International from China (No. 56); KK Assuran from Japan (No. 64); New Image Group from New Zealand (No. 86); Vestige Marketing from India (No. 91); Immunotec Research from Canada (No. 96); Nefful from Singapore (No. 97); and Captain Tortue Group from France (No. 98).

The Bravo Awards

Each year, the DSN Global 100 celebration endeavors to recognize an industry executive who embodies exceptional leadership qualities that have propelled his or her company to extraordinary new heights. Whether it is inspirational vision that has built solid corporate cultures, innovation that has strengthened the company infrastructure, or creativity that has created new opportunities for independent business owners, our Bravo Leadership Award aims to acknowledge such achievements of a direct selling leader.

This year, one recipient for the Bravo Leadership Award was simply not enough, for there were two remarkable stories that unfolded. The first Bravo Leadership Award was presented to Jim and Kathy Coover, co-founders of Isagenix and a leadership team that has grown their business 247 percent over the past five years, propelling the company into the Top 30 of the DSN Global 100 with $924.3 million in annual revenue. The team recently celebrated their 15th year in business

“As leaders, I think we have an incredible opportunity to step up and demonstrate to the world what a powerful distribution channel we are, and more importantly, what a powerful agent of change we can be,” Jim said. “We have always tried to stay true to our motto of ‘if it isn’t right for our associates and customers, it isn’t right for the company.’ ”

The second recipient of this year’s Bravo Leadership Award was Mark Pentecost, Founder and CEO of It Works! His wellness company did not enter the Global 100 ranking until 2012, when it debuted at $200 million, but over the past four years, the team at this company has grown its revenue 274 percent, reaching No. 33 with $686 million.

TextDebbie Coffey, who accepted Avon Products’ award for its No. 2 ranking on the Global 100, reinforced the importance of companies helping people change their lives.

Leading It Works! to exponential growth during the past few years was reason enough to recognize Pentecost; however, the way in which this former math teacher and basketball coach has taught his team to “live on the offensive” is truly inspirational. As he shares with the audience his personal—and victorious—battle with cancer, he tells a very compelling story of the individual courage to face life’s toughest challenges head on, while doing so with an abundance of integrity and grace

“My team had big plans for 2016, having to deal with cancer wasn’t one of them,” he said. “We can’t plan for every obstacle that is thrown our way, but we can put the team in place and surround ourselves with the best people. When something is thrown your way, you have the support to handle it.”

Pentecost still has big plans for It Works! and for how he and his team can impact the world by being positive change makers. “Good is having a strong company. Great is increasing profits or opening new markets. But legendary is changing the lives of people who need it the most,” he said.

Youth enhancement brand Jeunesse received the Bravo Growth Award for its increase in annual sales by $1 billion over a two-year period—from approximately $400 million in 2014 to $1.4 billion in 2016. It debuted on the Global 100 in 2012 with $65 million in sales, breaking into the top 20 of the Direct Selling News Global 100 list in 2015 and advancing to the No. 14 spot this year with $1.41 billion in net sales. Based in Lake Mary, Florida, the company sells its anti-aging products and nutritional supplements in 140 global markets.

Chief Visionary Officer Scott Lewis accepted the award and commented, “We are pleased to have been chosen by Direct Selling News as their 2017 Bravo Growth Award recipient and appreciate this meaningful recognition. In addition, it is truly an honor to be listed among the top 15 companies in our industry, and we are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our Jeunesse family from across the globe, who we congratulate for making this accomplishment possible.”

Direct Selling News’ Lauren Lawley Head and John Fleming toast the Global 100 honorees.

Impacting Lives for Better World

Debbie Coffey, Vice President, Corporate Communications, New Avon LLC, who accepted Avon Products’ award for its No. 2 ranking on the Global 100 with sales of $5.70 billion in 2016, reinforced the importance of companies helping people change their lives. She is also an Avon Foundation board member.

“Thank you Direct Selling News for this recognition of Avon Products, Inc. performance in 2016. We owe our success to our 6 million Avon Representatives around the world who are changing their lives and the lives of those around them through the Avon opportunity. They are our greatest motivation and inspiration,” said Coffey.

TextMarily Penttinen accepts Mary Kay’s award for placing No. 5 on the Global 100.

“2016 was an exciting year for us at Avon, It was our 130th anniversary, and, as an Avon Foundation Board Member, I am very proud to share that it was the year we reached $1 billion raised globally for women’s causes,” added Coffey, who is also an Avon Foundation board member. “We are so proud to give women living with breast cancer and domestic violence help for today and hope for tomorrow.”

Jackie Nickel, who accepted Amway’s award for No. 1 direct seller in the world, spoke too about purpose and the efforts the company takes to have a positive impact on people’s lives.

“This award is a testament to the work we do each and every day to help people live better lives, discover their potential and achieve their goals,” she said.

The following companies sponsored tables at the DSN Global 100 Celebration:

Platinum Table Sponsors – ACN, Amway, Isagenix, It Works!, Jeunesse, New Avon, Total Life Changes and World Global Network; Gold Table Sponsors – AdvoCare, Ambit Energy, Mannatech, Mary Kay, MONAT, Oriflame, Plexus Worldwide, SeneGence, Stream, WorldVentures, Young Living and Zurvita.

This year, six special suppliers also chose to support Direct Selling News in sponsorship of the banquet: SUCCESS Partners, Avalara, Exigo, Hyperwallet, InfoTrax and Multi Image Group.


Mannatech President Al Bala Takes on CEO Role

Photo: Mannatech President & CEO Al Bala.

Mannatech Inc. announced Wednesday the promotion of company President Alfredo Bala, who will now serve as president and CEO of the nutrition company. According to Mannatech Chairman J. Stanley Fredrick, Bala’s appointment is part of an intentional shift of focus to the brand’s independent sales Associates and international growth.

“In Al Bala, Mannatech has a leader with a deep understanding of the daily effort it takes to succeed in the direct sales industry, as well as someone who knows how to build internationally,” Fredrick said in a statement. “We’re fortunate to have that person serving Mannatech as its President, and delighted to also have him now serve as CEO.”

In 1992, Bala left a position as manufacturing plant manager for Bose Corp. to launch a full-time direct selling career. Before joining Mannatech corporate in 2007, he was a field sales leader at a leading direct selling company, where his team launched operations in more than 65 countries. Bala’s expertise in building international markets has helped Mannatech expand into 15 countries in the past eight years.

“I am wholly focused on the success and care of our outstanding sales Associates around the globe,” Bala said of his new role, effective immediately. “Mannatech is already renowned for having some of the best technologies in the world in our nutritional supplements and skincare products, and it is my vision for Mannatech to also be known for having the best rewards, recognition, support, tools and training in the direct sales industry.”

See You at the Top: Remembering Zig

by Jennifer Workman Pitcock

Click here to order the Direct Selling News issue in which this article appeared.

“You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” —Zig Ziglar

The fact that this central tenet of Zig Ziglar’s philosophy seems like a truism today speaks to the impact Ziglar has had on the field of direct sales. When Zig Ziglar passed away in Plano, Texas, this past November, he’d spent the better part of his 86 years inspiring others.

Ziglar’s passion for helping others launched his second career as a motivational speaker 40 years ago. Before that, he’d been a top salesman at two cookware companies and had a handful of successes selling other products ranging from insurance to cosmetics. But it was on the stage that Ziglar had his greatest impact. His brand of homespun humor combined with inspirational stories from his own life and the lives of others helped drive home the principles he taught—often encapsulated in the memorable catchphrases that were his signature.

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”

Over his lifetime, he spoke to millions, hammering home simple steps to success that somehow seemed attainable when wrapped up in his enthusiasm and sincere belief in what he was saying. His most quotable nuggets boiled down to core principles that, if embraced, changed lives for the better. Be generous. Be honest. Put others first. Set goals. Create good habits. Have a positive attitude. Be grateful.

And people did embrace them—and the man who made it his life’s mission to share the secrets to his success. Countless times in his life, Ziglar had the pleasure of hearing people tell him what he meant to them and how his message had changed their lives.

Stan Fredrick, Chairman of Mannatech and long-time friend of Ziglar’s, recalled getting to know Ziglar when he was a franchise dealer at his second cookware company and Fredrick was the CEO of the holding company. “It was in listening to him teach our dealers how to sell cookware that his ability to change lives and empower people was so apparent,” says Fredrick.

Fredrick also gives credit to Ziglar for positively influencing the public perception of the direct selling business model, and helping to bring it into the mainstream of business dealings.  He says that when Ziglar was first training and beginning his speaking career in the 1960s and ’70s these “were tough times as direct selling fought for acceptance and credibility with the public and protection from government regulators.” Through Ziglar’s personal faith and ethics, his motivational skills and his popularity, Fredrick says he was able to “raise the level of professionalism of salespeople, which has resulted in great credibility to our industry.”

In the wake of Ziglar’s passing, the Internet was abuzz with tributes and memories of Zig. Shortly after his death, Melody Campbell shared what Ziglar had meant to her on her website The Small Business Guru. In a blog entry, Campbell credits Ziglar’s books and cassette tapes with transforming her from a painfully shy 19-year-old girl failing at her first sales position into a successful saleswoman. “The sound of his voice became that of an endearing mentor. He caused me to believe that with a little practice I could be exceptional,” says Campbell. Because of Ziglar’s influence, sales became her lifelong career of choice.

“It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you use that makes a difference.”

Ziglar’s own struggles lent credibility to his message. Born on Nov. 6, 1926, Hilary Hinton Ziglar grew up one of 12 children during the Depression in Yazoo City, Miss. Days before his sixth birthday, Ziglar’s father died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

After his death, to make ends meet, all the Ziglar children had to work. By nine, Ziglar had his first part-time job in a grocery store. Along with steady employment in the grocery store and later a meat market, he picked up odd jobs whenever possible to contribute a little extra to the family’s finances.

Ziglar credited much of his success to his mother and the lessons she taught him during his early years. He referred to her as his “first and greatest role model.” Despite her difficult circumstances, she managed to give her children a happy, secure childhood.

After high school graduation, Ziglar started college as part of a military program. He wanted to be a naval aviator in World War II. While at college he met the love of his life, Jean Abernathy, whom he affectionately called “The Redhead.” The two married when Ziglar was 20. Soon after, he dropped out of college and began his first full-time job selling cookware.

Over the next 20 years, Ziglar had a great deal of success selling. After a slow start with WearEver cookware, a mentor at the company took an interest in Ziglar. He told Ziglar, “You have the ability to be a great one.” These motivating words helped turn him into a top salesman for the company.

But Ziglar’s success led to a string of failures. He began skipping from opportunity to opportunity, becoming what he called a “wandering generality.” This, combined with unwise spending and a rapidly growing family, led to financial distress. Though he had periods of great success, he could never really get ahead under his own power.

In 1968, Ziglar moved to Dallas to work for Automotive Performance. Ziglar had pursued a career as a speaker since the 1950s, but he wasn’t ready to go full-time. When the company folded, his speaking career had begun to take off, so he didn’t look for another job. Though he was able to make a living, it wasn’t until he gave his life to God in 1972 that he became truly successful.

“I believe He allowed me to struggle for so many years in my business, and in my finances, so that I would know without a doubt that He is the one who is responsible for any and all of the successes I have had or ever will have,” Ziglar wrote in his autobiography.

“The more you are grateful for what you have, the more you will have to be grateful for.”

Zig Ziglar was blessed with success beyond what he ever could have imagined during his hard-scrabble childhood in Yazoo City. He authored more than 29 books, 10 of them bestsellers with sales numbering in the millions. Ziglar was featured in numerous publications and on television shows such as 20/20, the TODAY Show, and 60 Minutes. He shared the stage with six former U.S. presidents as well as many well-known speakers, politicians, celebrities and sports figures. He won numerous awards for his expertise and influence as a speaker, including the coveted Master of Influence Award and the Cavett Award.

But awards and recognition were never what it was about for Ziglar. Back in 1999, when Skip Hollandsworth visited Ziglar in his corporate office for an article in Texas Monthly, Ziglar didn’t show Hollandsworth his awards or brag about his accomplishments. He gave him a hug and a handshake, took the time to introduce Hollandsworth to his staff, then spent 20 minutes showing the reporter his Wall of Gratitude—black and white photographs of the people who had encouraged him throughout his life. Ziglar always remembered that he didn’t make it to the top without help, and his life’s mission was to extend that same encouragement to as many others as he could through his speaking and writing.

And people responded to his message of encouragement. In 1999 Peter Lowe told Texas Monthly, “Of all the great people who speak at our seminars… Zig still gets the best response. It’s like he knows how to reach people in a way that no one else can.”

Publisher and Founding Editor of SUCCESS magazine Darren Hardy told DSN why he believes people felt such a connection to Ziglar. Ziglar’s message was countercultural in the 1970s and ‘80s when he really broke into public speaking. “I think he was many people’s first indoctrination into the idea that you can self-direct your life,” says Hardy. “And everybody remembers the first, that defining moment when an idea strikes that has an indelible impact and changes you forever.”

Beyond that, Ziglar was relatable. “He had a down-home style and nature and character that people could connect with on an emotional level,” Hardy says. “And he had a grounded wisdom that he delivered in an enthusiastic and theatrical way, which made him memorable. His quips and sayings were useful little mental nuggets. I think that’s why he was so enduring over so many decades that he worked his craft.”

But what Hardy admired most about Ziglar was the fact that he was a great human being both on and off the stage. “Zig walked his walk and lived his preach,” he says. “He really did love his wife. He really did respect his spirituality and adhere to it. He really did treat his employees as he would teach and instruct other leaders to treat the people around them. If you met him backstage, no matter who you were or what level of status you had, he was kind, generous and warm. He really made you feel like you were important,” he says.

And perhaps that’s Ziglar’s most important legacy: Whether people met him in person or as part of his audience, they felt like he was in their corner. He wanted to help them succeed. His death is a great loss to the industry, but it feels like something more. It feels like the loss of a friend.

Ziglar considered his family his most significant accomplishment. He began each day of his married life by kissing his wife and telling her he loved her. He delighted in spending time with his children, and he was never happier than when he had his family together. His unique brand of inspiration will live on in his Ziglar Corporation, led by his son, his two surviving daughters and a granddaughter.

“If you go out looking for friends, you’ll find out they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”