Forces Under 40 2017

by DSN Staff

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


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

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

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


PROFILES:

…. Continue to the Honoree’s profiles.

 

 

Take Shape For Life to Take on New Name in Brand Evolution

Photo: Optavia Chia Berry Bliss Smoothie.


Take Shape For Life, the direct selling division of weight-loss firm Medifast Inc., introduced a new name and strategic vision to company Health Coaches during its recent National Convention.

The annual event took place in Austin, Texas, over the weekend, with more than 3,400 Health Coaches in attendance. From the stage, TSFL leaders unveiled a collection of new products under the Optavia brand, which it will adopt company-wide over the course of the next year.

“The announcement of Optavia marks a significant evolution in Take Shape For Life, putting it in prime position in the health and wellness market and the direct selling industry for growth and global expansion,” said Michael MacDonald, Chairman and CEO of Medifast.

The new name, meaning “optimal way” in Latin, is part of a wider effort to reposition the weight-loss company as a lifestyle company focused on optimal wellbeing. Since launching in 2003 as the direct selling arm of Medifast, TSFL has become the company’s largest segment, with revenue of $202 million in 2015. The parent company’s weight-loss plans and products also are sold through the web and national call centers, Medifast Weight Control Centers and a national network of physicians.

Under the Optavia brand, the company will operate as its own entity, offering exclusive products. “For the first time in the company’s history, we have created and built a fully exclusive offering that is only available to our family of Health Coaches and Clients,” said Mona Ameli, President of TSFL.

The company plans to add more health products, called Fuelings, to the Optavia line and upgrade its existing meals, snacks and bars to the new standard. The entire company is set to adopt the new branding and name by National Convention in July 2017.

For more in-depth coverage of Take Shape For Life’s brand transition to Optavia and new product roll-out, look for our August issue of Direct Selling News online and in print next week.

Take Shape For Life Volunteers with Rebuilding Together Baltimore

(RebuildingTogether/Laura and Mark Wasserman)


Employees of Take Shape For Life and parent company Medifast traded in their spreadsheets for sheetrock this weekend to provide critical home repairs through local partner Rebuilding Together Baltimore.

Rebuilding Together musters volunteers, skilled tradespeople and corporate partners to provide home upgrades and repairs in communities across the country. In addition to serving low-income homeowners, the organization renovates community centers, builds playgrounds, and partners with other organizations working to improve communities. Rebuild Together’s Baltimore affiliate has repaired more than 1,300 homes across the city and county.

On Sept. 25, Take Shape For Life volunteers helped to renovate a property in Baltimore’s Woodburn-McCabe neighborhood, where the retired homeowner settled 20 years ago. They also assisted in beautifying a nearby park and alley. City officials recently selected the neighborhood for targeted revitalization efforts through investment in vacant properties.

“We are honored to support Rebuilding Together’s work to revitalize the Baltimore community and help provide a safer and more comfortable space for a local homeowner,” Medifast Chairman and CEO Michael MacDonald said in a statement. “Our employees are deeply committed to making a positive impact in the communities where we live and work.”

Medifast ‘Happy Afters’ Contest Spotlights User Success Stories

Photo: Medifast’s 2015 Happy Afters winners pose during a photo shoot at Charleston, South Carolina’s historic Wickliffe House.


Weight-loss company Medifast Inc. is celebrating customer success stories with its 5th annual Happy Afters contest. Customers nationwide shared the personal transformations behind their before-and-after photos for the chance to win a free makeover trip.

Last week the company flew seven winners, including a Fan Favorite selected by Medifast’s online audience, to Charleston, South Carolina. Each participant received a professional makeover, complete with a new wardrobe curated by a personal stylist. They were also the stars of a photo shoot held at downtown Charleston’s historic Wickliffe House.

“Our Happy Afters contest is always one of the year’s biggest highlights,” Medifast’s Executive Vice President and CMO, Brian Kagen, said in a statement. “Medifast is always looking for unique ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle and celebrate life-changing stories.”

This year’s contest winners, ranging in age from 25 to 57, will also have a chance to appear in the brand’s 2016 national ad campaigns.

Medifast markets its meal replacement programs and other weight-loss products through a variety of channels, including the Take Shape For Life direct sales division. In the second quarter, ended June 30, Take Shape For Life accounted for more than 70 percent of the company’s total revenue.

2015 DSN North America 50 List


The DSN North America 50DSN Announces the 2015 North America 50!

This marks the sixth year for the Global 100 list of top direct selling companies in the world, and we would not be Direct Selling News if we did not continually strive to raise the bar.

That is why we are pleased to share with you a new component of the project this year: The North America 50. As a subset of the Global 100, this list draws attention to the most significant players in one of the world’s largest direct selling markets.

As DSN embarks on the annual research for the Global 100, we continue to refine the process as we identify the largest companies and acknowledge their achievements while bringing attention to the magnitude of the direct selling industry as a whole. Within that context, the impact that North American companies have on the global marketplace as well as on those that buy and sell through this channel cannot be overstated.

The following contains the North America 50 ranking for the 2015 DSN Global 100 (based on 2014 revenues). Both lists will be published in the June issue of Direct Selling News.


2015 Rank

Company Name

2014 Revenue

1 Amway $10.80B
2 Avon $8.9B
3 Herbalife $5.0B
4 Mary Kay $4.0B
5 Tupperware $2.60B
6 Nu Skin $2.57B
7 Ambit Energy $1.50B
8 Primerica $1.34B
9 Stream Energy $918M
10 Shaklee $844M

Click here to see the rest of the DSN North America 50 List.

90 Days of Direct Selling – Day 77

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Take Shape For Life

2013 Net Sales: $229 million

Country: USA

Take Shape For Life is a unique program that combines the personalized support of a Health Coach, the Habits of Health, and the clinically proven Medifast Meals. Take Shape For Life is a wholly owned subsidiary of publicly traded Medifast Inc.

 

2012 Rank: 52
2012 Net Sales: $216 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Wellness
Markets: 1
Salespeople: 16,500
Employees: 550
Headquarters: Owings Mills, Maryland
Executive: Meg Sheetz
Year Founded: 2002
Stock Symbol: MED—NYSE
Website: http://www.tsfl.com

More Public Companies Report Q3 2014 Results

The following is a round-up of the latest publicly held companies to announce third quarter results:

At Nu Skin (NUS—NYSE), third quarter revenue was $638.8 million, down 30 percent over the prior-year period. The revenue dip partially reflects a limited-time introduction of Nu Skin’s ageLOC® TR90® weight management system in Q3 2013. The personal-care company reported earnings of $1.12 per share, ahead of Nu Skin’s 90 cents to 95 cents guidance for the quarter. The company expects fourth quarter revenue of $590 million to $610 million, with earnings per share of 72 cents to 77 cents.

“Our sales results are heavily impacted by our product launch schedule. Last year’s second-half launch, which generated approximately $550 million in sales, provides a difficult year-over-year comparison,” Nu Skin President and CEO Truman Hunt shared in the company’s report. “However, excluding product launch sales, the core business has stabilized and is trending positively sequentially.”

Primerica Inc. (PRI—NYSE) reported third quarter revenue of $339.2 million, up 9 percent year over year. Net income was down 3.7 percent to $41.6 million, or 75 cents per diluted share, impacted by accelerated equity compensation expenses related to retirement plan modifications and higher claims incurred in the quarter. The financial services provider lagged 8.43 percent behind the Zacks Consensus Estimate, but investors reacted positively to Primerica’s results. The company’s stock price gained 0.38 percent on the news to close Wednesday at $52.16.

Nature’s Sunshine Products Inc. (NATR—NASDAQ) reported increased revenue for the third quarter on Wednesday, with $94.9 million, up 2.6 percent from $92.5 million in the third quarter of 2013. Results showed lower earnings though, with 6 cents per diluted common share or net income of $1 million, compared to 29 cents, or $4.9 million in the third quarter of 2013. It was the fifth consecutive quarter of record sales for the health and wellness company’s Synergy WorldWide business, driven by South Korea, Japan and a return to growth in Europe.

“Sales in NSP North America have begun to improve with NSP United States and NSP Canada posting net sales growth for the first time since the second quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2012, respectively,” said Chairman and CEO Gregory L. Probert. “We remain cautiously optimistic about the future of this core market as our new products and sales programs continue to gain traction.”

Medifast Inc. (MED—NYSE) third quarter results came in ahead of expectations on Wednesday with net income of $4.9 million, or 39 cents per share. Excluding non-recurring costs, adjusted earnings came to 47 cents per share, or $5.9 million net income. The weight-loss company posted net revenue of $74 million. This was a decrease of 14 percent from net revenue of $86.5 million in the third quarter of 2013. Revenue in the direct sales channel, Take Shape For Life, decreased 11 percent to $49.9 million in the third quarter of 2014, compared to $56.2 million in the same period last year.

Guidance for Q4 revenue and EPS is below consensus, with net revenue to be in the range of approximately $69 million to $73 million and EPS in the range of 31 cents to 34 cents. For fiscal year 2014, the company now expects revenue to be in the range of $310 million to $314 million and EPS in the range of $1.59 to $1.62. As trading closed on Wednesday, shares hit $30.09, an increase of 23 percent in the last 12 months.

Take Shape for Life CEO Named One of Baltimore’s ’50 Women to Watch’

Take Shape for Life CEO Meg Sheetz is one of 50 Women to Watch in the Baltimore community, according to an annual list from The Baltimore Sun. Maryland’s largest daily newspaper whittled down more than 250 nominations to recognize an elite group of “the area’s most intriguing movers and shakers.”

“These are women who are very invested in Baltimore, and there is a lot of good being done out there,” said Sun Editor Anne Tallent. “Whether in advocacy or the arts or nonprofits or science and technology, they are making Baltimore a better place.”

TSFL is the direct sales division of Medifast, where the late Bradley MacDonald, Sheetz’s father and former CEO and Chairman of the Board at Medifast, brought her on board in 2000 as sales administration director. The 37-year-old is now Medifast’s President and COO, in addition to running the company’s TSFL division.

“Meg’s dedication and leadership at Medifast continue to …” Read the rest of the story here.

Medifast Deters Takeover Attempts with Stockholder Rights Plan

The board of directors at Medifast Inc. (MED—NYSE) has put in place a one-year stockholder rights plan or “poison pill” intended to discourage a hostile takeover from outside the company.

The weight-loss company adopted the plan “in response to the recent rapid accumulations of significant portions of Medifast’s outstanding common stock.” Waltham, Massachusetts-based ModusLink most recently built up a significant stake in Medifast. The supply chain and logistics company acquired 9.9 percent of Medifast stock through a series of transactions in July and August.

In its Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Medifast states the plan was not adopted in response to any specific takeover bid or acquisition proposal. The rights plan would trigger should an outside investor acquire 10 percent or more of the company’s stock. Existing stockholders would then have the opportunity to purchase additional common stock at a discounted price.

Medifast markets its products through several channels, including the personal coaching division Take Shape For Life. The direct selling subsidiary is Medifast’s most profitable division. Take Shape For Life generated $229 million in revenue last year to claim the No. 52 spot on the DSN Global 100.