WorldVentures Announces Expansions into 4 Countries

Best Places To Work In Direct Selling

Plano, Texas-based WorldVentures™, a leading direct seller of global travel and leisure club memberships, recently announced it has opened for business in four new territories—Guam, Jamaica, Latvia and Uganda.

According to the company, Guam offers a business-friendly climate and a stable economy, having experienced a US$651 million annual spend by foreign tourists. “Growth in Oceania is a natural and exciting progression considering the success we have enjoyed in Asia,” said Wayne Nugent, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer for WorldVentures. “We are offering Representatives a chance to …

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Young Living Foundation Tops $1 Million in 2015 Giving

Looking back on 2015, the Young Living Foundation reports more than $1 million in cash and products donated throughout the year.

The philanthropic arm of Young Living Essential Oils LLC advances the company’s mission to bring its essential oils to every home in the world. In doing so, the foundation supports numerous local projects and partnerships across the U.S., as well as five large-scale initiatives in other regions of the globe. Young Living ensures that 100 percent of incoming donations directly support those projects by covering all of the foundation’s administrative costs.

“Young Living’s mission has always been tied to making this world a better place and empowering and improving the lives of others,” Nikki Davis, Executive Director of the foundation and Senior Director of Global Philanthropy for Young Living, said in a statement. “We are proud to be able to provide much needed support to our global philanthropic partners as they work tirelessly to improve the lives of those they serve.”

Among the foundation’s major initiatives is the Young Living Academy in Chongon, Ecuador, near one of the company’s farms. Young Living built the school in 2009 and continues to support it, partly through an ongoing “Sponsor a Child” program. Over the past 18 months, Young Living members also donated more than $250,000 to build a high school at Young Living Academy, complete with classrooms, a library, a teacher workroom, a science lab and bathrooms.

Several ongoing efforts are focused on Uganda, where the Young Living Foundation supports three nonprofit organizations. A partnership with Sole Hope helps to address the sanitation needs of children by providing durable shoes and health education. Young Living also partners with African Hearts to rescue children living in the slums and streets of Kampala, Uganda, and with Healing Faith Uganda to fight malaria in rural villages.

USANA: Delivering a Message of Health and Hope

by Lin Grensing-Pophal

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


Company Profile

Founded: 1992
Headquarters: Salt Lake City
Executives: Dr. Myron Wentz, Founder and Chairman; David Wentz, CEO
Products: nutrition, diet and energy, and personal care


Dr. Myron WentzDr. Myron Wentz
David WentzDavid Wentz

Can you imagine a world without disease? Dr. Myron Wentz can. And, in fact, he’s made it his life’s mission to contribute to creating a world free from disease and focused on wellness and health products that have impacted people in countries all over the world.

A microbiologist and immunologist, Dr. Wentz is a pioneer in the development of human cell culture technology and infectious disease diagnoses. From the beginning of his career, his focus on improving people’s lives has been driven by a strong interest in medical science, the development of tests for viral diseases (he developed the first commercially available test for diagnosing infection with the Epstein-Barr virus), and broad humanitarian efforts.

Commitment Leads to Action

Dr. Wentz channeled his personal passion when he founded USANA Health Sciences Inc., because he believes disease prevention is as important as disease detection, and the single most effective way to prevent degenerative diseases is proper nutrition.

“If we can nourish the human body in a comprehensive way on a daily basis with the full spectrum of essential nutrients in the right forms, amounts, and in the proper balance, we can sustain long-term health and effectively avoid degenerative disease,” he says.

USANA’s nutritionals provide the high-quality vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that bodies need for good health, while its diet and energy products provide meal-replacements and snacks for weight loss and energy. The company has also introduced personal-care items to cleanse, refine and replenish skin and hair. USANA’s strong commitment to health and well-being even extends to the specific needs of children, with the creation of Usanimals™, a multivitamin especially designed for children in their formative years.

USANA’s nutritional supplements have found a loyal customer base, and the company has expanded to new markets in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. Today, USANA is a high-performing and growing organization with sales of about $718 million in 2013 (compared to about $649 million in 2012 and about $582 million in 2011), with net earnings available to common shareholders of $80 million in 2013. Sales are generated from nutritionals (80 percent), foods (11 percent) and personal-care products (6 percent), with purchases coming from associates and preferred customers. Associates are independent distributors of the company’s products who may also purchase products for their own use, while preferred customers purchase products strictly for their personal use. As of the end of 2013, the company had 265,000 active associates and 78,000 active preferred customers worldwide.


Today, USANA is a high-performing and growing organization with sales of about $718 million in 2013 (compared to about $649 million in 2012 and about $582 million in 2011).


Driving Change through Humanitarian Efforts

Jim Bramble

Jim Bramble

With this success comes more opportunity for the company to expand in an area that is already close to its leaders’ hearts—charitable giving. Jim Bramble, who has been with USANA for 17 years, is Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for USANA Health Sciences and sits on the board of USANA’s foundation: the USANA True Health Foundation (UTHF). During his tenure, he says, the message and commitment to “giving back” has been driven home continuously. “This comes from our founder and his son, David [the company’s CEO]. They have very large hearts, and they’re very concerned with the fact that we’re very blessed but not everybody is.”

This strong personal commitment, says Bramble, led the company to partner early on with the Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF) and to join them in opening hospitals in Malawi, Uganda and Cambodia.

“We have had an amazing partnership with USANA now for 14 years,” says Dave Phillips, President of Children’s Hunger Fund. “Through the contributions of Dr. Wentz, USANA corporate and the USANA True Health Foundation, the USANA family has played a substantial role in our growth and impact over the years with nearly $20 million donated to provide nutrition for children and families in need.”

In 2012 the USANA True Health Foundation was formed with a mission of providing the most critical human necessities—nutrition, clothing, shelter, medical assistance and health education to those who are suffering or in need. The foundation focuses on three areas:

  • Area of Greatest Need: releases funding and aid for worldwide disasters where immediate help is needed.
  • Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF): a nonprofit organization that works to alleviate the suffering of children in impoverished regions across America and around the world.
  • Sanoviv Medical Assistance: provides funding to Sanoviv Medical Institute patients who are otherwise not able to pay for their care.

The foundation is registered in seven countries where donors are able to receive tax benefits for their contributions, and it has received donations from people in 23 countries. Since its inception it has impacted more than 25,000 people, in 12 countries, through disaster relief and providing nutrition to underprivileged children and their families. About 15,000 people were impacted in 2013. One of these efforts involves a relationship with Dr. Mehmet Oz and his charitable foundation HealthCorps, which focuses on nutritional education for inner-city youth in North America.

Contributions to the foundation may be made in a variety of ways. Individuals, distributors and USANA employees may: donate a monthly amount; donate through the foundation’s website at www.usanafoundation.org; participate in the annual USANA Champions for Change 5K in August; or donate Usanimals™ vitamins to the Children’s Hunger Fund to help underprivileged children around the world.

In 2013, during USANA’s Success on the High Seas cruise, more than 700 distributors were asked to bring items to make life better for children living in the Foyer de Sion orphanage, when the ship stopped in Haiti. Thirteen children from the orphanage met the associates and received the gifts, which included much needed diapers, formula, nutritional supplements, toothpaste, soap and many other essential items.

There are other individual efforts as well. Teddy bears are sold at USANA’s Asia Pacific convention to benefit the foundation, and Philippine associates recently held a 5k to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Support is also provided to distributors who wish to hold their own fundraisers.


In 2012 the USANA True Health Foundation was formed with a mission of providing the most critical human necessities—nutrition, clothing, shelter, medical assistance and health education to those in need.


Serving the World

On Jan. 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck and devastated Haiti’s capital city, killing 230,000 people and leaving 1.5 million homeless. Japan’s epic 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami occurred the following year, on March 11, 2011, killing more than 15,000 people. Bramble says the tragedies weighed heavy on the heart of USANA CEO David Wentz.

Wentz went to the management team and asked, “How can we use the incredible power of direct selling, where people network together, to harness that energy to help in situations like these?”

Because of USANA’s global reach these tragedies are very personal. Says Bramble, “We have distributors who are our family in Japan, and we can’t work together as an entire community of USANA to respond to disasters like this because we have nothing in place.”

The USANA True Health Foundation was founded to respond to these types of situations. Through a partnership with International Relief Teams, USANA is now poised to respond when disasters strike throughout the world, especially in areas where USANA has a presence, he says.

“Our partnership with USANA True Health Foundation is invaluable,” says Barry LaForgia, Executive Director of International Relief Teams. “Knowing USANA will provide funding gives us the assurance to quickly apply resources during the critical early days after a disaster when lives are literally in the balance. USANA’s support also allows us to continue helping survivors, by not only enabling us to address their basic needs for temporary shelter, food and medical assistance while they are displaced, but also to help them recover through programs that restore livelihoods and permanent shelter.”

Donations to support the foundation come from multiple channels, including associates, employees and preferred customers. In some countries, participation is close to 100 percent of all employees, says Bramble.


“When I went to Uganda [during our missionary trip]… you just come back with those experiences that make it more personal—you gain a personal understanding of how you are really making a difference.”
—Jim Bramble, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, The Health Foundation board member


Making It Personal

USANA’s efforts around the world are very personal to its employees and distributors. In many cases distributors see firsthand, not through a statistic but through the impact they individually have on others, the power of their commitment to helping those in need.

“One of our most successful markets is the Philippines,” Bramble says. It’s a country that has been through a lot in terms of natural disasters over the past few years, he notes. “Because we have so many distributors on the ground in that country, they’ve been able to participate not only in fundraising but also in donating to help their home.” In addition, he says, distributors have become personally involved by actually going into the cities that have been devastated and helping to rebuild.

“One thing we do is to encourage executives and associates alike, anyone who has a lot of influence in the field, to attend yearly missionary trips that the Children’s Hunger Fund sponsors,” he says. “Those who have donated on their own dime go together as a group with the CHF to different areas of the world and work with their hands in that area.”

Bramble himself has been directly involved in these efforts, and those experiences are very powerful, he says.

“For instance, when I went to Uganda we went to different villages in the inner city and passed out food and medicine. We went to an orphanage, and you just come back with those experiences that make it more personal—you gain a personal understanding of how you are really making a difference.”

In fact, Bramble says, “It really, in a lot of ways, was one of the most defining trips of my life.” That was back in 2008, but “there isn’t a day that I don’t at least dwell on it for a moment because it was so powerful.” It was a country that he says he didn’t know anything about, other than the name. He and his wife went with a group of about 30 people from the Children’s Hunger Fund and other distributors who wanted to participate.

Uganda Medical Centre

Dr. Myron Wentz visits the hospital he founded in Uganda.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Uganda is one of the 20 poorest countries in the world, with 37.7 percent of the population living on less than $1.25 a day. This poverty has contributed significantly to the widespread undernutrition of the country’s people, with 38 percent of children chronically undernourished or stunted, according to Feed the Future, the U.S Government’s Global Hunger & Food Security initiative. “It’s to the extent that it will cause their deaths someday,” Bramble says. “It’s substantial malnourishment.” Most of these children are orphans because Uganda is a country that has been heavily hit by AIDS.

While in Uganda the group went to three locations. They went to the recently founded Wentz Medical Centre and Laboratory to visit and read to people suffering from malaria, to an orphanage on an island in Lake Victoria that was heavily impacted by both AIDS and civil unrest, and to the inner city, which was a place of extreme poverty. During each of these visits the team visited with people and delivered food and vitamins—the Usanimal™ vitamins that USANA produces.

“To me it was life-changing,” Bramble says. “I remember one specific instance, as I think back, of seeing this little girl who was 6–8 years old, and my daughter at the time was the same age. This little girl was wearing this paper dress—literally made of paper. And I thought of my daughter and this huge closet we have full of clothes, and how she never has to wear the same dress to church twice because she has so many. And I just thought ‘I need to be involved somehow to help little girls like this.’ ”

When Bramble returned home he went to CEO David Wentz and asked how he could become involved in more of these activities.

“That’s why it might seem strange to have the General Counsel be the person on the Board of Directors for the Foundation, but that was the experience that gave me the interest and led to my involvement,” he says.


“The truth is that it is not only the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense to involve your salesforce in charitable activities because it creates loyalty.”
—Jim Bramble


How Others Can Make a Difference

Direct selling companies are businesses first and foremost. They and their distributors are interested in sales and business success. Because of that, acknowledges Bramble, there can be a hesitancy to divert the efforts of staff and distributors from selling to other activities—like charitable and humanitarian efforts.

But, he stresses, this fear is misplaced. “The truth is that it is not only the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense to involve your salesforce in charitable activities because it creates loyalty and it creates a feeling that ‘I’m involved with a company that does good things.’ ” That, he says, “helps you with your retention; those are people who are going to stay with you—they are going to sell products longer.

“Don’t be afraid of wasting resources on something other than your bottom line, because the bottom line is not as important anyway. And, in the end and over the long run, it will be better for the bottom line as well.”

In addition, he advises companies to find alignment between their business and their charitable passion. But make sure that the organizations you choose to partner with or support “have a really good infrastructure, are very efficient and already know how to deliver the aid where it is needed.” Direct sales companies shouldn’t attempt to deliver or recreate these systems on their own. “If you try to recreate, that’s a lot of dollars wasted on administration that someone else has already done.” In addition, he says, “It allows you to let your donors know that the help they’re providing goes directly to those who need it.”

Delivering a message of health and wellness to the world is something that resonates not only with employees and distributors, but with USANA’s customer base as well, Bramble says. It is through these collective efforts that Dr. Myron Wentz’s vision of wellness around the globe may someday be achieved.

“Our customers are very interested in health. Their charitable activities can help increase health, and then it’s a natural draw.”

Stella & Dot Foundation Now Partnering with Every Mother Counts

This week, social seller Stella & Dot re-launched its Stella & Dot Foundation in partnership with Every Mother Counts, a campaign dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. The foundation was created in 2010 to further the fashion and accessories brand’s mission of helping women style their own lives.

“We are committed to making a difference in women’s lives,” Stella & Dot Founder Jessica Herrin shared in a statement. “It’s important for us to extend that mission to impact the lives of women and their families, at home and around the world through the Stella & Dot Foundation.”

Every Mother Counts currently operates in Indonesia, Haiti, Uganda, Malawi and the United States. The organization was founded by Christy Turlington Burns, a model, entrepreneur and activist named one of Time‘s 100 Most Influential People of 2014. Burns directed the documentary No Woman, No Cry to raise awareness of the women dying—287,000 every year—due to largely avoidable complications during pregnancy.

“Every Mother Counts is excited to partner with Stella & Dot’s mission-driven community to help us achieve our goal to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother,” said Burns. “We know we can’t do this work alone and are always reassured that there are others who want to contribute in meaningful ways.”

To kick off the new partnership, all net proceeds of the Stella & Dot Foundation’s new Enlighten Bracelet will benefit Every Mother Counts. At Every Mother Counts, 100 percent of every donation goes to programs supporting its mission around the world.

Oriflame East Africa to Double Sales by 2016

Oriflame Logo

Oriflame Cosmetics projects that sales across East Africa will double from 2014 to 2016, in accordance with a three-year strategic plan the company is implementing in the region.

The Swedish beauty company began East African operations in December 2008 with its launch in Kenya. Five years later, Oriflame East Africa expects to generate sales of Kshs600 million (approximately US$6.95 million)  in 2014, and increase that number to Kshs1.2 billion (US$13.90 million) in 2016. The company plans to fuel this growth by consolidating its East African operations and expanding beyond Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania over the next three years.

At the core of Oriflame’s business is its regional salesforce, which it expects to grow from 20,000 to 50,000 over the same period. The company continues to focus on product innovation as it seeks to attract more distributors and customers. Oriflame recently expanded its product offerings to include a line of professional hair-care products—HAIR X—which provides natural care solutions for all hair types.

Read more on Oriflame’s growth in East Africa.

NBC Features Living Goods, Avon Opportunities in Africa

 

Living Goods Avon

For the past five years, Living Goods has been using direct selling to advance health and entrepreneurship in Uganda. Chuck Slaughter, Living Goods Founder and CEO, first developed his direct sales savvy as an Avon distributor. Noting the sales volume Avon generates through selling non-vital products, Slaughter saw an untapped opportunity to apply the model to a category of products people urgently need—life-saving drugs.

In a recent interview with NBC, Slaughter says that when he dug deeper into the history of Avon, he discovered its roots are not so very different from what his team is working to accomplish in the developing world. Like Living Goods, Avon began with women in rural communities bound by tight social connections, who needed a source of income.

However, Living Goods’ micro-entrepreneurs have several advantages over the original Avon Lady. “We’re in this really compelling time now,” Slaughter said, “where the combination of direct selling models like Avon, microfinance, and the emergence of mobile technology is making possible a whole new generation of social entrepreneurs who can address some of these massive social problems in an incredibly efficient, sustainable way.”

View the entire segment from NBC.

Living Goods Advances Entrepreneurship in Uganda

Living Goods

Entrepreneurship necessarily involves risk, and for many individuals in the developing world the stakes prove too high to chance. One San Francisco-based company is honing a business model that reduces barriers to entry for Uganda’s would-be entrepreneurs.

Living Goods saw an opportunity to enter a new market—and fight the spread of malaria—using a twist on the traditional direct selling model. The company offers aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to sell affordable health products door-to-door. Franchisees also sell necessary items such as cookstoves and solar lamps at a profit to supplement the discounted health products.

The benefits of Living Goods’ micro-franchise model include negligible overhead costs and the ability to build directly upon existing relationships between the salesperson and customer. Additionally, Living Goods’ particular customer base resides in remote areas where limited supply produces high demand. After 5 years in business, the company generated a healthy $500,000 in revenue last year.

Living Goods and other social enterprises around the world are leveraging one of the most powerful aspects of direct selling: simplicity. A quality product line, basic training and flexible business hours place the opportunity of entrepreneurship within reach of those who often need it most.

Read more on Living Goods and other micro-franchises here.