(MIAMI—June 3, 2011) – When hundreds of company executives gather in Miami for the 2011 annual convention of the Direct Selling Association, they will do more than take in the Florida sunshine and discuss their direct selling businesses. On June 5th, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., CEOs and executives from notable companies such as Mary Kay, The Pampered Chef, Avon and more will roll up their sleeves and work by side with the teens and tweens of the Greater Miami-Dade YWCA to help them make their facility a more inviting environment for Miami’s young people.
The event is sponsored by the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF), whose community service programs continue the direct selling industry’s rich tradition of giving back to the communities in which they do business. “Y We Care, a partnership between the YWCA of Greater Miami-Dade and the Direct Selling Education Foundation, is an event that demonstrates the deep commitment to corporate responsibility shared by the entire direct selling industry,” said Charlie Orr, DSEF’s Executive Director, “Leaders from our industry will work with the kids on a variety of creative projects. We’ll be painting, gardening, building bookshelves and helping the kids to document the day through photography and interviews.”
“To anticipate nearly a hundred guests exchanging ideas with our teens and tweens is exciting,’” said Eileen Maloney-Simon, CEO, YWCA of Greater Miami-Dade. “The leadership example and fellowship being shown to inner-city youth is outstanding and we are thankful to the Direct Selling Education Foundation for taking the time out of their conference schedule to do this community project.”
ABOUT THE YWCA OF GREATER MIAMI-DADE
Founded in 1919, the YWCA Greater Miami-Dade of is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The organization fulfills its mission with programs that empower Miami’s youth through education, advocacy and unity. The Miami-Dade YWCA programs benefitted almost four thousand young people from ages six to eighteen during fiscal year 2009-2010. A more inviting YWCA environment attracts more young people to gather, learn and enjoy activities that encourage educational excellence, independence, resourcefulness and responsibility.
The Direct Selling Education Foundation serves the public interest by advancing the direct selling industry’s support of consumer rights and protection, education about the industry, ethical leadership and individual economic empowerment. Through its partnerships with consumer advocates, educators and students, public policy officials, and members of the small business and entrepreneurship community, DSEF enhances public awareness of direct selling in the global marketplace. For more information, visit, http://dsefnew.wpengine.com.
It’s that time of year when DSEF’s Board of Director’s roster changes. We salute our consumer and academic board members who complete their terms in 2011. These individuals worked passionately to help fulfill our mission, especially in the areas of consumer rights and protection, education and research, and women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. While making their contributions, each of these devoted volunteers has also gained a new perspective about the direct selling industry, and DSEF will continue to benefit from their involvement, support and insight.
"DSEF has given me the opportunity to familiarize myself with the direct selling industry, its business model and the diversity of the firms and the people involved. As a consumer educator and advocate, it’s important for me to understand both sides of the market—sellers and consumers. It’s also been valuable for me to be able to represent DSEF abroad and to introduce some of my professional organizations to DSEF, forming long-lasting partnerships."
"I’ve come to very much appreciate the direct selling business model and the power of the independent salesperson to control her or his own destiny through hard work and tenacity. It’s a brilliant strategy for DSEF to promote such high levels of academic / executive interaction, and I firmly believe that the single most opportunistic initiative for DSEF continues to be fostering research collaboration between top scholars and top industry executives, directed toward addressing critical research questions for the future of the industry."
"It has been an honor to serve on the DSEF board. As an entrepreneurship educator, I found the direct selling opportunity to be an ideal, accessible model of new venture creation for my students. Everything we want students to learn about launching, managing and growing a venture is available to them in a direct selling company. I aim to use my energy every day for a net positive gain. DSEF has been an inspiring place to entrepreneur positive outcomes."
"I learned firsthand the direct selling industry’s dedication to promoting consumer protection. Its support is generous, unwavering and creative, and for that the entire consumer protection community is grateful. No other industry comes close to that commitment. As I rotate off the board, I am so pleased to see this organization celebrating a renewed mission, defined goals, and an eye for the future. On a personal note, each board meeting was a pleasant reunion with people I grew to call friends."
Direct Selling Education Foundation and National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship Join to Address Educational Needs of Direct Sellers
(Washington, DC – February 22, 2011) – Individuals who are considering a career in direct selling or who are in the early stages of their growth in this field will soon have the opportunity to increase their relevant knowledge and skill set by participating in a Direct Selling Entrepreneur Program at their local community college. Through a new partnership, the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF), a nonprofit public education organization affiliated with the Direct Selling Association, and the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) are developing the curriculum for a non-credit program that will be made available to community colleges across the country. The curriculum is expected to be available as a pilot in Fall 2011.
“Direct selling can offer a great career opportunity for a wide array of people” says DSEF Board Member Sarah Baker Andrus, who is director of External Relations and Academic Programs at CUTCO/Vector. “Our objective with this new educational effort is to make sure people entering this profession have the complete entrepreneurial skills set that will support their success. We also believe that a better educated workforce will help improve salesforce retention for Direct Selling Association member companies.”
NACCE, which represents community colleges nationwide that are using entrepreneurship education to boost economic development in their communities, sees the new program as an exciting new option for its members. “We believe our members will be excited to make this new curriculum available to individuals in the regions they serve,” says NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle. “We are excited to participate in this effort with the Direct Selling Education Foundation and look forward to helping them increase awareness of the entrepreneurial opportunities in the field of direct selling.”
More than 16 million people, generating annual retail sales of nearly $30 billion in theUnited States, participate in direct selling, defined as the sale of a consumer product or service, person-to-person, away from a fixed retail location, and marketed through independent sales representatives. This program is designed to assist people entering this field who need to be equipped with knowledge of marketing, time management, finances, and leadership, among other key topics. This educational program will have two main components: the first is a workshop that will provide information on direct selling to help participants decide if this career option is for them. The second component is a content-driven learning program to provide students with the knowledge they need to excel in direct sales.
“As a public service organization, DSEF fosters an understanding of direct selling entrepreneurial opportunities can empower individuals, support communities and strengthen economies worldwide,” says DSEF Program Director Robin Diamond. “This new educational program will help direct selling entrepreneurs build their businesses by combining strong entrepreneurship skill training with direct selling-specific learning. By engaging publicly-funded community colleges in the process, this program represents a step forward not just for the students participating but for the direct selling industry as a whole.”
The Direct Selling Education Foundation serves the public interest by advancing the direct selling industry’s support of consumer rights and protection, education about the industry, ethical leadership and individual economic empowerment. Through its partnerships with consumer advocates, educators and students, public policy officials, and members of the small business and entrepreneurship community, DSEF enhances public awareness of direct selling in the global marketplace. For more information visit, http://dsefnew.wpengine.com
The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education at the community college level. Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the “entrepreneurship movement.” Through advocacy, membership, an annual conference and exhibition, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and podcasts, a dynamic list-serv, and other resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These programs and courses advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges. NACCE is a founding member of the White House-led Startup America Partnership. For more information, visit http://www.nacce.com
The holiday season is a magical time for kids everywhere, but for families in need, finding the resources to put presents under the tree can be difficult. At the Direct Selling Association’s (DSA) Be Connected conference held in Las Vegas December 5-7, the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) sponsored the Pack a Present toy drive to help provide a little holiday magic to children in the local community.
DSA member company executives and supplier members gave generously, donating hundreds of presents to benefit members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas. And on Tuesday, December 7, twenty kindergarten-age children from the Boys and Girls Clubs joined attendees for a pancake breakfast complete with gifts for each child and a surprise appearance by Santa himself. A photographer from the Las Vegas Review-Journal was on hand for the breakfast and captured the delight of one of the children.
“It was an honor to participate in the DSEF’s Pack a Present toy drive and Breakfast with Santa,” said Cari Christopher, President, Signature HomeStyles. “Every gift that was donated by DSA members will add a little joy this Christmas and a sparkle in the eyes of a child. Thanks to DSEF for bringing together member companies to make a difference in the local community!”
Dulcinea Almazan, President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas, accompanied the children to the Mandarin Oriental hotel. “We’re glad to partner with the Direct Selling Education Foundation to bring holiday cheer to our city’s children,” she said. “During this time of year, it’s important for all of us to think about the difference we can make by investing in our community.”
DSA also lent its support, and staff members not only donated gifts, but pitched in as Santa’s elves, cutting pancakes and pouring syrup for the kids.
After the breakfast, the children had the chance to sit on Santa’s lap and have their picture taken. Rick Stambaugh, President and CEO of Fionda, portrayed Santa with gusto, even memorizing the names of Santa’s reindeer to make sure he could answer any questions the children might pose. “Being able to play Santa Claus for the children of the Boys and Girls Club of Las Vegas was an absolutely heartwarming experience,” Stambaugh said. “Nothing can quite compare to the smile on those children’s faces when Santa was in the room. No one experiences the sheer, unadulterated joy of the Christmas spirit like a child. They can feel the miracle of the holiday, and for me, it is a memory that will last a lifetime.”
Charlie Orr, DSEF’s Executive Director, said that community outreach events like Pack a Present demonstrate the direct selling industry’s dedication to corporate social responsibility and its commitment to giving back. “In its role as the industry’s Goodwill Ambassador, DSEF is committed to bringing direct sellers together for meaningful philanthropy programs in the communities we visit,” Orr said. “The generosity of our member company and supplier members demonstrated the giving spirit of the industry, and there could be no greater reward for that generosity than seeing the excitement in the eyes of the children that joined us for the event.”
For Sean Key, VP Salesforce Motivation, Mary Kay Inc., the Pack a Present toy drive and Breakfast with Santa were two of the highlights of the Be Connected conference. “Giving back (Corporate Social Responsibility) has been a cornerstone for the DSEF and DSA member and supplier companies, and it really warmed my heart to see so many donated gifts for the kids,” he said. “Everyone deserves to have gifts during the holidays, and we joined together to make hundreds of dreams come true.”
DSEF Coordinates Community Service Project
(San Francisco – June, 6) – Top executives from some of America’s largest direct selling companies will do their part for the conservation of San Francisco’s coastal resources on June 6, 2010, at Ocean Beach Clean Up, an event held by the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF). More than 80 direct selling executives will spend the morning cleaning up debris on the popular stretch of coastline, and a portion of their $100 event registration fee will be donated to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.
“By rolling up their sleeves and pitching in to help clean up OceanBeach, these direct selling executives are demonstrating the deep commitment to corporate social responsibility shared by our entire industry,” said Charles L. Orr, DSEF Executive Director.
Leaders from such notable companies as 4Life, ACN, Avon Products Inc, Celebrating Home, CUTCO, Immunotech, The Kirby Company, Mary Kay Inc, Oxyfresh, The Pampered Chef, Take Shape for Life, Team National, Shaklee, Soul Purpose, The Southwestern Company, and Vantel Pearls in the Oyster are participating in DSEF’s Ocean Beach Clean Up.
DSEF, a non-profit that serves the public as the direct selling industry’s goodwill ambassador, organized Ocean Beach Clean Up as a way to say “thank you” to San Francisco, host city for the Direct Selling Association’s (DSA) 2010 Annual Meeting to be held June 6 – 8. More than 1,000 direct selling executives are in San Franciscoto attend the three-day meeting and to celebrate the DSA’s 100th anniversary.
“As the direct selling industry gathers in San Franciscoto commemorate our trade association’s centennial, all of us at DSEF are proud to take part in the celebration with an event that illustrates the kind of good works our companies engage in around the world,” Orr said.
About the Direct Selling Education Foundation
The Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF), created in 1973 by visionary leaders of the Direct Selling Association, serves the public as the industry’s goodwill ambassador. Headquartered inWashington,D.C., the international non-profit organization offers comprehensive programs that advance the direct selling industry’s support of consumer rights and protection, education about the industry, ethical leadership and individual economic empowerment.