Archive for June, 2014

Experience of Lifetime Auction Sets DSEF Fundraising Record

Experience of Lifetime Auction Sets DSEF Fundraising Record


At this year DSA’s Annual Meeting, the Gala Celebration on June 2, held some extra suspense for attendees as they vied for exotic getaways and exceptional products. In addition to the presentation of awards, the evening included an Experience of a Lifetime live auction benefiting DSEF.

“The excitement of DSEF’s auction was literally jaw-dropping as direct selling executives competed for great auction items and the opportunity to support our Foundation,” said DSA President Joe Mariano. “I’m hoping the auction will become a ‘signature’ event for DSA’s Annual Meeting.”

Serving as the event’s auctioneer, Craig Fleming, President, Global Direct Selling Division, ServiceQuest, kept the crowd energized as they bid on items donated by Amway, CUTCO, Mannatech, Nu Skin, USANA and WineShop At Home, raising more than $154,000 for DSEF.

Among the evening’s winning bidders were Truman Hunt, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nu Skin Enterprises, and Orville Thompson, CEO of Scentsy Inc.  The two went head-to-head competing for the chance to attend an Orlando Magic game in the Founder’s Suite—as the guest of Amway’s Chief Sales Officer John Parker and President Doug DeVos. When the bidding topped $50,000, John, who also serves as DSEF Board Chair, agreed to offer the package twice, raising $100,000 for the Foundation in a matter of minutes.

“I was pleased to be able to participate in DSEF’s Gala auction and feel privileged to be a part of the great work that DSEF is doing to educate people about our business channel,” said Truman, who also was the winning bidder for a complete set of knives donated by CUTCO.

In addition to the Amway’s Orlando Magic package, Orville was the winning bidder for the Pirate’s Cove package donated by Nu Skin—a three-night stay for 30 people at a 22,000-square-foot, pirate-themed mansion in Boulder City, NV.

For Orville, whose winning bid for Pirate’s Cove was $20,000, the auction provided the chance to help the Foundation achieve its vision of a global marketplace that respects and appreciates direct selling.  “DSEF serves as the bridge between the direct selling industry and traditional centers of influence such as academia, government and many others,” he said. “Without its outreach and education, the extraordinary work of direct sellers to enhance the lives of millions through great product, inviting cultures and financial opportunities will not be sufficiently understood, represented and appreciated.”

Before the evening was over, attendees also had the chance to bid on a Hawaiian vacation. With a $7,000 bid, Jeannette Mills, Executive Vice President, Take Shape for Life, beat out her competitors and will spend a week on the beach in Maui, courtesy of Mannatech. Stan Fredrick, Mannatech’s Chairman of the Board and Chair of DSEF’s Development Committee, was overwhelmed by the generosity of Jeannette and other bidders. “This was the first auction we’ve held, and we look forward to making it a part of future Annual Meetings,” said Stan, whose $3,000 bid earned him a case of WineShop At Home’s Artisan 5. “Craig did an excellent job of making it exciting and fun for the audience.”

When the bidding kicked off for USANA’s Sky or Ski Excursion, Traci Lynn Burton, Founder and CEO of Traci Lynn Fashion Jewelry, said her adrenaline took over. “‘Fearless’ is what I felt when I decided to bid on the skydiving adventure!” said Traci, who bid $5,000 to go skydiving with USANA’s CEO Dave Wentz. “I also have great respect for Dave and trust him to throw me out of a plane. I love the work of DSEF, and my company and I support the foundation. I believe it must be well-funded to continue its educational mission because we all benefit, we all win!”

The Experience of a Lifetime Auction helped DSEF exceed its goal for the 2014 fundraising year, which ends June 30.  “My personal thanks to all who participated in the DSEF Auction at the Gala,” John Parker said. “Thanks to your generosity—and in particular Truman Hunt and Orville Thompson—we raised more than $150,000! This money will help fund the great work done by our Foundation!”

Elizabeth Owen Newest Member of DSEF’s Circle of Honor

Elizabeth Owen Newest Member of DSEF’s Circle of Honor


In 1988, DSEF created the Circle of Honor award to recognize individuals who make significant contributions to the Foundation. On June 2, 2014, at the Gala Celebration during DSA’s 2014 Annual Meeting, DSEF named Elizabeth Owen as the newest member of the Circle of Honor. “Elizabeth is a perfect inductee to our Circle of Honor,” said Joe Mariano, DSEF President. “She’s a principled consumer leader with years of passion about and understanding of how direct selling serves and protects consumers.”

During her two terms of service on the Foundation’s Board of Directors, Elizabeth’s outstanding leadership—and her ability to fully understand DSEF’s & DSA’s missions from both a consumer protection and business perspective—translated into DSEF developing effective and balanced programs that won the respect of consumer advocates nationally.

“While it is an incredible honor to be given this award, it has already been my honor to be a part of an industry that I have grown to appreciate and respect,” Elizabeth said. “It has been my honor to work with people I have grown to love as family; and it has been my honor to further the worthy mission of the Direct Selling Education Foundation.”

Throughout her career in consumer protection, Elizabeth has been a constant presence both on the state and national scene. As the Director of the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs, she lobbied state government for better consumer protection laws. During her stint as consumer reporter for NewsChannel 5, the CBS affiliate in Nashville, her viewers depended on her for the latest in consumer protection advice. And she served as the Executive Director of NACAA—the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators—representing consumer protection agencies across the US.

Over twenty years, Elizabeth supported numerous Foundation consumer protection programs with diverse groups that included law enforcement, military and the disabled. She also represented DSEF at international consumer protection programs held in Moscow.

And, when the direct selling industry was faced with the potentially devastating, disruptive and unnecessary regulation of the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed rule on business opportunities, Elizabeth, in her capacity as NACAA’s Executive Director, provided invaluable and balanced comment to the FTC on the impact of the proposal on consumers and direct sellers.

“I am awed to have my name added to the Circle of Honor,” Elizabeth said.  “These are people I consider as heroes, and I am humbled by the trust this honor signifies.”

Networking on Steroids: DSEF Sponsors Guerrilla Mentoring Workshop

Networking on Steroids: DSEF Sponsors Guerrilla Mentoring Workshop

Finding an effective mentor can greatly enhance your business and personal life.  In fact, studies show that having five mentors can boost your confidence and your success. To show DSA Annual Meeting attenkathy_korman_frey12-150x150dees just how effective mentoring can be, DSEF sponsored a Guerrilla Mentoring workshop led by Kathy Korman Frey, CEO of the Hot Momma’s Project, the world’s largest women’s case study library. DSEF partners with the Hot Momma’s Project in support of its Global Case Study Competition.

At the interactive workshop, held June 3, participants used Kathy’s proprietary process, adapted from a million-dollar executive peer mentoring technique, to solve real challenges in real time, walking away with actionable steps to better their work and personal lives.

“The Guerrilla Mentoring session was highly interactive and resulted in some fantastic action items, realizations, and what I call ‘mass mentoring.’” said Kathy, who is also Entrepreneur in Residence, Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at the George Washington University School of Business. “By the end of the session, when participants were sharing their takeaways, they also mentored an entire room of their peers. Thanks to DSA and DSEF for bringing our special process to its members. What a great group.”

Elena Panos, Vice President of Training at Shaklee Corporation, enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with her peers. “As a first time attendee, I was impressed with the workshops!” Elena said. “Guerrilla Mentoring with Kathy Korman Frey allowed me to meet and share with other participants during the interactive table activities.”

Because of DSEF’s ongoing support of the Hot Momma’s Project, Kathy is offering to bring her Guerrilla Mentoring process to DSA member companies at a discount. Additionally, Kathy will be a featured speaker at DSA’s fourth annual Women’s Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 30, 2014. The by-invitation-only gathering is planned for women who are direct selling company owners and top-level executives. For more information, contact Nancy Laichas.

Gary Huggins Named DSEF’s New Executive Director

Gary Huggins Named DSEF’s New Executive Director


At its June 1 board meeting, DSEF’s Chairman John Parker (Amway), announced that, after a comprehensive national search, Gary Huggins has been named as the Foundation’s executive director. “I am so pleased we were able to introduce Gary as DSEF’s Executive Director,” John said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will equip him well in leading DSEF.”

For more than fifteen years, Gary has managed nonprofit organizations, working with various constituencies including educators, government officials, business executives and consumer advocacy groups. Most recently, he served as CEO of the National Summer Learning Association, a network hub for thousands of summer learning program providers and stakeholders across the country.

“Vision, leadership and action—as a new era begins for DSEF, these are the qualities that our volunteer leaders bring,” said Joe Mariano, DSEF President. “As Gary begins his tenure with the Foundation, we know he will share his vision, leadership and experience to turn our leaders’ great ideas into action.”

Gary also served as director of the Aspen Institute’s Commission on No Child Left Behind—a bipartisan, independent effort dedicated to improving the No Child Left Behind Act—and as executive director of the Education Leaders Council and the Education Leaders Action Council, organizations that represented governors, state education chiefs, state education boards and other officials focused on improving K-12 education.

Gary was the founding executive director of the Coalition for Safer, Cleaner Vehicles, an alliance of corporations, small businesses, and consumer and environmental groups that promoted market-based environmental solutions. He also served on George H.W. Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign and Inaugural Committee.

Earlier this month, Gary attended DSA’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, providing him the opportunity to meet with many DSEF and DSA board members and other executives. “I am honored to be part of advancing public knowledge of our industry and the life-changing economic opportunities we provide to more than 16 million people,” he said.

Originally from Dallas, TX, Gary graduated from Texas Christian University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Communication.  He lives in Laurel, MD, with his wife and four children.

After July 7, Gary can be reached at “If you did not have a chance to meet Gary in person in Orlando, I hope you do soon,” John said.

4 Ways DSA’S Code Of Ethics Protects You And Your Customers

4 Ways DSA’S Code Of Ethics Protects You And Your Customers

4 Ways DSA's Code Of Ethics Protects You And Your Customers

Ethical conduct is at the heart of good business decisions and these videos demonstrate this premise to consumers, entrepreneurs, direct selling executives, educators and public policy officials. Abiding by DSA’s Code of Ethics protects both the interest of consumers and sellers.

To learn more about direct selling ethics, please visit Direct Selling 411.

Ethics Initiative Videos

What Is Direct Selling?

What is direct selling? Let us show you what an ethical opportunity is all about!

What Is Direct Selling? (en Español)

What is direct selling? (en Español)

Intro to DSA Code

Learn more about what the code is, and why ethical companies comply.

Product Claims

Any claims a direct seller makes about a product must be truthful.

Ethics Initiative Videos

Meet a Direct Seller

Meet a direct seller who is learning to navigate the DSA’s Code of Ethics.

Product Buybacks

Learn about the buy-back policy that all DSA member companies adhere to.

Cooling Off

Learn how the “cooling off period” protects consumers from buyer’s remorse.

Earnings Claims

When recruiting someone into a direct selling opportunity, be honest.

How to Increase Your Luck And Opportunities

How to Increase Your Luck And Opportunities
How to Increase Your Luck And Opportunities

How to Increase Your Luck And OpportunitiesThere are many things in life that we cannot control, but your business doesn’t have to be one of them. Of course, luck does have a small part to do with success, but you can take actions to increase it. Don’t treat your business like a lottery ticket, doing nothing while hoping it works out. Take a look at our list of suggestions for increasing your luck and coming closer to realizing your dreams.

  • Lead with and focus on what you do best. Being aware of your skill set allows you to identify your own personal strengths. Use those strengths to make positive, memorable first impressions as well as integrating them into as much of your business as you can. For example, if you are quick-witted and easily make others laugh, don’t be afraid to lead off sales presentations, opportunity meetings, and even one-on-one introductions with a joke. Go a step further and integrate your unique sense of humor into all your business relationships when appropriate. When you can bring your strengths to the table, others will take notice.
  • Always be prepared. Although luck does play a small part in our lives, you can increase your chances of success by preparing yourself as much as possible. You wouldn’t go in to a final exam simply hoping that most of the questions are about topics you remember from the textbook; you would prepare yourself by reviewing the material, highlighting important points, and quizzing yourself before the day of the test. The same concept applies to your direct sales business. Rehearse your presentation before each party, even if you’ve been doing this for years. Create possible scenarios that might catch you off guard if you’re not ready. Calling a referral to book a possible opportunity meeting? Find out about the person’s interests and aspirations. Adequate preparation can be your most effective tool for finding success.
  • Be a connector to people and businesses. When you have a good experience with someone in business, take the initiative to share that experience with others. Be the one who refers friends, family, and customers to others without prompting. Put in a good word about your hair stylist to your cousin who is looking for a new place to go for a cut. Perhaps a customer is seeking out a service that you can’t provide; be the person who finds someone who does. Your role as connector will not be forgotten when an opportunity arises for someone to do the same for you.
  • Develop authentic relationships. This begins with showing a genuine interest in and sincere caring about others. Not all your relationships can or should be close ones, but they should all be authentic. People involved in your business in any way need to be able to trust you, be open with you, and want to be around you. Give others your full attention when interacting, and always follow through on your promises. Building good relationships is the foundation of a career in direct sales.

How do the items in our list apply to your business? Do you have any ideas to add? Please share your comments below