During the DSA’s Annual Meeting in June, a group of exceptionally accomplished Fellows, Dr. Victoria Crittenden, Professor & Chair, Marketing Division of Babson College; Dr. Haya Ajjan, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems of Elon University; Dr. Anne Coughlan, Polk Bros. Chair in Retailing & Prof. of Marketing of Northwestern University; and Dr. Robert Peterson, John T. Stuart III Centennial Chair in Business Administration at University of Texas at Austin, shared new insights on how to empower a salesforce during a panel discussion titled “Your Distributors as Social Media Agents, Skilled Professionals and Emerging Market Entrepreneurs.”
This all-star panel covered how positive and negative sentiments exchanged on Facebook through “likes” and “shares” affect sales performance and satisfaction; which types of turnkey technology, training and communication are empowering direct sellers in emerging markets; and the 14 professional skills gained through the direct selling experience and how to use them to market and recruit.
Dave Wentz, outgoing DSEF chairman, was presented with the Circle of Honor award at the 2018 DSA Annual Meeting in San Diego. The Circle of Honor award recognizes those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the Foundation. “It was extremely moving and meaningful to receive DSEF’s Circle of Honor award,” Dave says. “To be included with such an amazing group of past award winners is truly an honor and I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to the great work of the Foundation. I learned a great deal and more importantly had the chance to work with great people who are making a difference.”
DSEF Executive Director Gary Huggins credits Dave with helping the Foundation transition into a new direction. “We are excited to add Dave to DSEF’s Circle of Honor to celebrate his long history of supporting and contributing to the work and success of the Foundation,” Gary says. “Dave has also been a driving force in developing and implementing a bold new vision for the Foundation to mainstream direct selling by partnering with academics to produce industry validating research and reach tens of thousands of students every year with educational content on the channel.”
Dr. Elizabeth Davis (Liz), Dean of the School of Management at the University of San Francisco, was recognized as the DSEF Educator of the Year. The accolade is given to educators who demonstrate outstanding service to the Foundation through leadership, personal involvement, teaching and research. Liz has been instrumental in fulfilling DSEF’s mission of education and validation.
“Liz has made tremendous contributions to DSEF’s work to partner with university professors throughout the country to achieve our goal of reaching more than 60,000 students per year through DSEF events, curriculum and content,” said DSEF Executive Director Gary. “She has been a highly-valued strategic advisor to the Foundation through her service on the board as well as a founding member of the Foundation’s Academic Advisory Council.”
Liz says she was honored to receive the Educator of the Year Award from the Foundation. “My time with the direct selling industry has given me the opportunity to work with professionals who are rewriting the business landscape in new and creative ways,” she says. “I will continue to enjoy my ongoing association and work with the Foundation and DSA as they chart their future and blaze a path forward.”
At DSA’s Annual Meeting in June, 29 DSEF Fellows joined the Foundation for a Learning Journey to discover firsthand the challenges and topics important to the direct selling community.
To kick-off this academic learning experience, DSEF Academic Advisory Committee Member and DSEF Board Member, Dr. Victoria Crittenden, Professor and Chair, Marketing Division, Babson College, lent her leadership in a workshop before the conference began that illustrated the opportunities of the DSEF Fellows program.
Dr. Crittenden explained, the importance of having it for the Fellows in attendance. “The DSEF Fellows Workshop is always a great event at the DSA Annual Meeting. This year, we heard from eight Fellows about how they are bringing direct selling to their college campuses, individual classrooms, and research.” she said. “It was especially exciting to hear how some of our newest Fellows are already active in their engagement with direct selling executives and with the DSEF. In addition to the workshop, the conviviality among the Fellows was dynamic this year. Not surprisingly, several of the Fellows took that dynamism to the Casino floor, which was great fun.”
Dr. Crittenden planned and moderated the workshop designed to demonstrate how Fellows can collaborate with DSEF on research, campus events, experiential learning projects, etc. and inspire Fellows to become active, productive partners. These workshop interactions often lead to new teaching content that will ultimately reach 60,000 students a year, channel-validating research to help the industry counter misconceptions and executive visits to university campuses, to share real-world business experiences with students.
DSEF launched the Fellows Program to support educational and research efforts to foster a deeper understanding of the direct selling channel and its impact. We now have more than 130 Fellows around the world from a wide range of disciplines – management, marketing, economics, entrepreneurship, sales, consumer studies – and provide them a rich offering of benefits and opportunities.
DSEF warmly welcomes our newest Fellows:
Dr. Jessica Hurst Iowa State University Associate Professor in the Apparel, Events, & Hospitality Management Department
Dr. Liang “Rebecca” Tang Iowa State University Associate Professor in the Department of Apparel, Events, & Hospitality Management
Dr. Jennifer Zarzosa Henderson State University Assistant Professor of Marketing
Mr. Zachary Moore The University of Louisiana-Monroe Doctoral Candidate and Instructor of Agricultural Business Agricultural Business Program Coordinator
Ms. April Kemp Southeastern Louisiana University Doctoral Candidate and Instructor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management Marketing Internship Coordinator
Dr. Scot Squires Central Michigan University Professor and President of the Union of Teaching Faculty
Dr. Ellen Bolman Pullins The University of Toledo Professor of Marketing and International Business
Dr. Ying Liao East Carolina University Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Dr. Anne Balazs Eastern Michigan University Interim Dean
Dr. Mohammed Shaki Saint Leo University Assistant Professor of Management in the Donald R. Tapia School of Business
In celebration of National Consumer Protection Week’s 20th Anniversary, the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) asks anyone seeking to gain a deeper understanding of their rights as a consumer, so that they can make even better-informed decisions, to download the DSEF Consumer Protection 101 toolkit.
The toolkit – developed in concert with the Direct Selling Association – provides consumers with a one-stop-shop of information to help them avoid fraud and scams in the marketplace.
For more information, visit consumer.ftc.gov to learn more about National Consumer Protection Week 2018 and the Federal Trade Commission. #ConsumerProtection #NCPW2018
DSEF’s academic partnerships serve to inform and educate students – highlighting direct selling as a go-to-market strategy and pathway to entrepreneurship and micro-entrepreneurship.
DSEF warmly welcomes our newest Fellows:
Dr. Can “John” Uslay Associate Professor of Marketing Director of Special Projects Co-Director for the Center for Market Advantage Chair, Entrepreneurial Marketing SIG, AMA Rutgers Business School at Newark and New Brunswick Rutgers University
Dr. Fabian Eggers Associate Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship Menlo College
Dr. Abdul Ali Associate Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship Faculty Director, Division of Marketing Babson College
Dr. William “Bill” Johnson Student Success Navigator Life Design Catalyst Coach and Facilitator Instructor and Coleman Fellow of Entrepreneurship School of Health and Human Sciences The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Dr. Olivier Rubel Associate Professor of Marketing, Graduate School of Management University of California – Davis
Dr. Dustin Bluhm Assistant Professor of Management College of Business University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
Dr. Mark Peterson Professor of Marketing College of Business Department of Management & Marketing University of Wyoming
Dr. Lisa Spiller Distinguished Professor of Marketing Joseph W. Luter, III School of Business Christopher Newport University
Dr. Chris Hopkins McLain Family Professor Raymond J. Harbert College of Business Auburn University
Dr. Karen Flaherty William S. Spears Chair in Business Administration Professor of Marketing Spears School of Business Oklahoma State University
Karen Hopkins William S. Spears Chair in Business Administration Professor of Marketing Spears School of Business Oklahoma State University
Dr. Theresa Clarke Professor of Marketing Wampler-Longacre Eminent Scholar College of Business James Madison University
Dr. Rajesh Srivastava Associate Professor of Marketing Jennings A. Jones College of Business Middle Tennessee State University
Dr. Bo Dai Assistant Professor of Marketing College of Business Georgia Southern University
Dr. Lori Long Baldwin Wallace University Associate Professor Chair, Marketing and Entrepreneurship
Dr. Chen Liu Assistant Professor of Finance Assistant Professor of Business Trinity Western University
Dr. Nathalie Duval-Couetil Associate Professor of Technology Leadership, and Innovation Director for Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program Associate Director, Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship Purdue University
Dr. Sara Cochran Entrepreneurial Programs Manager for the University of Missouri System University of Missouri
Dr. Adam Bock Lecturer in Management University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Art Sherwood David Cole Professor of Entrepreneurship Director of the IDEA Institute Western Washington University
Ms. Joanne Cao Assistant Professor of Marketing The University of Southern Mississippi
Dr. Mark T. Schenkel Jack C. Massey College of Business Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship Belmont University
DSEF, in partnership with the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s (USASBE’s) Minority and Women Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group (SIG), sponsored a paper competition on the direct selling channel of distribution and micro-entrepreneurship opportunity.
One of DSEF’s key priorities is to fund and develop research and case studies that advance understanding of the direct selling channel. We achieve this goal through our partnerships with Fellows and academic organizations and are gratified that seven out the eight authors of these winning papers are DSEF Fellows.
It is with great honor that we announce the 2018 winners of the DSEF/MWE SIG Best Paper Awards:You can view these working papers through the links below:
Direct Selling in the Classroom by Dr. Victoria Crittenden:
To me, there is nothing quite so great as leaving class on a high because students really seemed to engage with the class topic. I had such a euphoric feeling after leaving my Marketing Management class in the Master of Science in Entrepreneurial Leadership program at Babson College in mid-September. The topic for the day was “Go-to-Market Strategies.”
With approximately three-fourths of the students in this master’s program from outside of the USA, there was considerable interest in the direct selling business model as a go-to-market strategy. Several students remained after the class ended to discuss the pros and cons of direct selling as a go-to-market strategy and how the direct selling business model might be implemented in entrepreneurial endeavors in various parts of the world.
I left class wishing that I had planned in advance for a way to capture the amazing classroom interactions. Since I had not done that. however, I emailed students and asked them to contribute some thoughts that I could include in a blog post. Here are comments from two students (one from each section of the class):
Nomah Javed (MSEL ’18) said: “I feel direct selling is an amazing way to reach your end customer down to the grass roots level. Especially for burgeoning entrepreneurs who don’t have seed money to set up this network on their own or reach customers. Again, it would work best for smaller, fast-moving goods which would benefit from the interpersonal interaction and persuasion involved in the process of direct selling. I think it’s a tremendous resource for third world countries, where women are the more subjugated gender and don’t necessarily have access to the same education and job opportunities. I feel direct selling gives people a chance to create something of their own despite their limiting circumstances. It can be used as an amazing empowerment tool for women. I would definitely think of it as a very strong proponent business model for my future venture.”
Philip Cobbinah (MSEL ’18) offered these comments: (1) Partnering with consumers is the best way of becoming a household name (#cobbyquotes). (2) It is entrepreneurship at your doorstep (#cobbyquotes).
Given that I taught two sections of the course and both sections were equally great. I think it is fair to say that the topic was well-received by all. The discussions were clearly the best I had with my MSEL students during our seven-week module on marketing management. I found that direct selling as a go-to-market strategy incites interest and engagement among students who have an entrepreneurial orientation and that this is particularly true in a cross-cultural classroom environment.