DSEF’s programs and partnerships would not be possible without the support and engagement of our contributors and volunteers. We’re pleased to kick off a new feature—Donors Make a Difference—to highlight the tireless efforts of our valued supporters and advocates. Britney Vickery, CEO and Founder of Initials, Inc., ranked No. 762 on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing, privately held companies for 2013, recently spoke to DSEF about her—and her company’s—involvement with the Foundation.
How did you become involved with DSEF?
I had heard about DSEF, but I became more intimately aware and involved when I became Chair of the Direct Selling Association’s Education Committee. My eyes opened to all the opportunities that were right in front of us to help educate new groups of people about the power and magic of our amazing industry.
How do DSEF programs help Initials Inc., its salesforce, and the industry?
I believe that the DSEF programs help to broaden our scope and our influence. Simply put, the DSEF puts the word out there—the good word—about direct selling. The DSEF is more than just education, it is shaping and influencing the awareness of our business model— that gets me, and our salesforce, excited!
What specific DSEF programs are you most excited about?
DSEF’s college partnerships sing to my soul—when we champion our message and story on college campuses nationwide. The amazing students we reach may very well be our next rock star consultants, awesome corporate executives or founders of the next direct selling sensation! However, to be able to bring their gifts and talents to light in our industry, they have to first know about the business model. The students DSEF reaches through its programs are so hungry to see and understand business in a fresh entrepreneurial way— and they are the next chapter for direct selling!
Earlier this year, you joined DSEF Chairman John Parker (Amway), DSEF Vice Chairman Kerry Tassopoulos (Mary Kay) and Jeff Hanscom (DSA) at a Campus Event at the University of Georgia hosted by DSEF Board Member Dr. Brenda Cude, reaching nearly 500 students. Tell us about your experience.
It was a remarkable day! Not only was I given the platform to talk about being an entrepreneur, but I was also able to show students how I harnessed my passion for entrepreneurship through a very unique business model. Most of the students knew someone who had sold products through direct sales, but they had no idea how large and far reaching our industry was. And, since most of the students were focused on business or consumer goods, we engaged in robust conversations about our business model and the future of business in general. It was a day I will never forget and one I hope to have the opportunity to do again—it was electric!
Your company is a DSEF contributor and you also contribute personally. Why do you think DSEF is important?
There is no better model in the world that marries business and people like direct dales—there’s nothing else like it. I am energized by the empowerment that our unique business proposition gives to people. Once you have “caught” the bug you cannot help but want to see that message carried forward in a bigger way. This is what the DSEF provides—the Foundation is our voice to the world about who we are and why we are here. It is an honor to be a part of the DSA and an honor to support the DSEF. We are a blessed industry, and I am excited to see where we can go from here, together! We simply need to continue to fuel the DSEF so they can continue to share the good news of our industry.