Industry Awards Judges
For the past three years, DSEF in partnership with our sister organization, the Direct Selling Association, has invited Fellows to serve as judges for DSA’s Industry Awards. Each year at the Annual Meeting Gala, DSA recognizes those companies that empower independent direct sellers, fuel business processes or make the world a better place.

By serving as a DSA Awards Judge, Fellows have the opportunity to:

  • Gain in-depth knowledge of direct selling companies, their innovations and best practices
  • Discover business insights that can be applied to the study of business through case studies, classroom content or research

We would like to thank the following Fellows, who served in this capacity:

Dr. Ricky Fergurson
Dr. Paige Beal

Fellows Workshop
Our annual Fellows Workshop is designed to share knowledge of how to get started as a Fellow, whether your interests are in research, teaching, case writing or hosting a guest speaker or campus event. Special thanks to Dr. Robert Peterson, who hosted us at The University of Texas at Austin and moderated the workshop.

Nine Fellows shared their experiences in working with DSEF corporate partners to create teaching content, share real-world examples of business throughout their departments and produce publishable research.

Dr. Adam Mills
Dr. Debra Zahay-Blatz
Drs. Linda and OC Ferrell
Dr. Caroline Glackin
Dr. Vicky Crittenden
Dr. Anne Coughlan
Dr. Sandy Jap
Dr. Sara Cochran
Dr. Wendy Ritz

CEO Roundtable
Dr. Stefanie Boyer, an expert in design thinking, led a group of CEOs in a group exercise to bring creativity to strategic thinking for the problem-solvers of the direct selling industry. “What I found most encouraging was the openness of the CEOs to learn and try something new,” Stefanie said. “This gave me so much hope and confidence to know that everyone in that room is going in the right direction.”

Special thanks to Drs. Adam Mills, Mark Groza and Eric Liguori who facilitated table discussions and ideation.

Academic Insights You Can Use to Grow Your Business
DSEF Fellows Drs. Victoria Crittenden, Caroline Glackin, and Sandy Jap presented their latest direct selling research insights during a panel discussion.

During the panel discussion, Vicky described how her research and book on women’s entrepreneurship help mainstream direct selling by demonstrating the power of the channel and its ability to empower women personally and professionally. Sandy discussed the synergistic effect of increasing in the number of routes to market – home parties, digital parties, online sales, websites and other channels – and their impact on the economic welfare and performance of sales consultant representatives.

“For me, the immediate positive response from key channel leaders, and their offers to collaborate were fantastic and will allow a deeper and more robust understanding of my topic,” said Caroline, who shared findings from her research on Hispanic acculturation of the direct selling salesforce.

The Future of Commerce: How Direct Selling Fits
Newly-inducted Circle of Honor award recipients, Drs. Greg Marshall, Linda Ferrell, and Vicky Crittenden, shared the main stage for a dialogue on the future of the commerce and how companies can prepare and adapt. The panel discussion provided insights on the way business and the workforce are changing, including trends in e-commerce, personalizing the customer experience and how to attract new salespeople in the gig economy.

Third Party Experts Panel
Today’s consumers do not want to be sold to: they want to be engaged, educated and even entertained.
In a workshop on how third-party voices can enhance trust and transparency among consumers, Dr. Greg Marshall, stepping in for Dr. Anne Coughlan, joined Todd Eliason, Publisher and Editor in Chief, Direct Selling News; John Kloosterman, Manager, Amway Brand, Amway; and Mark Stastny, Chief Marketing Officer, Scentsy; to discuss how companies can maximize the range of third-party voices to demonstrate that they are credible, respected, popular and worthy of consumers’ business.

“For my part, I shared specific strategies on how direct sellers can benefit from the credibility of members of the academic community who are doing research on the field, and especially from those of us who are DSEF Fellows,” says Greg.