It was a party in the direct selling industry Monday night as executives from around the world celebrated their peers at the 2014 Annual Meeting Awards Gala.
In addition to the presentation of awards, the evening included a live auction benefitting the Direct Selling Education Foundation. Craig Fleming, CEO and President of Bio Lab Naturals Inc., auctioned off a handful of items that raised $154,000 for the DSEF.
The chance to attend an Orlando Magic game in the Founder’s Suite—as the guest of Magic owner Rich DeVos, Co-Founder of Amway—spurred a bidding war between Nu Skin’s Truman Hunt and Scentsy’s Orville Thompson. The two reached a truce by agreeing they would both contribute their bids and attend the game together.
“The generosity of our membership is overwhelming,” said Stan Fredrick, Mannatech’s Chairman of the Board. “This was the first auction we’ve held, and we look forward to making it a part of future Annual Meetings. Craig did an excellent job of making it exciting and fun for the audience.”
The Gala featured recognition of two outstanding women, one of whom was Shaklee Board Director Marjorie Fine. The DSA inducted Fine into its prestigious Hall of Fame for her tireless support and leadership of the Association and the entire industry. As she accepted the award, presented by former DSA President Neil Offen, Fine called her 25 years of service in direct selling a “labor of love.”
The DSEF recognized Elizabeth Owen with its Circle of Honor Award for her international consumer advocacy and extraordinary contributions to the Foundation. Owen, who currently runs her own consulting company, served on the DSEF Board of Directors from 2005-2011.
“I want you to know I do not consider this honor the capstone of the work I have done,” Owen said from the stage. “I accept it with my pledge to continue, in any capacity I can, to further the outstanding mission of the DSEF.”
The evening also revealed the winners of this year’s ETHOS Awards. The awards honor member companies that have implemented top-notch programs during the past year. The ETHOS judges evaluated more than 120 entries to distinguish the best of the best.
The 2014 ETHOS Awards winners include:
Product Innovation: Rodan + Fields
Rodan + Fields was recognized for its introduction of the REDEFINE MACRO Exfoliator to the marketplace in February 2013. The hand-held tool exfoliates a week’s worth of dead skin cells in just five minutes and has proven so popular that it has been featured in multiple beauty magazines and on national television. The media exposure, coupled with word-of-mouth testimonials, has helped consultants engage prospective customers and generated record-breaking sales.
Salesforce Development: Initials Inc.
Clarkesville, Georgia-based Initials Inc. created a winner with its Font Color Guide, which was designed as a tool consultants use to help customers decide how they would like to customize the embroidery on the products they purchase.
Technology Innovation: SimplyFun LLC
SimplyFun was honored for its innovative use of a new online salesforce-enabling technology called a Virtual Laugh & Learn and powered by 30 Minute Virtual PartyTM (30MVP). The online product sharing and selling tool debuted in September 2013 and gives consultants and customers 24-7 access to SimplyFun’s game parties. It offers informative videos, interactive shopping, game recommendation experiences and the ability to create wish lists. Users can ask and answer questions and engage with other virtual party participants, as well as the host and consultant.
Vision for Tomorrow: Mary Kay Inc.
Mary Kay was honored for its Don’t Look Away initiative, a program that is part of its philanthropic commitment to end domestic violence. Don’t Look Away provides tools, support and resources to empower women to take a stand against domestic violence in their lives and not look away from abuse. The program draws on support from survivors of domestic violence to educate young women about dating violence, with the goal of ending the cycle before it starts. It will touch an estimated 80,000 individuals in 2014 alone.
Rising Star: Celadon Road
Massachusetts-based Celadon Road was honored as an up-and-coming direct selling company that already is demonstrating excellence throughout its business. The company sells a wide range of natural, eco-friendly products for everyday living, including skin care, baby care, pet care, kitchen and other household items.
Partnership: hyperWALLET Systems Inc.
Vancouver, British Columbia-based hyperWALLET was celebrated as a supplier member of the DSA that is making a sustained, positive impact on member companies. The company offers global payment systems for businesses in Canada, the U.S. and around the world.