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The increasing prominence of the Hispanic population in the United States and the issues of importance to them have already had a significant impact on the nation’s political debates, commercial climate and on the wider society. A large population of millions of legal immigrants of Hispanic descent, and millions more who are in the country illegally, have created a volatile mix of issues, including immigration policy, labor issues and social welfare questions. Marches on Washington, a looming congressional debate on immigration reform and dual-language customer service menus are all indications of the growing prominence of this key demographic in the American marketplace.
The annual Edelman Trust Barometer is always a compelling read for me. This international survey assesses the level of trust in business and government by “informed publics” around the world. Given various high-profile financial scandals and the fragility of global markets over the past few years, there has been a lot to assess in the area of trust—or lack thereof. What I find interesting, though, is the unspoken affirmation of the direct selling business model that the results of the survey seem to indicate each year.
The passage of 100 years is something few of us will get the get chance to witness. Instead, we use photos, journals, news accounts, oral histories and folklore to do our best to understand and appreciate our history. Over the next 18 months, the Direct Selling Association (DSA) will engage in exactly this process of piecing together a century of working on behalf of direct selling companies and the millions of Americans who have realized success through our method of product and service distribution.
As all of us at the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) began planning for a new year serving the public interest and enhancing direct selling’s image, I found myself reflecting on my 20 years in this industry I’ve come to love. When I assumed the position of executive director at DSEF in March 2009, it felt very much as if I’d come full circle.