The Direct Selling Association board of directors met Sunday in Orlando as a part of the DSA’s 2014 Annual Meeting. With the extraordinary focus currently placed on direct selling, both by media and regulators, DSA President Joe Mariano encouraged members to pursue positive, constructive conversations with the public in addition to defending the model against detractors.
“I think it’s important to remember that we must not only defend ourselves, but also talk supportively and encouragingly,” said Mariano.
The DSA’s Government Relations Committee maintains that ongoing dialogue with policymakers. As newly appointed head of the committee, Mary Kay’s Michael Lunsford underscored the importance of laying groundwork now to influence future legislation. To effectively communicate their message to lawmakers, Lunsford says, it is crucial that executives proactively establish relationships with their congressional representatives.
“Survey your salespeople and ask them who they know in the political sphere,” Lunsford urged. “It’s a very easy way for you to harness the power of your salesforce.”
Communications Committee Chair Mark Stastny, Chief Marketing Officer of Scentsy, also encouraged the board to mine the considerable resource that direct selling companies have in their sales representatives. “Look for ways that we can increase working with our field organizations and helping them understand how their daily interactions represent our industry—that’s where the perception is largely built,” said Stastny.
The board also heard from Arbonne’s Heather Chastain, who heads up the Ethics & Self-Regulation Committee, on the Association’s efforts to raise awareness of the buyback policy. The buyback policy is a critical consumer protection measure incorporated in the DSA’s Code of Ethics. A Code of Ethics Communication Initiative is currently underway at the DSA to recognize companies who are taking coordinated, purposeful steps to promote the Code and what it means to their organization.
“This is not only about legislation and defensive action; it’s about making sure our house is in order,” said Mariano. To further that effort, the Association has added a staff attorney tasked with ensuring that member companies are operating correctly and in compliance with the Code of Ethics.
To conclude the meeting, Chairman and Scentsy CEO Orville Thompson passed the gavel to incoming Chairman Truman Hunt, CEO of Nu Skin. The board approved the nomination of Hunt and the following officers to serve the 2015 term.
Chairman: Truman Hunt, President and CEO, Nu Skin Enterprises
Truman Hunt was appointed President of Nu Skin Enterprises in January 2003 and was named CEO in May 2003. Under his leadership, the company conducts business in 47 markets, with recent expansion into China, Eastern Europe and Latin America. The company increased its revenue in 2013 by $977 million, reaching $3.18 billion and climbing to No. 7 on the DSN Global 100 list.
Hunt began his tenure at Nu Skin in 1996 as Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to joining Nu Skin, he served as President and CEO of Better Living Products Inc., a Nu Skin affiliate involved in the manufacture and distribution of houseware products sold through traditional retail channels. Prior to joining Better Living Products in 1991, he was a securities and business attorney in private practice.
He earned a bachelor of science degree from Brigham Young University and a law degree from the University of Utah, and he serves on the advisory boards for the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation and Nourish the Children Initiative.
Vice Chairman: David B. Holl, President and CEO, Mary Kay Inc.
David Holl joined Mary Kay Inc. in June 1993, became Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer in 1996, and was named President and COO in 2001. He assumed the title of CEO in 2006.
During his tenure as President and CEO, Holl has led Mary Kay through a period of expansion, doubling global revenue and making significant progress on such key strategic initiatives as global rebranding and standardization of core systems and processes. With $3.6 billion in revenue in 2013, the company ranks fifth on the DSN Global 100.
Prior to joining Mary Kay, Holl was a Vice President at Citibank in New York, and, before that, a financial analyst for Union Texas Petroleum in Houston.
He earned a bachelor of science degree in finance from Clemson University, where he currently serves on the President’s Advisory Board, and his MBA from the University of South Carolina, where he was designated the outstanding MBA candidate and, in 2008, received USC’s Moore School of Business Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Vice Chairman: Lori Bush, President and CEO, Rodan + Fields
With more than 25 years’ experience in the consumer and health-care products industries, Lori Bush oversaw Rodan + Field’s entrance into the direct selling arena, and she is responsible for the management and guidance of the company, which ranks 64th on the DSN Global 100, with 2013 revenue of $196 million. She also co-authored the best-selling book Write Your Skin a Prescription for Change with the company’s founders, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields.
Prior to joining Rodan + Fields, Bush served as President of Nu Skin International and has held several leadership positions within the skincare franchise of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Companies, including Worldwide Executive Director Skin Care Ventures and Vice President of Professional Marketing at Neutrogena.
She earned a bachelor of science degree in medical technology from The Ohio State University and an MBA from Temple University.
Immediate Past Chairman: Orville Thompson, CEO and Co-Owner, Scentsy Inc.
Thompson and his wife, Heidi, purchased the Scentsy product line in 2004 and have grown the business through the direct selling model into a $485 million company that ranks 25th on the DSN Global 100.
Prior to Scentsy, Thompson operated a large specialty retail company that sold consumer products through state fairs, trade shows, mall kiosks and direct response television commercials. But his experience as an entrepreneur dates back to 1979 when, at the age of 10, he bought a flock of sheep from a neighbor. Over the next few years, he shifted from crossbreeds to a purebred flock and developed a business selling sheep at auction and to students interested in participating in 4H programs. By the time he graduated from high school, he had saved $14,000.
Thompson earned his bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of Washington and had once planned to attend graduate school to become a history professor. These days, when time allows, he enjoys golfing, reading, eating pie and teaching a little history to those who will listen.
Past Chairman: Brett R. Chapman, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Herbalife
As Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of Herbalife, Brett Chapman has responsibility for all legal, regulatory and government affairs matters relating to the company’s business around the world. With $4.8 billion in revenue in 2013, Herbalife ranks third on the DSN Global 100.
Chapman, like Herbalife CEO Michael O. Johnson, joined the company after more than a decade with The Walt Disney Co. He served most recently as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Disney, with responsibility for all legal matters relating to Disney’s Media Networks Group, including the ABC Television Network, the company’s cable properties including The Disney Channel and ESPN, and Disney’s radio and Internet businesses.
Prior to joining Disney, Chapman was with the Los Angeles office of law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, and the London office of the international law firm Linklaters.
In addition to his work with Herbalife and the DSA, Chapman sits on the board of the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Herbalife Family Foundation.
Treasurer: Matt Blok, Chief Financial Officer, Amway Korea
When Blok took on the management of Amway Korea’s $850 million finance division, he was already a veteran of the company. His experience at Amway spanned four positions on two continents. Following a stint as Senior Accountant at Ernst & Young, Blok joined Amway in 1997 as a Senior Auditor within the company’s Internal Audit Services.
Blok went on to become a member of the startup team at the Van Andel Institute, established in 1996 by Amway Co-Founder Jay Van Andel and his wife, Betty, to support worldwide biomedical research and science education. In 2004, he transitioned back to Amway corporate and filled the role of Associate Manager at the company’s Internal Audit Services. Blok’s career then crossed the pond to Amway Europe, where he supervised the company’s U.K. and Republic of Ireland finance team before taking on his role at Amway Korea.
Blok received his Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting, in 1994 from Western Michigan University.
In addition to the six officers, the following individuals joined the DSA board of directors with terms expiring in 2017:
Erik Johnson, Chairman and CEO, Hy Cite Enterprises LLC
Allison Levy, Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, AdvoCare International LP
Douglas Robinson, President and CEO, LifeVantage Corp.
Frank VanderSloot, CEO, Melaleuca Inc.
John Wyckoff, President, Dove Chocolate Discoveries