Photo: DSA panelists share insights on managing effective coalitions. Pictured (from left) are Maureen Riehl, Principal and Counsel, Multistate Associates; Allison Fleming, Director, State & Local Government Relations, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.; Ellen B. Marshall, Principal, Marshall & Company; and Brian Bennett, DSA Attorney and Government Relations Manager.
DSA Attorney and Government Relations Manager Brian Bennett was recently a featured panelist at the State Government Affairs Committee 2017 National Summit in March in New Orleans.
In a session, titled “Managing Coalitions,” Bennett discussed DSA’s leadership of and participation in a number of cross-disciplinary coalitions—at both the state and federal level—that have led, ultimately, to passage and defeat of legislation beneficial and detrimental to direct selling, respectively.
“It was an honor to share my experience building and managing coalitions with fellow government affairs colleagues,” Bennett told DSN. “DSA has a long history building relationships with organizations on the state and federal level to ensure government action supports direct selling. The strong relationships we have with these groups increases the effectiveness of the Association’s advocacy efforts.”
The previous week, the DSA in conjunction with the Congressional Direct Selling Caucus hosted a briefing: “Direct Selling: Entrepreneurism Driving Economic Growth” to discuss the value of direct selling to millions of micro-entrepreneurs and the United States economy.
DSA President Joe Mariano presented an overview of the positive impact of the direct selling channel as well as the importance of DSA’s robust relationships with government officials and regulators. He also discussed the Association’s legislative agenda including consumer protection legislation, tax, and independent contractor status. Caucus Co-Chair Marc Veasey (D-TX), drawing on interactions with constituents said: “It’s amazing how interwoven direct selling is and how many people it affects on a daily basis.”
Former NFL player and direct selling representative JJ Birden and noted research academic Dr. Robert A. Peterson provided additional insights into the impact of direct selling. The Caucus will be holding regular briefings to help raise awareness about the opportunities in direct selling and the commitment of its businesses to the highest ethical and consumer protection standards.