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December 01, 2014

Executive Announcements

Executive Announcements, December 2014

Click here to order the December 2014 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

In Memoriam: Industry Legend Harland Stonecipher

Harland C. StonecipherHarland C. Stonecipher

Harland C. Stonecipher, the Ada, Oklahoma, businessman who more than 40 years ago founded Pre-Paid Legal Services, now known as LegalShield, passed away on Nov. 10. He was 76. Stonecipher founded LegalShield in 1972 after he was involved in an automobile accident that opened his eyes to the non-existence of affordable legal services, an industry that is now $1 billion-plus. From there, Stonecipher grew the company from a single-room operation to being listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was taken private by Mid-Ocean Partners in 2011.

“It is with great sadness and extraordinarily heavy hearts that we learned and now share with the public, the passing of Mr. Harland C. Stonecipher,” said Jeff Bell, CEO of LegalShield. “Mr. Stonecipher founded Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc. in 1972 and led the company to greatness throughout his 40 years at its helm. To many of us, he was, first and foremost, a leader of men and women and a business giant. Closer to home, we knew of his love for his family and the outdoors.”

He is survived by his wife, Shirley; his oldest son, Allen and wife, Karen; and two grandsons, Greg and Zane.

The Pampered Chef Ltd.

Tracy Britt CoolTracy Britt Cool

The Pampered Chef Ltd., a premier direct seller of high quality kitchen tools and a Berkshire Hathaway company, announced that it has appointed Tracy Britt Cool as CEO.

Cool has been with Berkshire Hathaway for five years, serving as Financial Assistant to Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett. In this role, her responsibilities included conducting investment research, analyzing acquisition opportunities, and advising Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries in various industries. Cool will continue to serve as Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway companies Benjamin Moore, Larson-Juhl, and Oriental Trading Co., and will remain on the board of the H.J. Heinz Co.

Over the past year, Cool served as an advisor to The Pampered Chef’s Founder and Chairman Doris Christopher, who has led the company as interim CEO since December 2013. Both Cool and Christopher will continue to work closely together, reporting directly to Buffett.

“I couldn’t think of a better leadership duo at the helm of The Pampered Chef,” said Buffett. “With Tracy’s experience helping Berkshire companies reach their full potential and Doris’ passion for both The Pampered Chef’s consultants and products, I see great things in the company’s future.”

Christopher welcomed and praised the appointment, stating, “I’m thrilled that Tracy is joining our company. I’ve come to respect her leadership immensely, and I look forward to partnering with her to enhance The Pampered Chef’s offerings for our 12 million annual customers and 60,000 independent consultants.”

Nature’s Sunshine Products Inc.

Richard ZhangRichard Zhang
Henry ZhouHenry Zhou
Dr. Nigel GerickeDr. Nigel Gericke
Dr. Ingrum BankstonDr. Ingrum Bankston

Nature’s Sunshine Products Inc. (NSP) announced the appointment of Paul Noack as President of China and New Markets as well as Richard Zhang as Managing Director, China for NSP, and Henry Zhou as Managing Director, China for Synergy WorldWide.

Noack has extensive experience in direct selling and the consumer products industry and will play an instrumental role in managing NSP entry into China through its strategic alliance with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., Ltd., as well as the company’s global expansion strategy in new and emerging markets. Zhang and Zhou will help in this endeavor, leading growth in the China market and bringing their experience in direct selling and consumer products as well as developing and managing business in China.

Prior to joining NSP, Noack served as president of another direct seller where he was responsible for the execution of the company’s international expansion strategy. Noack successfully launched the company’s operations into European markets and established a European hub to manage sales, marketing and operations in Western and Central Europe. He further directed the turnaround of the company’s Canadian business.

Zhang is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience, including 10 years of general management experience in various industries such as consumer packaged goods, over-the-counter/ pharmaceuticals and technology. He most recently served as General Manager, Asia Pacific at Welch’s Foods Inc. where he was responsible for launching operations in China.

Zhou has over 12 years of experience in direct selling. Prior to joining Nature’s Sunshine, he most recently served as Deputy Managing Director, China at another direct seller where he was responsible for long-term strategy, sales, marketing, cross-cultural communications management and organizational restructuring.

Nature’s Sunshine also announced that Dr. Ingrum Bankston of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Dr. Nigel Gericke of Cape Town, South Africa, have joined the company’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Bankston is a board-certified urologist and practicing surgeon, and Dr. Gericke is a medical doctor, ethnobotanist and ethnopharmacologist specializing in unique product development from medicinal and food plants.


Kathleen LuceKathleen Luce

PartyLite, a member of the Blyth family of companies, has announced that Kathleen (Kat) Luce has joined the company as Vice President of Marketing and Communication for North America.

Luce will be responsible for integrating and maximizing marketing programs to build the PartyLite brand and drive revenue for the company and its independent salesforce. She will work closely with the executive team and departments across the company to develop and execute integrated marketing programs and campaigns to help meet corporate objectives. Reporting to President of North America Joan Connor, Luce will be based at PartyLite corporate headquarters in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Prior to joining PartyLite, Luce was Director of Marketing and Communication for DTZ, a $1.1 billion global company in the integrated property services industry.

“We are extremely pleased that Kat has joined our team,” said Connor. “Kat not only brings extensive corporate marketing experience to the role, but she also has been a long-time PartyLite customer and party host and was an independent PartyLite consultant for two years—all experiences that have uniquely prepared her for this important role.”


LegalShield, a provider of legal safeguards for individuals, families and small businesses, announced that Claire Terrell has joined the company as Vice President of Marketing for LegalShield Business Solutions. Terrell will be responsible for the marketing strategy and tactics within the Broker, Affinity, Small Business and Group Channels.

“[Claire Terrell’s] extensive expertise at a major global brand in the fields of marketing and sales will be a welcome addition to our team, and we look forward to tapping her unparalleled talent to raise awareness for LegalShield Business Solutions and its unique value proposition within the prepaid legal services market,” said James Rosseau, President of LegalShield Business Solutions.

She joins after having spent 31 years at AT&T in marketing and business development, where she most recently served as Executive Director of Marketing for AT&T Small Business and Alternate Channels. In this role, she led the development of new offerings and campaign developments focused on meeting the needs of the small- to mid-sized business customer. 

LegalShield Business Solutions is the business to business division of LegalShield that specializes in employee benefits and small business legal safeguards in the U.S. and Canada.

LifeVantage Corp.

John GennaJohn Genna

LifeVantage Corp. has announced the appointment of John Genna as Vice President of Public Relations and Corporate Partnerships, Ann-Celeste Billings as Vice President of Marketing, and Calli Mott as Vice President of Sales Administration.

Genna has been with LifeVantage since August 2012, most recently as Vice President of Marketing and Communications. He has more than 20 years’ experience in marketing, communications, public relations and sports management roles. His new role allows Genna to focus on driving public awareness for LifeVantage, maximizing the jersey-front sponsorship of Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer, and identifying additional brand-building partnership opportunities on behalf of the company.

Billings has 18 years of global network marketing experience and has created numerous global brands and launched more than 200 products during her career. She has held senior management positions at other companies in the direct selling industry and has provided strong leadership for achieving strategic sales goals.

Mott also brings global network marketing experience to LifeVantage. She has worked for the past eight years at another direct seller in significant roles in customer service, global expansion, business development, sales and nearly every facet of distributor-facing roles. Her background also includes extensive experience implementing strategic sales initiatives in North America and multiple markets in Asia.

Vector Marketing Corp.

Ryan LongRyan Long

Vector Marketing Corp., a direct sales company and primary distributor of Cutco Cutlery, announced that Ryan Long, a veteran with the company, has been named Content and Public Relations Manager.

In this new role, Long will be a key member of the firm’s National Digital Strategy Department and will be responsible for enhancing the Vector brand and improving the company’s reputation through various forms of online media. She will also serve as corporate spokesperson for the media.

“It is a distinct pleasure to announce Ryan’s promotion to this important position,” said Mike Monroe, Digital Manager for Vector Marketing. “She has been with Vector Marketing for almost 10 years in a variety of positions. Ryan has a deep loyalty to the company and understands our values and goals as we continue to expand throughout North America.”

Long first joined Vector Marketing as a student sales representative in 2003. During that time she was ranked as one of the leading producers among the thousands of college students who make up the salesforce for Cutco products.

Long quickly moved up the ranks with Vector, serving as a district manager and overseeing the operations of several offices. From 2007 to 2014 she served in several executive-level capacities, including as a division recruiting manager and campus recruiting manager/university relations.

Please submit news of executive promotions and hires at your company to be included in the Executive Announcements section of Direct Selling News.