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December 01, 2010

Exclusive Interviews

Executive Connection with Jeff Reigle, President, CEO, Regal Ware

In this month’s Executive Connection, Direct Selling News Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming speaks to Jeff Reigle, President and CEO of Regal Ware, about our industry’s greatest challenge, his basic principle of leadership and much more.

DSN: What is the one thing you enjoy most about being the CEO of Regal Ware?
It’s the challenge of taking this company to the next level, which, coincidentally, is also the most frustrating. I would also say that the most rewarding thing for me is to see two of my sons, Matt and Ryan, involved and growing professionally in this business.

DSN: What has been your proudest accomplishment?
I am proudest of our successful acquisition of The West Bend Company in 2002 and the successful integration of the two companies. We’ve been told that the successful acquisition AND integration of this nature—between two former competitors of roughly the same size—is unique.

DSN: What do you tell Regal Ware independent consultants to lead and inspire them?
I believe it is my role to share the vision of where we are trying to go. It is important that the consultants have confidence in Regal Ware as a stable, growing company so that they can be sure there is ongoing opportunity for them.

DSN: If you could give a single bit of advice to the CEO of a young direct selling company that would help the company reach the century mark, what would you say?
Find the best help and advice you can, develop a plan and work that plan. It’s that simple and that challenging. You need to also be certain that your independent consultants are provided for in the best possible way with outstanding product, a fair compensation plan and the knowledge that they are a part of a bigger cause.

DSN: If you could re-live one period of time—a year, a week, whatever—since you’ve been at Regal Ware, what would it be?
As I look back, I think I missed too much of the time that my children were growing up, because I felt it was important to be at work. If I were to re-live that period of time, I would take a more balanced approach.

DSN: Is there one basic principle which has governed your leadership at Regal Ware?
Yes, that would be integrity. I firmly believe it is most important to do the right thing, and that is not necessarily the easiest thing.

DSN: What do you see as our industry’s greatest challenge?
I think we face two major challenges. The first would be government regulations, be that the FTC rules or the ever-surfacing IRS challenges to the independent contractor status. The second and equally great challenge surrounds our efforts for image enhancement. There are still a lot of misconceptions about the direct selling industry, and, unfortunately, there are also a number of companies outside of our DSA membership that tarnish the reputation of direct selling with their questionable practices.

DSN: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Illigitimus non carborundum”—Don’t let the bastards get you down.