March 01, 2017
Forces Under 40 2017
by DSN Staff
Click here to order the March 2017 issue in which this article appeared.
DSN is thrilled to showcase the most outstanding young professionals working in direct selling companies today. These honorees represent all aspects of the business—from technology and marketing to finance and field services—and represent the fine talent of tomorrow. We know it is imperative to nurture and encourage the young leaders in our channel in order to secure the brightest future possible for all.
These dynamic young leaders are broadening the scope of the companies they work for as well as our entire channel of distribution. Based upon the enthusiastic nominations of the honorees presented here, the future is bright indeed. The program was open to all full-time professionals working in active direct selling companies who turned 40 years old on or after Jan. 1, 2017. The honorees are presented in alphabetical order with each profile including the thoughts and words of the honoree’s respective company.
Jina Anson, Director of Brand Management, LifeVantage
Jina is the Director of Brand Management at LifeVantage, a health and wellness company. Jina’s leadership style goes beyond just managing projects. Her skills include being strategic, tactical and organized, but she brings far more to her role. She coaches employees by identifying their unique strengths and weaknesses and ties their growth into her own career aspirations. She leads by example, delegates when possible, and provides challenging assignments. Her main professional goal is to build other young leaders. She has built strong emotional bonds with her team and as a result has created fierce loyalty. She also works very collaboratively with all departments, which creates a winning team environment.
Jina is highly involved in her church youth programs where she volunteers most of her free time.
Laura Brandt, President, IDLife
Rising through the ranks quickly at IDLife, Laura joined the health and wellness company as the Director of Project Management in 2013. She moved to Vice President of Operations next, and then to President where she now oversees every aspect of the company, working in conjunction with the CEO. Laura has the ability to bring out the best in people and get incredible results. She is a true professional, shaping the future of direct selling by her competence and expertise. It is very exciting to have a young woman at the helm of IDLife and as a role model for women everywhere. Her insight and wisdom, especially for her young age, are deeply refreshing.
She is supportive of company endeavors in the Boys and Girls Club, American Heart Association and the company foundation, Youth Athletes Foundations.
Kendra Brassfield, CEO, NeoLife
Kendra is the CEO of health and wellness company NeoLife. She possesses a tireless work ethic, genuine integrity and a strong commitment to others. She made the decision and led the effort to rebrand the company and persevered fearlessly. Her work has breathed new life into the company (formerly GNLD) and has played a key role in attracting the next generation of leaders. Kendra listens, respects others, is humble, and possesses vision and passion. She builds trust and confidence in others by accepting blame when things go wrong and deferring credit to others when they go right.
She is a Milken Institute Associate and was recently accepted into their Young Leaders Circle. She also has a heart for kids and is actively involved in the educational initiative Curriki and active in her church.
Ian Chandler, Chief Sales Office, ARIIX
Having begun his career at health and wellness company ARIIX as a customer service agent, Ian quickly moved up the corporate ladder due to his leadership and management skills. Speaking and writing several languages, he developed the market in Asia and drove it to become the company’s most productive and profitable market. As a result, he was appointed Chief Sales Officer and is now the youngest member of the company’s executive team. Ian is a visionary leader and his collaborative working style has earned him respect throughout the company and among the independent representatives worldwide.
Ian is active in his local church and charity, as well as in the company charity, recently raising money for the China Women’s Development Foundation.
Erik Coover, Senior Vice President Global Development, Isagenix
Erik joined the family health and wellness business Isagenix in the sales and marketing department after graduating from college. Due to his hard work and dedication, he received several promotions, currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Global Field Development. When he realized that he was the youngest person at the company’s conference by many years, he founded a program dedicated to reaching millennials with the liberating message of direct selling. Erik unites people with his charisma and passion.
Erik plays an active role in the Unstoppable Foundation, which brings sustainable education to children in developing countries. When he and his wife, Peta, married they asked guests to donate to this foundation in lieu of gifts.
Nick Evans, Director of IT, Q Sciences
Nick is the Director of IT at health and wellness company Q Sciences. He oversees the company’s entire network, analyzing needs and streamlining processes with intent to provide secure stability. He possesses a sharp eye and dynamic ability to see the long-term vision for the company. Nick is a natural leader and steps in wherever he is needed and has tremendous impact doing so. He has gained wisdom through self-study and practice—more than his years would suggest. He is honest, ethical and driven towards success. Many staff members turn to him for advice and direction.
Nick and his family are active in church and community sports programs.
Ryan Gagon, Vice President Human Resources, 4Life
Ryan began his career at health and wellness company 4Life several years ago as the marketing web and tools manager. He moved over to employee training and due to his leadership and management skills, he currently serves as Vice President of Human Resources. His impact has been instrumental: From establishing operational proficiencies to promoting employee morale and working interdepartmentally to understand the internal needs of groups and individuals alike, Ryan has proven himself a dedicated employee, industry brand ambassador, and brand advocate.
Bilingual in English and Spanish, Ryan volunteers in an elementary school dual immersion program and is active in his church as well as community sports. He is also an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management.
Drew Gormley, Vice President Risk Management & Energy Trading, Ambit
Drew is the Vice President of Risk Management and Energy Trading at energy services company Ambit. He has created and implemented several processes that benefit both the company and its customers. He has an impressive understanding of the energy markets and finds creative ways to maximize opportunities, often in areas outside his direct responsibilities. He is always willing to answer questions and works collaboratively with other departments. Drew epitomizes the company principle of never sacrificing integrity for growth in all that he does. He carries out his responsibilities with the diligence necessary to get the job done right.
Drew interacts with his staff, his peers, other departments and his executive team with respect and forthrightness. He leads by example, achieving positive results with character and excellence.
Mike Green, CIO, Plexus Worldwide
Mike is the CIO at health and wellness company Plexus Worldwide. He is a decisive leader with a hands-on management style focused on building and motivating IT teams. He brings more than 15 years of expertise driving and implementing quality technology solutions across the globe while providing leadership in several information technology functions. He encourages employees to drive for more than the status quo, and creates a collaborative environment where ideas are explored. His experience, leadership and communication skills have played a major role in the company’s growth. He oversaw the implementation of a new platform and navigated that process and its inherent challenges.
Under his strategic leadership, Mike’s team is constantly devising strategies to meet and exceed corporate goals.
Peter Griscom, Senior Director Product Development, Xyngular
Peter is the Senior Director of Product Development at health and wellness company Xyngular. He meticulously reviews the scientific validation of all products and ingredients, and develops diet and exercise programs. He is continually searching for ways to innovate by creating new and exciting products for other millennials. He is an outstanding devoted employee and passionate leader. Not only has Peter driven all research, development and quality control for the company’s products but he is also an influencer who mentors and coaches employees, customers and distributors.
Peter is active with Council of Responsible Nutrition and the American College of Nutrition. He is also an avid supporter of animal shelters and national organizations for animal welfare.
Amy Haran, Vice President Communications, USANA
Amy began her career at health and wellness company USANA in 2003 as a staff writer and has consistently moved up the management ranks to her current position of Vice President of Communications. She is responsible for all of the marketing and published materials for the company. Amy leads by example and is known around the office for her balance of fairness, compassion and understanding, while still remaining deadline-driven and exacting in the standards she sets for herself and her team. She works alongside her employees to help them achieve their goals and is quick to give credit to her team when credit is due. Amy is no stranger to tight deadlines and high-pressure situations, and she always comes through in a timely manner.
Amy is active in the DSA and volunteers annually for the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival and creates wildlife educational materials for children.
Christina Helwig, Vice President Global Events, AdvoCare
Christina is the Vice President for Global Events at health and wellness company AdvoCare. She and her team organize up to 50 events yearly with attendance from 10 people to 20,000 people. The youngest member of the company’s Executive Committee, she provides much needed perspective and advice to the group on Distributor values, Distributor qualifications for incentives and the importance of “unique moments” to relationship building. By bringing innovative ideas and creative results to interactions with the field and leadership through corporate events, she has changed the direction of what events mean to the company.
Christina sits on several local convention and visitor bureau committees and boards and is active in her church and school alumni group.
David Isserman, COO, Touchstone Essentials
David is the COO for health and wellness company Touchstone Essentials. He oversees all aspects of technology, logistics, product supply chain and online strategy. David is an outstanding leader thanks to his unrelenting drive for efficiency in operations. From precise inventory management to multiple vendor relationships, David achieves high levels of productivity. His caring and inclusive attitude brings staff together to execute the vision for the company. He has been a vital part of the company since its inception.
David is also an active leader in conservation and scientific communities. He currently serves as a Trustee for the Academy of Science of St. Louis and as an Advisor to the Great Rivers Habitat Alliance.
Nick Johnson, VP Sales & Marketing, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Nu Skin
Nick is the Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Europe, Middle East and Africa for health and wellness company Nu Skin. He is instrumental in company growth and salesforce development. He knows how to channel his perspective to help new entrepreneurs find opportunity and fulfillment in an established industry and with an established company. He currently plays an integral role in attracting millennials to the company and in strategizing on the development of digital tools to empower the field and help them expand their business potential.
Nick is adept at identifying individuals all over the world and educating them on direct selling where they have the freedom to leverage the business opportunity to create their own success.
Sara Kodak, Controller, Thirty-One
Sara joined personal accessories company Thirty-One Gifts as a young staff accountant seven years ago and since then has grown quickly in her skills and leadership. Her abilities were recognized with promotions leading to her current rold of Corporate Controller. Sara has quickly matured into a well-rounded business executive, having become a trusted partner on a wide range of initiatives, excelling particularly in her knowledge of the Consultant-facing and inventory systems. Sara genuinely cares about her team’s well-being and their growth and development, and she consistently demonstrates great professionalism and good judgment in making decisions. She leads by example and is an inspiration to those around her.
Sara frequently volunteers with many of the company’s nonprofit partners and serves as board treasurer for Girls on the Run Franklin County.
Brandon Langer, President, Symmetry Global
Promoted to President in 2015, Brandon began his career with health and wellness company Symmetry Global as a college student working part-time in the customer service department. Through his hard work and dedication, he has earned the respect and honor of others in the company along the way. Brandon stepped into the role of Vice President during some company challenges and did an amazing job, moving the company into stable sales and profitability. He inspires others and builds people into a working team that moves in one direction, thereby accomplishing the company mission.
Brandon is active in DSA and in his community and church.
Matthew Layton, Vice President Analytics, LegalShield
Matthew began his career at legal services company LegalShield when he was 20 years old. He currently serves as the Vice President of Analytics, having worked his way through management ranks by serving in a wide variety of roles within the company, each one with distinction. His upward movement within the ranks of the company has been steady and deserving. In 2015, he was asked to take over a newly-formed Analytics Team where he directs a four-person team responsible for monitoring, measuring and providing feedback relating to the membership base, retention characteristics, payment trends and recruiting.
Matthew also has been active and involved with his community, sitting as a member of the Ada City Council for one term.
Scott Lewis, Chief Visionary Officer, Jeunesse
Scott serves as the Chief Visionary Officer of health and wellness company Jeunesse. He’s intelligent, professional and dedicated. One of the things that makes Scott such an outstanding leader is the passion and servant’s heart he brings to his role as the advocate of the company’s vision. His commitment to serving the needs of employees and the network of Distributors around the world is unwavering, and his measurement of success is always in terms of the lives changed. Supporting the success of others is the guiding principal behind the many decisions Scott makes each day to move the company forward.
Scott also oversees the daily operations of the company’s foundation which brings relief to communities through service projects.
Greg Martin, Senior Vice President & General Manager Energy Services, Stream
Greg has held numerous roles in his 11 years at energy services company Stream, including marketing, commercial sales, national expansion and operations. He currently serves as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Stream Energy Services where he oversees strategic planning. Greg strongly believes in developing those around him and investing in their abilities. He innately thinks strategically and has a keen eye for opportunity, allowing innovation to flourish. His dedication inspires dedication within others, creating a ripple effect across the company. He’s not afraid of challenges and thrives in stressful situations. Everyone wants Greg in their corner.
Both inside and outside the company, Greg takes the time to mentor others, allowing them to grow personally and progress professionally.
Amber Olson, CMO & President of Ripple Foundation, Nerium International
Amber serves as the Chief Marketing Officer at skincare company Nerium International, overseeing all of the company’s branding, creative services, communications, PR, events, digital marketing and social media, as well as product development. Amber is a passionate leader committed to using her knowledge and experience to continuously drive the company’s growth at a rapid rate while demonstrating excellence, creativity and initiative. She played a critical role in managing the company’s momentum as well as driving international expansion. A passionate supporter of women, she serves as a mentor, speaking at women’s seminars, marketing conferences and teen workshops empowering other young women.
Amber also serves as President of the company’s foundation and oversees its partnerships with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and World Vision.
Tamra Pacillo, Director of Accounting, LegalShield
Tamra is a 10-year veteran of legal services company LegalShield, currently serving as the Accounting Director. She began with the company as a part-time employee while working her way through school. She ultimately began work full-time, yet maintained her academic workload and has obtained both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting. She is working towards her CPA. She has been an invaluable member of the accounting department, assisting the Controller and the CFO with numerous budgeting projects. She has responded brilliantly to the challenge and is a rising star within the company.
Justin Rauer, Web Marketing Manager, Princess House
Justin serves as the Web Marketing Manager at kitchenware and home décor company Princess House. Justin’s focus over the past five years has been on developing digital tools for the field. Having begun his career in customer service, he brings a sharp understanding of field needs to his position. Justin is passionately committed to driving participation and engagement because he works with many departments and teams. His kindness and positive attitude garner the respect of others and make him a strong leader. He is an example of outstanding performance, leadership and team spirit. His support and leadership have been an integral part of the growth and brand expansion at the company.
Justin is very active in the faith community and volunteers to help provide food and shelter for the homeless.
Jared Richards, President, Jamberry
Jared serves as the President of personal accessories company Jamberry, overseeing the company’s daily operations. He is a natural leader with a breadth of knowledge and a broad skill set. He leads by doing and not only doing, but executing and accomplishing the equivalent of a small army. As an attorney, programmer, author of the compensation plan and sales strategy and much, much more, Jared leads by making decision quickly and responding to the needs of the business in real-time. He has high integrity, empowers others and implements fresh ideas with real solutions. Jared builds a culture of positivity and inspires all of those around him to continue to work harder and better.
Jared is active in the Boy Scouts of America and Habitat for Humanity, as well as in his church.
Tarl Robinson, CEO, Plexus Worldwide
Tarl serves as the CEO for health and wellness company Plexus Worldwide. He drove the company’s expansion from a very small startup to a multimillion-dollar brand in a few short years, while creating and maintaining a thoughtful and caring culture. He has an open-door policy and listens to staff and the field. He cares deeply about the company staff and has created generous employee programs, including weekly raffles for cash and goodies. He spends time with employees and Ambassadors, eager to hear how the company has changed their lives for the better.
Tarl oversees the company’s community involvement efforts, which include financially supporting women and children’s charities as well as disaster relief.
Anne Silsby, Senior Director Product Marketing, Arbonne
Anne serves as the Senior Director of Product Marketing for personal-care company Arbonne, overseeing all product categories at the company. Hired originally to manage a few categories, she was quickly promoted due to her creativity, excellent management skills and strategic vision. She brings incredible clarity to the company with her intelligence and strong leadership. She has been instrumental in organizing a new product process, including analyzing the portfolio and initiating new products as well as the discontinuation of others, making the entire line more efficient. Anne has grown her team, led strategic debates, challenged the organization and driven success. She has earned the respect of the organization and is a tremendous leader, constantly challenging herself. For that reason, she is a role model to many.
Anne is an active member of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW).
Jesse Stamm, Director Field First Support, Take Shape For Life
Jesse is the Director of Field First Support at health and wellness company Take Shape For Life, overseeing all support functions for the sales field. The department he now heads was his creation from ideation through implementation, as he saw the need to provide better support for the field. Jesse also spearheaded the development of the concierge service now offered to ensure the best possible service to the highest-ranking field members. His outstanding leadership skills are what allowed him to successfully create and manage these departments. He focuses on his employees’ personal growth, creating product collaboration among them.
Jesse is a member of the DSA’s Industry Research Committee and is active in his church and in the company’s community service programs.
Logan Stout, Founder and CEO, IDLife
Logan founded health and wellness company IDLife and currently serves as its CEO. He is a lifelong entrepreneur, former professional athlete and coach. His accomplishments as a successful business leader, mentor, motivational speaker and author stem from a desire to break down barriers that stand between people and the things that they want most in life. Logan is passionate about helping others build quality leadership skills. He is also the founder and CEO of the Dallas Patriots baseball organization, a select team organization focused on training and mentoring through baseball. Additionally, he is the founder of the Youth Athletes Organization, designed to give children the opportunity to participate in sports, regardless of their family’s financial situation.
Logan and his wife are patrons and honorary chairs of the Boys and Girls Club of Collin County.
Trevor Thatcher, Corporate Controller, LifeVantage
Trevor is the Corporate Controller at LifeVantage, a health and wellness company. As a public company, LifeVantage operations are regulated, and Trevor is consistently mindful of demands that come with that. He is dependable, hard-working and always goes above and beyond his duties. As a manager, Trevor fosters productive discussions and brings the best out of other employees. He is able to adapt to the ever-changing environments while maintaining his integrity and holding true to the values and practices required to be successful in his position.
Trevor is a member of the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) and the UACPA (Utah Association of Certified Public Accountants). He is also a member of the Utah Controllers Network and active in his church.
Rayner Urdaneta, CEO, MONAT
Ray is the CEO of personal-care company MONAT Global, providing the strategic vision for the company brand. His drive and passion for the company sets an example for everyone. He is involved at all levels of product development, ensuring the highest quality is reached. While he has gratitude for the company’s past success, he is relentless in pursuing more achievement. Ray has assembled an experienced team around him to help navigate the pitfalls of a startup. From enhancing the preferred customer program to PR and social media outreach, Ray constantly seeks new ways to engage customers by embracing innovation.
Ray is active in the DSA and ICMD (Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors) as well as Natural Products Association and Professional Beauty Association. He is involved with the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity.
Jessica Viveiros, Supervisor of Sales Administration, Princess House
Jessica is the Supervisor of Sales Administration at kitchenware and home décor company Princess House. She joined the company in the finance department in 2006 and quickly mastered her responsibilities and more. Her consistent efforts to improve and streamline processes and procedures made her a valuable member of the team. Wanting to learn more and grow in her role at the company, she moved to her current role in the sales department. She works with many individuals in the company on various projects and always brings enthusiasm, a positive attitude and enormous ability to everything she does.
Jessica’s leadership skills make her a role model for others wishing to develop further.
Bella Weems, Founder, Origami Owl
Bella is the founder of jewelry company Origami Owl, which she started with her parents when she was just 14 years old. Now 20, she is involved in daily operations at the company, as well as representing the brand to the field in speaking engagements and through PR exposure. Bella is poised, gracious, intelligent, creative and caring. Her boundless energy in the company’s product development, marketing and social media campaigns inspires both employees and the executive team. With an ability beyond her years, she leads the field with passion and commitment. She exhibits gratitude, humility and joy as she champions the company’s ability to change lives. Bella sees her success as a responsibility to give back and lift up others.
Bella regularly volunteers with several nationally organized charities and organizations benefitting young women.
Dan Whitney, Vice President Ethics & Market Expansion, USANA
Dan is the Vice President of Ethics and Market Expansion at health and wellness company USANA, and the company’s youngest Vice President. He currently oversees international compliance and ethics for 20 markets. Fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, Dan began his career with the company in 2001 as a customer service agent assisting the company’s Chinese-speaking Associates. Due to his tenacity, hard work and outstanding leadership skills, Dan was promoted through the years to his current position, along the way opening new markets and establishing a global compliance program. He takes command in a strategic manner without excluding anyone. In fact, he builds trust by sincerely caring for his team and motivates them to give their best. He was named Manager of the Year by his peers.
Dan is active in Foundation efforts, local community, sports and church.
Patrick Wright, Senior Vice President, U.S. Sales, AdvoCare
Patrick currently serves as the Senior Vice President of U.S. Sales at health and wellness company AdvoCare, working with the top Distributors. In his tenure at the company, Patrick has worked with several departments including marketing. At each position, he has shown a dedication to the company with a passion for empowering and training Distributors, while clearly understanding regulatory boundaries. Patrick helped lead the preferred customer program and creation of a top field-led leadership council giving input to the company. Patrick maintains excellent relationships with all of his peers and has had a tremendous impact on the company.
Patrick is a member of the Direct Selling Education Committee, coaches his children’s sports teams and is a teacher at his church.