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October 01, 2010

Publisher's Note

Letter from John Fleming, October 2010

John FlemingThis past month, our industry lost a passionate advocate. Harry Hersey Jr., DSA Hall of Famer and former company owner, leader and longtime consultant for many, left us in an unfortunate accident. Those of us who knew Harry will always remember him, not just for his sincere friendship but for what he believed direct selling means to the people who choose it as a way to build a business on their terms. Harry will be missed!

When a magazine decides to take on a huge undertaking, questions always arise, and many will attempt to define the nature of the project and its objectives. The announcement of the “DSN 100 People Making a Difference in 2010” only came after determining how to best approach such a project. I became convinced that this undertaking could provide the industry with a list of those individuals who, in so many ways, are truly making a difference in direct selling. These individuals believe in the direct selling business model and in the success of companies that choose that business model as the preferred way to distribute products and services.

I was actually in an airport looking through the magazine rack when I saw the issue of Life magazine that identifies the “100 People Who Changed the World.” I picked up the magazine and immediately realized the article was truly educational! I purchased the magazine, and by the time my flight landed, I felt like I had just completed one of the most potent history lessons I had ever experienced. When I got back to the office to discuss my thoughts with the DSN staff, I realized we had found the logic and reasoning for the project—“100 People Making a Difference in Direct Selling in 2010.” We previously identified the DSN Global 100, which provided all with a new understanding of the size of companies in this industry and their relationship to one another. However, we asked ourselves another question: Who are the individuals who are serving and leading the industry to an increased level of acceptance through this unique business model?

As we pondered the question, we realized that there are so many business leaders supporting direct selling companies, with their products and services. There are also so many advocates—possibly even elected officials—who readily support our way of doing business when challenged by others. We thought about individuals in academics who have decided to teach direct selling as a method of doing business in today’s marketing classes, and the consumer advocates who now look to us for help with solutions regarding consumer abuse issues and the importance of operating with high ethical standards. We also thought about the suppliers who become partners with the companies’ strategic objectives, the leaders within the associations, and of course, the leaders of the companies who are making a difference in the way they handle their responsibilities. When we thought about all of this, we realized that a list of “100 People Making a Difference in Direct Selling in 2010” would inform thousands about the quality of the people who bring forth the best of what they do to support the growth of the direct selling industry. Of course, it takes many more than 100 to support the people, who, as independent contractors, take advantage of the earning opportunity this channel of distribution offers. Direct selling is truly a unique business model, but as we all know, it does not happen without people! We want to identify some of the many people involved and share those people, and their stories, with all of you.

Most important, you submit the nominations… not us! To nominate someone, go to and fill out the form. It does not get any more exciting than this! Also check the rules and categories for nominations on page 24, and do not take for granted that someone you know will be nominated by someone else. No self-nominations will be allowed, so it is really up to you to tell us who you know is making a great contribution to this most unique way of doing business. Let’s show the world how a few of those, who, in the most challenging of times, are creating opportunities versus downsizing their opportunities. Let us showcase true leaders and supporters for the benefit of inspiring all, especially those outside of our industry who look to this publication for the information and education they desire.

I can’t believe that we are now into the month of October, the beginning of the fourth quarter, a quarter that is usually the strongest of the year for many companies. Enjoy the issue, and best to all!

Until next month!
John Fleming
Publisher and Editor in Chief