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April 01, 2011

News in Brief

News in Brief, April 2011

Harland Stonecipher Recognized by U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc. (PPD) hosted its “Business for Today” special event March 14 in the headquarters of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. At the event, PPD Founder and Chairman of the Board Harland Stonecipher was recognized by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue for his dedication to entrepreneurship and business development.

The “Business for Today” event is part of an ongoing series of events organized by PPD to draw attention to the value of entrepreneurship and the opportunities for business development as a Pre-Paid Legal Services independent associate. PPD launched its “Business for Today” campaign with a special 30-minute broadcast on Fox Business Network on Jan. 1.

Stream Energy Expands into Maryland

Stream Energy announced it is initiating operations in the Maryland electricity market, its fourth market in an ambitious expansion plan. The announcement comes roughly four months after the company entered the Pennsylvania electric market.

Stream Energy began accepting residential customers’ requests in late March for service in both the Pepco service area in central Maryland and the BGE service territory in the Baltimore market and surrounding 10 counties.

Dallas-based Stream Energy is the longest-tenured direct seller of energy in America. Moreover, Stream Energy’s business model—evoked by the catch phrase “It’s OK to switch. Really!®”—has helped promote the successful deregulation of retail energy within Texas, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

Stream Energy and Ignite now claim annual revenues exceeding $900 million, marketing electricity in Texas, electricity in Pennsylvania and natural gas in Georgia. Stream Energy has won several Awards of Excellence from the prestigious Platts Global Energy Awards, while Ignite is consistently ranked among the top direct selling companies in the world.

In other news, Stream Energy Founder and Chairman Rob Snyder was featured on the March 15 cover of The Dallas Morning News Business section speaking on the strengths found in multilevel sales, and the success of his company’s marketing arm, Ignite. In the article, Snyder shared his thoughts on the direct selling business model: why it is working for electricity since sales agents do not have to manage a physical product, and how the model is good for all involved—the company as well as the agents and customers. 

Avon Announces Management Realignments

Avon Products Inc. announced a comprehensive management realignment to enhance the company’s operational effectiveness. The reorganization, the company’s most significant since it reduced management layers in 2005, provides added management depth and increased operational oversight of its commercial business units and also reflects leadership changes in the company’s priority geographies.

As part of the reorganization, the company said it is repositioning its six commercial business units into two major business groups—the Developed Market Group and the Developing Market Group. In connection with these changes, Avon announced the following senior management appointments: Charles (Chuck) Cramb was named Vice Chairman of Avon’s Developed Market Group, and Charles Herington was named Executive Vice President of Avon’s Developing Market Group.

Spark Energy Enters Direct Selling with Ampegy

Ampegy announced its launch as a network marketing company to sell deregulated energy products across seven states throughout the United States: California, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Texas.

Ampegy is focused on selling electricity and natural gas products to residential customers, and is supplied by Spark Energy, a Houston-based deregulated retail energy provider currently offering energy products to residential and commercial customers in 16 states.

Mannatech and NASKA Team Up to Fight Malnutrition

The North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA) has taken on a different kind of competition—a cause—and teamed up with Mannatech. NASKA will fight malnutrition along its 14-city tour of martial arts competitions. The tour and yearlong campaign began Feb. 25 at the Compete Nationals and is part of a strengthening partnership that began last year between Mannatech and the International Sport Karate Association (ISKA).

The team’s goal is to raise awareness about the fight against malnutrition at each of the competitions in the United States and Canada by speaking to students about proper nutrition, self-image and the Give for Real campaign. They will also appear at studios in each city to discuss Mannatech’s partnership with the ISKA.

Herbalife Family Foundation Opens Second Casa Herbalife; Holds Gala

The Herbalife Family Foundation (HFF) announced the opening of its second Casa Herbalife program to help bring good nutrition to children at risk in Bolivia at Hogar de Niños San José in Santa Cruz.

The Casa Herbalife program provides financial resources and volunteer support to nonprofit organizations around the world in the area of healthy nutrition programs for at-risk and low-income children.

Hogar de Niños San José, operated by Fundación Arco Iris, serves 30 abandoned and orphaned children with disabilities. Currently, the shelter houses 21 boys and girls who receive food, shelter, clothing, medical care, early childhood development, physical therapy, speech therapy, psychology services and counseling. Additionally, 14 children with disabilities who have families also benefit from program services. The initial grant will help support the organization’s construction of a new kitchen and dining room facility.

The first Casa Herbalife program in Bolivia was established in 2008 in the capital city of La Paz at Hogar Betania, which serves approximately 300 low-income children and youth.

HFF is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving children’s lives by helping organizations provide healthy nutrition to children at risk. Additionally, HFF often supports relief efforts in response to natural disasters.

In other news, visitors from more than 50 countries attended Herbalife’s annual Mark Hughes Bonus Awards night March 20 in Los Angeles. During the awards, named in honor of the company’s late founder, $41 million was distributed to independent businesspeople, with the top check of $2 million given to a distributor from Mexico.

The gala, hosted for the first time at the company’s corporate headquarters, brought Herbalife the opportunity to give back to its 1,200 distributors for their work and performance at the hub of sports and entertainment. Distributors also had the chance to visit the company’s newly renovated manufacturing facility in Orange County, which was designed as a museum showcasing Herbalife’s state-of-the-art scientific equipment.

During the four-day celebration, March 16-20, other activities included business training by top distributor leaders, best practices, product and ethics training, a keynote address by the CEO and a Herbalife Family Foundation fundraiser gala. The event generated approximately $5 million for the city of L.A. in lodging and entertainment. Herbalife, with approximately 1,300 employees in L.A., has been based in the city since its inception in 1980.

Vice President of Malawi Thanks Nu Skin

The Honorable Joyce Banda, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, made a special stop to thank Nu Skin for its humanitarian service to her home country. Nu Skin distributors and employees feed 60,000 Malawian children every month with donations of VitaMeal, a nutrient-dense maize and soy porridge specifically formulated to provide malnourished children with essential daily nutrients. The Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation also supports several programs to improve the health, education and self-reliance of Malawians.

Since 2002, Nu Skin has provided aid to Malawi by partnering with native leaders and local agencies to empower Malawians to be self-sufficient. Through the company’s Nourish the Children initiative, Nu Skin distributors and employees purchase and donate more than 1.8 million servings of VitaMeal to children in Malawi every month.

Nourish the Children is an innovative social enterprise that applies the rigor of successful business practices to provide a consistent and growing supply of nourishing food to hungry children around the world. The Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation, funded largely by donations from generous Nu Skin distributors and the sale of Nu Skin Epoch personal care products, provides grants for several projects in Malawi.

Wellness International Network Supports Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Ralph Oats, Founder of Wellness International Network, took a stand against Type 1 diabetes by supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in 2011 and encouraging Wellness International Network’s consumers to do the same.

During 2011 the Wellness International Network will feature JDRF on its worldwide shopping cart as the company’s featured charity. Consumers can donate while ordering nutritional supplements.
Wellness International Network Ltd. is a privately held company specializing in health and nutritional products, headquartered in Plano, Texas, with its European affiliate, WIN Worldwide BV, located in Hoofddorp, Holland.

CellSafety Named AOL Parentdish’s “Daily Dish Pick”

WebSafety Inc. announced that the company’s mobile phone application, CellSafety, was recently named as AOL Parentdish’s “Daily Dish Pick.”

CellSafety utilizes GPS to determine when a mobile phone user is in a vehicle traveling over 10 miles per hour. If the user is a passenger, they can request the administrator—usually a parent or employer—to temporarily disable the feature so that they can safely use the phone from the passenger’s seat.

The CellSafety application can also send a text message to a designated phone number if the phone being tracked is in a vehicle exceeding a preset limit. This speed alert is one of many additional features controlled via a registered account at the WebSafety website.

WebSafety Inc. is the leading provider of mobile and computer software solutions that help to prevent incidences of distracted driving as well as unlawful Internet behavior such as cyber predators, explicit or degrading texting and cyber-bullying.

ACN Goes Primetime with The Celebrity Apprentice

ACN, the world’s largest direct selling telecommunications company, was featured for a second time on an episode of The Celebrity Apprentice, the NBC reality show hosted by multi-billionaire entrepreneur and executive producer Donald J. Trump. The ACN episode aired on March 27.

ACN made its first appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice in March 2009, where the company appeared in one of the highest-rated episodes of the season, showcasing its IRIS 3000 Video Phone. ACN has refined its video phone technology once again and was ready to show its latest video phone, the revolutionary IRIS V, to a primetime television audience. The two-hour episode featured the latest video phone, along with ACN’s home-based business opportunity.

In 2006, ACN received Trump’s personal endorsement. Since then, he has continued to praise the company, its Co-founders and home-based business opportunity, making a record-breaking six appearances from the ACN stage and appearing with the company in SUCCESS from Home magazine in 2008.

Lindt & Sprungli Shares Premium Chocolate through Direct Sales

Lindt & Sprungli, the world’s leading producer of premium chocolate announces the introduction of Lindt Chocolate R.S.V.P., a new direct sales program for Lindt USA. The new venture provides chocolate lovers with the chance to become entrepreneurial, independent Lindt Chocolate R.S.V.P. Consultants, and to host in-home chocolate tasting parties. In addition, the program allows Lindt to showcase and sample its wide variety of premium chocolate, including exclusive Lindt Chocolate R.S.V.P. specialties, to new consumers across the country.

Founded in 1845, Lindt & Sprungli is a global leader in the premium chocolate category, offering high-quality products in more than 100 countries. Lindt & Sprungli operates eight production facilities in Europe and the United States and employs 7,400 worldwide. Lindt USA operates more than 40 retail stores in the United States and maintains wide distribution through extensive retail and wholesale channels.  

JAFRA USA President Connie Tang Awards Deserving Mom Entrepreneur

To celebrate women who have accelerated their personal and professional success despite challenges, Connie Tang, President of the U.S. division of JAFRA® Cosmetics International Inc., appeared on CBS’ “The Talk” and surprised one deserving “mompreneur” with a brand-new Mercedes Benz GLK350 sports utility vehicle. The prize was part of a segment highlighting self-employed mothers across the country.