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August 02, 2011

News in Brief

News in Brief, August 2011

Amway Marks First $1 Billion Sales Month

Direct selling giant Amway reached $1 billion in monthly sales during June, breaking the billion-dollar mark in a single month for the first time in the company’s 52-year history.  

Overall, sales are up across the Amway footprint, which spans more than 80 countries and territories. Sales increased in nine of the company’s top 10 markets in June. Amway operations in China, Korea, India, Thailand, Taiwan, and Ukraine recorded double-digit growth during that same time period.

Successful product promotions, increase in brand awareness through global marketing campaigns, and pricing adjustments are the primary drivers attributed to robust sales results.

According to Amway, the company is experiencing powerful growth with momentum to continue. Yearly sales increases have also indicated that the company is seeing results from its long-term strategy of working smarter and being more strategic about where efforts are focused.

China, the company’s largest market, had record sales in June. In addition, a strong promotion of eSpring® water treatment systems in Korea and nutrition product promotions in Russia significantly increased sales. North America, Amway’s home market, is growing and well positioned to continue that trend, driven by numerous, innovative distributor and consumer programs.
Alticor Inc., parent company of Amway, reported 2010 sales exceeding $9.2 billion—a 9.5 percent increase over sales of $8.4 billion in 2009 and Alticor’s 10th sales increase in the last 11 years. Amway is one of the world’s largest direct selling businesses. Founded in 1959 and based in Ada, Mich., Amway offers consumer products and business opportunities in more than 80 countries and territories worldwide. The top-selling brands for Amway are NUTRILITE® vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, ARTISTRY® skincare and colour cosmetics, and eSpring® water treatment systems.

Nu Skin Chairman Recognized as Master Entrepreneur

Nu Skin Chairman Blake M. Roney was named the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award program for the Utah region. He accepted the award at a recent gala celebration at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Roney, along with co-founders Sandie Tillotson and Steve Lund, founded Nu Skin in 1984 and have grown the enterprise to be one of only a dozen billion-dollar direct selling companies worldwide.

Roney served as President and CEO of Nu Skin from 1984 to 1996. He is currently Chairman of the Board for the company. In addition, Roney serves on the board of the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 that seeks to improve the lives of children by offering hope for a life free from disease, illiteracy and poverty.
In 2009 Roney was named Chairman of the Year by the International Business Awards and in 2004 he was identified as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Utah by Utah Business magazine.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, hard work and perseverance have created and sustained successful, growing business ventures. Each of the 26 regional programs honors a master entrepreneur with a Lifetime Achievement Award for making a significant impact in their market.

PM-International AG Recognized as Top Innovator

PM-International AG was chosen as one of the companies to receive the “Top 100” Innovators Award by the Vienna University of Economics and Business for the 10th consecutive year. The “Top 100” seal of quality was ceremoniously presented to PM-International AG by Prof. Dr. h.c. Lothar Späth, former Minister President of Baden-Württemberg in Warnemünde.

Companies with an exemplary commitment to innovation, vision and sense for novelty competed in a two-phase process overseen by the university, with the winners recognized as the 100 most innovative mid-sized companies in Germany. The best grade A+ was given in the areas of Innovation Promoting Top Management, Innovation Climate, Innovative Processes and Organization and Innovative Marketing, as well as in the area of Successful Innovation.

PM-International AG markets nutritional supplements and cosmetics through direct sales. It is the only direct sales company to receive this recognition since the inception of the “Top 100” Award.

J. Hilburn Adds $5M from Bridgescale, Battery

J. Hilburn announced it has closed $5 million in new financing led by Bridgescale Partners with participation from prior investor Battery Ventures. J. Hilburn plans to use this latest round of funding to expand interactive technologies and product development and to grow its base of more than 1,000 personal style advisors nationwide.

J. Hilburn offers handcrafted custom dress shirts and trousers as well as ready-to-wear items like cashmere sweaters, polos and fine accessories, available online or from a local style advisor. In 2010, J. Hilburn sold 60,000 luxury dress shirts, more than any other custom clothing maker in the world.

Bridgescale Partners is a Menlo Park, California-based growth equity firm providing expansion capital to U.S.- and Canada-based later-stage companies.

USANA’s Founder Awarded Honorary Degree

North Central College in Naperville, Ill., recently awarded an honorary doctor of science degree to alumnus and USANA Health Sciences founder Dr. Myron Wentz for lifetime achievement in the sciences.

An Albert Einstein Award-winning scientist, Dr. Wentz is also the founder of Gull Laboratories and Sanoviv Medical Institute. He is the author of several books, including the New York Times best seller The Healthy Home. A longtime philanthropist, Dr. Wentz has helped build medical centers in Malawi and Cambodia to serve children in need.

North Central College is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding in 1861. The college first awarded an honorary degree in 1876.

Neways Creates Institute of Healthy Lifestyles

Neways announced the realignment of its scientific teams into a new organization called the Neways Institute of Healthy Lifestyles.
The institute’s purpose is to research human health issues, monitor the world’s latest scientific discoveries, evaluate ingredient safety and effectiveness, and support Neways in formulating healthy, life-enhancing products. The Neways Institute of Healthy Lifestyles is staffed by 51 scientists in 24 scientific disciplines who have published more than 900 peer-reviewed articles and have authored or edited 33 scholarly scientific volumes.

Based in Springville, Utah, at Neways corporate headquarters, the institute incorporates the Neways Scientific Advisory Board and the company’s in-house research and development teams, analytical science staff, and quality assurance staff. In addition to Neways, institute scientists are also associated with numerous other organizations, including the American Academy of Dermatology, the Harvard School of Public Health and the National Academy of Science.

Kennesaw State University Professor Honored as Distinguished Marketing Educator

Joseph F. Hair Jr., Professor of Marketing and DBA Director at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., was awarded the 2011 AMS Cutco/Vector Distinguished Marketing Educator Award at The Academy of Marketing Science’s (AMS) 40th Anniversary Conference, held recently at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Fla. Hair was honored for his outstanding contributions to the marketing industry, his commitment to education and mentorship and his leadership within the AMS, an international, scholarly, professional organization. The award is sponsored by Vector Marketing Corp., the direct sales division of Cutco Cutlery Corp., the largest manufacturer and direct seller of kitchen cutlery in North America. Hair also serves on Vector Marketing Corporation’s Academic Advisory Board.

Tastefully Simple to Acquire Select Assets of Homemade Gourmet

Tastefully Simple, the national home taste-testing company offering easy-to-prepare foods and gifts, has reached an agreement with Homemade Gourmet to acquire select assets of the company. This comes in the wake of Homemade Gourmet’s decision to exit the direct sales industry.

Tastefully Simple is working closely with Homemade Gourmet to give each of its 1,400 consultants a new home under the Tastefully Simple brand, which will allow Homemade Gourmet to pursue its plans to market its brand outside of the direct selling channel.

Neil Offen Joins Board at Nu Skin

Neil H. Offen has been appointed to the company’s Board of Directors. Offen recently retired from the 100-year-old Direct Selling Association, where he served as President and CEO from 1978 through 2011.  In addition, he served as Secretary of the 63-nation World Federation of Direct Selling Associations and as Vice Chairman of the Direct Selling Education Foundation.

Lightyear Launches Mobile Phone Agreement with Sprint

Lightyear Network Solutions Inc., a provider of data, voice and wireless telecommunication services to business and residential customers throughout North America, announced that it has launched its MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) operations under a new five-year agreement with Sprint. The contract allows Lightyear to partner directly with Sprint on new wireless products, and provide postpaid and prepaid mobile telephone products and service utilizing the Nationwide Sprint Network.

The agreement provides numerous benefits for Lightyear, including a larger and improved selection of the newest Sprint wireless  devices, quicker access to those products, greater flexibility regarding product and service offerings for Lightyear customers, and the ability to offer bundled Lightyear wireline and wireless products.

Relìv 24K Wins 2011 American Business AwardsSM

Relìv International Inc.’s healthy energy shot, 24K, won a Stevie® Award as the Favorite New Consumer Product at the recent 2011 American Business Awards.

The award was presented during ceremonies at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City and broadcast nationwide on radio by the Business TalkRadio Network.

Relìv developed 24K to boost energy, improve mental focus and reduce stress.

Independence Energy Launches Green Energy Service

Independence Energy, an independent energy provider for consumers and businesses, launched its green energy service that allows customers to select either 20 percent green-sourced or 100 percent green-sourced energy. The company also introduced a network marketing program through its marketing arm, Independence Energy Alliance, which allows individual entrepreneurs to join the green revolution and further market the service.

Based in Philadelphia, Independence Energy serves customers in New Jersey, with plans to expand to other states by the end of the year. Independence Energy is a separately licensed retail energy provider and subsidiary of Energy Plus.