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July 02, 2012

News in Brief

News in Brief, July 2012

Amway Breaks Record in Global Citizenship

Saving lives by providing incentives for routine medical screenings for its U.S. employees, establishing the first charitable nonpublic foundation by a multinational company in China, building homes for underprivileged families in Latin America and conserving energy around the world were among the key efforts by Amway employees and distributors to make the world a better place.

These and dozens of other examples of commitment to corporate responsibility and environmental stewardship are highlighted in the 2011 Amway Global Corporate Citizenship Report published recently.

In 2011, Amway focused on making a positive impact in the following four key areas: Ethics—Integrity and partnership are cornerstones of the company’s philosophy. Communities—In 2011, Amway, its employees and distributors helped a record 1.5 million children through the Amway One by One Campaign For Children®. Employees—Amway is committed to being a responsible employer. Environment—Amway is committed to environmental stewardship and seeks to continuously find ways to improve its environmental performance.

Amway is one of the world’s largest direct selling businesses. Alticor Inc., parent company of Amway, reported global sales of $10.9 billion in 2011. Founded in 1959 and based in Ada, Mich., Amway offers consumer products and business opportunities through a network of more than 3 million distributors in more than 80 countries and territories worldwide.

Belcorp Best Place to Work

Belcorp was recognized as part of the top 25 best multinationals to work at in Latin America in 2012 by the organization Best Place to Work®.

The company received its 12th rank award in the category “Best Multinationals to Work in Latin America 2012.” In order to qualify for this recognition, multinationals must have at least 1,000 employees worldwide, been recognized in at least three Latin American countries as part of the Best Place to Work in the last year, and have at least 40 percent of their employees work outside their main headquarters. Once qualified, the companies go through a rigorous evaluation called Trust Index® and Culture Audit®, which combine employee interviews, questionnaires and a review of the companies’ programs, policies and practices.

Belcorp was the only Beauty & Cosmetics multinational company to make the list.

Belcorp International Ltd. is a Peruvian, private, multi-brand, international corporation with more than 44 years of experience in developing and selling cosmetics and personal-care products through a network of 850,000 independent distributors across the Americas. Established in 2005, Belcorp USA is a wholly owned subsidiary that sells beauty products in the United States under the L’Bel brand.

Cosmetic Companies Call for More Safety

The nation’s cosmetic industry announced its support for groundbreaking legislation to strengthen and modernize regulatory oversight of the industry and to create a greater role for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in assessing the safety of personal- care products.

Introduced by Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), the “Cosmetic Safety Amendments Act of 2012,” H.R. 4395, will modernize federal oversight of cosmetics and personal-care products, currently one of the safest product categories regulated by the FDA. H.R. 4395 builds on that strong record. The proposal has the full support of the Personal Care Products Council and the Safe Cosmetics Alliance, which have consistently advocated for an updated, enhanced and transparent regulatory framework for the FDA.

The Safe Cosmetics Alliance is a coalition that includes the Independent Manufacturers and Distributors, Professional Beauty Association, Direct Selling Association and the Personal Care Products Council.

Herbalife Receives Approval for More Business in China

Herbalife Ltd. announced that China’s Ministry of Commerce has granted eight additional licenses for the company to conduct its direct selling business in Hebei Province, Shanxi Province, Tianjin Municipality, Heilongjiang Province, Hunan Province, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Hainan Province and Anhui Province. All licenses are effective immediately.

Herbalife received its first direct selling license in China in March 2007, for the cities of Suzhou and Nanjing in Jiangsu Province. The company now has direct selling licenses in 24 provinces, and operates 68 retail stores in 29 provinces in China.

Herbalife Ltd. is a global nutrition company that sells weight-management, nutritional and personal-care products intended to support a healthy lifestyle. Herbalife products are sold in 81 countries through a network of 2.7 million independent distributors.

Ambit Energy Tops 850,000 Customers

Ambit Energy, a national retail energy provider based in Dallas, has added more than 155,000 net customers since January 2012 and recently passed the 850,000-active customer milestone.

On target to surpass 1 million customers before the end of this year, Ambit Energy continues to grow exponentially by offering a competitive value in energy-deregulated markets across the country. Additionally, its commitment to customer-focused service is offered exclusively through a direct sales channel of more than 150,000 independent consultants.

Ambit Energy provides electricity and natural gas services in deregulated markets across the United States, offering cost-effective choices for today’s energy consumer.

ViSalus™ Teaches and Inspires Military Veterans

ViSalus, the No. 1 challenge marketing company with its Body by Vi™ 90-Day Challenge, has partnered with Fascination Entertainment Corp. to help veterans and their spouses bolster economic security through entrepreneurship opportunities. Fascination Entertainment’s American Dream with Kristin Best airs weekly on the Armed Forces Network (AFN) and tells the inspiring true stories of men and women who have overcome huge obstacles to achieve the American Dream. In a recent episode, Ryan Blair, Co-Founder and CEO of ViSalus, shared his struggles on the road from gang member to self-made multimillionaire.

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America found that nearly 17 percent of their members were unemployed as of January 2012. As of February 2012, the Department of Defense reported that as many as 26 percent of the military spouses were unemployed. In fact, 49 percent of members surveyed by The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America felt employers were not open to hiring veterans.

Founded in 2005 with headquarters in Los Angeles, Calif. and Troy, Mich., ViSalus is the company behind the Body by Vi Challenge, a 90-day lifestyle transformation platform. ViSalus champions personal victories and entrepreneurship through a social marketing model, premium products and global community culture. ViSalus is majority-owned by Blyth Inc.

Private Quarters Ceases Operations

Private Quarters has announced it will be closing its business. Jeff Stroud, President and CEO, posted a letter to consultants stating that the company has begun the process of selling off its remaining inventory.

“On behalf of our board of directors, our shareholders and employees, I want you to know that we have thoroughly explored every possible remedy for this situation and have unfortunately been left with no other option,” the letter read.

Private Quarters began discounting its regularly priced merchandise in early May.

Founded in 2004 by executives from the former Strouds Linens retail stores, Private Quarters is a direct seller of luxury hotel-quality bedding, bath and spa products. Private Quarters-branded products are available exclusively through parties called Totally Living in Comfort Events and Comfort Consultants’ online websites.

Viridian Energy Continues Reforestation Effort in Brazil

Viridian Energy, a provider of affordable, green energy, returned to the Amazon rain forest recently to begin its third tree planting excursion to Brazil. The journeys are part of Viridian’s Amazon Preservation Project, an ongoing initiative launched in March 2011. A group of 29 Viridian Energy independent sales associates, corporate leaders and guests spent five days planting indigenous plants and trees in deforested areas of the Mamori region of the Amazon.

Deforestation in the Amazon is responsible for as much as 10 percent of the current global greenhouse gas emissions. Deforestation also threatens the existence of many animal species, and displaces indigenous communities and native villages.

This trip reinforces Viridian’s mission of local change, global vision. By traveling to Brazil until Viridian meets its goal of planting 5,000 trees, the company will be able to restore, protect and preserve a portion of the Mamori region.

As an ongoing effort to support the work Viridian completed in its first visit to Brazil, the company will return to the region biannually over the next decade. The next trip is planned for November 2012.