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May 01, 2017

Publisher's Note

Partners in Passion

by Lauren Lawley Head



Click here to order the May 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


One of the things I enjoy most about the direct selling community is the spirit of collaboration, even among competitors. This edition of Direct Selling News is a great example of that spirit in action.

This month’s cover story examines the role supplier partners play in the success of direct selling companies and how companies can make the most of these relationships. In their interviews for the Company Spotlight, ACN’s co-founders share insights from their 24-year journey of growing the business from reseller of long-distance telephone service in a single state to a $750 million operation with a wide-ranging offering in 25 countries. Two keys to their success: providing personal development opportunities to their salesforce and committing to the business for the long haul. This quote from Co-founder Greg Provenzano is just one example of the pearls you’ll pick up in the story: “You can’t just plant a garden, then step back and expect it to grow on its own. You have to be willing to get your hands dirty—to pull weeds, prune and water the garden.”
Those of you thinking about succession planning won’t want to miss the story that begins on Page 46, in which long-time direct selling executive Jerry Brassfield opens up about how he made the decision to pass the reins of California-based NeoLife International to his daughter, Kendra. Both Kendra and Jerry describe in detail the onboarding process she went through and how she’s now navigating the business as a CEO under 30 years old.

Lauren Lawley Head

If you’re looking for insights on the emerging trends in party plan, executives from three companies spoke with writer Courtney Roush for the story that begins on Page 60. Nomadés Collection, red rock traditions and Mary & Martha each offer their perspective on how direct sellers are effectively adapting the traditional party model to capture the benefits of an in-person social event, while not turning a blind eye to today’s increasingly business consumer schedules and preferences for online and social buying.
The DSN team also assembled viewpoints from a number of channel leaders. Thirty-One Gifts CEO Cindy Monroe tells us how she has continued to evolve her business as well as respond to shifts in the party plan business model. James B. Smith, the President of the Direct Sellers Association of Canada, provides an update on the regulatory and growth environments in that market. President and CEO Al Bala spoke with DSN about the strategy Mannatech used to introduce a new compensation plan. And U.S. DSA’s Joseph Mariano speaks to the reputation of direct selling and how those in the channel can demonstrate the value of the business model.

As you read this month’s edition, I invite you to think about what you have to share with your peers in direct selling. If you’d like to contribute to a future story, please reach out to Managing Editor Jennifer Mills at jmills@directsellingnews.com. 

All the best,
Lauren