Executives, Special Guests Gather in the Nation’s Capital to Applaud Direct Selling’s Achievements
On Monday, March 31, DSA honored the 20 Largest Direct Selling Association Member Companies with a formal dinner and reception in downtown Washington, D.C.
Based on 2013 DSA membership dues, which are representative of U.S. net sales, the 20 Largest DSA Member Companies in alphabetical order are:
With the U.S. Capitol building as a backdrop, honorees and special guests seized the opportunity to applaud company milestones and celebrate the successes of the previous year. In addition to direct selling executives, representatives of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, the Latino Coalition, the National Association for the Self-Employed, the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the Direct Marketing Association and the National Energy Marketers Association participated in the celebration.
“As I stand here, I see friends that have helped me in my journey,” said DSA Chairman and Scentsy CEO Orville Thompson. “I see an association that truly represents what is best in business and best in this American Dream. To be here tonight to celebrate the 20 largest DSA direct selling companies is an honor.”
“All of you are contributing to the nation, to our people, to providing opportunities to empower diverse groups of citizens throughout the United States and throughout the world; and, indeed, you are creating a better life for us all,” added DSA President Joseph Mariano.
Attendees were privileged to hear an inspiring keynote address by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue, a longtime friend of, and advocate for, direct selling.
“I want to thank each of you for your leadership and contributions to our economy, and for exemplifying the possibility of free enterprise in such a powerful way both at home and abroad,” Donohue said. “Tonight is about keeping Americans’ dreams alive for future generations. You and your companies play a critical role in that, not only by equipping others [with opportunities] through your enterprises, but also by inspiring others through your stories.
“Before there could ever be a profit, there had to be an idea,” he continued. “Before there was a workforce of dedicated direct sellers, there was one person determined to better his or her own life.”
Donohue shared stories of his decades-long friendships with Richard DeVos and the late Jay Van Andel, co-founders of Amway, as well as Frank VanderSloot, President & CEO of Melaleuca, adding that each epitomized, in his own way, what it means to achieve the American Dream.
“Many of the founders of companies like yours share a number of things in common: hard work, thrift, personal responsibility, individual initiative and a lot of courage,” Donohue said. “More than ever, our country needs people who live their lives according to these principles, and industries and companies like yours, who foster those principles in business. We need them to help tackle the economic and social challenges we all face today.”
Donohue also discussed the importance of direct selling’s contributions to the slow-to-improve U.S. economy.
“We’ve been stuck in the slowest economic recovery since World War II,” he said. “Joblessness continues to run high, a wretched number of Americans are on food stamps and more than 30 percent of our students don’t graduate from high school. We know, however, that free enterprise is part of the solution.
“Nothing can smother our nation’s pioneering entrepreneurial spirit,” he continued. “But, many Americans need a reminder of what built the greatest country on Earth. Free enterprise is the only system that can put people back to work and ensure that the American Dream remains alive and well for everyone.”
After Donohue’s address, each of the 20 companies was recognized for its 2013 achievements in the order in which the companies were founded. First, DSA honored the legacy companies present—those companies launched anywhere from 1886 through 1963. From there, DSA applauded the Millennial companies—those launched in the 1980s or 1990s—and the Generation Z companies—those launched since the turn of the century.
Highlights ranged from sales and recruitment records and notable business awards to marketing campaigns and philanthropic initiatives.
“It’s a great time to be a part of direct selling. It’s incredible, the opportunity our sales representatives have to be able to find their own financial freedom,” said Cindy Monroe, Founder and CEO of Thirty-One Gifts. “It’s always fun to be here in Washington, D.C., and to be able to share the excitement of our industry with other companies and just to be able to learn together how we can keep [the direct selling] opportunity available for all families across the world.”
At the close of the night’s celebrations, Joe addressed the audience once more: “We’re making our presence known, giving back to the country, giving back to the world. Take the message of the success of the 20 Largest DSA Member Companies and all the DSA member companies…” he said, pausing to point at the Capitol building just outside. “Take that message right up the road to that big beautiful building.”On Monday, March 31, DSA honored the 20 Largest Direct Selling Association Member Companies with a formal dinner and reception in downtown Washington, D.C.
Source: Direct Selling Association