According to an iWowWe YouTube Video posted June 26th, 2013, Dawn Wright-Olivares, Alex de Brantes, Jon Wright, Aaron Baker, and Andrew Young are all former Zeek Rewards and Savage Traders team members. Dawn as the COO was publicly proclaimed as the creative genius behind turning Paul Burk’s company Rex Venture Group, from a dying internet based shopping store into an Online Penny Auction venture. On August 17th, 2012, Paul Burks, agreed to a Complaint filed in Federal Court by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that Zeek Rewards, was in reality a $1.2 Billion Dollar Ponzi Scheme and agreed to allow the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to take control and liquidate it. You can read all the court documents by clicking here!
iWowWe was founded back in 2007 by Bill Starkey, and a team fo techies dedicated in creating a forward thinking communication platform.
As of the posting of this editorial all mention of a corporate staff, the founders etc, have been removed from the iWowWe website. I assume this temporary as the team creates new bios and put up new pictures on the staff. Based on the video I mentioned above here is the line up of staff members.
Chief Marketing Officer Dawn Wright-Olivares
Internet Marketing Director – Alex de Brantes,
Compliance Director – Jon Wright
Market Research Analyst – Aaron Baker
Support Services – Andrew Young
Now, what really caught my attention was an article written at Behind MLM by Oz. At the bottom of the article in the comment section, a person claiming to by Bill Starkey, wrote a comment supporting his move on hiring Dawn Wright-Olivares and her team. It is some of the things Bill states that I want to cover. (Oz did edit out some of the full comment, which would have teken the comment thread off topic.)
This is Bill Starkey, CEO of WowWe, Inc. I want to address a few things here right away. First and foremost, Dawn and her team are unable to comment on anything relating to Zeek as it is a legal matter and their attorneys are handling as it should be and as is critical in all cases like the one they are dealing with.
When I approached Dawn and her team to come on board with iWowWe, I did so because they are the absolute best in the industry and broke every record in MLM history. I was honored to meet her and am THRILLED that they came on board with iWowWe.
Troy’s Thoughts: If Zeek Rewards had truly turned out to be a new cutting-edge MLM, then I would agree. But just because a company claims to be a network marketing company, doesn;t make it so. In the case of Zeek Rewards, Paul Burks the founder of its parent company Rez Venture Group, LLC. agreed, after long SEC investigation to turn over the company to the SEC accepting their findings that it was a Ponzi. In the complaint filed by the SEC, Paul Burks agreed (without admitting or denying, signed and accepted that Zeek Rewards was in fact a Ponzi and Pyramid Scheme, NOT an MLM.
So to state that “Dawn and her team broke every record in MLM history” is false.
1. Cases like these are how innovative business models get worked out. That doesn’t mean there was any “wrong-doing”, regardless of the final outcome.
Bill, if you have not read every court document, then I suggest you do! In March of 2012, I also, after talking with Dawn, and other well-respected consultants and legal minds saw Zeek Rewards as a possible “innovative business model.” However, again, after reading through hundreds of court documents, it is clear that the compensation model used at Zeek Rewards was not innovative. (I should point out Paul Burks has publically been proclaimed as the designer of the compensation structure and not any of Dawn Wright-Olivares’s team.)
But at the end of the day, acording to court records pulled from the Zeek Rewards databases, 2.2 million joined and only 80,000 earned more than they put into bids, monthly fees etc. Those numbers are NOT innovative.
2. Zeek brought in the best compliance minds in the industry to try to help work out that business model, all while trying to manage record-setting growth, outside fraud attacks, and over-zealous affiliates.
I do agree that Zeek hired some of the best compliance minds, but that doesn’t mean the leadership of Zeek Rewards took the advice of those consultants. And in the end, Paul Burks did not see that it was necessary to allow those consultants and legal minds to defend his business model and compensation structure. Which does cause one to ask… Did he and his team take any of the advice, or maybe I should say the most critical part of their advice?
3. Who knows better how to deal with a challenge — someone who’s never had an issue, or someone who’s been through trial by fire?
Well, when the fire was turned up, Dawn was removed from her role as COO, and someone who had dealt with the regulatory issues was put in to replace her. A War Time COO, if you will!
Continuing on that thought… In light of the increasing scrutiny of the government into the direct selling business model, I want someone with first-hand experience dealing with that scrutiny — not someone who’s just been lucky to avoid it.
I can fully understand Bill Stakey’s point above. However, when the leaders of a direct selling, MLM, Network Marketing business well inside the rules and by the DSA Code of Ethics, then they should be able to weather and even welcome regulatory oversight.
Since Dawn had already been removed as a corporate officer, and replaced by a War Time COO, your statement raises the question… “What experience does Dawn and her team have in truly dealing with the regulators at a State or Federal level?
4. RE: Dawn speaking out publicly about her involvement with Zeek, simple answer: There’s an ongoing case. She can’t talk about it publicly. DUH.
I agree 100%, and it is good that she has a friend, and business partner like you to support her. I know Peter Mingles another long time friend of Dawns, feels the same, and I appriciate that in both of you!
5. Bottom line: I’ve known Dawn and seen her work for years. She’s a brilliant — BRILLIANT — marketer, with first-hand experience in the increasingly challenging regulatory environment, and that’s why I hired her.
Hmmm… I love brilliant marketing. But at times Brilliant Marketing can cross the line to down right fraud causing regulatory issues, or worst. One of the issues Zeek Rewards faced was “brilliant marketing” that crossed the line both at a corporate level and in the field.
Is the industry just supposed to forgive and forget? She’ll have to deal with whatever consequences come as a result of the case. But she gets to move on, in an industry she has dedicated most of her professional career to. I’m happy to be giving her a second chance, and feel very confident in my decision to do so.
The industry is NOT suppose to FORGET! And the profession should hold each other accountable for our actions! As for forgiving… I am a firm believer in giving people a second chance. However, until everyone who was a part of Zeek Rewards that lost money is made whole, I doubt if most will be willing to forgive anyone who was in a position of leadership at Rex Venture Group, LLC aka Zeek Rewards!
(Ozedit: attempts to take discussion offline removed)
There are many companies now entering the space that iWowWe has been pioneering since 2007.
Two new companies who have entered the space is ViTel Wireless with their ViSocial platform and SocialZing with their complete online social platforms. And then we have largest of the bunch Talk Fusion.
Living An Epic Adventure,