What makes a Leading direct selling industry executive to move from the C-Level offices back to the field? Vidacup Co-Founder Donna Valdes cites growth potential, partnership with Globus Holdings played into her decision.
Valdes stated “my first love in Network Marketing is working directly with the field, helping all independent professionals take their first steps toward success. I’m so confident in Vidacup, that I decided being behind a desk wasn’t enough for me or my family.”
Jeff Mack Vidacup CEO and Co-Founder, stated “With Globus Holdings involved, I see Vidacup becoming a global force in the direct selling industry. I believe my co-founder wants to be on the forefront of taking Vidacup to that next level. Marketing is a passion, but building relationships and helping others succeed is a purpose. I’m proud of the work Donna has done behind the scenes to present the branding and image of Vidacup, but now it’s time to put it to work and take Vidacup to the next level of growth.”
Valdes has also been appointed to be the inaugural member of the President’s Advisory Council, a newly formed body that will lead and train Vidacup Brand Promoters and be the voice of the company in the field. The council is a structure that will eventually be comprised of several top Brand Promoters who will earn seats by building their own team and delivering outstanding results. Once Vidacup’s council has its first three to four members, the members will elect a chair. The council will report directly to CEO and President of Vidacup, Jeffrey Mack.
“Who better to start this new advisory council with than Donna?” said Mack. “She is a strong leader with a track record of success. While we will miss her as a member of the corporate team, we’re elated that she’ll be using her immense talents as a recruiter and her proven ability as a leader and trainer to help our current and future Brand Promoters build a brighter future and more effectively spread the word about our unique products and opportunity.”
The new council is part of the transformation of Vidacup since partnering with Globus Holdings in August 2013. Globus is working with Vidacup to help build a solid infrastructure that is scalable for future growth domestically and internationally. Since the partnership began, Vidacup has been working on solidifying its operations and logistics, improving its technology and branding, and supporting its current field while attracting new leaders.
Valdes is a top industry leader who has built large international distributor organizations over 15 years in the direct sales industry. Valdes is a co-founder of Real Savvy Success, an organization which was focused on the development of female leadership in the small and home business communities.
Vidacup Co-Founder Donna Valdes resigns as Chief Marketing Officer to become an independent distributor for the company
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (February 27, 2014) —Vidacup International’s Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder Donna Valdes has joined Vidacup as an independent distributor to take advantage of the company’s new growth prospects.
“I’m so confident in Vidacup that I decided being behind a desk wasn’t enough for me or my family,” said Valdes. “I see Vidacup becoming a global force in the direct-selling industry and I want to be on the forefront of taking Vidacup to that next level. Marketing is a passion, but building relationships and helping others succeed is a purpose. I’m proud of the work I have done behind the scenes to present the branding and image of Vidacup, but now it’s time to put it to work and take Vidacup to the next level of growth.”
Concurrent with her new position, Valdes stepped down as Chief Marketing Officer, effective as of Friday, February 28, 2014. Valdes is a proven industry leader who has built large international distributor organizations over 15 years in the direct sales industry. She co-founded two network marketing companies along with Real Savvy Success, an organization which focused on the development of female leadership in the network marketing industry. “Vidacup isn’t just another coffee company, we are a company that will change lives with our products, our systems, and our commission structure. Vidacup was born out of necessity to develop and create a company that would appeal to me if I were in the field where ethics and integrity mean something and people matter. Vidacup really did appeal to me and the compensation plan is such that I can make more money in the field as a distributor than working in its corporate office.”
“She is a strong leader with a track record of success. While we will miss her as a member of the corporate team, we’re elated that she’ll be using her immense talents as a recruiter and her proven ability as a leader and trainer to help our current and future Brand Promoters build a brighter future and more effectively spread the word about our unique products and opportunity”, says Jeff Mack, CEO and Co-Founder of Vidacup.
Vidacup partnered with Globus Holdings in August 2013. Globus is working with Vidacup to help build a solid infrastructure that is scalable for future growth domestically and internationally. Since the partnership began, Vidacup has been working on solidifying its operations and logistics, improving its technology and branding, and supporting its current field while attracting new leaders.
ABOUT VIDACUP INTERNATIONAL Vidacup International markets a line of healthy coffee and functional beverages and is the exclusive distributor of an enzyme extraction of the Agaricus Blazei mushroom. To learn more go to: www.vidacup.com.
ABOUT DONNA VALDES Donna Valdes lives in Tampa Bay, Florida with her husband and three children. Donna’s down-to-earth nature, no-nonsense approach and humor are well known in the industry and it is clear that she knows what it takes to achieve success. She has been the keynote speaker at many events in the Direct Sales arena and is the co-founder of Vidacup. To learn more go to: www.donnavaldes.com.
ABOUT GLOBUS HOLDINGS Globus Holdings is a US based global investment company with a focus on the direct selling industry. Globus’ investment team has decades of direct sales experience ranging from field development to start-up investments and company ownership with several successful organizations in the industry.
It is with great excitement that we make a huge announcement.
We are pleased to welcome Carrie Ruelle as a new Vice President. Carrie began her network marketing career at the age of 23 in 1995 and within two years she ascended to the top ranking position in her first network marketing company. Over the next 10 years, Carrie obtained valuable experience as successful field leader in several network marketing companies.
Subsequently Carrie was a co-founder and executive of two direct sales companies in the healthy coffee arena. In 2007 she co-founded OrganoGold and in 2011 SereniGy, with both companies achieving multi-million dollars in annual and operating in as many as 50 countries. “Vidacup International embodies every criteria I established for my next venture. Their executive team possess the work ethic, values, philosophies and vision that confirmed this was the right place to invest my time and talents and achieve my dream of growing a company to the Five Hundred Million dollar mark and beyond. I’m excited to bring my passion and experience to Vidacup and happy to join forces with a company that puts people first.” says Carrie.
Carrie is a valuable addition to our team. Her experience in establishing the foundation of two successful companies in our space will help us ensure best-in-class operations that our Brand Promoters can rely on. She’s passionate about building high-performance teams and we know her contributions will be felt by our staff, seen by our field leadership, and quantified by our growth. These are truly exciting times to be a part of Vidacup. In the coming days and weeks you will see more news being released so stay tuned!
I have been following VidaCup for months. I remember the first calls that came in as Donna Valdez and Jeff Mack started sharing the vision behind what they planned. Like many of us who track trends inside of the Direct Selling Industry they firmly believe the Coffee Niche inside of the Network Marketing community has yet to truly be tapped for it’s full potential. This crew has faced many challenges as they prepared their launch, and they worked 24/7 to make sure those challenges became nothing more than stepping stones to their successful launch!
The VidaCup First Red Carpet Day
Jeff brings a wealth of experience in the direct selling industry to his position as CEO of Vidacup International. He has learned, first hand, the important things that will define a successful company. Although he started his professional career as a civil engineer, he soon realized that he was grinding out a living and really not having much fun. He’ll tell you that it was great to say he was a “civil engineer” but deep inside he felt unfulfilled. Then, in his mid-20s, Jeff was introduced to the Direct Sales industry. As he puts it, “Something inside me woke up and screamed, -This is your chance!”. With a part time (not spare time) effort for one year, he was able to quit his job and devote all his time to growing his own business. The next year his income tripled and in his third year he earned more in a month from a home-based Direct Sales business than he had earned in his best year as a Civil Engineer. And, he was his own boss and having, really having, fun!! That experience gave him first hand evidence of the power of direct selling and began the love affair with this industry that has defined his life and career. (Read All)
Although Donna is a Canadian by birth and upbringing, she has lived in the U.S.A. for almost 25 years.
She spent the first 10 years working many long hours in the legal field. She learned, first hand, the struggles of maintaining a corporate job, choosing many times between family and work. While the pay was excellent and she felt accomplished at work, the compromise of family time for the employer was not fun. Frustration set in when she realized that she had hit the proverbial “glass ceiling”. She had reached the top of her career and was faced with either being content in that current job, going to law school to become an attorney, or finding something completely new. Donna’s entrepreneurial spirit was ready to blossom and she set out to find a way to make money from home without sacrificing family and lifestyle. (Read All)
Dr. Davidson has been in healthcare for over 35 years. She began her healthcare career as a registered nurse, specializing in pediatric intensive care. For the last 30 years she has been a practicing physician, first board-certified in Emergency Medicine and now also board-certified in Integrative/Holistic Medicine. During her 20 years as an emergency medicine physician, she spent 11 years working in, and running, a Level 1 Trauma Center. She transitioned from the world of emergency medicine into the world of integrative medicine in 2004. (Read All)
Few names echo success in direct sales like Jody Humphrey, the new Director of Sales, Training & Development for Vidacup Internationalâ„¢. Jody has been meeting and exceeding goals, reaching industry pinnacles, creating explosive organizational growth, building companies and empowering entrepreneurs to succeed for more than 25 years.
Introduced to network marketing at an early age, Jody has seen many products and companies come and go in the industry. He’s lived the start-up phase of new businesses and knows how to meet those challenges.
When asked what his current goals are, Jody said, “I’ve already completed TWO bucket lists. I know I’ve been fortunate, and now, really, what I want to do is help other people check off their own bucket list. I want to take what I know, what I’ve learned, and share it so others can experience success.”
Vidacup Internationalâ„¢ is focusing on the coffee niche because of its large market potential and the social nature of the product. Given the social business model Vidacup Internationalâ„¢ plans to implement, it’s a natural fit! Over 400 million cups of coffee are served every day in the USA, and it is part of a $125 billion annual market globally. Combining coffee with nutritional and herbal blends shows promise as an emerging trend. (Read All)
Disclaimer: VidaCup is a proud sponsor of MLM Help Desk!
I had the privilege of catching up with Jpdy Humphrey past week right before he left the corp office of VidaCup, to catch-up on old times, (I was cross line with Jody in World Marketing Alliance) and to get from him first hand the excitement he is feeling on joining VidaCup.
VIDACUP INTERNATIONAL™ ANNOUNCES NEW DIRECTOR OF SALES, TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
Mooresville, NC September 14, 2012: Few names echo success in direct sales like Jody Humphrey, the new Director of Sales, Training & Development for Vidacup International™. Jody has been meeting and exceeding goals, reaching industry pinnacles, creating explosive organizational growth, building companies and empowering entrepreneurs to succeed for more than 25 years.
“We are very happy to have Jody Humphrey on board with Vidacup.” Says Donna Valdes, CMO of the company. “It’s more than his experience. He brings a dynamic personality and a desire to share his success strategies with others that gets everyone excited about our future.”
Introduced to network marketing at an early age, Jody has seen many products and companies come and go in the industry. He’s lived the start-up phase of new businesses and knows how to meet those challenges.
When asked what his current goals are, Jody said, “I’ve already completed TWO bucket lists. I know I’ve been fortunate, and now, really, what I want to do is help other people check off their own bucket list. I want to take what I know, what I’ve learned, and share it so others can experience success.”
Vidacup International™ is focusing on the coffee niche because of its large market potential and the social nature of the product. Given the social business model Vidacup International™ plans to implement, it’s a natural fit! Over 400 million cups of coffee are served every day in the USA, and it is part of a $125 billion annual market globally. Combining coffee with nutritional and herbal blends shows promise as an emerging trend.
He has this to say about working with Vidacup International™, “When you combine the right leadership and knowledge with sound financial backing, quality products that are already in demand, and a generous compensation plan with achievable goals, THEN you’ve got a platform to put a system in place for long term growth and prosperity. Vidacup International™ is the name we put on that combination. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t see a huge opportunity for anyone who chooses to get involved and engage the tools we’ll be offering.
Vidacup International™ was founded by an innovative team of professionals dedicated to changing lives around the world through exceptional functional beverages infused with highly effective nutritional products while providing a rewarding opportunity for those who want to share them..
This week’s MLM news, covers some great information and some not so great news. But all in all the Network Marketing Community is growing and this last quarter of 2012 should be some history making times.
Primerica profit beats estimates on robust term insurance sales Source: Primerica.com
By Aman Shah, Edited by Sriraj Kalluvila
Reuters, August 7, 2012
Life insurer Primerica Inc’s (PRI) quarterly profit rose 23 percent and came in above Street estimates on strong sales at its term-life insurance segment.
Net income for the company, which was spun off from Citigroup Inc (C), rose to $46.2 million, or 73 cents per share, for the second quarter, from $37.6 million, or 49 cents per share, a year earlier.
Operating income, a key measure of profitability for insurance companies as it excludes investment gains and losses, was 71 cents per share.
Analysts on average expected Primerica to earn 65 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company, which has been buying back shares from large stakeholders to have greater control over its operations, also authorized a share buyback program of up to $75 million.
Term-life insurance sales rose 24 percent to $162.7 million, while operating income at the segment was up 44 percent to $51.7 million.
Shares of the company closed at $27.17 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
Representative Pete Sessions Honored with Champion of Free Enterprise Award. Source: Direct Selling Association
Direct Selling Day at the U.S. Capitol, featuring more than 50 meetings between direct selling executives and Members of Congress and their staffs, culminated with awarding Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) with the Champion of Free Enterprise Award in recognition of his ongoing commitment to and support of policies that protect the interests of the millions of micro-entrepreneurs working as direct sellers in the U.S.
“Congressman Sessions understands the business community—how government can both protect and foster the growth of direct selling,” said DSA President Joe Mariano. “Over the years, he has been a trusted friend of direct selling… he understands the vital role direct selling plays in the American economy. He is an influential and trusted voice in Congress and today, [he is] a Champion of Free Enterprise.”
Rep. Sessions expressed his excitement for the award and thanked members of the direct selling industry for their continued commitment to their communities, as well as their contributions to the American marketplace.
“I understand where you’re coming from and I believe in what you’re doing,” he said. “The American Dream is about guaranteeing opportunities, not outcomes. It’s about making sure you can work to better your own life and the lives of those around you. I’m very proud to be associated with you. You, too, get the [Champion of Free Enterprise] award every day by making lives better for a lot of people.”
This presentation took place during an ice cream social on Sept. 12, to which all Members of Congress and their staffs were invited. Hundreds attended and enjoyed ice cream while browsing by a number of displays featuring company products and consultant profiles.
The ice cream social was the culmination of a day of meetings across Capitol Hill, as almost 40 member executives met with Members of Congress to introduce them to their companies and the direct sales channel.
“Direct selling is about my independent saleswoman having the freedom to operate her own business as she chooses—it’s up to her,” observed Nathan Moore (Mary Kay) during a meeting with Senator John Thune (R-SD) and his staff. “It’s the American dream especially for women entrepreneurs,” noted DSA Membership Director Nancy Burke. “We are the original social network.”
Independent contractor status, looming Department of Labor regulations, worker’s compensation and Internet tax laws all played roles in the various conversations teams of executives had throughout the day. Additionally, DSA executives, Members of Congress and their staff members discussed the impact of small businesses on the U.S. economy and the importance of ensuring opportunities for success and prosperity are available across all demographic sectors.
Among the day’s meetings, Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) spoke with member company representatives and DSA Executive Vice President Adolfo Franco about the opportunities direct selling provides. Rep. Green even shared the story of his personal connection to the industry through a friend who operated his own business with Primerica in Texas’s 29th Congressional district.
“While we’re largely a manufacturing district—we have a lot of refineries and big businesses—we also have a lot of smaller businesses,” Rep. Green said. “What I have to say is this—direct selling is a part of America. I know the role you play in the economy and I’ve seen it firsthand through [my friend’s] successes.”
Direct selling executives and DSA staff emphasized over and over again that while no current proposals were on the table—”There is no specific ‘ask’,” Joe stated—the message they were bringing to legislators was the value of independent contractor status, and the damage any changes to that would cause the nearly 16 million sellers across the country—an average of 36,000 of whom are in each Congressional district.
The excitement executives carried with them to their meetings was palpable throughout their interactions. “We’re proud to be here,” noted Angela Chrysler (Team National) to Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL). “We’re excited to support our sales channel. The majority of our businesses are women-owned, and we’re pleased we can represent that constituency today. The economy remains a troubling point across the country, but direct selling is part of the solution.”
Additionally, those who participated in this year’s Washington, D.C., Direct Selling Day recognized the value in outreach to representatives of Congress, as well as the importance of sharing personal accounts of how direct selling empowers countless men and women throughout the country. As Policy Advisor to Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) Kyle Cormney stressed, “It is crucial that (direct sellers) go around and share their personal stories and experiences with members of government and those who are unfamiliar with the industry. As more people see the human stories behind direct selling, more people will understand the impact you have.”
The camaraderie among those who participated in this year’s Direct Selling Day on Capitol Hill was evident.
“The day’s events provided an outstanding opportunity for each of us to come together to partner with so many member companies for one common cause—to help members of government understand the role direct selling plays in empowering others to achieve their goals,” added Michelle Merriwether, Vice President of U.S. Field Development for USANA.
Female Direct Sales Leaders Gather in Washington, D.C. Source: Direct Selling Assication
More than 20 female CEOs from a variety of direct selling companies gathered in Washington, D.C., this week to network and learn from each other, as well as to take part in the association’s Direct Selling Day on the Hill, providing Members of Congress with a unique, female perspective about what makes direct selling such a special sales channel.
“I love hearing from these women around the table!” said Susan Handley, President and Founder of Beijo. “If my story has value, that’s great, but I’m really here to learn and observe and get as much out of this as I can—it’s such a great opportunity to be here!”
This was the second such retreat planned for the sales channel’s female CEOs—individuals who understand uniquely the challenges the majority of the field faces as they try to juggle family and work obligations.
“We talk all the time about how being a direct seller offers women, in particular, a specific opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their families by working their own hours and feeling empowered by what they do. But what about the female CEOs at the top of companies? Where do they feel empowerment, especially having chosen the more traditional 9-5 option?” commented DSA Membership Director Nancy Burke. “Last year’s retreat was a powerful event for these CEOs and we felt compelled to offer it a second time so we could continue to provide these exceptional leaders in our industry with a networking and learning opportunity specifically for them.”
When joined by Karen Maples (non-member Myutiq), learning from one of their own—Meg Sheetz (Take Shape for Life)—as well as hearing from Costa Rican Ambassador to the U.S. Muni Figueres, attendees had an opportunity to enjoy female success stories and learn from others’ experiences.
“I am a woman who owns my own direct selling company in southwest Missouri—there’s no one around me like me. I need to go to a DSA meeting like this for a peer group,” noted Nancy Bogart, CEO of Jordan Essentials. “You can’t build relationships at home in a vacuum.”
The second day focused entirely on issue advocacy, as the women broke out into teams and engaged with Members of Congress on Capitol Hill, introducing them to direct selling and to their companies, all the while bringing the conversation back to the special perspective females have to offer legislators—and the effects the decisions of those legislators have on the women and families in their states.
“We’re representing the women who sell for us,” Nancy Bogart stated during one of the briefings. “We’re making our communities and the economy stronger. Direct selling is represented by the faces of women out there selling many products in many communities. We create these jobs and we want to protect their independent contractor status, and really preserve the American dream!”
Six Ways to Build Momentum
Have you ever taken on a project that seems so complicated you don’t even know where to begin? Once you do get into it, though, you often find yourself “in the zone” where you’ve built up so much productive momentum that you feel unstoppable. The creative juices are flowing and you’re accomplishing tasks left and right. This is a great feeling, but getting there can sometimes prove to be extremely difficult. Here are some suggestions to help you get to that point with built-up momentum and maximum productive potential.
Put first things first. You may have several things to do, but tackling the most challenging task first can help you accomplish what you need to when you are freshest, starting your day. So make a list of what needs to be done, and then prioritize the list so that the most important tasks are the ones you do first. This can help you avoid distractions and help you get things done.
Remember that you are in control. You are your own boss. Although that fact does come with its fair share of stress and responsibility, it also comes with the freedom to schedule your workday to accomplish your most important tasks. Maximize the benefits of being in control by delegating tasks to team members when possible. Ask for help when you need it, and take breaks when you are feeling too overwhelmed. Sometimes, just the thought of being in the driver’s seat of your business is enough to get you through a difficult project.
Mute the negative thoughts and stay positive. You’ve no doubt heard about the power of positive self-talk. Not surprisingly, negative self-talk is just as powerful, so it’s important that you tune it out. Anytime you catch yourself having a negative thought, remember that it is only hindering your productivity, not helping it. Replace it with a positive thought or motivational message. Positivity goes a long way in building the momentum you need to accomplish your goals.
Stay focused and avoid distractions. What types of things distract you from working on the task at hand? Is it the Facebook and Pinterest buttons on your toolbar that lure you away from the task at hand? Maybe you should hide the toolbar when working. Reward yourself with some “fun” time on your social networks when you’re done with your project. Distractions come in all shapes and sizes, so identify what distracts you and put yourself in a situation where they don’t get in your way. Remain focused on your desired endgame to maintain your momentum.
Avoid negative people. Some people just default to negative behavior: constantly complaining, persistently blaming others, and always having a reason they don’t succeed. These people should not be in your immediate circle, and they certainly shouldn’t work for you, as they may bring down not only you but your team as well. Surround yourself with people who will be your cheerleaders and who are as goal-oriented as you are. You will be much better equipped to build your momentum with positive people around you.
Keep a daily/weekly accomplishment tally. The busier our lives become, the harder it gets to remember what we actually accomplished by the end of the day or week. Keep some sort of tally or list to remind you what you completed and motivate you to continue. Such a record will also serve show you how much you are really accomplishing on a regular basis.
Building momentum is crucial to continuous goal accomplishment in your business. Have you used these strategies in the past? How have they helped you? What else should be added to our list? Please share your ideas in the comments section below!
MLM Company News
Ambit Energy recently held its sixth annual conference, “Ambition 2012: Take Charge,” in Dallas. More than 9,000 independent consultants attended over a span of five days. It is estimated that the event had an economic impact of $10 million on the Dallas area. The company also announced it will be expanding in California, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
AtHome America has gone out of business.
For the third year, Amway is continuing its support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America with a $1 million donation to support community gardens and healthy habits for children throughout the U.S. As a part of the partnership, Amway’s POSITIVE SPROUTS® program teaches kids how to plant and maintain their own edible gardens. An accompanying curriculum educates youth about nutrition, organic gardening practices and cooking from the garden.
Amway is providing $30,000 in Sustainability Grants to 10 deserving Boys & Girls Clubs who previously received community gardens from Amway. The funds are designed to assist Clubs with the maintenance of their gardens. The direct selling company is also donating 150 “Garden In A Box” kits to Boys & Girls Clubs that demonstrated an interest and need for establishing a community gardening program at their Club. The kit includes a variety of fruit and vegetable seeds and supplies Clubs need to get started. Additionally, Amway is enabling the delivery of a healthy food curriculum to 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide, ensuring all Clubs have access to educational materials promoting healthy eating habits.
Gigi Hill has planned a tour to introduce the company and its founders to five new cities this fall. Founders Gabrielle DeSantis-Cummings and Monica Hillman will take the Gigi Hill Fall 2012 Roadshow to Virginia, Maryland, Florida, Michigan and Illinois this October.
LifeVantage has announced that its common stock has been approved for listing on the NASDAQ Capital Market. Shares commenced trading under its current ticker symbol, “LFVN,” earlier this week. Prior to the listing of its common stock on the NASDAQ Capital Market, the company’s common stock was traded on the OTC Bulletin Board.
In additional company news, LifeVantage reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ending on June 30, 2012. For the fiscal 2012 fourth quarter, compared to the same period last year, net revenue increased 197 percent to $44.6 million; operating margin increased to 16.5 percent compared to 13 percent; and operating income grew 275 percent to $7.3 million. Fiscal 2012 full-year highlights, compared to fiscal 2011 full-year, include: net revenue increased 224 percent to $126.2 million; operating margin increased to 17 percent compared to 9.5 percent; operating income grew 480 percent to $21.5 million; and cash and cash equivalents grew to $24.6 million as of June 30, 2012 from $6.4 million as of the prior year-end.
FORTUNE magazine recently released its list of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies. Medifast, parent company of member company Take Shape for Life, is no. 46 on the 2012 list.
Neways Europe was awarded an official certificate of recognition by the Grüner Punkt (Green Dot) recycling program for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 12.56 kilograms of carbon dioxide in 2011, approximately equal to the annual carbon dioxide emissions generated by seven two-person households. Green Dot is the flagship recycling program of Duales System Deutschland (DSD), a Germany-based recycler.
XANGO recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with a gathering of several thousand distributors in Las Vegas. In those 10 years, the company’s salesforce has grown to have more than 2 million distributors, it’s operating in 43 countries and making more than $2 billion in cumulative revenue.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY CENTRAL DIVISION
CIVIL ACTION NO. 10-305-JBC
YVONNE DAY, et al., PLAINTIFFS, V. MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
FORTUNE HI-TECH MARKETING, et al., DEFENDANTS.
* * * * * * * * * * *
This matter is before the court upon the plaintiffs’ motion to alter or amend the court’s order compelling arbitration and dismissing this action, R.67. For the following reasons, the court will grant the motion.
The plaintiffs, as former individual representatives (“IRs”) of Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, Inc. (“FHTM”), filed suit against the defendants, including FHTM, FHTM officers, and other individuals, for alleged violations of Title 18 U.S.C. § 1961-
1968 “RICO” laws, the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act under KRS § 367, and Kentucky common law torts. The defendants moved to compel arbitration of the claims, and the court granted the motion, dismissing the action and submitting all of the claims to arbitration.
The plaintiffs now ask the court to reconsider on four grounds: (1) that the court has jurisdiction to address the issue of whether the alleged arbitration agreement was supported by consideration; (2) that the court should not apply the
FAA presumption favoring arbitration to its analysis of whether an agreement was formed; (3) that the FHTM sponsors had no actual implied authority to bind the plaintiffs to an arbitration agreement and that the plaintiffs are entitled to a jury
trial on any factual disputes; and (4) that the plaintiffs did not ratify their contracts with FHTM. The court reviews the motion under Fed. R. Civ. P. 59 (e) for a showing of “(1) a clear error of law; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) an intervening change in controlling law; or (4) a need to prevent manifest injustice.” Henderson v. Walled Lake Consol. Sch., 469 F.3d 479, 496 (6th Cir. 2005). Upon review, the court finds that it has jurisdiction to address the issue of whether the alleged arbitration agreement was supported by consideration and will analyze the issue accordingly. The court will also clarify its position on the FAA presumption favoring arbitration. However, because the court finds that the alleged arbitration agreement was not supported by consideration, it will not review the issues of implied authority and ratification; rather, it will rescind its prior findings on those issues.
The court has jurisdiction to address the plaintiffs’ consideration argument because “where the dispute at issue concerns contract formation, the dispute is generally for courts to decide.” Granite Rock v. Int’l Brotherhood of Teamsters, 130
S. Ct. 2847, 2855-2856 (2010). The court previously erred in applying Buckeye Check Cashing v. Cardegna, 546 U.S. 440, 445-46 (2006), which involved a challenge to an existing agreement rather than a claim that no arbitration
agreement was reached. “Every contract requires mutual assent and consideration,” so an inquiry into consideration is part of the contract-formation analysis. Cuppy v. Gen. Accidental Fire & Life Assurance Corp., 378 S.W.2d 629,
632 (Ky. 1964); see also Cantrell Supply v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 94 S.W.3d 381,
384 (Ky. App. 2002). Even though the plaintiffs’ argument – that the FHTM policies and procedures document is illusory and lacks consideration – implicates the entire alleged contract between the parties and not just the arbitration agreement, see Moran v. Svete, 366 Fed. Appx. 624, 631 (6th Cir. 2010), the court has jurisdiction under Granite Rock to review the consideration dispute because it concerns contract formation. Even though the federal presumption in favor of arbitration is taken into consideration when making determinations on the scope of arbitrable issues, see Moses H. Cone Mem’l Hosp. v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 24-25 (1983), the court will not apply that presumption to the discussion of whether an arbitration agreement was formed, see Granite Rock, 130
S. Ct. at 2858 (2010). The court erred in doing so in its prior opinion.
Because the FHTM policies and procedures authorize FHTM to amend the Agreement — meaning, collectively, the FHTM application and agreement, the FHTM trainer/coach agreement, the policies and procedures, and the marketing and compensation plan — at any time in its sole and absolute discretion, the agreement to arbitrate is illusory and lacks consideration. “Consideration is an essential element of every contract.” Floss v. Ryan’s Family Steak Houses, Inc., 211 F.3d
A promise may act as consideration but only if “it creates a binding obligation” on
each promisor. Id. (citing David Roth’s Sons, Inc. v. Wright and Taylor, Inc., 343
S.W.2d 389, 390 (Ky. Ct. App. 1961)). When the promisor has no true fixed obligation to perform, the contract is illusory and lacks consideration. See David Roth’s Sons, Inc., 343 S.W.2d at 391. In this case, FHTM has no fixed obligation to arbitrate. Even though both the FHTM application and agreement and policies and procedures contain arbitration agreements, the policies and procedures (which are incorporated into the application and agreement, R.1-2, p.7, and supersede and prevail over any conflicting terms in the application and agreement, R.27-1, p.4), provide FHTM the sole discretionary authority to amend FHTM documents at any time. R.1-2, p.7.
By retaining the right to amend the documents “in its sole and absolute discretion,” FHTM has no binding obligation to arbitrate. R.1-2, p.7; see also David Roth’s Sons, Inc., 343 S.W.2d at 390 (Ky. Ct. App. 1961). At any point, after providing only notice of the amendment, FHTM could amend the policies and procedures or the application and agreement to either alter or remove entirely the arbitration agreements. This means that the unilateral-amendment provision of the policies and procedures renders illusory any alleged promise to arbitrate by FHTM, and FHTM’s promise to arbitrate cannot act as consideration for the arbitration agreement. Floss, 211 F.3d at 315 (6th Cir. 2000); see also Daniel Boone Coal
Co. v. Miller, 217 S.W. 666 (Ky. 1920).
The agreement to arbitrate is illusory despite the requirement that FHTM
must provide notice to IRs of any amendment to the application and agreement or policies and procedures documents. A notice provision can constitute sufficient consideration for an otherwise illusory contract by limiting a party’s ability to unilaterally amend or terminate an agreement, see Morrison v. Circuit City Stores,
317 F.3d 646 (6th Cir. 2003); see also Seawright v. Am. Gen. Fin., Inc., 507 F.3d
967 (6th Cir. 2008). The provision at issue, however, does not provide for advance notice. Amendments to any of the FHTM documents are “effective upon notice to IRs that the Agreement has been modified.” R.1-2, p.7. Notice is accomplished by publishing the amendment in official FHTM materials, including posting it on the FHTM website, e-mailing it to IRs, broadcasting it over voice mail, or including it in FHTM periodicals. Notice is “deemed received by the IR upon posting.” R.1-2, p.7.
The FHTM agreement is distinguishable from the agreement in Morrison, which was upheld, because in that case an employer had the authority to alter or terminate an agreement at the end of each year only “upon giving thirty days’ notice [of the amendment or termination] to its employees.” Morrison, 317 F.3d at
667 (6th Cir. 2003). The thirty-day provision is significant because the Morrison court found that it provided enough of a limitation on the employer’s ability to terminate or amend the agreement to constitute consideration. Id. The notice provision was a promise “to maintain the arbitration agreement” for a specified period of time, thirty days. Id. at 668. In this case, the arbitration agreement appears closer to an agreement that may be altered with “unfettered discretion,
Floss, 211 F.3d at 315, than the Morrison and Seawright arbitration agreements, which provided thirty-day and ninety-day grace periods, respectively, before amendments became effective. The FHTM IRs are bound by an amendment as soon as it is published, R.1-2, p.7; thus, FHTM does not promise to maintain the arbitration agreement for a specified amount of time, and no mutuality of obligation to arbitrate exists.
Also, the agreement to arbitrate is illusory despite the fact that the agreement contains a survival provision. The arbitration agreement in the policies and procedures provides that the “agreement to arbitrate shall survive any termination or expiration of the Agreement.” R.1-3, p.10. The defendants argue that this provision restricts FHTM’s right to modify or eliminate the arbitration provision, which means that FHTM does not have an “absolute right” to cancel or terminate the agreement. See Hale v. Cundari Gas Transmision Co., 454 S.W.2d
680, 684 (Ky. Ct. App. 1974)(stating that only an absolute right to terminate an agreement renders the agreement illusory). The survival provision, however, does not eliminate FHTM’s discretion to terminate or amend the arbitration agreement while the underlying contracts remain in effect; FHTM could even remove or alter the survival provision of the arbitration agreement under the authority of the amendment provision in the policies and procedures.
FHTM’s promise to arbitrate is illusory and thus cannot act as consideration for an agreement to arbitrate with the plaintiffs. Because this finding renders moot the plaintiffs’ remaining arguments regarding whether an agreement to arbitrate
was formed, the court rescinds its prior ruling on the issues of whether FHTM sponsors had implied authority to bind the plaintiffs to an arbitration agreement and whether the plaintiffs ratified their contracts with FHTM. Those issues will be resolved at the appropriate time, as either questions of law or questions of fact, after the parties have had sufficient opportunity for full discovery and have thoroughly briefed the issues. Accordingly,
IT IS ORDERED that the plaintiffs’ motion to alter or amend the court’s order
compelling arbitration and dismissing this action, R.67, is GRANTED
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the court’s order granting the defendant’
motion to compel arbitration and dismiss or stay the action, R.66, is RESCINDED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall file a Rule 26(f) joint written report with proposed deadlines no later than 30 days from the date of entry of this order.
This weeks MLM News report covers MLM Coffee start up VidaCup, MLM travel company YTB, Mannatech, Avon, TriVita, Amazon Herb Company and Amway.
Vidacup is thrilled to announce the addition of our CSA, Dr Daria Davidson. Dr. Davidson has been in healthcare for over 35 years. She began her healthcare career as a registered nurse, specializing in pediatric intensive care. For the last 30 years she has been a practicing physician, first board-certified in Emergency Medicine and now also board-certified in Integrative/Holistic Medicine. During her 20 years as an emergency medicine physician, she spent 11 years working in, and running, a Level 1 Trauma Center. She transitioned from the world of emergency medicine into the world of integrative medicine in 2004.
A personal cancer diagnosis in 1992 became the start of a broadening perspective on maintaining or regaining health. In 1995 Dr. Davidson began seriously looking into the scientific basis of supporting health through the appropriate use nutritional supplementation and nutraceuticals. With 18 years of experience, she is now convinced that there are simple and very effective natural ways to help our bodies in the ongoing process of optimal functioning. (Read The Full Article at VidaCup) Source: VidaCup Blog
There is so much in life that we can’t control, and you may sometimes feel powerless when things don’t go as planned. However, by learning to empower yourself, you can begin to have a more positive outlook on life and enable yourself to succeed. The following suggestions can help you feel more in control, and allow you to better enjoy both your professional and personal life.
Remember that your past failures don’t predict the future. Think of that big test you failed back in high school; did it prevent you from graduating? Did that time you knocked over the cone while parallel parking stop you from becoming a good driver? Past failures are nothing more than learning experiences. Instead of dwelling on them, figure out what you can actually learn from them. That test you failed probably taught you how to study more effectively for future tests, just as that parking incident helped you realize that you need to adjust your mirrors differently. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Empower yourself by taking control of your past to succeed in the future.
Lower the threshold for good things and raise it for bad things. Don’t make mountains out of molehills, but changing your perspective can show you what’s really important in life. This morning, for example, you woke up healthy and able to take on your day. Realize what a great thing that is, and don’t take it for granted. On the other hand, remember that spilling your coffee on the way to work isn’t the worst thing that can happen; your house catching fire is more along the lines of something really bad happening that can change your life. Empower yourself by taking a moment to be grateful for all the positive things you have, big and small.
Eat healthier and exercise. A nutritionist wrote on her blog, “Note to self: when I eat badly, I feel badly.” This couldn’t be more true. Of course we all indulge once in awhile, but implement a healthy eating regimen if you don’t have one already. Additionally, make sure you are getting at least 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week. Do something you enjoy, like power walking, taking a kickboxing class to relieve stress, or play some Wii Fit in the privacy of your own home. The better you treat your body, the better you will feel. Empower yourself by being as physically healthy as possible.
Make a list of everything good in your day. This is especially important when you’re feeling like everything is going wrong. For example, did your children wake up smiling and happy to see you? Great! Add it to the list. Did a customer express her satisfaction with your service today? Put it on that list. Empower yourself by recognizing and appreciating the positive.
Look for and expect something great each day. Every day will have something good in it, so be on the lookout for it. If you expect greatness in your life, you’ll find that it comes more easily because you will be open to recognizing it as it happens. Being a business owner is something most people don’t have the courage to undertake, so at the end of each day, if nothing else, take a minute to pat yourself on the back. You completed another day, achieving your dream and doing what you love. Empower yourself by developing an upbeat attitude and an optimistic point of view.
By making some adjustments to your mindset, you will feel more empowered to take on your world and reach your goals. How do you empower yourself on a daily basis? Please share your ideas below! Source: Direct Selling Education Foundation
Amway is planning to build its largest overseas production base in South China, which will produce top-selling Nutrilite products. The 78,000 square meter facility will be located in the Economic and Technology Development District of Luogang Area in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, and will be completed in 2016.
The Avon Hello Green Tomorrow project, a global fundraising and mobilization program, has awarded a total of $1 million to The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund to help end deforestation. This latest contribution brings total Hello Green Tomorrow funds raised to more than $4.5 million since the program was launched in 2010. The $1 million represents funds raised through mid-year 2012 from ongoing Avon Hello Green Tomorrow global efforts.
Mannatech held its annual convention, MannQuest 2012, at Walt Disney World last weekend. Touted as the “Ultimate Training Weekend,” independent sales associates from across the U.S. and Canada were in attendance.
Oriflame has collaborated with actress Demi Moore to produce a premium collection of makeup products, fragrances and accessories-More by Demi.
TriVita and Amazon Herb Company have merged. Amazon founder John Easterling and his wife, actress Olivia Newton-John, will continue to work directly with TriVita to advance the company’s wellness mission.
In other company news, TriVita will be launching Southeast Asian operations on Sept. 18, 2012. The company’s goal is to expand its operations to 100 companies in 10 years.
YTB International has called off its proposed merger with LTS Neutraceuticals, also a non-member. YTB Chairman J. Scott Tomer has resigned from his posts with the company. Robert Van Patten, the company’s president, CEO, interim CFO and board member, resigned from the company in April of this year. A management committee is overseeing operations until a new CEO is appointed.
Vidacup International ™ Network Marketing & MLM Prelaunch
New start-up Vidacup International ™ turns your everyday coffee into a Cup of Life
Mooresville, NC — August 28, 2012 — Vidacup was founded by an innovative team of professionals dedicated to changing lives around the world through exceptional functional beverages infused with highly effective nutritional products while providing a rewarding opportunity for those who want to share them.
“Vidacup is the perfect combination of everything I ever wanted to find in a company as an independent distributor,” says Chief Marketing Officer Donna Valdes. “The founding team of Vidacup has over 90 years of combined direct sales experience, both in the field and on the corporate side. We also bring expertise in many other areas of business and believe this gives us a unique perspective when it comes to developing Vidacup and appealing to prospective Brand Promoters.”
Vidacup is focusing on the coffee niche because of its large market potential and the social nature of the product. Given the social business model Vidacup plans to implement, it’s a natural fit! Over 400 million cups of coffee are served every day in the USA, and it is part of a $125 billion annual market globally. Combining coffee with nutritional and herbal blends shows promise as an emerging trend.
Vidacup was recently awarded the exclusive distribution rights to what many believe is the most potent immune modulator on the planet; a new enzyme isolating extraction of the H1X1 Agaricus Blazei Murill mushroom. Clinical studies of this powerful mushroom have shown exciting and broad-reaching health benefits. Now, with this powerful new extract, health benefits promise to be even greater for the consumer. Valdes is excited. “The H1X1 Super Concentrate is a big deal. This incredible mushroom extract delivers many times more health-enhancing beta glucans of any other mushroom on the market.” Every Vidacup product will be infused with this super concentrate.
In addition, Vidacup will be setting a new standard with their technology- based compensation plan. Today Vidacup introduces a free sign up period during which anyone may join Vidacup and have access to a brand new marketing system platform that encompasses social media promotion.
The word vida means life in several languages and the team at Vidacup specifically chose that word as part of their name, because life is the most precious thing each of us is given. “Here at Vidacup, we want to do our part to help you make the most of it.”