The Hon. Alexander Acosta

United States Secretary of Labor

Department of Labor

President Donald J. Trump nominated Alexander Acosta to be the 27th United States Secretary of Labor. He was sworn in on April 28, 2017.

Secretary Acosta is the son of Cuban refugees, a native of Miami, and first-generation college graduate. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University.

Following law school, he worked as a law clerk for Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He then worked at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis and went on to teach at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law.

Secretary Acosta has served in three presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed positions. In 2002, he was appointed to serve as a member of the National Labor Relations Board, where he participated in or authored more than 125 opinions. In 2003, he was appointed Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and from 2005 to 2009 he served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Most recently, Secretary Acosta served as the dean of the FIU College of Law.

Secretary Acosta has twice been named one of the nation’s 50 most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine. He was also named to the list of 100 most influential individuals in business ethics in 2008. In 2013, the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presented him with the Chairman’s Higher Education Award in recognition of his “outstanding achievements, leadership and determination throughout a lifetime of caring and giving back to the community.”

Haya Ajjan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Management Information Systems

Elon University

Dr. Haya Ajjan teaches data analytics and information systems courses in Elon’s undergraduate business and MBA programs. Dr. Ajjan has started the Center for Organizational Analytics at Elon University and was instrumental in developing the curriculum for M.S. in Management concentration in Organizational Analytics. She earned her MBA and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Belk College of Business. Her research focuses on better understanding the impact of technology use on individuals, groups, and organizations. Dr. Ajjan’s research articles have appeared in national and international journals, such as Behaviour & Information Technology, British Journal of Educational Technology, the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Journal of Enterprise Information Management. Additionally, she has presented at numerous national and international conferences, such as International Conference on Information Systems, Academy of Management, Academy of Marketing Science, and the American Conference on Information Systems.

Jeff Babener

Principal Attorney

Babener & Associates/SourceNet Group

Jeffrey Babener, of Portland, Ore., is the principal attorney in the law firm of Babener & Associates. For more than 30 years he has advised leading U.S. and foreign companies in the direct selling industry, including many members of the Direct Selling Association. He has lectured and published extensively on direct selling. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California Law School.

Al Bala

Chief Executive Officer and President

Mannatech, Inc.

CEO and President, Alfredo (Al) Bala joined Mannatech in October 2007 as Senior Vice President, Global Sales before being named Executive Vice President, Sales in June 2011. He was then named President in 2014 to even better support Mannatech’s independent sales Associates. Al also serves as a board member for the Mission 5 MillionSM (M5M) Foundation, which works in conjunction with Mannatech to link five million consumers of Real Food Technology® supplementation with five million children in need.

Before joining Mannatech, Al served as Chief Operating Officer of Britt Worldwide, LLC from 1992 to 2006. Prior to that, he served as manufacturing plant manager for Bose Corporation from 1983 to 1992. In addition to more than 20 years of domestic and international experience in network marketing, Al’s proven record includes growing a major direct sales organization to $750 million, reaching more than one million people in 60 countries.

Jared Blum

Code Administrator

Direct Selling Association

Mr. Jared O. Blum, Esq. serves as DSA’s Code of Ethics Administrator. Previously, he served as a member of FTC General Counsel’s office and Vice President and Legal Counsel of DSA.

Mr. Blum has over 30 years of not-for-profit management expertise. He has served both large and small associations in a variety of environments throughout his non-profit management career.

Mr. Blum has been consulted by national media, government, industry and academia regarding environmental issues and he works closely with the Federal Trade Commission on environmental claims. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Energy and Environment Study Institute. He served as the President of the State Governmental Affairs Council, the Small Business Legislative Council and the Council of Manufacturing Associations, National Association of Manufacturers.

Mr. Blum holds a law degree from the National Law Center at George Washington University and an undergraduate degree from Boston University.

Nancy Bogart

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Jordan Essentials

Nancy Bogart as Founder and Chief Executive Officer, is responsible for the vision as well as steering the company on a day to day basis.  Founded in 2000 Nancy Bogart has brought Jordan Essentials through a name change, rebrand, and remodel of virtually every area of her company.

Nancy spends her time as a key strategist and has made significant strides to keep Jordan Essentials young, fresh and relevant.  Time split between the field, home office and her family of 6 make Nancy a key multi tasker and ability to set priorities a key characteristic for her success.  Nancy has been awarded many local and nation awards such as top 12 fastest growing company in the State of Missouri as well as a local Top 20 Woman in Business award winner.   Nancy also has a desire to empower women on their journey through her project Joy for the Journey and Family Give Projects.

Lindsay Bomar

Senior Communications Manager

AdvoCare International, LP

Lindsay Bomar serves as the Senior Manager of Corporate Communications at AdvoCare International.  Bringing almost a decade of experience to the role, Lindsay manages external communications, crisis communications, public relations and public affairs work for the company. She also works with the executive team on board communications and is a member of the AdvoCare Foundation team working on strategy, brand and messaging. Prior to her work at AdvoCare, Lindsay spent eight years in Washington, DC working in political communications and advocacy with several consulting firms and national political campaigns. Lindsay also spent two and a half years with Bloomberg Government where she led editorial content for policy-focused events, research promotion for analysts and media relations and logistics. Lindsay received her bachelor’s in communication and public affairs from Southern Methodist University and a master’s in public management from Johns Hopkins University. Lindsay resides with her husband in Dallas, TX.

Keith Bower

Information Technology Director

Scentsy, Inc.

My name is Keith Bower. I am Scentsy’s IT Director responsible for Governance Risk and Compliance.

I have more than 20 years of experience in IT in various technical and leadership roles. I’ve been at Scentsy for 4 years and love it. I have experience improving IT organizations through effective and efficient management of people, process and technology. My Scentsy IT team is focused on asset management, improving IT processes, standards adoptions, managing risk and assuring compliance with regulations.

Robert Cavitt

Chief Executive Officer

Jenkon

Robert has been developing and delivering enterprise software solutions for the direct selling industry since 1986. As President of Jenkon since 1999, he oversees the development and support for multi-national e-commerce platforms, global genealogy and compensation management systems and responsive-design sales and reporting solutions for the field. Robert’s expertise includes web service and API platforms (SOA) for integrating industry-specific solutions with horizontal or mainstream ERP systems. His experience also includes the budgeting, strategy, personnel management and Agile methodologies for implementing large-scale, software development projects across large, distributed organizations.

Bernadette Chala

Senior Vice President, General Counsel

Arbonne International, LLC

Bernadette Chala joined the Arbonne team in 2012, supporting our Legal and Compliance teams, first as our Corporate Counsel and now as our Senior Vice President, General Counsel . Bernadette’s responsibilities include overseeing Arbonne’s day-to-day legal affairs and direct sales compliance, managing Arbonne’s intellectual property estate, overseeing marketing compliance, and supporting Arbonne’s Regulatory team and global product distribution and expansion.

Before joining Arbonne, Bernadette served as the General Counsel of American Sporting Goods/AVIA, a leading manufacturer and supplier of footwear and apparel, where she oversaw that company’s entire legal affairs and compliance efforts. She earned her Juris Doctor from UCLA School of Law and is an active member of the State Bar of California. Bernadette loves working at a company where she happily uses its products every day and would like to remind you that you are only as old as your skincare regimen.

Carrie Charlick

Chief Executive Officer

Essential Bodywear

As business woman and a mother, Carrie Charlick – along with partner Marcia Cubitt – has built Essential Bodywear to uplift and support women.  With only $500 in their pockets and the hope to make a difference in their family life and for women everywhere, Charlick and her partner saw their business idea as a way to bring income to many women so that they could be at home with their children. As Chief Executive Officer of Essential Bodywear, Charlick remains true to a strong sense of mission: to support and uplift women everywhere by revolutionizing the way they shop for quality, properly fitting bras through home parties.

Stephane Cochet

Chief Technology Officer

H2O at Home

Thomas Cohn

Director and Senior Counsel, Sales and Marketing

New Avon LLC

Thomas Cohn is Director and Senior Counsel, Sales & Marketing at New Avon LLC, a $1 billion private equity-backed North American carve-out from Avon Products, Inc. A member of the Personal Care Products Council, the Company sells a variety of cosmetics and beauty products, jewelry, fashion and home products through a direct sales model. New Avon LLC is a stand-alone, private company, building on the heritage of Avon Products. Mr. Cohn provides legal advice regarding marketing, advertising and claims substantiation; promotions, sweepstakes and contests; sales, merchandising and pricing. In addition, he works closely with marketing colleagues and is responsible for claim substantiation and challenges, product labeling review, promotions/sweepstakes/contests, contract drafting and advertising review, including TV, print, brochure, online/digital marketing and social media. He also advises on product innovation, pricing and other merchandising matters, as well as ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, including the FTC, FDA and other federal and state regulatory agencies. Mr. Cohn also provides legal support in the area of intellectual property, including managing trademarks, such as clearance, prosecution, registration, portfolio management, as well as licensing for the product lines and advising on day-to-day trademark matters, domain names, copyrights, rights of publicity, and patents, as needed. He also works with the sales and commercial teams, including advising on regulatory issues, such as FTC/state law compliance regarding multi-level marketing, earnings opportunity, and incentive programs. As General Counsel of Atlantic Coast Brands, a direct response cosmetics company, Mr. Cohn handled all legal matters, including new product development, advertising, marketing and promotions, intellectual property, litigation, business partnerships and regulatory compliance. As Deputy General Counsel, Regulatory at NBTY, a leading global vertically integrated manufacturer, marketer and distributor of nutritional supplements worldwide, under many Company and third party brands with over 22,000 products, Mr. Cohn coordinated all local, state, federal and international regulatory compliance. After leaving FTC, Mr. Cohn served as of counsel at Venable LLP, where he counseled companies on federal and state consumer protection regulatory compliance and represented them in FTC and state AG investigations and law enforcement actions. As Director and Assistant Director of FTC’s Northeast Region, Mr. Cohn managed antitrust and consumer protection investigations and law enforcement actions, and local and regional outreach efforts to educate consumers, businesses, and law enforcement agencies on fraud identification and avoidance, and how to comply with antitrust and consumer protection laws enforced by FTC. Mr. Cohn also served the FTC as Counselor to the BCP Director and Senior Attorney in the Division of Marketing Practices. Mr. Cohn is admitted to practice in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts and graduated from Yale College and Boston University School of Law. He is co-chair of the New York State Bar’s Cosmetics Law Committee and past chair and member of the New York City Bar’s Consumer Affairs Committee.

Arturo Coto

Vice President, Technology & Support Services

Noonday Collection

Arturo has been a part of the Noonday journey since January of 2014. Prior to Noonday, Arturo served as a business advisor for several businesses helping them achieve smart growth. He started his career at the Gallup Organization helping clients with employee and customer engagement throughout Latin America. He then went on to start and lead a couple of technology companies that were acquired by industry leaders. Today he leads customer experience at Noonday by focusing on support and technology services.

Curt Craig

Vice President, Information Technology

Mannatech

Kim Crimmins

Director of Creative Design

Scentsy, Inc.

As Director of Creative Design at Scentsy, Kris is responsible for shaping the creative vision for the brand alongside Scentsy’s Chief Creative Officer. Kris and Scentsy’s Design Team have received regional and international acclaim for outstanding creative work in product campaigns, photography, and social media content and engagement. With a focus on driving Consultant productivity, Kris is a hands-on leader in creative concepting, delivering strategic and emotionally resonant designs that positively impact Scentsy’s bottom line. With more than 25 years of graphic design, art direction and creative management experience, Kris constantly strives “to interpret and translate information into an organized and beautiful visual experience.” Prior to her career at Scentsy, Kris held leadership positions at Coldwater Creek and Eddie Bauer, where she managed and inspired creative teams while developing stories and visual content for seasonal key product initiatives and brand awareness. Kris lives in Eagle, Idaho, with her husband, 8-year-old son and two ridiculously spoiled dogs. When she’s not at work, she enjoys travel, cooking and spending time with her family on the water and on the slopes.

Joe DePetris

Certified Public Accountant

One Source Tax Management LLC

Joe DePetris is a Certified Public Accountant specializing in direct sales for more than 20 years. He is a veteran of more than 1,200 direct seller IRS Audits, and creator of 1SourceTax.com, a DSA affinity partner that helps direct sellers comply with tax laws.

Cindy Droog, APR

Head of Marketing, Amway North America

Amway North America

As Amway North America’s head of marketing, Cindy Droog, APR, is responsible for the strategy, development and implementation of marketing plans in the United States, Canada and Dominican Republic. Her leadership spans the nutrition, beauty and home care categories for product launches; design and delivery of distributor and customer experiences; managing major sponsorships and reputation; and integrated communications. She joined Amway in 2006 and has since held roles in a variety of areas, including media relations, crisis and issues management, digital marketing and product brand management.

Prior to Amway, Droog served as vice president of client relations for Michigan-based North Star Public Relations; marketing manager for Valspar Corporation; and director of public relations for the Peoria Rivermen Minor League Hockey Club. She has also held roles at American Red Cross, Weber Shandwick, and as a featured columnist for a number of Midwest weekly newspapers.

Droog is current chairwoman of the Communications Committee of the United States Direct Selling Association, and has also served as Social Media Taskforce lead within the Advocacy Committee of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and enjoys volunteering, running, yoga, creative and humor writing, and most of all, numerous outdoor activities with her husband Tom and two sons, AJ and Alec.

Jane Fergason

Partner

Foley Gardere LLP

Jane Fergason focuses her corporate law practice on helping companies in the United States and abroad with comprehensive business needs, such as mergers, acquisitions and dispositions of companies, franchise, direct sales, distribution, retail, sweepstakes and advertising. She works with well-established global organizations and startups. Jane is praised by clients for being a good listener and knowing how to make the transactions successful. She has earned a national reputation for litigation involving direct sales.

Her client work frequently includes:

  • Structuring and documenting direct selling, franchise and distribution programs, including agreements and collateral documents.
  • Advising companies on structuring direct selling, franchise and distribution relationships that comply with or avoid regulation under state or federal franchise disclosure, business opportunity or other dealer laws.
  • Advising clients on special industry laws regarding the sale and distribution of motor vehicles, liquor, beer and wine, farm and heavy equipment, and motor fuels.
  • Preparing disclosure documents, and state registration of franchise offers and counseling on compliance with all elements of federal and state disclosure regulations and franchisee recruitment.
  • Structuring advertising and marketing programs and materials in compliance with federal and state laws.
  • Addressing franchisor / franchisee, independent contractor and supplier / distributor relationships and related issues.
  • Advising on sweepstakes advertising and promotions.
  • Drafting manufacturing agreements.
  • Advising on tax issues related to direct selling.

Jane is a popular speaker and writer on direct sales issues and trends. She is also an active leader in the Firm’s Dallas office, chairing Foley Gardere’s Women’s Council and co-chairing the Foley Gardere Alumni Relations Team.

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, State Bar of Texas
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Dallas Bar Association
  • Member, Lawyers Council and Governmental Relations Council, Direct Sales Association (Washington, D.C.)
  • Co-Founder, Working Late

Community Involvement

  • Board Member, Big Thought
  • Member, The Dallas Assembly
  • Board Member, The Elisa Project
  • Graduate, Dallas Regional Chamber, Leadership Dallas
  • Graduate, Leadership Arts Institute, Business Council for the Arts

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized, The Best Lawyers® in America (Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith eds., Woodward/White Inc.)
  • Corporate Law (2018)
  • Recognized, Best Lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine (2015, 2017)
  • Franchise Law
  • Recognized, AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell ®
  • PEER REVIEW RATINGS™

Education

  • J.D., Baylor University School of Law (1981), cum laude
  • B.A., Baylor University (1979), summa cum laude

Admissions

  • Texas (1982)

Russ Fletcher

Chief Executive Officer

Xyngular

Russ comes to Xyngular with extensive experience, having worked both in and out of the network marketing industry in key leadership positions for nearly 20 years.

“One of the things that I most enjoy is seeing people achieve greater results than they themselves ever thought possible. That typically comes from building a team which is always stronger than the sum of its parts. Xyngular has a great team.”

Russ graduated from MIT with an engineering degree and BYU with an MBA. He has an immense knowledge of IT systems and technologies, as well as business and market development expertise. In fact, before relocating to Utah to join the Xyngular team he was consulting at Harvard University.

Russ is a firm believer that all work and no play will throw life out of balance. So spending time with his wife, 8 sons, and 2 daughters (Yes, that’s 10 kids!) is of paramount importance. He is a voracious reader and a natural storyteller.

Lois Greisman

Associate Director in the Division of Marketing Practices

Federal Trade Commission

Lois C. Greisman heads the Division of Marketing Practices in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Under Ms. Greisman’s management, Marketing Practices leads the FTC’s law enforcement initiatives tackling telemarketing fraud (including Do Not Call/Robocall enforcement), fraudulent business and investment opportunity schemes (including multilevel marketing), mail fraud (including sweepstakes and lotteries), illegal spam, and Internet frauds (including technical support scams).Ms. Greisman also directs the FTC’s work to curb fraud in connection with different payment systems.

Before joining Marketing Practices in January 2006, Ms. Greisman headed the Division of Planning and Information, where she managed the FTC’s Identity Theft Program, the Consumer Response Center, and also supervised implementation of the National Do Not Call Registry. Previously, Ms. Greisman served as Chief of Staff to FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris. She also served as Attorney Advisor to Chairman Robert Pitofsky and Chairman Janet D. Steiger from 1995 – 2001. Ms. Greisman received her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Brown University, and her law degree from George Washington University, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and Law Review.

Tom Hall

Senior Director Business Development

Canada Cartage Logistics Solutions

Tom has over 40 years of experience in various aspects of logistics. His experience includes operational and executive management through solutions design and business development, touching various modes of transportation, warehousing, fulfillment, and e commerce. Tom has been working with DSA member companies since 1997 and has a strong understanding of Health Canada regulations and the Canadian logistics landscape.

Joan Hartel

CEO & Founder

Vantel Pearls

Joan Hartel’s story begins in 1987 on a trip to Hawaii where she first saw Oysters containing colorful Pearls being opened before her eyes. She brought the business idea back to Massachusetts and opened a small seaside store on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Looking for the flexibility to raise a family while running a business, Joan started Vantel Pearls Parties. Their success is a dream come true.

Tim Hays

Vice President, Marketing Strategist

Scentsy, Inc.

Tim Hays has been with Scentsy since 2012.  As a Scentsy Marketing Strategist, he currently oversees seasonal product collections, limited-time promotions and a handful of other marketing programs. Working cross-functionality with product development, supply chain, and creative teams, Tim ensures new products and programs going to market are ideally suited to help Consultants succeed in their businesses.

After graduating from the University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business in 2012, Tim started in the PR department at Scentsy. The past 6 ½ years have allowed him to gain experience in a variety of roles- ranging from PR and digital content strategy to integrated marketing. Outside of work, Tim has an affinity for running, mountain biking, skiing, traveling – and hummus.

Gordon Hester

Global Consultant and Strategist

The Juice Plus+ Company, LLC

Gordon Hester is an entrepreneur and business strategist.  For 25 years, Gordon was the CEO for Roberti Enterprises.  Although Roberti Enterprises was a conglomerate of various companies, it was best known for building one of the largest global distributorships in the history of the Direct Selling Industry with sales in excess of $8 billion and a sales organization exceeding 100,000 distributors in over 25 countries.   During this period, he coached and trained thousands of entrepreneurs in North America, 15 European Member countries, Israel and Australia.  Today, Gordon does consulting for various direct selling companies although his primary focus is the Juice Plus Company.  He is also a member of the DSA Research Committee and speaks for the DSEF.

After retiring in April 2016, Gordon started his own global business consulting practice.  The focus of his consulting practice was B2B, primarily with startups and mid-sized global companies.  The scope of his consulting is very broad but always focused on problem solving, both in operations and sales.  In addition, Gordon works with young entrepreneurs in all areas of their business from ideation, through customer discovery and validation to building scalable businesses.  Much of that work is on business strategies and the development of systems and process necessary to advance momentum in their businesses. 

In 2018, Gordon launched a global technology business called Shapetech Solutions, LLC.   Shapetech Solutions is a boutique tech design and full-stack development firm with offices in both Sarasota, Florida and Nis, Serbia. Shapetech has an international team of business consultants, developers, and designers who are able to use both the global nature of the business and the wide range of experience and backgrounds to create affordable solutions for all clients. Shapetech is in the business of providing transformative solutions, and view technology as a tool that is used to shape the future of any company.  The Shapetech Team has over 40+ years of business experience and over 100+ years of tech experience. 

For the last four years, Gordon has been on the Advisory Council for the Entrepreneur Program at Wake Forest University.  He works closely with the director of this program, Dan Cohen.  Dan joined Wake Forest in 2015 after he founded and directed eLab–Cornell’s entrepreneurship accelerator program, which is hailed by Forbes Magazine as a major driver of Cornell’s ascent to a #4 national ranking in entrepreneurship.  Gordon works as a mentor for young entrepreneurs in this program.  In addition, he recently took a role to help expand the mentorship in this program. 

Gordon lives in Sarasota, Florida with his wife Jackie.  Their son Connor is a senior at Wake Forest University where he is studying Business Enterprise Management.  Their daughter Callie is a sophomore at Florida Southern and pursing a degree in Elementary Education. 

Patrick Hollrah

General Counsel

Coalition to Promote Independent Entrepreneurs

Patrick Hollrah is general counsel to the Coalition to Promote Independent Entrepreneurs, which educates the public and elected representatives about the importance of preserving independent-contractor status through scholarship and advocacy efforts. He is also an attorney with the law firm Hollrah LLC, which devotes its practice almost exclusively to advising and representing companies that do business with independent contractors and other contingent workers.

Mr. Hollrah received a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, Cum Laude, where he was the Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Business & Technology Law and a B.S. in accounting from the University of Maryland, Magna Cum Laude.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Hollrah was a fellow at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Before law school he worked in the tax department at Ernst & Young and in the Inspector General’s Office for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.​

Asma Ishaq

Chief Executive Officer

Modere

Asma Ishaq has united experience and vision to establish innovative concepts in health and beauty throughout her impressive career.

She founded an award-winning company with an award-winning product line based on her multi-patented LiquidBioCell® nutraceutical ingredient that has pioneered the collagen and hyaluronic acid dietary supplement and skincare markets. Her company both maintained high standards in business ethics across distribution channels and industries while championing new product technology.

Asma serves the direct-selling channel on the DSA Board of Directors. She earned her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and as a Ben F. Love scholar, received a dual M.B.A. in finance and marketing from Rice University.

Lori Jablczynski

Director & Senior Counsel, Labor & Employment

New Avon LLC

Lori joined New Avon LLC in October 2017 as Director and Senior Counsel, Employment. In this capacity she provides legal advice regarding day-to-day employee relations matters and expertise in employment discrimination and wage and hour litigation. Lori also provides legal support in the area of welfare and benefits plans and manages the Company’s Internal Investigations Process. Prior to joining New Avon, Lori worked at Jackson Lewis as an Associate where she developed a strong background in Federal and State employment laws as well as class action litigation, with a proven ability to offer creative business solutions to her clients. Lori was admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York and graduated from Rutgers University School of Law. She lives in New York City and recently got married.

Sandy Jap, Ph.D.

Sara Beth Brown Endowed Professor of Marketing

Emory University

Sandy Jap is the author of Partnering with the Frenemy, a book on the dark side of business relationships and A Field Guide to Channel Strategy, a how-to book on going to market strategy. She is the Sarah Beth Brown endowed Professor of Marketing at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and has published widely across the top academic journals in marketing and management science.  In 2010 she co-launched the Marketing Analytics Center, and is a former faculty member at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Wharton School.  She is an expert on business-to-business management, channels of distribution, and go-to-market strategies. She is currently a co-editor at Marketing Letters.  In 2016, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Marketing Association (AMA) Interorganizational Special Interest Group (IOSIG) for her long-term contributions and service to the academy and profession as well as her sustained record of research excellence and was named a fellow at the Institute for the Study of Business Markets (ISBM) at the Pennsylvania State University and the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF).

Darren Jensen President and CEO of LifeVantage Headshot

Darren Jensen

President and Chief Executive Officer

LifeVantage Corporation

Darren Jensen is a senior executive with more than 20 years of experience in the direct selling industry pioneering new business strategies, leading global marketing initiatives and maximizing revenue through product and geographic expansion. He is an expert at driving global profitability by setting high standards of excellence, managing brand identity and creating customer-centric products.

Judy Jones

WFDSA Research Committee Chair

Amway

A veteran of the direct selling industry and Amway, Judy Jones continually challenges the status quo with curiosity-driven research. She is a past-chair of the USDSA Industry Research Committee and Chair of the WFDSA Global Research team since 2009. Recent interest in the Collaborative Economy has compelled her to study the trends for insight into potential impacts on the direct selling industry.

Jeffrey Kaufman, Ph.D.

DSA Industry Research Committee Chair and Director, Customer and Field Insights

Isagenix International

Jeff has a passion for helping brands make intelligent marketing decisions based on research and analytics. With over 20 years of experience in consumer insights for clients and suppliers, Dr. Kaufman joined Isagenix in 2013 as the company’s first insights professional. At Isagenix, marketing, sales, and product strategy benefit from insights that Jeff provides from primary research and analyses of consumer and business trends.

Jeff is the Chair of the DSA’s Industry Research Committee. Previously, Dr. Kaufman worked for Avery Office Products, ConAgra Foods, and Kraft Foods, and was awarded the prestigious Ogilvy award in Advertising Research in 2005. Dr. Kaufman earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan.

Scott Kramer

President and Chief Executive Officer

Multibrain

Scott Kramer is considered a pioneer in developing the integrated/multi-platform strategies for entertainment, media and consumer brands.

Scott currently serves as Chief Brain at Multibrain, an award-winning software company focused on building simplified social software to empower the direct selling industry.

Prior to the launch of Multibrain, Scott served in senior roles at IMG Worldwide and Creative Artist Agency.  Scott was also responsible for creating and producing Force of Nature, one of the largest Tsunami Benefit Concerts in the world held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which raised over $8M for Tsunami victims.

Scott has received numerous awards, including the AAAA Advertising Excellence Award and the Creative City Award for Communications.

Brent Kugler

Partner

Scheef & Stone, LLP

Brent Kugler is a prominent attorney in the direct sales industry, with more than 19 years’ experience as both in-house and outside legal counsel for direct sales companies.  Kugler is one of only a few litigation attorneys with a nationwide practice focused on the representation of direct sales companies in federal and state court lawsuits, arbitrations and regulatory matters. Kugler has represented direct sales companies throughout the U.S. in distributor termination cases, solicitation and raiding disputes, theft of trade secret claims, regulatory enforcement actions and challenges to independent contractor status. Kugler also advises established and start-up direct sales companies on federal and state regulatory compliance, distributor agreements, independent contractor issues, social media policies and distributor compensation plans.   

Dick Laurin

Senior Director, Business Ethics

AdvoCare International

Dick Laurin is the Senior Director of Business Ethics at AdvoCare, bringing his 30 years of experience in law and direct sales to the Plano-based health and wellness company.  Dick and his department focus on maintaining the integrity of the company by liaising with the more than 600,000 Independent Distributors.  In close collaboration with the rest of the AdvoCare legal team, Dick works on Distributor investigations, development of best practices and evaluations and modification of policies, as well as serving as the business ethics contact for the Direct Selling Association.  Dick has given presentations and conducted trainings across the country on business ethics best practices. Before joining AdvoCare, Dick served as the Senior Director of Compliance at Mannatech and has held several key legal positions at Dallas-area law firms with an expertise in litigation. Dick received two bachelor’s degrees and his Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University.  He has two grown children and lives with his wife, Maryjane, in Dallas.

Heidi Leist

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Lemongrass Spa Products

When Lemongrass Spa Founder, Heidi Leist, was pregnant with her daughter she began reading labels on her skincare, makeup and bath products and realized there were many toxins in everything she was using.

On a mission to find safer products she started creating her own bath crystals and tub teas. She and a friend hosted a girls’ night out and showed women how to make their own natural bath crystals. It was that fun-filled evening that inspired Leist to create more products and eventually provide spa experiences for women across the county.

Since those humble beginnings Leist and her mother, Karen, worked together to create products in Leist’s basement when the company first got started in the small mountain town of Bailey, Colorado. Soon thereafter, Leist’s husband, Bryan, quit his IT job to oversee software, accounting and commissions.

In 2007, Lemongrass Spa moved out of the garage to a manufacturing and distribution center in Pine, Colorado, where our home office still operates. In August 2014, a second manufacturing and distribution center opened in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

With manufacturing and distribution centers in both states, we are able to efficiently manufacture and ship to thousands of amazing Lemongrass Spa Consultants and customers across the Country!

Leist is a graduate from the University of South Dakota where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics.

Sebastian Leonardi

President & Chief Business Strategist

DSXgroup, LLC

Mr. Leonardi is an accomplished senior executive, principal consultant and trusted advisor to start-ups and global companies focused in the health & wellness, personal care, fashion and technology markets. He is a recognized expert on omnichannel strategy, social commerce and leading innovative business & technology initiatives engineered to accelerate revenue and market share.

Sebastian has an outstanding record of capturing triple digit growth and has advised & implemented solutions for startups, private equity owned companies and multibillion dollar global conglomerates in North America and Europe. As president & chief business strategist of DSXgroup, Sebastian and his team partner with Consumer Brands (i.e., Nestle, Nautilus, Lego, Kellogg…), Direct Sales Companies (i.e., Ellie Kai, Pampered Chef, Univera..) and Technology Providers (i.e., Fujitsu, Baozun, RepStars, IMN…) to implement innovative channel and go-to-market strategies that drive competitive advantage and new market opportunities.

Prior to leading DSXgroup, Sebastian held multiple senior executive positions including: VP Worldwide Direct Selling & Multichannel Markets for a leading private equity-owned digital media company and SVP for a prominent management and technology consultancy where he led turnarounds and strategy for many of the fastest growing direct sales companies in the world. During his tenure, he engaged with over 60 domestic and multinational companies, achieved top-tier provider status and dominated market leadership in less than 2 years. Additionally, he expanded operations internationally and worked with leading companies in Spain, Italy, France, Austria and the UK. He exceeded new market revenue projections 533%, increased new customer acquisition 330% and user growth 20X.

Sebastian is a frequent speaker at industry events and corporate conventions; He is an architect of innovative word-of-mouth-driven channel strategies, pioneer of Gamification in the global direct sales market; founder of the Associate Network Commerce (ANC) model; and co-founder of the Social Marketing Automation (SMA) platform- implemented by multiple billion-dollar companies, adopted by thousands of users and launched in 45 countries in 25 languages. Sebastian is a Steering Committee Member for the AMA’s Executive Circle and Judge for Temple University’s Fox School of Business’ annual business plan competition.

Alan Luce

Senior Managing Principal

Strategic Choice Partners, LLC

Alan Luce is Co-founder and Senior Managing Principal of Strategic Choice Partners, LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to providing services to direct sellers and specializing in guidance for established and start-up organizations alike. As such he has provided compensation plan design, sales force management and strategic advice to more than 40 start-up and dozens of existing direct selling companies including Avon, Princess House, PartyLite Gifts, Inc, Initials, Inc., Mannatech and Amway. In addition to his consulting practice Luce has served on the board of directors of SimplyFun, LLC, Creative Memories and the Alcas Corporation (Cutco-Vector) and many direct selling company advisory boards.

During his career, Mr. Luce has served as Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for PartyLite Gifts, Inc. and as the Founder & CEO of DK Family Learning, which he took from start-up to more than $30 million in sales in four years in the US and over $80 million in sales worldwide. Prior to that Luce served at Tupperware Home Parties where he spent 16 years rising to the position of Vice President of Administration and General Counsel.  He began his career in direct selling as Associate General Counsel for the Direct Selling Association.  In addition to his work with direct selling companies, Mr. Luce has long been active in the DSA and the Direct Selling Education Foundation, having served on the boards and as Chairman of both organizations.  In 2002 he was recognized for his vision and leadership in DSEF when he was selected to receive the Circle of Honor award and during the 2005 DSA Annual Meeting, based upon his career of industry leadership and service, he was inducted into the Direct Selling Hall of Fame.  He is a frequent industry spokesman and expert lecturer at college and university business schools on behalf of the Direct Selling Education Foundation.

Mr. Luce holds a BA from Westminster College, a JD from Vanderbilt University School of Law and an EMBA degree from the Crummer School of Business at Rollins College.  He has been active in numerous organizations supporting the arts including chairing United Arts in Orlando, Florida and serving on the Mayor’s Task Force on the Arts in that same city.

Dan Macuga

Chief Communications & Marketing Officer

USANA Health Sciences, Inc.

Daniel A. Macuga, Jr., 49, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer. Mr. Macuga joined USANA in 2007 as Vice President of Network Development and Public Relations. In July 2008, he was appointed as Vice President of Marketing, Public Relations and Social Media and served in that role until December 2011, when he was appointed Chief Communications Officer. He served in that role until February 2014 when he was appointed Chief Communications Officer and Executive Vice President of Field Development for the Americas. He served in that role until November 2016 when he was appointed Chief Communications Officer and in April 2018 was appointed Chief Communications and Marketing Officer. Prior to joining USANA, Mr. Macuga was employed at the Chrysler Corporation, where he spent 15 years working closely with independent dealership entrepreneurs to help them build their businesses, increase awareness for their products, and keep them focused on effective customer relationship management. Mr. Macuga received a B.A. in communications from the University of California, San Diego.

Eric Marchant

Vice President Compliance, Assistant General Counsel

LifeVantage Corporation

Eric Marchant is the VP Compliance – Assistant General Counsel at LifeVantage.  In this role, Eric is responsible for the implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the company’s compliance initiatives in the US and in the company’s nine markets around the world.

Prior to joining LifeVantage, Mr. Marchant was a senior sales executive at a number of companies in and outside of direct selling, including Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Neways International (“Modere”) and Regional Sales Manager at The Southwestern Company (Southwestern Advantage).

Mr. Marchant received his J.D. at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark School of Law and his B.A. degree from Southern Utah University.  He is an active member of the Utah State Bar Association and the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (“SCCE”). He lives with his wife in Provo, UT.

 

Joseph Mariano

President

Direct Selling Association

Joseph Mariano joined the Direct Selling Association in 1985 and assumed the role of President in 2011. Previously, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. As DSA Chief Executive Officer who has ultimate responsibility for all association programs and activities, Mariano is charged with providing progressive leadership, development and implementation of Association policies in the fields of government, consumer and international affairs. Mariano represents the Association’s interests in all fifty state capitals and on Capitol Hill. He serves as a personal resource to direct selling companies who need overall guidance on general legal and business trends that affect direct sellers both in the United States and worldwide. Mariano also serves as President of the Direct Selling Education Foundation.

Peter Marinello

Vice President

Council of Better Business Bureaus

Peter C. Marinello is the Director of the National Advertising Review Council’s (“NARC”) Electronic Retailing Self Regulation Program (“ERSP”) and a Vice President of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (“Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.”). Before joining NARC in July 2004, Peter had been the Associate Director at the National Advertising Division of the CBBB (“NAD”) since 2000 and a Senior Staff Attorney with NAD since March of 1993. Peter has written over 750 self-regulatory decisions on various advertising topics and products involving traditional and direct response advertising.

Prior to joining NAD, Peter practiced law for six years at a general litigation firm in New York City. He has appeared in court in each of the five boroughs of New York as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties and is also admitted to New York’s Southern and Eastern District Courts of the United States.

Peter is a graduate of St. Johns University School of Law and has been a member of the New York State Bar since 1988.

Christine Martin

Sales Engineer

Avalara

Christine Martin has spent 29 years working in the sales and use tax arena and is currently a Solutions Consultant at Avalara, where she’s been for almost 11 years.  She started her career at Marriott headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland.  At Marriott she was part of the acquisition team responsible for reviewing the sales and use tax exposure of future acquisitions. Christine also automated the sales tax compliance process at Host Marriott. After leaving Marriott, Christine was the senior tax manager at Cable and Wireless, a B2B telecommunications company located in northern Virginia.  At Cable and Wireless Christine was responsible for the entire sales tax process from researching taxability of new products to exemption certificate management and audit management. Christine has also been the Director of Compliance for the first sales tax compliance outsourcer for sales and telecommunications tax, responsible for preparing and filing more than 30,000 tax and regulatory returns per month for some of the largest telecommunication companies in the US. Christine was also a senior tax manager at a Fortune 1000 paper manufacturer in Georgia responsible for all areas of sales tax, including audit, as well as unclaimed property, personal property, business licenses and Secretary of State compliance.  Christine has been a frequent presenter at several industry events such as TEI, ACT, NFR, NACM , and Suiteworld.

 

Mark Mathews

Vice President of Research Development and Industry Analysis

National Retail Federation

Mark Mathews is vice president of research development and industry analysis at the National Retail Federation. In this role, Mathews is responsible for helping to develop, evaluate and direct the research initiatives for NRF’s Retail Research and Analysis Center.

Mathews has spent more than 20 years working in research in a variety of roles in the United States and the United Kingdom. Most recently, he headed the Market Intelligence Group (MIG) at the World Gold Council where he served as a member of the organization’s leadership team. Mathews was hired to centralize all of the Council’s research, content production, data gathering, insight generation and analysis into a new research business unit. In fewer than two years, Mathews oversaw a four-fold increase in the generation of new research content at the Council.

Prior to working for the World Gold Council, Mathews spent seven years working for a $1.4 billion AUM private equity firm based in London. As a director in the firm, Mathews ran the research team responsible for generating investment ideas and opportunities. In his time there, Mathews worked on dozens of deals in the retail sector including acquisitions in the food services, entertainment, consumer goods and Internet retail sectors.

For 12 years, Mathews worked for the NASDAQ Stock Market as managing director of research and head of strategic planning for NASDAQ’s international operations. Mathews originally worked for NASDAQ in Washington, D.C., before being transferred to London to help build up the firm’s international presence.

Mathews is a Georgetown University graduate, where he was a double major in Finance and International Management. He was born in South Korea and has lived in Japan, India, Kenya, Samoa and the U.K.

Dave Merriman

Vice President

ACN, Inc.

Cindy Monroe

Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thirty-One Gifts

Cindy Monroe founded Thirty-One Gifts in 2003 in Tennessee, with a goal of giving women an opportunity to find financial freedom through owning their own businesses. Today, there are over 1,000 employees and more than 64,000 independent sales Consultants throughout the U.S. and nine provinces of Canada.

Monroe has been recognized for her business and philanthropic achievements both nationally and in the home office community of Columbus, Ohio, where Thirty-One is the largest woman-owned and largest family-owned business. In 2014 they were named the Fastest-Growing Woman-Owned Company in the World by the Women Presidents’ Organization, and Monroe was named a “Self-Made Woman to Watch” by Forbes magazine in 2015. She serves as an Advisory Board member of The Salvation Army of Central Ohio, and is a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization and the Young Presidents’ Organization.

Monroe received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and today she sponsors a college scholarship for girls in Hamilton County, Tennessee. She resides in New Albany, Ohio, with her husband and two children.

Ryan Napierski

President

Nu Skin Enterprises

Ryan Napierski currently serves as Nu Skin’s president. Most recently he served as president of global sales and operations, president of Nu Skin’s North Asia region and president of Nu Skin Japan.  Napierski has also served as vice president of business development and chief operating officer for the North Asia region. He has fulfilled multiple positions for Nu Skin since joining the company in 1995, including vice president of global business development, general manager for the United Kingdom, vice president of European business development and key account manager for United States executives. Napierski has a bachelor’s degree in business, a master’s degree in business administration from Duke University and a master’s degree in international business from Goethe Universitat in Germany.

Terry Nashif

Vice President of Business Development

Visible Supply Chain Management

Terry Nashif is an industry leader, delivering consulting expertise for Fulfillment and Transportation. From coaching to consulting, Terry has found success at the highest levels of whatever endeavor he has pursued. His ability to see big pictures while not forgetting the details allows him distill complex ideas into core principles that help everyone understand more clearly the concepts they need to grasp in order to find success. Terry’s knowledge and expertise in logistics has helped him consult with multiple Fortune 500 companies, helping them find ways to optimize and improve their supply chain. Recent work includes saving a $2.4B company 18% on annual small parcel spend.

Delilah Navarrete

Director of Business Integrity Group & Corporate Affairs

Stream

In her role as director of the Business Integrity Group (BIG) and corporate affairs, Delilah Navarrete assists in ensuring compliance in corporate conduct and among Stream’s direct selling network of Independent Associates. Since her work with Stream began in 2005 as a rank-and-file employee, Delilah rose to various leadership levels, amassing over a decade of experience managing corporate regulatory matters within the public utility industry and using her broad knowledge of federal and state energy regulations to define and communicate Stream’s standards of conduct. In overseeing BIG, she develops and delivers compliance training programs for Stream’s Independent Associates, monitors for non-compliant behavior and introduces corrective action plans to bring issues to swift resolutions. Delilah received her bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from Austin College.

Walter Noot

Chief Information Officer

USANA Health Sciences, Inc.

As Chief Information Officer of USANA Health Sciences, Inc., Walter Noot is responsible for implementing USANA’s IT strategy and ensuring that all systems necessary to support its operations and objectives are in place. Walter brings with him extensive leadership experience in the direct selling industry. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President Operations and IT at Young Living Essential Oils where he oversaw planning, sourcing and purchasing, manufacturing, warehousing, fulfillment, transportation and software development. Walter has 24 years of executive experience in technology, operations, finance, legal, and sales and has been CEO/COO/VP in companies ranging from $10M to $7B. Walter started working with direct selling companies nine years ago by developing software systems for multiple direct selling companies. Walter has a mechanical engineering degree from BYU.

Brandon Palazzolo

Account Manager

Amway

Brandon Palazzolo joined Amway in 2013 as a bilingual Korean customer service representative, worked in New York City as an Account Manager and is now the Sales Lead for the Build Young Leaders team. His current position is focused on working with markets around the world to develop and implement their Build Young Leaders strategy.

Brandon is a graduate of Michigan State University and earned his Masters degree at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.

Colt Passey

Strategic Alliance Manager

Avalara

Colt is a Strategic Alliance Manager at Avalara.  He has been with Avalara for 3 years and has over 10 years in sales and business development experience.  Colt manages the Direct Selling vertical at Avalara and has helped partners, business owners, and finance professionals in maintaining compliance and leveraging best-practices across the industry. Joining Colt for this session will be their customer, Jimmy Lin, CFO of Damsel in Defense.

Lee Peeler

Executive Vice President

Council of Better Business Bureaus

C. Lee Peeler, Esq., is President and CEO of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) and Executive Vice President, National Advertising, Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB).

Mr. Peeler is responsible for leading the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, a system dedicated to fostering truth and accuracy in advertising. He oversees the operation of ASRC investigative and appeals units; briefs elected officials on self-regulatory initiatives, works to expand advertising self-regulation to industries that are not yet regular participants and consults with representatives of foreign governments on the value of industry self-regulation.

Mr. Peeler joined ASRC and BBB in 2006, following a 33-year career at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), where he held a number management positions. While at the FTC, he served as Associate Director of the Division of Advertising Practices (1985-2001) and Deputy Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection (2001-2006.)

He has spoken and testified widely on consumer protection issues including truth in advertising, consumer credit, electronic commerce, privacy and data security.  Mr. Peeler received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Georgetown University.

Meghan Rissmiller

Partner

Hogan Lovells, LLP

Meghan (Edwards-Ford) Rissmiller guides companies through the thicket of U.S. merger clearance. Whether before the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Meghan has the experience and know-how to help companies develop effective clearance strategies, particularly when the transaction is complex and the antitrust issues are challenging.

She counsels clients on a range of non-merger antitrust and consumer protection issues and has litigated antitrust cases in federal court and administrative actions. Meghan is experienced in the technology, media, and telecommunications; aerospace, defense, and government services; and consumer and retail goods industries. Her deep understanding of her clients’ business needs and challenges has made her a trusted advisor to many global companies.

Meghan joined Hogan Lovells after clerking for the Honorable Jane R. Roth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, giving her valuable insight into judicial thinking and how to successfully advocate for her clients. Prior to attending law school, Meghan spent two years as a national security analyst for a major U.S. defense contractor based in Virginia.

In addition to maintaining a rigorous legal practice, Meghan is active in the American Bar Association’s section of antitrust law. She’s a Vice Chair of the Pricing Committee and a former member of the editorial board of the Antitrust Source. She’s a longstanding member of the law school and judicial clerk recruitment committee at Hogan Lovells and supports many of the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Justin Rose

Chief Sales Officer

LifeVantage Corporation

Dan Schwarz

Office of Global Compliance, Legal Department

Forever Living Products

Dan spent over 20 years with Merck & Co., Inc, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, quickly rising through a variety of positions of increasing responsibility in both field-based and headquarters positions that included roles in sales, sales management, sales training, strategic analytics and planning, sales operations and marketing and sales within large institutional markets

With an educational background in financial planning and years of experience in analytics, strategic decision making and field level tactical planning, Dan brings unique set of experience and skills to his current role as head of Global Compliance at Forever Living Products.

Dan has consistently demonstrated the ability to identify patterns and trends for both purposes of finding new opportunities for growth as well as areas of potential compliance related risk to both the company and the direct selling industry.

Edwin Smith

Virginia Territory Manager of SBSE Exam

Internal Revenue Service

Mr. Smith began his career with the Internal Revenue Service in 1988 as a Revenue Agent in the former Albany New York District.  He examined a variety of returns until he entered management in 1999. Mr. Smith is currently a Territory Manager in Examination, Small Business/Self Employed Division (SB/SE) of the IRS.  Prior to becoming Territory Manager, Edwin was detailed to SBSE HQ Operation Support as a senior analyst with primary program responsibility for hiring and budget.  His previous assignment was as an analyst on the South Atlantic Area’s Directors Staff as a Technical Analyst and Training/Hiring Coordinator. Edwin also served as a Front-Line Group Manager in General Program as well as being a manager of an Abusive Tax Avoidance Transactions Group.

Jeremy Smuckler

Vice President General Counsel, Corporate and Global Markets

ACN, Inc.

Jeremy Smuckler is VP General Counsel, Corporate & Global Markets, for ACN, Inc. Jeremy joined ACN in 2011 after serving a brief stint as a Federal District Court law clerk and then spending several years in private practice with McGuireWoods LLP in Charlotte. Jeremy currently leads ACN’s North America and corporate legal operations. He also advises the business in certain global markets. Jeremy attended Vanderbilt University, where he received both his undergraduate and law degrees.

Michael Solomon, Ph.D.

Professor of Marketing

Saint Joseph's University

Michael “wrote the book” on understanding consumers. Literally. Hundreds of thousands of business students have learned about Marketing from his 30+ books including Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being — the most widely used book on the subject in the world. His most recent trade book is Marketers, Tear Down These Walls: Liberating the Postmodern Consumer.

Much in demand as a keynote speaker, Michael often is asked to provide briefings to global executive teams who want significant increases in their bottom line and who understand that’s accomplished by a deeper connection with their customers. He has been involved with the direct selling industry for several years, where he has worked on projects to ramp up distributors’ engagement.  He is a DSEF Fellow.

Michael’s mantra:  We don’t buy products because of what they do.  We buy them because of what they mean. He advises global clients in leading industries such as apparel and footwear (Calvin Klein, Levi Strauss, Under Armour, Timberland), financial services and e-commerce (eBay, Progressive), CPG (Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s), retailing (H&M), sports (CrossFit, Philadelphia Eagles), manufacturing (DuPont, PP&G) and transportation (BMW, United Airlines) on marketing strategies to make them more consumer-centric. He regularly appears on television shows including The Today Show, Good Morning America and CNN to comment on consumer issues, and he is frequently quoted in major media outlets such as The New York Times, USA Today, Adweek and Time. Michael also is a regular Contributor at Forbes.com, where he writes about retailing, consumer behavior and branding.

As a Professor of Marketing (in the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia) and an industry consultant, Michael combines cutting-edge academic theory with actionable real-world strategies.  He helps managers get inside the heads of their customers so they can anticipate and satisfy their deepest and most pressing needs – today and tomorrow. An executive at Subaru said it best: “The man is a scholar who is current and street-wise.”

Jesse Stamm

National Field Development Director

Pampered Chief

An industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, leadership, and development both in the Field and in corporate roles, Jesse is currently the National Field Development Director for Pampered Chef in Chicago, Illinois.  Through his experience both in the field and working for the field, Jesse believes strong partnerships and a deep understanding of the Field are some of the best tools to grow and develop a successful and growing organization. Recognized by DSN’s Forces Under Forty, a guest speaker at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland, a member of DSA’s Industry Research Committee and a special liaison to the Communication Committee, Jesse is committed to the success of Direct Sellers and all that this amazing industry has to offer. 

Emily Trainor

Ms. Trainor is a strategic analyst and operational efficiency specialist with 12+ years of direct selling experience.  She spent the first 8 years of her direct selling career as a corporate employee for one of the top 100 largest global direct selling companies before transitioning to lead the strategic sales and operational launches of two direct selling start-ups over the next three years.

Some of the highlights of her career as a corporate employee were co-authoring and managing the successful rollout of the evolved Integrated Compensation Plan for Take Shape For Life (now OPTAVIA). Another highlight was assisting with the acquisition, purchase and transition of Lulu Avenue. This effort was highlighted both internally with the conversion of staff, operations, and inventory, as well as externally for the field in terms of communicating and teaching new business rules, compensation plan, and branding.

After the launch of the two start-ups as a corporate employee, Ms. Trainor decided to move into consulting where she now leverages her extensive skill set and experience to assist companies of all sizes. She enjoys sharing her knowledge in the areas of inventory management, support systems, compensation plans, recognition, incentives, project planning/ management, and process documentation with companies looking to create efficiencies and develop solutions.

John Villafranco

Partner

Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP

A member of the firm’s Executive Committee, John Villafranco provides litigation and counseling services, with a focus on advertising law matters and consumer protection. John is highly respected for consistently delivering comprehensive legal counsel that emphasizes risk analysis and sound business practices for corporations involved in advertising and marketing. On the regulatory side, clients tell the U.S. Legal 500 that John is “arguably the best advertising lawyer in the U.S.” and “consistently provides good advice and service.”

John’s litigation experience includes consumer class action defense in state and federal court, and Lanham Act litigation involving Internet, telecommunications, fast food, dietary supplement and consumer product companies. Among John’s clients are technology service providers, wireless advertisers, cloud-based software companies, international and domestic telecommunication companies, major retailers and direct marketers, as well as manufacturers of dietary supplements, degradable plastics, automobiles, tires, fuel and engine oils, home appliances and other consumer products.

In addition, John represents clients in advertising substantiation proceedings and investigations conducted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state attorneys general. Named Washington, D.C.’s Advertising “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® in 2011, clients applaud John’s practical advice, telling Chambers that he “knows the FTC and the law better than anyone.”  John also represents challengers and advertisers before the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the National Advertising Review Board (NARB). Moreover, he counsels clients regarding issues involving privacy, data security, electronic commerce, dietary supplement labeling, promotion and marketing, fair credit reporting, multi-level marketing, debt collection practices, truth-in-lending, health and safety claims, environmental marketing and standard certification.

John is considered an authority on a range of issues involving consumer protection law. He serves as editor-in-chief of the American Bar Association (ABA) Consumer Protection Law Developments treatise; was editorial chair on a year-long project that culminated in a report entitled “Self-Regulation of Advertising in the United States:  An Assessment of the National Advertising Division” (Apr. 2015); is an author and featured columnist on advertising law issues; and is a frequent speaker at ABA and FTC programs and other advertising law seminars. Notably, John has conducted advertising law workshops for many corporations, including Sprint, AOL, 3M, Whirlpool, Burger King, BellSouth, R.J. Reynolds, XO Communications, Michelin, Bissell and Iovate Health Sciences, among others. In addition, he chaired the 2007 and 2009 ABA Conferences on Consumer Protection, as well as the 2011 and 2012 ABA Antitrust Section Spring Meeting.

 

Mike Walsh

CEO

Tomorrow

Mike is the CEO of Tomorrow, a global consultancy on designing companies for the 21st century. He advises leaders on how to thrive in the current era of disruptive technological change. Mike’s bestselling books include ‘Futuretainment’ and ‘The Dictionary of Dangerous Ideas’. Each week he interviews provocative thinkers, innovators and troublemakers on his weekly podcast, ‘Between Worlds’. A true nomad, Mike travels over 300 days a year worldwide, researching trends, collecting innovation case studies and presenting on the future of business.

Mike has been a pioneer in the digital space since the 1990s, running both successful start-up ventures as well as holding senior leadership positions in established media organizations. With a background in corporate law and management consulting, he began his career at XT3, a spin out from McKinsey and one of the first digital consulting firms created to help major companies embrace the embryonic Web. During the first dotcom boom, Mike launched the technology publishing group internet.com in Australia, which went on to become the leading local technology news and events platform in the country.

He also founded and ran Jupiter Research in the Asia Pacific, one of the first research agencies to track the early adoption of e-commerce and digital business models by online consumers. During this period, he was recognized as one of Australia’s “Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30.”

After his experiences in the Web space, Mike spent five years in senior strategy roles at News Corporation where he helped shape the digital strategy for both their Australian newspaper and Asian TV divisions. Directly engaged by the CEO of Star TV to provide the company with a digital roadmap for their operations, he began his in-depth research into the fast growth markets of Asia.

While in Hong Kong and inspired by the dramatic changes taking place in China and India, Mike founded his latest venture, Tomorrow – an innovation research lab focused on emerging technology and disruptive consumer behavior. Always in demand for his fresh insights and practical future-focused strategies, Mike has advised the CEOs and senior management teams at multinational companies including: the BBC, Fujifilm, Richemont, MSN, Star TV, Televisa, Philips, and HSBC.

In addition to his corporate profile, Mike is a published photographer and supporter of the Arts. His photographic images from his travels around the world helped his book, FUTURETAINMENT, win an Art Director’s Club award in NYC. He has also served on the Director’s Circle at the Australian Museum of Contemporary Art.

As a global nomad and consumer trend scout, Mike does live research, in the trenches, with big corporations and entrepreneurs all over the world bringing a truly global perspective to every event.

John Webb

Senior Legal Counsel for Policy, Advocacy and Compliance

Direct Selling Association

John Webb, Senior Legal Counsel for Policy, Advocacy and Compliance for the Direct Selling Association, works on a variety of legal issues, business ethics, and state and federal legislative and regulatory matters. Prior to joining DSA, he served on the leadership team of a successful congressional campaign and then served as a professional staffer for a congressman in Washington, DC as an advisor, identifying and coordinating legislative initiatives and managing committee activities.  Webb is a graduate of the University of North Alabama with a degree in Business Management. After college, he served on active duty with the 101st Airborne Division and then spent more than 10 years in the reserves, including as a member of the 11th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Webb holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Regent University School of Law and is a member of the District of Columbia and U.S. Supreme Court Bars.

Travis Wilson

President and Co-Chief Executive Officer

Noonday Collection

Travis Wilson is the Co-CEO of Noonday Collection, a socially conscious, direct sales fashion company. Noonday works with artisan business partners in fourteen countries, including Guatemala, India, Peru, Ethiopia, and Uganda, to create on-trend products that delight US consumers and empower over 4,500 artisans across the globe. 

Under Travis’ leadership, Noonday Collection has grown from a boot-strapped startup working out of a spare bedroom, to become the largest fair-trade artisan accessories company in the world.  Travis and Noonday Collection have been recognized both locally and nationally. In 2015, Noonday Collection was named the fastest-growing company in Austin, Texas by the Austin Business Journal and the 45th fastest growing company in the United States by Inc. Magazine.  In 2017, Travis was honored as an EY Entrepreneur of the Year. Currently, Travis is a member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization and serves on the board of Young Presidents’ Organization.

Travis received bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Public Policy from Southern Methodist University and holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and three children.

Brian Wommack

Senior Vice President, Communications

Council for Responsible Nutrition

Brian Wommack is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of the association’s overall strategic communications efforts.

Mr. Wommack has 20+ years of experience helping organizations and brands see around corners and solve problems—or seize opportunities—at the intersection of communications, public policy and law. Providing services as a lawyer, lobbyist or communications strategist—and in hybrid roles drawing from each of these disciplines—Mr. Wommack is a versatile and full-service counselor.

He has helped clients across a variety of industries weather the dot-com collapse, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Enron meltdown, the great recession and numerous corporate, governmental and political scandals. He has also coached clients to position themselves more effectively, to communicate more clearly, and to find and activate like-minded allies to support shared goals.

Brian has clerked for a federal court judge, worked for leaders in both chambers of the U.S. Congress, and practiced at two prominent international law firms, a nationally recognized lobbying group and one of the world’s leading global communications consultancies. He most recently led the strategic communications practice of integrated law firm Cameron LLP.

Monica Wood

Vice President, Global Consumer and Member Insights

Herbalife

Monica Wood is currently the Vice President, Global Consumer and Member Insights for Herbalife.  She is responsible for building an insights function from the ground up, creating best in class practices globally and is responsible for all surveys and insights work conducted within the company.

Prior to joining Herbalife, Monica was president of the Market Research Council and also the President of Monica Wood and Associates where she partnered with leading pharmaceutical and CPG clients to develop outstanding solutions and actionable, insightful research deliverables.  

Prior to that, Monica was Vice President Global Marketing Services at Novartis. She was responsible for all global interactive marketing activity, media spending analytics, syndicated and custom market research for Novartis Consumer Health.

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