Direct Sellers Association Honours The Best Of Its Best

August 29, 2014 News

2014 Awards Presented at DSA 60th Annual Conference

TORONTO – The Direct Sellers Association of Canada is pleased to recognize its 2014 award recipients as announced at the association’s 60th Annual Conference held in Halifax, NS.

“We are delighted to acknowledge the strong contributions and incredible efforts these companies and individuals have made to the direct selling industry,” said Ken Mulhall, president of DSA Canada. “Their dedication and passion have enriched the lives of so many.”


As the industry’s highest personal recognition, the Ivan P. Phelan Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the direct selling industry in Canada.

In the autumn of 1996, Joan Lee moved to Toronto from Montreal after a satisfying career in marketing and sales with Avon Products, where she actually worked with Ivan Phelan. A year later, after spending several months with World Book Educational Products of Canada, Joan joined the DSA. She became an involved and integral contributor – a level of dedication that continues today, after over a decade with the Association. As well as joining several task forces, she currently participates on many DSA committees and has served on the Industry Information and World Congress XI Planning Committees. In 2012 Joan was honoured as a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and in 2013 was presented with the DSA Distinguished Service Award.

When asked for comments to include in his introduction, DSA President, Ken Mulhall – himself relatively new to the Association – was overwhelmed with the positive feedback from the membership. Comments included things like “dedicated; professional; epitomizes the ‘giving back’ aspect of our industry; great sense of humour; humble; extremely well-organized; loved by all; an inspiration to all DSA member company volunteers; the ‘glue’; the oil in the well-oiled machine.”

As an active volunteer outside the DSA’s more immediate circles, Joan has been very involved with the Trillium Chapter of the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) for the last ten years and currently serves as Chapter President. In 2003, Joan earned the professional designation of Certified Association Executive (CAE).


The Mark of Distinction Award was created to recognize independent sales consultants who uphold the values of trust and integrity that are so vital to the direct selling industry in Canada, and who have exhibited leadership qualities that inspire others to achieve their full potential.

A Nu Skin distributor since 1997, Yali Ma has worked hard to reach the highest level of recognition and has grown her business to include more than 7,000 distributors, generating nearly $2.5 million per year. Mentoring the next generation to become successful in direct selling, her 10 newest leaders reaching the highest level of qualification are between 20 and 25 years of age.

As a Nourish the Children Ambassador since 2005, Yali will be representing Nu Skin Canada during a humanitarian trip to Malawi later this year to experience first-hand the impact that Nu Skin’s program has had in that country. A Nourish the Children Ambassador is a person who has not only donated through Nourish the Children to nourish starving children, but has adopted Nourish the Children as a personal cause. They have made a commitment to donate at least four bags of VitaMeal each month personally and have inspired others on their first level (personal, personal customers, and first level distributors) to donate an additional 12 bags each month. (Donations are made through an automatic delivery program).

“I started my Nu Skin business with all odds against me,” said Yali. “I wasn’t familiar with network marketing and all my friends told me I’d never make it. But I wanted to make this business work for me and for others.” There’s no doubt that Yali has not only made her business work, she has made a significant difference in the lives of many.

COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD – Mark Ma & Xueyun Lin, Amway & Kathryn Wall, lia sophia

This award recognizes an independent sales consultant(s) who makes a profound difference by helping others and positively impacting their community. Two awards were presented to:

Mark Ma and Xueyun Lin of Markham, Ontario were recognized with the 2014 DSA Community Spirit Award as shining examples of the big hearts and caring traits that help to make the direct selling industry unique.

After emigrating from China in 2002 with dreams of building a better life, Mark and Lin were faced with harsh realities as work was hard to come by. Barely able to make ends meet, they felt themselves becoming a burden on Canadian society.  Things changed for the Mas when they were introduced to the Amway business opportunity.   Fully embracing the spirit of free enterprise, Mark and Lin built their Amway independent business to the level of Founders Diamond in just four short years.

Their success with Amway helped to fuel their strong personal belief that if you take from society, you should also give back.  Leading by example, Mark and Lin have helped raise over $175,000 over the last few years for a number of charities in both Canada and China, including the Ultra Toronto Charitable Foundation and the Fu Hui Education Foundation, in support of students, those with disabilities and the elderly.  Mark and Lin also offer ongoing assistance to help new immigrants integrate into Canadian society. Whether it’s teaching English as a 2nd language, or offering fully funded day care so that parents and older siblings can attend training sessions, the Mas are truly making a difference in the lives of Chinese immigrants and setting a solid foundation upon which the next generation of Chinese-Canadians can continue to build.

Kathryn Wall of Olser, Saskatchewan, was also recognized on this special evening.  This newly appointed lia sophia® advisor was emotionally charged by Saskatoon’s GlobalTelevision “Just Watch Me Video” contest winner, 20 year old TaylorLayton.  The contest is held in conjunction with Entrepreneurs with Disabilities and winnings include a $1,000 cheque plus business development resources.  Taylor has Down’ssyndromeand she won for her business, Taylor’sCurbsideRecycling.  Foramonthlyfee,Laytonpersonally picksupcustomer’srecyclablesandsortsthematerialsatthelocaldepot.

During the telecast, Taylor mentioned her need for new jewellery.  Kathryn was so moved by Taylor’s story that she quickly moved into action requesting donations.  Lia Sophia’s home office quickly joined the cause and with the combined efforts of Global TV and a local trailer vendor who donated a trailer, the exposure to Taylor’s business has increased dramatically.

Itisremarkablehowthegenuinethoughtfulnessofoneperson,KathrynWall,haschangedthelifeofthisyoungwoman and inspiredthousandswithher story.  Kathrynwillcontinueto inspire hundreds of business women just like her as she shares her story onstageatthe lia sophia’sAnnualConference.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD – The Arbonne Charitable Foundation:

This award honours a DSA member company whose community service efforts have made a profound difference in the community and epitomize the best in corporate social responsibility.

The Arbonne Charitable Foundation was developed as a grass-roots initiative to provide support for programs that help to promote confidence and self-esteem in teenage boys and girls. Combining the efforts of both the company’s employees and independent consultants, the foundation has raised over $1.3 million and issued over 160 grants around the world, impacting more than 20,000 teens.

Through product donations, monetary grants, and volunteer efforts of the Arbonne angels, the Foundation supports charitable programs that empower the next generation.

INDUSTRY INNOVATION AWARD – Amway Canada Corporation:

Presented to a member company in recognition of a unique or innovative program or approach that contributes to the growth of opportunities for entrepreneurs in the direct selling industry, Amway earned the award for its unique 2013 digital advertising campaign. Developed in partnership with PHD Canada and Microsoft Advertising, the campaign was a content rich and fully integrated approach to increase awareness of the Amway business opportunity and its key product brands, Nutrilite and Artistry.

The unique advertising approach allowed Amway to dominate one of Canada’s most popular lifestyle channels for 8 months of the year, align their products to seasonal demand, maintain brand and product awareness in a relevant environment, and maintain cost efficiencies.

DSEF CIRCLE OF DISTINCTION AWARD – Janice Gerol, The Pampered Chef:

The DSEF Circle of Distinction Award recognizes individuals who have devoted significant years of service and have made considerable contributions to the Direct Selling Education Foundation and the direct selling industry.

A former teacher, Janice Gerol started her direct selling career as a Discovery Toys consultant many year ago. Moving into corporate leadership roles over the course of her career in the industry, Janice’s contributions to both the DSA and DSEF have been significant. As a DSEF Board member, she was responsible for implementing the Foundation’s annual silent auction, raising money to help fund the many initiatives of the Foundation and the Association. During her time as Chair of the DSEF Board of Directors, Janice led the Foundation through the development of a strategic plan that was well thought out and provided a solid foundation for the Board to move forward. Projects and initiatives that had long been discussed came to fruition under Janice’s leadership.


DSA President, Ken Mulhall chose three recipients to receive this award designed to recognize people for their participation and leadership on DSA committees and/or the Board of Directors. This year’s recipients are Angela Abdallah, Amway Canada Corporation; Dahna Sanderson, The Pampered Chef; and Tracie Graham, PartyLite Gifts, Ltd.

About the DSA

Celebrating its 60th Anniversary as the national trade association for the leading firms that manufacture and distribute goods directly to consumers, the mission of the Direct Sellers Association of Canada is to promote, serve and protect the interests of Canadian member companies and independent direct sellers marketing their products, and ensure the highest level of business ethics and service to consumers.

The DSA’s 38 member companies represent over 700,000 hardworking Canadian independent sales contractors who generate nearly $2 billion per year in sales.  The cornerstone of the Association’s commitment to ethical business practices and consumer service is its Code of Ethics. Every member company pledges to abide by the Code’s standards and procedures as a condition of admission and continuing membership in the Association.