It was so amazing for the staff at DSA Canada to have the opportunity to serve the direct selling community in 2023. As the year draws to a close, it is a great time to look at the past twelve months for the association and our member companies.
The year threw up many challenges and opportunities, and it was gratifying to see the industry pull together on some important advocacy issues. There were also numerous events and initiatives that bought people together and celebrated success.
For DSA Canada, we had the chance to provide value to our members and further the industry’s goals. We trust that these were of consequence to you and your organization.
- Direct Sellers Day – We really took this special event to the next level in 2023. As an annual public celebration of all that is great about the industry, our ISC Awards Gala was an inspiring look into the personal stories that direct selling helps to create. We hope that Direct Sellers Day will continue to grow, with more companies and individuals involved every year.
- Annual Conference in Montreal – While the air was a little smoky due to the Quebec wildfires, we enjoyed a fabulous time learning together and sharing best practice at our 2023 Conference in Montreal. This magical city provided a backdrop for great speakers, conversation, and activities, as well as a sneak peek at our new branding, which will be launching in 2024. Congratulations to the Industry Award winners, particularly Joe Cardillo of Vector/Cutco, who took home the prestigious Ivan P. Phelan Award.
- Day on the Hill – We were again represented by the DSA Board and other industry executives in Ottawa in May. Across two days of meetings and receptions, we discussed the issues that are impacting our companies and people, as well as our ideas for policy improvement, with members of parliament and key policy staff. It is pleasing to see the recognition that direct selling has across political parties and government functions. The work continues, but we have built a solid lobbying platform.
- Advocacy Efforts – In May, when Health Canada proposed a troubling array of new fees for the health products that many of our members market, DSA Canada leapt into action. With help from an industry working group and regulatory experts, we made a detailed submission on our concerns and held many meetings with key stakeholders. While this battle continues, we have truly been heard and are encouraged that there will be a positive outcome in 2024.
- DSEF Scholarship Program – In 2023, we received 159 scholarship applications from students associated with 15 of our member companies. The scholarship program, which provides valuable funding to students whose families are involved in the direct selling industry, relies on the support of DSA Canada member companies. Thank you to all member companies that proudly promoted this initiative.
- One Farewell – Our much-loved Manager, Communications and Research, Cathy Sampaio-Lepiane, will be leaving DSA Canada at the end of 2023. Cathy has been an amazing part of the team and has added creativity, energy, and inspiration during nearly four years in the role. We thank Cathy for all her hard work and wish her all the best in her next professional adventure.
In 2024, we look forward to continuing success in advocating for the industry and growing our membership strength. Thanks again to all our members, suppliers, board directors and volunteers for their commitment to DSA Canada, as a leading light for the direct selling industry.