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Episode Info: In this episode, Josh interviews Joe Mariano, the CEO of the Direct Selling Association, and Jeff Kaufman, Chair of the DSA’s Industry Research Committee. Key Podcast Takeaways : Takeaway – 1: The Direct Selling Association is a case study for the growth of the gig economy. Generation Z will look to join the gig economy workforce as they are an entrepreneurial generation that also craves stability. Takeaway – 2: Trends as a whole, especially in retail, tend to leave out the fact that more innovation will occur to meet those trends and in turn create new trends. For example, the rise of Amazon and e-commerce will create short-term challenges but also long-term opportunity. Takeaway – 3: Like other industries, Direct Selling must continue to adapt and evolve to adopt new ideas and best practices, particularly with the rise of social media and localized commerce. Guest Bio: Joe 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. Mr. Mariano serves as chief executive officer of the Association with ultimate responsibility for all association programs and activities; he is charged with providing progressive association leadership, development and implementation of Association policies in the fields of government, consumer and international affairs. He has been responsible for representing 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 US and worldwide. Jeff Kaufmann was the Director of Customer and Field Insights at Isagenix, a leading health and wellness direct selling company based in Arizona. Jeff is also 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. About the Direct Selling Association: DSA is the 109-year-old not-for-profit national trade organization representing 130 direct sales firms, and their 6.2 million direct sellers, and more than 36 million customers. The Association's mission is "To protect, serve and promote the effectiveness of member companies and the independent business people they represent. To ensure that the marketing by member companies of products and/or the direct sales opportunity is conducted with the highest level of business ethics and service to consumers." Guest Social Media Handles: Facebook: LinkedIn: Twitter: @DSAAssn
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