Hello Hainan Aloecorp!

welcome-univeraToday was the Grand Opening of Hainan Aloecorp, a very significant accomplishment for the ECONET and particularly those involved in Hainan Aloecorp–which is run by CEO Jeff Han.

The morning was relaxing, since we didn’t have to leave early it afforded me the opportunity to take a long walk on the beach and see the sights as well as go for a swim in the South China Sea. Gorgeous day, sunny in the morning and a little balmy but comfortable. The beaches were miles upon miles of silky soft sand. Hainan Island will be an wonderful venue for VeraResort.

blue-diamond-car-programThe bus ride over offered a bit of an adventure; Hainan is a place where the horn is used nearly as much as the gas pedal and other cars/bikes/pedestrians seem to historically have been used as slalom obstacles, though I am sure this has subsided over the years as tourism increases. We arrived safe, though it made for quite an adventure with squirming backseat drivers.

rice-fieldsAl, ever the overachiever, took well to his role as “sideseat driver” while sitting shotgun. He happily absorbed the unrequested (but needed) role of providing directions and feedback to our Chinese driver who spoke no English. To make it more difficult, Al’s Chinese was as good as our driver’s English. Yet, the driver also took to speaking with Al at times, sometimes wildly with hands flying. It was a pretty comical exchange, and despite the fact that neither could understand each other both seemed quite content being able to speak their mind.

keynote-from-billAs we drove throughout the countryside, away from the urban environment of dodging people and cars, I turned my gaze to the rice patties which seemed to last as far as the eye could see. John Ryan shared with me just a few of the experiences from decades ago while in Vietnam–hearing the stories will be memorable for me, in that he was willing to share some personal history while we traversed a
similar landscape to while he was soldier in Vietnam. I am deeply grateful to him—as well as the many others—who either have or currently do serve for our Country.

celebrationWe arrived at the start of the ceremony at 2pm to an eclectic audience of locals, Korean Diamonds, ECONET Executives, Aloecorp (East and West) employees, FLC members, and Chinese officials.

Some of you have seen the artist’s rendition of what would become this manufacturing facility, and you’ll see in the actual photos that it’s really a ringer for the drawings created years ago. Bill does everything first class and this facility is no exception.

john-terhune-and-marshallAfter the ceremony, which included a ribbon cutting that the FLC participated in, we attended a tour. Inside, the facility was operational and processing Aloe leaves before our eyes. All of the equipment used within the facility is among the newest and best. In fact, it is so technologically advanced that the time from harvesting the Aloe to completed processing is less than six hours. That’s extremely rapid, and results in an exceptional quality Aloe for consumers. I am convinced there’s no other comparable Aloe on the market, and seeing some of the manufacturing operations firsthand simply reaffirms my belief in quality of the products we produce.

flc-ribbon-cuttingAfter the tour it was off to the Sun and Moon Bay, which is the Bay in which VeraResort will be built. The setting is quite majestic and my words won’t do it justice.

drying-machinealoe-processingNearby, in fact leading right up to the Aloecorp facility, a high speed train is being built that will serve as rapid and simple transit right from the airport directly to the VeraResort. Sometimes it’s hard to believe all this stuff, there’s simply so much going on across the globe within ECONET. If I just heard about this train from a secondary source I suppose I’d even be a little skeptical! But, check out the picture to the below left which demonstrates the initial groundwork being done for what will be an incredibly convenient mode of transit. The flight times, on the other hand, need a bit of work–but more on that later.

future-high-speed-trainAs we rode the bus back to town, the FLC members and ECONET Exec’s got a second wind and the playful banter and teasing (which is particularly a male thing, for some reason) passed plentifully around the bus. For sure, we have a group that can both dish it out and take it equally well and it provided for lots of laughter on our way to dinner.

Our final dinner on Hainan Island was spent with the Korean Diamonds eating traditional Chinese seafood. Given that this marked nearly a week abroad for the FLC, it was evident that each of us were beginning to crave some American food. It really is amazing the taste differences and food preferences among different cultures.

dinner-speakersDuring the meal a toast–really more like a team cheer–was initiated by each table of Korean Diamonds (about 10 tables in total) as Bill made his way around the room. Being the last table and only Americans we felt important to try to toast in the appropriate language, yet none of us know many Korean words beyond “hello”, “goodbye”, and “thank you”.

an-unknown-but-tasty-delicacyI have always liked the sound of the Korean words “Yogi Yo”, though I have no idea what it means. It’s just a fun expression to say and hear said. So this suggestion seemed to be as good as any alternative. It was confirmed by a few at our table that a) it wasn’t offensive, but b) we still didn’t know exactly what it meant even though we’ve heard our Korean colleagues use it frequently. We think the word means “here”, but this has not yet been validated. And shouting “here” probably does not make for a great team cheer.

Regardless, it was the best sounding expression we could muster and upon shouting the cheer it was met with a mix of hearty laughter and confused faces from around the room. I think they appreciated that we, at least, tried to say something in Korean. Our second cheer played even better, which was a simple and reliable “Univera, Univera, Univera!!!”

welcome-to-aloecorpAfterwards we made a stop at the Sheraton Sanya and then it was off to the airport for a departure flight late that evening (actually the next morning) at 1:30 am for the four-hour flight to Seoul.

Today is the long travel day, with a ten-hour layover followed by a 12-hour flight directly home.

aloe-fields-on-hazy-dayOn behalf of those from Univera, I offer my sincere congratulations to our friends and colleagues at Hainan Aloecorp China, and particularly to its CEO Jeff Han, for an outstanding event yesterday. This marked a milestone accomplishment as part of Bill’s worldwide plan for the ECONET.

This also marks an important step in the long-term evolution of our Univera business. There are some considerable hurdles in conducting the direct selling business in China, and already with the progress made in building a manufacturing facility as well as developing a track record of positive working relations with the Chinese government will serve to carve a path for us in future years for a burgeoning market.

regan-and-ryanWhat a great trip, yet I am glad to be on our way home. It’s been two weeks since Regan and I have seen our families so we’re eager to get back home for a few days before the Road Tour begins. Officially, the tour starts on Friday by kicking off a sold-out Univera Xperience and a special reception to follow. Then, Monday is a dinner event up in Seattle and then it’s down the coast for week one of our journey–ending in Phoenix for their Regional event.

I love the concept of RENEWAL. The meaning and flexibility of the expression, as well as what it represents to Univera and me personally. It can be both specific and general–achieved or aspirational. And it can mean different things at different times to different people.

flc-membersAs we head home I am certain that Renewal has touched each one of us, and I hope we can share some of the privilege of this Experience with some of you over the coming weeks and months.

Thankful to be on the Journey…

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