Winding Down (the Road Tour, that is)

airportlinejpgWe left Jax early enough, around 8 a.m., and caught a 10 a.m. flight that had a layover in Philly.

Now, when I kidded about foreshadowing in a previous post and how Stephen was forced to wolf down some rather unwholesome (but probably tasty) Bob Evans food due to scheduling problems, it probably was an indicator of scheduling challenges to come.

We arrived in Philly around noon and waited for our 1:30 p.m. connecting flight to Portland, Maine, which never happened. Nor did the 3:30 p.m. flight. Nor did the 5 p.m. flight. And then the 7:30 p.m. flight got delayed.

Hey, if the weather was bad enough to shut down a game of the World Series as well important political rallies, it was also very capable of trapping three Univera executives and Michael Jr. at the Philly airport.

nightsquigglyWith the Portland meet scheduled to start at 7 p.m., Regan, Stephen, Michael Jr., and I decided we needed to split up. Or risk that nobody would get to Portland on time.

So Stephen waited for the flight and managed to arrive at the Marriott in Portland at just about 9 p.m. Meanwhile, Regan, Michael Jr., and I drove around Philadelphia before finding a warm, cozy respite from the dreary weather that featured bottomless hot coffee and an ample supply of fried, sugary treats to tempt our health-conscious taste buds.

Yeah, we wound up at a Dunkin’ Donuts. By lack of better choices.

mjdonutsIn the end, all was not a lost cause as Stephen was able to address the amazing crowd in Portland while Regan, Michael Jr., and I SKYPED in from our haven from the storm. Admittedly, the connection wasn’t ideal. Michael was able to deliver a good 10 or 15 minutes of comedy, which left just enough time for me greet the crowd but then, quickly, sign off prematurely due to a worsening SKYPE connection.

I can’t say enough about how great the folks in Portland were, however, braving this crazy weather and coming out, en masse, to hear about the Univera message. Kudos to the host and other local leaders including Claire Owens and Eddy Wittry, who really hustled and were able to both cover for us as we scrambled to get to Portland and then excite the 250 or so people in attendance about the possibilities with our company. Thank you so much for your hard work and your enthusiasm!

reganmjmontrealDetermined to not be bogged down again by weather issues, Regan, Michael Jr., and I wasted no time making our way across the border to the Great White North, as our next event would be in Montreal in less than 24 hours. We passed countless Walmarts, McDonalds, and an assortment of roadside dining and shopping opportunities in our rental car, arriving in Montreal at about 5 a.m. Tired, but happy to still have time to rest and re-up for our event in the evening, the three of us pondered, where was Stephen?

Our question wouldn’t be answered until about 6:15 p.m. that evening, as Stephen apparently encountered his own travel issues while driving from Portland to Montreal. Did I forget to mention that when Stephen parted company from the rest of us in Philadelphia, we also left him with all of our checked bags?


If you were a border patrol agent — Canadian or American — would you find a very charming, physically fit, silver-haired man driving alone in a rental car with about eight pieces of luggage in the back seat suspicious? Apparently, the agent who checked out Stephen at the border did and consequently pulled him over for further interrogation. Poor Stephen would not be able to win the agent’s favor until he astutely remembered an old Road Tour flyer shoved somewhere in one of his bags. Only then was the agent convinced it was OK to let Stephen go.


So we had about 45 minutes to get ready, which, in light of all we’d been through in the last 48 hours, was almost a blessing. And we had a fabulous time meeting everyone in Montreal. We switched things up a bit due to language barriers and cultural differences, having Michael Jr. get the crowd laughing towards the end of the event rather than the beginning, but folks didn’t seem to mind too much. We heard all sorts of great testimonials both about our products and their health benefits, as well as how people have benefitted from our business opportunities.

montreal-ca_rt08_dscn2871We are so indebted to Andre Bedard and other Gold and Platinum leaders in that area of the country for their general leadership and in this case, for organizing a fantastic event that attracted 224 people (with more than half being guests). They even had simultaneous translations that were seamless and very helpful for the French-speaking folks in attendance.

And then before you know it, we reached our last stop: Schaumburg, Ill.

I don’t have a great, outlandish travel story to tell you about our last leg, but I do want to say this was one of the best events on the trip, thanks in large part to the great enthusiasm and leadership from local Associates like Dave and Becky Ylinen and Tim Kaufman as well as Mark and Patty Middleton and Tony Fightmaster among other great leaders. We had about 250 people in attendance and, again, about half of the people there were guests who might never had heard of Univera prior. It was a wonderful event with strong and sometimes poignant testimonials, especially about the benefits of AgelessXtra and Essentials for children.

chicago_il_rt08_dscn2938As with our Spring Road Tour, we wrapped up our Fall Road Tour in Illinois (it was Chicago in May). And as with that previous event, this event was magical to each of us.

I will wrap up this rather long travelogue-type post by saying that sometimes I fear my chronicles make it seem like these Road Tours are all about us, and they’re plainly not. Lost baggage and travel delays aside, the Road Tour events give us at Univera Corporate the opportunity to reach, serve, and support the Field—the leaders and customers of today, and equally importantly those of tomorrow. They give us the chance to connect with who we think are the true VIPs: our Associates and prospects across North America who join with us in Bill’s mission of Bringing the Best of Nature to Humankind.


So thank you to everyone for coming to see us this time around. It is always heartening for us to witness firsthand the generosity, compassion, and friendship that characterizes our Independent Associate base.


And when that base intersects with the opportunities that come from Univera, it’s simply magical.

Road Tour: By the Numbers


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4 Replies to “Winding Down (the Road Tour, that is)”

  1. Really excited about your road trip, but looking forward to seeing you this Saturday in Portland,OR
    I have something that involves our military oversees that may just be an interest to Univera
    L’Chaim “to Life” Univera Team
    Lake Oswego, OR

  2. Raz,
    We want to thank you all for what have done in the past few weeks and let you know how much we appreciate the sacrifices corporate leadership has made… being away from your families and away from all that is “normal”. However, you are 100% correct in understanding that it is a huge boost to the field to know that we matter.
    The measure of great leadership is truly the response and outcome you are able to elicit from your people. You are all loved and appreciated.
    Beginnings can be difficult. The nice thing is each day gets better…and our best days are ahead of us.
    Thank you again.

  3. Thanks for the road tour we had our own tour travelling 7 hours from Atlantic Canada to Portland and were there for your skype connection and finally seeing Stephen. We thank you and the orginizers for the evening to have new people exposed to the Team. Team Yippee New Brunswick

  4. Team New Brunswick, thanks for the tour down to the coast–sorry we weren’t able to see you, but Stephen said it was a great group. Looking forward to seeing you guys on the next trip.


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