California Dreamin’

cool-and-kitchy-cafeOn Wednesday morning, at a reasonable hour and without alarm clocks (some of you will get this inside joke) we awoke in Emeryville to head over to breakfast in Berkeley at a crunchy, natural foods place. Food was fantastic, loved the ambiance. We sat outside in a rustic California-style courtyard with the sun pouring onto us as we dined in the cool of the morning while eating healthful food.

sweet-san-franciscoMan, I love California. We all do.

Before catching our flight we drove around the UC Berkeley campus which is where Stephen actually worked with some leading biochemists for a period of time, involved deeply in bioenergetic and antioxidant research. This was, of course, many trillions of cells ago. 🙂 No doubt he both contributed exceptionally and had the blessing of learning from others who came before him to develop an emerging field. In an interesting way, as we drove around Berkeley I watched Stephen with a sense of pride and acknowledgment of the privilege we have of his incredible talents and contributions.

berkleySo Stephen was in his glory touring Berkeley; already he has this youthful and exuberant energy but it was accentuated when driving around the creative energy of a University where some of the best and brightest both attend and teach academia.

botany-and-biochemistryTo the left I took this photo of one of the Berkeley buildings that caught me in the moment. Given our business initiatives as well as Stephen’s background, it captured my eye immediately. On one side it the building says “Botany” and the other “Biochemistry”. Mix the two together, and, well, you know, lots of good stuff happens. It’s only fitting, I should’ve taken a picture with Stephen in the foreground…Next time.

And, as an aside, I hope there is a next time for this tour. If you couldn’t tell, we’re having an absolute blast on the road. Really, this is probably the most fun I have ever had in any week of business travel. Certainly, touring with Regan and Stephen has something to do with it, but it’s this chemistry tied to all the Associates that makes this amazing. I know, at times, this probably sounds sappy so as I write and re-read my blog I try to make sure everything stated is as authentic and accurate as possible, but I must acknowledge in all my years of business travel and various Companies I’ve never seen the team of people we have in the field like we do right now.

Back to the day…

rental-car-reganWe arrived in Los Angeles and the hotel event location was fantastic. Usually airport hotels are these run down shanties, but not this one. Despite being right at the airport, the interior of the hotel was fresh and contemporary (though Stephen told me not to swim or sunbathe outdoors due to a combination of jet fuel particulate, sun, smog, and other factors…so I didn’t!).

The leadership reception was held on the top floor of the hotel where we were able to catch up with many of those who are starting to build such a strong business in L.A.

testimonials2ron-and-allenOne of the guys that I met was a newer Associate who actually had established, prior to Univera, a Wellness practice involving everything from the physical to emotional to spiritual componentry. I was really impressed with his progressiveness, and he also seemed quite interested to hear about the foundation of Wellness that we’re moving towards as a Company.

For now, much of our migration towards Wellness is—gradually—being initiated with simply an intention in day to day decision making. Last month I was perusing the pictures of a Blue Diamond/FLC trip to Korea and China in April, 2006. And, without fail, every single person in all of my photos looked better today than they did back on the trip two years earlier. People looked healthier, leaner, more refreshed. Better.

Certainly, I know some of this is attributable to Univera products. But I also know that a lot of this also has to do with lifestyle choices and taking some meaningful steps towards living a healthier life. And, what I love, is that this happens gradually in most cases. Sometimes even unintentionally. Usually lasting change doesn’t happen in an immediate instant (exceptions are usually limited to cases where people have some type of transformational and major life event), and so what I’ve observed are these intentional improvements along the way by various different individuals within Univera.

Not only does it work this way physically, but also emotionally.

la-audienceSo this is one of the reasons I love the team in Southern California—such heartfelt and sincere emotions and sense of caring. Now, I don’t mean that I don’t sense emotion and care in other parts of the Company, for sure I do. But every location is a bit different, probably due to a combination of geography, environment, and leadership in that area. Each area is wonderfully unique.

Tonight’s general session was PACKED. We were so proud/thrilled with the Associates in L.A. and their incredible performance. In fact, I was so excited I didn’t take as many pictures as I wished I did. Overall, the night was outstanding and–to date–far exceeds the record for the road tour in terms of attendance (which upcoming city will beat this???).

Over 400 people were in the room. And, of that 400, there were a lot of guests. And, even though I know it’s L.A., I wasn’t expecting to meet so many people actively engaged in Hollywood. Actors/Actresses, Screenwriters, Directors. I’m not sure how to describe the energy in the room, somewhat a creative anticipation. I don’t really get starstruck yet this event was great fun to meet some of those involved in various writing or acting in TV shows and movies.

rock-star-stephenIt’s fun to watch the people swarm Stephen after the event. Regan and I both give him a good teasing about it, because we really do know that this business is about the products and that people come to hear Stephen. Tonight he was, as always, hilarious. Though sometimes he gets so wound up he sometimes skips discussing a little ‘ol energy product called AgelessXtra.

“Oy!” as Stephen would say.

family-associatesRegardless, people loved the presentation (of course) and many leave inspired to be better. And, they’ll figure out the whole Xtra story if they hadn’t heard it before the event anyways.

rhetah-ron-and-renateTestimonials tonight were great, perhaps a tad on the long side but how can you blame people for spilling their heart when these Univera products have made such an impact in their life?

I met this wonderful woman who has many kids and I believe told me she’s 51 years old (won’t use her name since I’m stating her age!), she looked like she was 31 and had some incredible product experiences personally as well as with her children. It’s always fun hearing about the success stories.

delicious-dessertsThere were also a few Associates who, at the end of the evening, gave the three of us some gorgeous desserts; they were these little cheesecakes and mousse-like parfaits that were made with some of our products and I think they were on the healthier side. At least, that’s what I told myself as I ate both of them as I was blogging in my room. Such a sweet gesture, and tasted outstanding as well, which will stand as one of the many memorable moments from this tour.

Thanks to the City of Angels for being such gracious, energetic, and memorable hosts.

post-program-bonding

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Regan, did you get my bags???

stephen-back-of-planeThis morning we awoke at an early hour after a late-into-the-evening night at a steakhouse (this was at Stephen’s suggestion, I was trying to find Sushi! But, for sure, he did eat fish for dinner), to jump on a 7:30am flight from Seattle to Sacramento to catch a luncheon.

Stephen insisted, endearingly, that he visit a Anthony’s at the Airport to dine on a delicious “Seattle Scramble” breakfast. Evidently, it opens right at 6am so we left a little on the early side. Despite the fact we had just finished eating hours before. For a guy who has 9% bodyfat, or whatever it is, he sure has a healthy appetite. But I must also admit he’s pretty good about what he eats though he indulges occasionally.

Ultimately, the breakfast joint was at a different terminal so we didn’t make it. Regardless, I was able to envision a highly recommended Cherniske “Seattle Scramble” of fresh farm-raised eggs from chickens-who-do-yoga-daily mixed with all sorts of delicious fillings, like barley, wheat germ, sprouts, spelt (what, really, is spelt beyond just a hexaloid species of wheat? Do we really know?), wheatgrass…you get the idea.

Truth be told, I actually think it was more along the lines of scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and cream cheese, but we’ll never know for sure and I like my guess better.

Upon boarding we learned of flight delays due to a radio that seemingly got fixed three different times. Ultimately our flight was canceled but, fortunately, we caught a departure that left 90-minutes later.

back-of-plane-restroom-central-107Regardless of the time of flight or how full the aircraft it always seems that Stephen is sitting in the very back of the plane. Dead last seat. Right by the bathroom. I love it. To the right you can see the fruit of my labor from encouraging as many passengers to use the bathroom as possible, and Stephen’s taking it all in stride with fits of laughter. Indeed, it adds a disturbing level of humor to our day and gives me a chance to take a multitude of photos on our flight.

Regan and I usually are in the front (not first class, just further up in coach and if we’re really lucky in the emergency exit) and so we’ve taken to giving him some serious teasing about this repetitive situation.

norah-and-katieTwo Associates, Katie and Nora, were also on our plane having also attended the Bellevue meeting the night before and were continuing the tour in Sacramento and Emeryville. Wow, committed and going strong with guests at each event! You can see their picture to the right, they were an absolute blast to have on a part of our journey. Great people, very sweet and endearing.

Upon touching down in Sacramento we divided and conquered. Or tried to conquer. At least some of us conquered. 🙂

I took the point on acquiring food (full disclosure: I did go to Starbucks, but no coffee was consumed in the process), Stephen went to get the rental car to pull it around, and Regan…Yes, well, Regan, his job was to get our bags. That was his only job. Get the bags. Yes, all of them. Including mine. BOTH of mine.

So we jump into the car, as I’m throwing it into gear I holler back “Hey Regan, you got all the bags, right?”

Did I mention his only job was to get all the bags? More on this later.

sacramento-luncheonThe luncheon had nearly 200 attendees, we arrived about 50-minutes late to a remaining and very patient audience. It was a VERY energetic crowd, especially for a luncheon during the day. This was my first time in Sacramento and the three of us were thrilled with the turnout.

john-and-karen-ryanJohn Ryan moderated and Al wrapped things up, it was very well done. And, 30 Convention tickets were sold to boot! Post-event, there was quite a bit of mingling and it was really invigorating to meet some of the newer Associates. After the lunch we spent a few minutes on our walk out with a new Associate named Glenn (aka “Big Daddy”) and his team; Glenn just started April 1st under Kenny R–you can see the photo of some members of his team as well as Regan and Stephen above left, Kenny and others on his team is pictured above right. FUN and successful people.

glenns-great-teamkenny-r-and-teamIn fact, Big Daddy and his wife, Reagan, contributed an amazing testimonial to the event tonight in Emeryville. He commented on the excitement of seeing so many of his downteam winning so quickly, when at other endeavors it never really happened for them even after years of hard work. And, Reagan, (again, Big Daddy’s wife, not the CEO Regan) really shared from her heart the meaning of the vision and mission of Univera and what they desire to contribute in a purposeful way.

al-keranenstephen-and-minglersThe evening session in Sacramento went well, beyond the highlight just mentioned there were some great people and a good sized group for an emerging market–probably over 150 in attendance. Dwayne hosted the meeting and facilitated throughout, he’s extremely articulate and charismatic. Each of the Exec’s probably spoke a little too long, we should’ve cut it down a bit. Next time. And Al wrapped up the event; he was as good as I’ve seen. Very purposeful in his comments, yet hilarious. Inspirational yet authentic and real. Politically correct yet politically incorrect. Classic Al, he really did a phenomenal job lifting up each of us. It was a really good close to a really good day.

As always, we enjoyed the time both before and after the event the most. Lots of laughter, stories, and fellowship.

emeryville-duane-davisAs I’m writing this I’ve developed a bit of an adrenaline rush, hearing the stories of success and enthusiasm are so invigorating. And to see people winning the way they are is addictive. These team events give the opportunity to draw on the positive results of others, with the right intention and spirit coming into the meeting it can really lift people up. I came into the tour feeling really good, but some of these moments cause an instantaneous eclipse to feeling great.

bonnie-and-guestAnd, if you’re not feeling great right now, be steadfast and stay committed. The valleys are followed by peaks, and the greater our momentum the more the peaks.

There are new people joining Univera across the board, and I’m excited to have each of them join us on this mission. Thanks Sacramento and Emeryville for a warm and welcoming reception, we enjoyed every minute.

emeryville-testimonialsBy the way, you might be wondering about Regan’s role of bag-grabber at the Sacramento airport? Well, when I arrived at the hotel and we’re unpacking my car I notice one of my bags missing.

“Hey Regan, do you remember a green bag, carry on type?”, I asked.

Silence.

“Regan, you know, when we were arriving into Sacramento. I was getting food, Stephen the rental car, you had the bags. Right? I mean, you got the bag, my bag, the one with my change of clothes?”

So I was down a bag.

But clean clothes are truly overrated.

regan-emma-rose-and-razPlus, I’m becoming more “green” by the day, so I figure this is a forced intervention to induce me to use less water and recycle clothes a few more uses. In fairness to Regan he’s not a “bagologist” but rather a CEO, as he quickly reminded me. And, truly, we should’ve double checked before racing to our luncheon.

Not a big deal, Lisa Staiger tracked the bag down in no time and it’ll be waiting for me at the Oakland airport tomorrow morning. And, I’ve learned to divide clean clothes among two bags to prepare for these situations. So it made for a fun story and some new content to use to humor us and tease each other as we traveled.

And, I’ve learned another upside to authoring this blog is that one can pick and tell the stories one chooses. So these are mine today…

We’re looking forward to Los Angeles tomorrow evening .

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Terrific Three-Hundred: Bellevue, WA

leadership-reception-1While last Friday marked the official “kickoff” of the road tour at our Corporate Univera Xperience event, tonight was the first official “on-the-road” event held at Maggiano’s in Bellevue, Washington.

It couldn’t have gone any better and served as the perfect launch into a busy but exciting week.

On the car ride back to our hotel tonight each of us, meaning Stephen, Regan and I, was raving about the enthusiasm of the attendees at tonight’s event.

leadership-reception-2The beginning of the event was an invitation-only reception with Associate leadership. A lot of fun to connect with a smaller group of our leaders, who I feel like we see often but don’t get enough time to socialize with together. Tonight made up for some lost time.

leadership-reception-3After the leadership reception we began the general session–turnout was incredible with over 320 people. Standing room only, a completely packed house. A very enthusiastic group, which included at least 50+ guests in attendance–if not more (that alone was the number who self identified as guests).

bellevue-audienceAnn Magee did a fabulous job of hosting (and planning, along with the Corporate Univera staff with special thanks to Julie Darby, aka “J Dar”) the event. It was one of the best hosted events we’ve attended, she handled the group with composure, elegance, and sincerity. Each of us were really impressed with Ann.

cherniskeOf course, Stephen continued his funny, charming, and informative self (sounds like a repeat from a previous blog, but it’s true–he was excellent). Regan told the story of Senator Bradley becoming a fan of our products and our meeting with him at Lacey headquarters about a month back. Regan even brought up the person in the audience–Gail–responsible for gifting and enrolling Senator Bradley while on a book tour years ago (great job Gail!!!). She briefly shared the story of how he became such a fan of our products and Company.

One thing in particular really made tonight particularly special to me.

testimonials-1The small but powerful group of testimonials were really moving. There were only four or five, yet each of them were sincere and touching–to hear firsthand the impact these products have had on their life, their physical renewal, is inspiring.

There was one gentleman there tonight who really inspired me, his name was Scott and he’s gone through an amazing physical transformation, physical renewal, over the past year. He shared with great honesty his story using humility, humor, and appreciation. It was among the most authentic and inspiring testimonials I’ve heard, I had a chance to speak with him after the event and was really touched by his story.

testimonials-2If nothing else occurred tonight (and plenty did!) to hear this testimonial and realize the impact of Univera products in his life would have been enough to make the entire event worthwhile.

There was some great participation from other leaders, including Jay Jackson who kicked off the event, Ray Winter who discussed our upcoming Convention followed by a meeting summary by Mike Kaufman.

Both before and after the “formal” event we also had the opportunity to talk, share, and hear stories–from both new Associates as well as those who have been involved in the business for years. A few pictures might help tell the story, but it won’t do it full justice and I haven’t the time to share about all the great people we met and bonded with tonight.

closing-the-eveningTo top it all off, about 20 Convention tickets were sold this evening.

What an exceptional event; over dinner late this evening (dining on fish, of course), Regan, Stephen and I were really basking in the afterglow of what was an invigorating event made possible by the leaders in the Seattle area and all the attendees.

If you had any favorite highlights or moments please leave a comment below.

Thanks to everybody for a fantastic kickoff at the Bellevue event!

post-event-socializing

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

The Great Blondin

getting-registeredToday marked the official start of our Road Tour across North America at the Corporate offices right here in Lacey, Washington at our monthly Univera Xperience. It was the first day Regan and I were back in the office for two weeks, and the last three days have been pretty sleep deprived so it was a little foggy–but fun nonetheless.

line-to-get-into-eventAmazing how much it is that you can really miss the people (and family, of course!) that you work with, both in the field and corporately, when gone for an extended period of time.

Today’s event was filled with some good energy; because of the number of attendees we had to run two different groups–it probably sapped a bit of the buzz/energy in the room (always better to have a packed house), but it also afforded a more comfortable setting and I’m sure better logistics.

superstar-cherniskeStephen, pictured left, as always, was charming, funny, informative, and compelling. I was in and out of the Xperience but caught a few really good sections of his presentation. He really is one of the most gifted speakers I know, and he’s also an excellent biochemist.

This afternoon we played a bit of a practical joke on Dave Nash, Director of Canada Sales. It’s been planned for weeks. It started a few months ago when we were on the Canadian Road Tour which began in Vancouver, BC (where there is an exceptional Univera team of Associates, by the way). Nash opened the program with this story of “The Great Blondin.” It’s the story about a guy who apparently is the greatest tightrope walker in the history of the sport of tightrope walking. This is not a very well known story, or sport for that matter and I would expect for good reason. 🙂

Anyways, I’ll spare you the details and make a long story short. This Blondin guy is a daredevil, and one day at the pinnacle of his career he challenges a fan who believes Blondin is the best of the best to get into the wheelbarrow and cross the tightrope with him as a passenger. Sounds fun, no?

sales-support-teamSo while on the Canada tour Nash opens with this story; as he’s telling the story Stephen and I are cringing, partly because the symbolism of the story is one of danger of life, wild risk taking, madman antics, etc. (which is quite the opposite experience of Univera) but, the point he was making is that there does require a leap of faith in any venture. So at the end of the presentation we’re all debriefing about what went well, what we could improve…and Stephen and I basically say “Nash, we really admire the attempt at the analogy, and pretty good delivery, but do you really think this Blondin story conveys the right message? I mean, Blondin is a daredevil, crossing a tightrope with a wheelbarrow, asking people to get in the wheelbarrow…”

dave-nashBut as the tour continued, so did Nash with the Blondin story. I must admit, he got pretty good at telling the story effectively and making the “leap of faith” point while minimizing the inherent dangers, not to mention insanity, of sitting in a wheelbarrow on top of a tightrope.

get-in-the-wheelbarrowA month after the Canadian tour, about ten Univera employees participated together in a volunteer activity cleaning up some land owned by the Company. We decided to take a picture of me in the wheelbarrow being driven by Stephen and Regan. Around the same time, we thought to have Nash open the next Xperience with “The Great Blondin” story and that we would insert, unknownly to him, the photo of us and the wheelbarrow right at the punchline of his analogy.

So, three weeks later here we are today at the Univera Xperience and I explained to Nash that Regan really wants him to open the event with “The Great Blondin” anecdote. It doesn’t take much to convince him to do it. So, today, on two occasions, he told the story. But the first time he was quite surprised, because at the punchline (“get in the wheelbarrow”) we actually replaced his regular powerpoint slide with the photo taken of me in the wheelbarrow being driven by Regan and Stephen, pictured right.

nash-reaction-to-wheelbarrowSurprised would be an understatement, you can see the blurred reaction to left It took him a minute to realize what we’d done, which was followed with some barely controllable laughter. A few photos exist of his reaction (see left), but he’s moving around in such hysterics that the camera couldn’t quite keep up. Dave did a great job with the analogy, and was also a great sport in the process.

receptionThe biggest thrill for me at these events are meeting the people afterwards who are involved in the business, or at least are considering it. I met one individual who first attended an event in Portland a few months ago. She got signed up right after that weekend and is having a blast. Of course, sometimes the best benefit to these events is recharging the batteries as well. No matter how great any organization/team/event, there will be times where people need to get re-energized. It’s just how it works. So these Xperience Events serve, hopefully, as a way to connect both those who are existing and new with some excitement and energy to move forward. I know that this is what it does for me, particularly in seeing, meeting, and greeting our field.

post-program-receptionunivera-storeMonday night we’re in Seattle, then we travel down the coast ending in Phoenix this weekend. Looking forward to seeing each of you as we go across the Country in the coming month.

And, if curiosity has captured you, find out more info on “The Great Blondin” by clicking here.

blondincrossesniagara

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all period. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

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…

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all period. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless significant for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

The Significance of Steadfastness

hainan-sunsetTonight we arrived in Hainan Island, the southern most part of China. A gorgeous island that could be compared to the grandeur of Hawaii but with a different charm and atmosphere uniquely its own. I’ve never been to Vietnam, but it has what I imagine to be that sense of flair from the somewhat steamy–though comfortable–atmosphere and developing yet rustic countryside riddled with road side rice patties on the way to our hotel.

It’s not only home to Hainan Aloecorp manufacturing, the official unveiling which occurs tomorrow, but also home to VeraResort–what will be a world class spa and destination resort that will be unrivaled on this Island, and among the best in this hemisphere.

the-bus-ride-to-hainanTonight Bill hosted a special dinner for the Field Leadership Council, he also invited two other guests: ECONET CEO, Stuart Ochiltree, and the very first Aloecorp employee who was a college friend–JJ (who is now an entrepreneur and remains close friends with Bill). It was a special evening of laughter, fellowship, and reflection; every time I am around Bill I am amazed. He is, truly, the real deal. A man of great conviction, vision, character, and perseverance. His commitment is among the most steadfast I have seen, and there are many examples of this within ECONET. Tonight, he used Unigen as an example, where for well over a decade the organization didn’t turn a profit (though today it is very successful and profitable). A business in which, despite many years of investment, he continued forward in what he knew would be the right thing to do that yielded the right outcome.

the-landscape-en-routeI mentioned in one of my first posts the magic of vision coupled with commitment. This is exactly what I was referring to, and it makes me honored and privileged to be a part of it. All across North America, I know there are many other people who feel the same way that are uniquely attached to the vision he leads, initiated by his late father. It is special that every one of us, regardless of where we live, how long we have been involved in the business, and regardless the capacity or rank (new Associates to Blue Diamonds, Customer Care agents to the Chief Executive Officer) can have a meaningful and lifelong impact in this cause.

rice-fields1I expect there are some leaders who also wish they were on this trip; truly, I wish you were here as well. And, someday you will be. For now, I feel it’s appropriate to share that those of us who are here represent you and share in this privilege to take what we have learned about Bill, the Company, the resources, and to utilize this to further instill the goodness and breath of what makes this Company so unique.

Tonight Bill shared stories of commitment, unity, and future opportunity. It is on this trip that there are many other Diamonds and Blue Diamonds here from Univera Korea (this is their equivalent of Diamond Club). He reflected that some of these Diamonds started with him 20, 25, and even 32 years ago when they first began. He reminded each of us that with this team, over the years, learned, persevered, stumbled, and grew together.

conversations-at-dinnerBill reminded us that those who were there many years ago were extremely well off today, with financial success they only once dreamed about–though their success was not just limited to financial prosperity. His point, clearly, was that so it will be with Univera North America. Those that begin today, that learn, persevere, stumble, and grow together will have a limitless opportunity for future years to come.

I hope that you hear firsthand from some of those with us tonight the magic in what we have as a Company, an owner, and each other. I have been to many wonderful dinners and events over my career: Black Tie receptions, dinners, fund raisers, inaugural events, and various other fanfare and recognition events. I have worked for several incredible Companies and with some exceptionally talented people. Yet, tonight, I found myself in the magic of the moment among the most exceptional evenings in my business career. And I write about it tonight, late into the evening, so you can share a glimpse of Bill’s commitment and our opportunity together.

flc-and-billTonight, I felt an innate sense of pride–not in a presumptuous sense–in our Company. More like a sense of pride that one might feel about their heritage or family. It was a pride in knowing who we are, a pride of our leadership as well as all those who touch our Company. It was a warm sense of satisfaction and commitment with the leaders at the table, those of the Field Leadership Council, and each of you whom they represent. A pride in you, who you are and what we want to become.

This trip is not just about the Field Leadership Council. It’s about each of you as well as our future together. In some small way, sitting 10,000 miles away overlooking a full moon reflecting on the South China Sea on a starry and exceptionally clear night–near the home of the future Veraspa Resort–that I wish to share just a glimpse of what it is that we have together and what we can become.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all date. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

The Whisper of Tienanmen Square

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Tiananmen Square

Yesterday was the second day touring Beijing.

Tiananmen Square was magical to me. Not really because of the “sights to see”, there isn’t much. It’s a very large open space, surrounded by Government buildings including the Grand Hall. It’s, instead, the experience and feeling of the history. Odd as it sounds, there’s a haunting atmosphere in the Square and several times during our half-hour visit I felt chills as I thought back to what happened here on this plaza in 1989. It’s a humble reminder of the freedom we have in America, and a tribute to many people around the world who have risked or given their life for the privilege of freedom (or simply progress).

The Forbidden City was fascinating, an Emperor’s indulgence in a dramatically massive landscape that contained nearly 10,000 rooms. The entire structure was completed in about 15-years. Amazing.

inside-forbidden-cityWe learned that about 80-90% of the tourists in Beijing are actually Chinese. A dramatic difference from 20-years ago, when most tourists were Europeans, Americans, Russians, and Koreans. The rise of Chinese tourism, and also the significant increase in urbanization as well as modern transportation are all very visible indicators for the industry attraction to direct selling in China. With 1.3 billion people, a massively emerging middle class, it is set, someday, to become a spectacular source of opportunity for Univera as well as the people within China. It is still a structure that needs more development and a more favorable regulatory environment, but it remains an exciting opportunity as we plan our International expansion.

learning-about-silkwormsCraftsmanship in China can really be quite exceptional. As we all know and read in the news, there can be a whole spectrum of quality that comes out of China, and at times it’s unfairly generalized. After looking at some of the architecture, as well as handiwork in the silk industry, I have learned a great deal of the quality that can come from this land. In the picture to the right we’re learning about how the silkworm weaves a little cocoon, and then how that silk is extracted. In one tiny cocoon there is about one mile of a silk strand!

silky-softThe silk operation we went to had their plan perfectly templated with their own Gift-Team-Enroll method of operation. We showed up, they gifted us with a silk cocoon, shared with us a bit of information. Then came the experience, you can see Al rubbing his face on the silk to the right. It’s the face of a man about to make a silk investment. The silk touring team continued throughout, there was a pod of silk experts at every step of the tour…which then led us to enroll. They had their own 100340 twin pack plus two, but it was a silk comforter instead. After you bought that then it was time for the upsell. Some of us didn’t quite get through enroll, while others bought the 60-gift pack equivalent.

temple-of-heavenAnother incredible example of craftsmanship (craftswomen/craftsperson/craftshuman, etc.) is the Temple of Heaven. This is where the Emperors went to pray–just twice a year. Before entering, it required a three-day cleansing ritual. The temple, pictured left, is a construction masterpiece because it was made without a single nail. Or glue/adhesive of any kind. The entire structure was built by hand using interlocking wood beams. The inside, particularly the roof, is incredibly intricate. To imagine that this was done without CAD (architectural) drawings and modernized tools is hard to imagine. I have no clue how these guys could built the interlocking components that required such precision for perfect fit–each of thousands of pieces of wood had to fit perfectly together. Each piece was custom created, filed, chiseled by hand. Rather than going to Temple of Heaven, the rest of the FLC decided, instead, to sit on the bus and talk about culture and history, I think the topic was about the transfer of power from the Ming dynasty. It was either that, or they were comparing the watches they had just purchased at the market. Of course, Regan, Renate, and I teased each of them that the Temple of Heaven was the most interesting part of the trip so far, and that they missed Jackie Chan giving autographs.

discussion-at-dinnerBeijing is such an amazing city, each of us loved every minute of our time here learning more about the history and learning about the culture of such warm people. Today we’re off to Hainan for the grand opening of Hainan Aloecorp. Someday, many of us, will be back in Beijing together as we build Univera throughout the world–including China.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant data you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Do you need anything Mr. Ambassador?

american-embassy-housingYesterday was our first full day in Beijing. Regan is the only person who has been here before, so each of us were like little kids discovering one of the most unique cities in the world.

The FLC members arrived into Beijing two nights ago, Saturday late into the evening (North America’s Friday). Within, I believe it was, 10-minutes of arriving at the airport Renate made a quick stop into the restroom. Next thing they knew was they lost her! For about thirty minutes. So as the story goes, just a few minutes before calling the police to report what they feared might be a missing person, they found each other. So you can imagine both their relief, as well as the endless teasing that occurred the following day.

regan-and-raz-eating-chineseThat same Saturday evening, Regan and I ventured out to the most authentic Chinese restaurant we could find and ended at a traditional Beijing noodle house. Not a lick of English spoken. Lots of pointing to the menu, acting out certain sounds, and trying to say the English word more loudly in the hopes of our servers understanding. We both received incredibly delicious noodle bowls, Regan had beef and I had pork with bean paste. Fantastic. We also were given a chance to try a drink called something like “Sweet Little Fairy Spirits”…Which, I think, is basically bottled jet fuel. Not so fantastic. We tried some, out of both courtesy and curiosity, and gave the rest of the bottle to our concierge. Another dish we ordered were these miniature shrimp–yes that sounds silly–but these were the size of peanuts. A heaping plate full of whole shrimp–legs, tail, head–cooked in oil. I think it was somewhat the Chinese equivalent of french fries. Delicious.

the-great-wallYesterday we spent nearly all day at The Great Wall of China. It’s about a two hour drive, so we enjoyed a traffic-filled journey by listening to the encyclopedic knowledge of our tour guide–Sally. Really, she was incredible. Her facts and figures riddled off like a bullet train, she was both charming and gregarious. We learned the Great Wall is about 4,000 miles in length (equivalent of going from LA to NYC to Miami), and took about 2,000 years to complete construction. What an amazing accomplishment–seeing the size and structure it is hard to believe the magnitude. And the geography for building this wasn’t exactly a cakewalk either, you can see some of the rugged and hilly terrain in the photo to the left.

part-of-flc-at-great-wallTo the right you can see MOST of the FLC members and Regan. Yes, four of the members were tough enough to brave the rain and wind. In the picture below right, you’ll see Al huddled in the corner. Like a puppy in the rain.

So this is what prompted tour-guide Sally–she quickly picked up on Al. Shortly thereafter, in a very endearing way, she started calling him “Mr. Ambassador”. The rest of the trip she really took to him.

al-off-in-the-corner“Do you need anything Mr. Ambassador?”

“Please come over here Mr. Ambassador.”

“Do not touch those ancient statues Mr. Ambassador.”

“Mr Ambassador, are you happy man right now?”

She was a riot. So was Al and the rest of the group.

A parting group shot below before leaving the Great Wall to continue the adventure…

flc-at-great-wall

the-next-pearl-streetWhen we returned to the City, most of us opted to go shopping in the Pearl District, where you can shop for nearly anything but the specialty are pearls. Hence the name.

We took the photo to the right given that our Company heritage with field leadership really started at the Pearl Street Hotel in Boulder, Colorado about ten years ago. So the word “Pearl” has some symbolic and special Univera meaning. The photo to the right is somewhat like a “Pearl Street 2”, but it’s “Pearl Market.” And in Beijing. And it’s missing Mr. Ambassador who opted instead for a massage.

Do you need anything Mr. Ambassador?

We finished the evening with more traditional Chinese food; in Beijing a specialty is duck. Different restaurants and areas have different ways of preparing it, yesterday ours was roasted duck. We wrapped up the evening discussing both the days events, sprinkled with business, and celebrating three of the five FLC members birthdays which occur in April. John Ryan, Al, and Renate. Served, of course, with traditional Chinese noodles and egg as dessert. A great day with a great team of people.

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No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all day. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless significant for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Power Up!!!

cutout-execsTwo years ago a small group of us attended Univera Korea’s 30-year celebration at their annual Convention. 30,000 people in the Daejon World Cup stadium in Korea. Despite cold and clammy weather, it was an incredible event attended by nearly every Univera Associate in Korea.

Most Conventions are intended for the “mid-level Associates” and up (equivalent to our Silvers or Golds) and only last a half day, so the 30th celebration years ago was quite unusual.

power-up-crowdYesterday, over 2,000 very excited Univera Associates donning color-coded team uniforms kept an electric energy throughout their 2008 “Power Up” annual Convention. In the below photograph, you can see the two talented–and fun–Univera CEOs, Regan Miles and Don Kim. Who, interestingly, were both CEOs of Unigen Pharmaceuticals before their move to Univera.

regan-and-donThe Univera Korea business model, given that it originated over 30-years ago, is uniquely different than ours in North America and is more like a unilevel model. That particular structure will stay in Korea, the model we take worldwide will be like that of what exists in North America.

Their Convention is really oriented more like a dynamic four-hour performance, rather than a training or development initiative. It’s about as different as you can imagine from a Univera event in North America, but every attendee loved it. Early on, Bill opened the event (below right) with a rousing and inspiring speech that served to set the tone for a packed afternoon of recognition and fun.

bill-speakingMany famous entertainers performed, including the “Elvis of Korea” (yes, he swaggered like him and even fashioned modernized Elvis dress attire) as well as an apparently hilarious comedian–it’s tougher to get the jokes when they’re all in Korean and you don’t speak the language–sprinkled with recognition throughout the entire event.

The entertainment expanded from the “traditional” forms of singing and dancing to what a North American might call “non-traditional” activities for what we might expect at a Convention.

What do I mean by non-traditional? Well, skits on stage being done by Associates–including Blue Diamonds–would be one. Or, a Blue Diamond with a well choreographed dance performance is another–when I return to the States I’ll upload a video clip. The lead dancer is one of Univera Korea’s top producing Blue Diamonds…Perhaps an idea for this year’s Convention? Pretty amazing for someone whose full time vocation is Univera!

Another unique component was the ceremonial induction of their top Blue Diamond of the year by carrying her into the event, literally, on a chariot of sorts amongst the crowd (don’t get any ideas, future Blue Diamonds!). It was very charming, and her daughter sang at the event preceding her recognition. Very touching, and she had a gorgeous voice. Finally, one that we really got a kick out of was the short presentation of ten Korean bodybuilders who stood and posed for a few minutes on stage as part of the ceremony. Perhaps a reinforcement on the importance of Wellness? Not sure, and I’ll spare the picture for now…Regardless, the crowd thought it was a hoot.

dancers-on-stage

The Associates loved every minute of the entire event. An incredible success, my genuine congratulations to all my friends and colleagues in Korea for a spectacular event as well as gratitude for being such excellent hosts.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all period. What is the most significant data you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good heartiness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Seoul, Korea: “The Farm”

dscn0225This week I arrived in Seoul, Korea, to participate in a few of the ECONET Worldwide Executive meetings hosted by Bill Lee and the other Board members as well as some team building activities.

An incredible week.

Coming into it, I felt I knew a lot about the resources, the plans, the people, the vision. But, leaving, I am even more amazed by what I learned and saw. Our owner, Bill Lee, has tremendous vision for the Company. But, more than this, he has commitment.

chairman-yunho-leeVision can come and go, same with great ideas. But vision coupled with commitment can be magical. And it doesn’t exist in many places, that I do know. The words from the late Chairman Lee embedded in this placard hanging in the lobby of ECONET Center in Seoul are a good example of what I mean.

After a 14-hour flight from Seattle to Seoul, I arrived with the completed task of an empty inbox (amazing how many emails you can get through without interruptions!) and about a dozen outdated Wall Street Journals finally read.

lunch-at-koreaImmediately, I jumped right into Korean culture, by going to a traditional Korean restaurant where I was served an array of small dishes that you can see in the picture to the left. What is it? Not sure. But I ate all of it. Well, almost all of it. And it was really quite good though I’m not sure I could adjust to this daily.

On Sunday morning, we went to Bill’s family farm about an hour outside of Seoul, to participate in various team-building activities and to “experience Korean culture” along with other ECONET Exec’s. Seoul is a crowded and sprawling city, reminding me of my days from living in Manhattan with the activity, crowds, and energy (without quite the number of skyscrapers) yet with the vast sprawl you see in Atlanta. Nearly 25 million people cram into what’s really a pretty small area of land.

Seoul is an amazing city. Great energy. Continual innovation. Respect and courtesy. Tenacity. I am always impressed, and humbled, by the people of Korea when I travel here.

peter-and-edLeaving early the next morning, much of the entertainment was the drive to and from, where a van brought one of the groups over to Bill’s home. In the picture to the right you can see Peter Hafermann, CEO of Aloecorp, and Ed Cannon, CEO of Unigen. Both great executives, and as you can tell by the looks on their faces, are a lot of fun–this is a snapshot in between friendly jokes and ribbing we’re giving each other on the drive over.

Bill’s house in the country, simply known as “the Farm”, is gorgeous. Laden–as you would expect–with trees and plantings of all types over many acres, nestled among some rolling hills. A kind of special serenity exists there, and it was an idyllic location for fellowship with peers from across the world.

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During the course of the day we participated in Korean games and various cultural events, which included learning how to play the Korean drums (I was so remedial that I received my own instructor!) . One of the games is pictured to the below right; it’s a very traditional Korean game, and something we never really figured out even after several explanations from different people.

throwing-the-logsIt works like this: four people take turns throwing foam logs onto a pad and hope that either an X or an O lands on top. That team then receives a certain number of points for doing so. And you don’t want one or four points, that’s bad. But two or three is good.. I think. At least that’s when the Koreans seemed to cheer loudest. Like I said, we never understood it. A total game of chance, but it drew out the hyper-competitiveness in all of us. Despite having no clue what we were doing, the game “throwing-foam-logs-onto-a-mat-hoping-a-certain symbol turns-straight-up-so-we-can-win” proved to be amazingly fun.

The first day of “culture” was a great kick off to excellent meetings that discussed some exciting progress across ECONET, from the enrollment growth of Univera associates to the manufacturing facility in Lyford, Texas, to the new wellness spa/resort–officially named “VeraResort”, which is already in the beginning phases of construction. There’s much more, stories and photos of which I am sure we’ll share on our tour across North America in April and May.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all when. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless significant for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.