Board Of Directors
Strategic Planning and Development Manager
Mary Kay Cosmetics Ltd.
Susan has been with Mary Kay Cosmetics for eleven years. Her gift for analyzing information keeps a balanced perspective amid others’ differing requirements like those of marketing, IT, and finance. Susan finds her career especially satisfying now – interesting and challenging each day with a chance to develop different focuses for the future.
Through DSEF service, Susan better understands the diversity within DSA member companies, too. "It’s important to realize direct selling is not cookie cutter, but is uniquely made up of companies with very different marketing plans." And she’s excited to contribute, advancing knowledge of this distribution channel and flexible, ethical, economically empowering industry. "The DSEF is educating the academic community on the validity of direct selling as a main stream marketing channel. By increasing that acceptance, we influence a new, younger generation about its career benefits."
National Sales Promotion Manager
Vector Marketing Canada Ltd.
Rhancha is celebrating her 21st year with Vector this year! Rhancha’s expertise is event planning and designing recognition and sales support programs. She served on the Presidential Advisory Council, spearheaded cause marketing for the Children’s Wish Foundation, and recently added to her York University degrees (honours Political Science and a minor in Law) with Life Orientations Coach certification. She recently became a volunteer for Junior Achievement and taught her first class.
Rhancha loves this industry and her focus – students, “our future CEO’s and entrepreneurs. It’s exciting, helping mold them as leaders.” Alongside fellow board member, Dr. Hassay, she’s delivering CUTCO in the Classroom at the University of Calgary and worked with Ryerson University’s Entrepreneurial Days on Campus. “While students aren’t initially aware of all that direct selling has to offer, we’re educating them.”
Given that Vector is currently the only direct sales company actively recruiting on campus, “my knowledge in this can benefit DSEF initiatives", and she looks forward to being involved with the Days on Campus and growing that. Further, she admits, “I like interacting with my fellow board members, stirring up ideas that I can take back to my own company."
Director of Sales
lia sophia Canada LP
Nancy brings over 24 years direct sales experience achieving the highest level of recognition with several companies within the industry. She currently holds the position of Director of Sales with lia sophia where she empowers women to realize the opportunity of freedom and choice to decide where their career can take them. She is firm a believer direct sales provides women a true path to success and a lifestyle that fulfills their needs. Nancy is a mother of two grown sons, enjoys gardening, reading and helping others.
Vice President and General Manager
The Pampered Chef – Canada and Mexico
In her fifteen years with The Pampered Chef, and over 25 in direct selling, Janice has honed symbiotic strengths in both sales and marketing as well as strategic planning, and is relishing this exciting time in her career as the General Manager for the Canadian and Mexican business. She continues to create a company vision, develop the brand, and oversee dynamic results while leaving a good will legacy “so others can have the wonderful experiences that I’ve enjoyed in my career.” In 1996 she opened The Pampered Chef – Canada and in 2009 opened The Pampered Chef - Mexico.
Janice shares her enthusiasm for the industry through the DSEF, reaching young adults to provide insight into its career viability. “Being part of this strong, focused board, we’re achieving significant goals by communicating to the community about direct selling and the abundance and possibilities that it makes available to all.”
President & Secretary
Direct Sellers Association of Canada
Ross brings more than 30 years direct selling experience – and majors in marketing and merchandising from Ryerson University – to his DSA commitment. Prior to joining the DSA in 1992, this entrepreneur and corporate executive worked with prominent Canadian firms in diverse sales and marketing management capacities.
In his first years as DSA President, Ross was responsible for doubling membership, implementing amendments to both the Competition Act and the Direct Sellers Alternative Collection Mechanism, harmonizing federal/provincial direct selling legislation, and serving on the Federal Deputy Minister of Revenue’s Small Business Advisory Committee.
In the late 1990's, Ross enjoyed several years as an Executive Director with the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations, managing the first Socio Economic Impact Study on our industry commissioned by the WFDSA, and chairing its European Federation’s EU Legislative Task Force. In 1997, Ross and his wife Bobbie were presented with the DSA’s Ivan P. Phelan Award for outstanding contributions to the direct selling industry in Canada. In 2004, he returned to the Canadian DSA as President.
Since returning to the DSA in 2004, Ross has been responsible for directing several key initiatives including two Socio Economic Impact Studies on the direct selling industry in Canada; a Comprehensive Overview of the Direct Selling Industry in Canada; significantly increasing the DSA’s government affairs presence and effectiveness across Canada; and during 2010 he was responsible for initiating a most successful Fraud Awareness conference which brought together more than 200 government, business and low enforcement partners.
In 2010 Ross was presented with the DSEF’s Circle of Distinction Award in recognition of his years of service and contribution to the direct selling industry.
National Marketing Manger
Amway Canada Corporation
Lydia Ayora has held the position of National Marketing Manger at Amway Canada Corporation since June 2000. In this role, she is responsible for directing and implementing strategies to positively promote the Amway business opportunity and it’s supporting product brands. The Marketing Department at Amway Canada supports a broad portfolio and assumes responsibility for the development and creation of all marketing materials to support and align the efforts of its Independent Business Owners across Canada. As an active member of Amway Canada’s Management Team, Lydia works cross-functionally with other all areas of the organization to conceptualize, develop and execute short and long term corporate strategic objectives.
Prior to accepting the position of National Marketing Manager, Lydia was employed in various capacities within Amway Canada Corporation’s Sales Department. She began her career at Amway Canada Corporation as a Sales Coordinator in 1993 and was promoted to Senior Sales Coordinator and Sales Group Leader prior to accepting the position of National Marketing Manager. Her sales experience focused largely on developing, coordinating and managing the national direct sales activities of thousands of Canadian Independent Business Owners.
Lydia holds a variety of business, leadership & management certificates. In addition, she holds a degree in Arts from the University of Western Ontario and a degree in Education from Nipissing University. She is currently in the process of completing a degree in Spanish from the University of Western Ontario.
Director of Canadian Operations
USANA Health Sciences
For over two decades, Gina has overseen operations in diverse industries, from commercial filtration systems to a third party supply chain management company. As Director of Canadian Operations for USANA, she has been able to utilize that experience in her daily role, while working in an industry which enriches the lives of almost everyone it touches.
“I love the fact that USANA specifically, and Direct Selling in general, offers people from all walks of life an opportunity to provide for their families and to realize their entrepreneurial dreams – especially working, single parents who may otherwise struggle to provide for their families and plan a prosperous future. What other industry allows you to accomplish all that without having to hold down two or three jobs, or sacrifice family time.”
“Through my work with USANA and my involvement with the DSA I have met some truly remarkable people. People whose passion for the industry is contagious and who are always ready to share with you the benefit of their knowledge and experience.”
VP, Legal Affairs and General Counsel
Camoplast Solideal Inc.
Catherine was called to the Quebec Bar in 1988 and recently joined Camoplast Solideal Inc. She has practiced primarily in mergers and acquisitions, technology transfers, and marketing law; she has extensive experience in negotiating and drafting commercial agreements, both domestic and international. A two-time university graduate, Catherine majored in Marketing at Concordia University in Montreal, and then went on to the Civil and Common Law Faculties of the University of Ottawa.
Also a registered Trademark Agent, this distinction brings to bear experience in packaging and labelling, consumer protection and privacy legislation, and niche expertise in the Charter of the French Language. Highly involved in community, Catherine’s been an active DSA member for over 16 years and, in 2009, she marked her 11th anniversary serving our DSEF board.
National Sales Manager
Creative Memories Canada
Since joining Creative Memories in 2004, Pierre has developed and implemented strategies and programs to oversee and ensure the growth and the success of the Canadian market.
With more than 20 years of experience in the Direct Selling Industry, Pierre has a proven track record as a leader with particular strengths in building, developing, training and managing successful sales field teams and corporate in changing environments as well as developing new markets. His roots in finance have allowed him to keep corporate objectives in focus through the sales process.
Pierre’s involvement with the DSEF reflects his values towards the opportunities that the Direct Selling Industry has to offer, specifically in regards to the personal and business growth of the Canadian Sales Force.
Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary
Dr. Hassay has a BBA (University of New Brunswick Fredericton), MBA (McMaster University), and a Ph.D. (University of Manitoba) and has been teaching at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary since 2000. Currently, Derek teaches classes in sales and marketing management to undergraduate and graduate students and a variety of executive education courses. Derek’s teaching and research interests are in the area of relationship marketing, specifically focused on issues related to micro-experiential consumption in consumer markets and the marketing practices of micro-entrepreneurship within the direct selling industry.
Derek has a long association with the Direct Selling industry in Canada as a board member, adviser and guest speaker to a number of U.S. and Canadian firms. In 2006, he received the Circle of Distinction award from the Direct Selling Education Foundation of Canada in recognition of his years of service to the industry and the DSEF. Derek is currently Chair of the Academic Program Committee and is a DSEF board member.
Derek is also founder of Selling Smiles 101 an experiential learning project that simultaneously teaches sales and sales management skills while raising money for children’s charities. This award winning program has brought together Derek’s three passions: teaching, direct selling and charity work. To date, students at HSB have raised over $100,000 for the Alberta Chapter of Children’s Wish Foundation and supported the wishes of 11 children through this program.
Vector Marketing Canada Corporation
Operations Manager at Vector Marketing Canada Corporation, James has been with the company for over 20 years – an initial member of its Canadian operations start-up team. A university graduate (Bachelor of Business, St. Bonaventure University), he interacts mainly with young students, which keeps his perspective fresh. “I work with an awesome group of people who support our field operations in an industry that truly helps individuals succeed."
An honoured recipient of our Ivan P. Phelan Award, and the DSEF's Circle of Distinction Award, James particularly enjoys participating in shaping government relations at all levels, and is quick to credit our organization's “genuine care for the integrity of our industry and individuals in direct selling. The DSA serves as the central conduit for getting the message out about the industry. The voice of ethics and integrity, it provides a common cause for the membership; assurances that you've chosen a company that stands behind its products and the people representing them."
Senior Legal Counsel
Avon Canada Inc.
Colleen Leithman is currently Senior Legal Counsel for Avon Canada and has been with the company for over 15 years. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Concordia University (1991) and an LL.B. from University of Montreal (1995). As part of Avon Canada's Senior Management team, Colleen primarily provides guidance to the Marketing, Advertising and Sales teams and is also involved in the company's top strategic initiatives.
Colleen represents the DSA on the Cosmetic Advertising Advisory Committee and is an active member of the DSA Health and Environment Committee.
Group Manager, Sales Force Services
Mary Kay Cosmetics Ltd.
Kathleen joined Mary Kay in May 2000, following a successful career in Toronto managing fine-dining restaurants and private clubs and co-founding a Hospitality Consulting business. After many years in this rewarding industry, she opted for a lifestyle change to the corporate world and looked for “just the right company, one that shares my ethics and values”.
She recalled how she’d enjoyed working part-time as a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant in the 1980s. Still with an intense belief in the company’s mission and Golden Rule philosophy, Kathleen has come full circle by returning to the organization – this time on the corporate side, overseeing Sales Force Support and Order Administration for Mary Kay’s independent sales force across Canada.
Now, the DSEF is the fortunate beneficiary of this potent mix: the people skills of hospitality with the manager’s bottom-line perspective.
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Chris Taylor is the founder of Actionablebooks.com - a company dedicated to helping business leaders develop their staff through lessons from leading business books. As editor-in-chief of Actionable Books, Chris Taylor reads, writes and speaks. A lot. To date he has published over 130 articles, speaks regularly at both public and private events across North America, and has read more business books than he cares to count.
In 2010, Chris launched "Actionable Interviews" a video interview series with best-selling business book authors and leading thinkers in the business space. To date he's conducted 31 interviews for the series, with highlights including Seth Godin, Dan Pink, Sir Ken Robinson and Gary Vaynerchuk. It's through these conversations that Chris developed The Salaried Entrepreneur™; a team development methodology that's being used internationally by companies large and small.