Highlights from DSA Engage 2020

June 19, 2020
DSA Engage 2020 Event Highlights

I was able to attend the DSA Engage 2020 virtual event from June 4 – 9, 2020. Despite the in-person meeting being cancelled, it was motivating to see Joseph Mariano, DSA President & CEO, and the DSA team host relevant discussions, updates, and outlooks for the rest of this year and next. In addition to the engaging virtual cooking demos and wine tasting happy hours, there were several event highlights I’d like to share.

Thriving in Adversity

Meetings commenced with a global economic outlook on recovering from the coronavirus recession from Greg Daco, Chief US Economist of Oxford Economics. With so much change and uncertainty going on in the world, it was very informative to hear an expert outlook on the potential recovery starting in May through Q3.


Inspirational speaker, Simon T. Bailey, who spoke last year, spoke again and was just as inspiring. Simon’s session focused on shifting your mindset to thrive in adversity. I bought his book, Be the Spark, at last year’s event and was able to go back and read it again as a reminder on how to create customers for life!

It doesn’t matter what industry, vertical, or sector you are in – our businesses thrive because of our customers, and we need to remember this no matter what role we hold in an organization.

Buying Power of Gen Z

Coming off this inspirational high, my hopes of the future continued to brighten with a panel discussion on Gen Z insights. Gen Z consists of a generation born between 1996 and 2009 and are now individuals from 10 to 24 years of age. This generation will be the primary consumers of many companies in our industry for the next 5 to 20 years, making up 32% of the global population and 25% of the US population (approximately 65 Million people). Their buying power is approximately $60 Billion and continues to grow.

Panelist Josh Miller, Director of Gen Z Studies at XYZ University, said, “They [Gen Z] want a seamless interaction between face-to-face, brick-and-mortar shopping, and online…They care about relationships and authentic interactions.” Perhaps the biggest promise for our future is that Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation.

Instituting Change

The last session I highlight was the panel discussion with six CEOs from leading direct selling companies. The topic of discussion was racism. The discussion was incredibly timely and relevant, as heavy protests centered around racial injustice had commenced in cities across the globe a few days prior. It was compelling to see the all-white panel discuss their thoughts and actions on this topic, as they lead large, multi-million dollar companies. I have been struggling personally to find voices that take a logical approach to understand, acknowledge, and clarify actions we can take to support our sisters and brothers of color, and institute change. I was impressed by the candid words and clear leadership of Roger Barnett, Chairman and CEO of the Shaklee Corporation, who outlined the following approach he is taking with his organization.

  • Listen – Why are people protesting? – Persistent racial discrimination, persistent systemic inequality.
  • Learn – People of color experience discrimination in employment, in healthcare, economics and home ownership, and more.
  • Lead – What are you going to do about it? Educate, have conversations, use your spending power, look at messaging/advertising, etc.

“The perception of young people today is much more diverse, much more inclusive, much more demanding of leadership. Right now, you see business executives, for the first time, weighing in on these issues in mass, and I’m excited about that! Business is an incredibly important factor for change, and what we do, what we model, who we promote, who we talk about, who we shine a light on, where we put our resources can change things.”
Roger Barnett, Chairman & CEO, Shaklee Corporation

While DSA Engage 2020 has concluded, the @Home Expo is live through the Fall, where you can visit PayQuicker at our virtual booth. Contact us today to learn how you can make instant global payouts to your distributors!

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