President's Papers

  • President’s Papers is a series of personal perspectives by DSA President Joseph N. Mariano on the most important issues confronting the direct selling channel.  

    Please note that these are personal views and opinions, and not intended to constitute the Direct Selling Association policy position of legal advice of any kind. As is the case with any legal matter, we recommend that individuals or organizations seek the advice of their own legal counsel.

    May 2022

    Making Advances for the Channel
    As direct sellers, we need to recognize that achieving difficult tasks requires many hands collaborating to help make lighter work out of an otherwise heavy load. 


    October 2021

    Modernizing the Direct Selling Channel
    DSA President Joseph Mariano discusses the myths, misunderstandings, and misrepresentations about direct selling and what DSA has done, and is doing, to modernize the channel’s image.


    July 29, 2020

    A CHANGED PERSPECTIVE: Forging a New Outlook on Our World
    Over the last few dark months, I have oftentimes thought about the Monty Python routine "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” It has always seemed like good advice, albeit a bit of irreverent "tongue in cheekery" from the British comedy troupe.  appreciate the message; it resonates with me. 


    June 3, 2020

    A REFLECTION: Our Extraordinary Times, and Who We Are
    I have been struggling with how we might all engage each other on the issues that have been challenging our country over the last few days—racial injustice, civil unrest, equality for all. I have been touched by the many statements our member companies have issued in support of and commitment to those who are faced with injustice, prejudice, bias, and even death merely because of the color of their skin.  


    May 12, 2020

    A REFLECTION ON OUR TIMES: Where We Are and Envisioning What's Next
    I am reminded of the line in Romeo and Juliet when the star-crossed lover hears of his dear love Juliet’s purported death. He despairs at the fates that have brought him to such a point, and yells, “I defy you, stars!” It’s an understandable sentiment and one that many of us may share; what are the fates that have brought us to such an odd moment in our personal and professional lives, and how will we deal with them?


    April 13, 2020

    ALL THE RESOURCES YOU NEED: A Single, Convenient Spot on DSA.org
    I hope you and your colleagues have been able to take advantage of DSA’s ongoing series of webinars on issues impacting every aspect of your business from meeting planning to supply chain disruptions. I have been in regular communication with the Board of Directors and Association leadership gathering insights that will help guide future enhanced education offerings.


    April 10, 2020

    SPECIAL UPDATE ON COVID 19: A Message from Joseph N. Mariano and Adolfo Franco
    The Association has been working on issues that have or will impact direct sellers, and working to ensure that timely information is provided to the entire membership through a series of weekly webinars on subjects of special interest in addition to keeping our Board and committees informed on ongoing initiatives. 


    PERSONAL PERSPECTIVES ON CRITICAL DIRECT SELLING ISSUES: A Discussion of the October 2, 2019 Federal Trade Commission Announcement
    Since the announcement (on the FTC vs. AdvoCare), there has been much speculation about the position of the FTC vis-a-vis multilevel companies. I have heard reports of FTC staff’s purported antipathy, even hostility, to multilevel marketing being expressed in private conversations and negotiations related to pyramid investigations. Some observers have suggested that the FTC is engaged in a campaign to eliminate multilevel companies and is retreating from its own guidance on multilevel practices issued last year. 


    March 19, 2019

    Call it proselyting, salesforce raiding, or poaching. Whether it’s an isolated instance or a regular occurrence, the practice of one company’s distributors recruiting distributors from a competitor raises legitimate concerns for all DSA member companies. It is probably the one issue about which I receive the most calls from concerned direct selling executives.