2017 Industry Leadership Retreat- By Invitation Only

DSA Industry Leadership Retreat

Tentative Agenda


Wednesday, January 25

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.     

Welcome Dinner

Join us for an informal dinner with fellow retreat attendees. Dinner will start with CEO introductions and then segue into a conversation with Bill Schmitz, who will explore the domestic and global political situation and lead a discussion about what that environment means for direct selling. 

Bill Schmitz, Managing Director, Associate Director of Research and  Consumer Products Analyst, Deutsche Bank                                                                       

Thursday, January 26

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.      

Buffet Breakfast

Fuel up so you’ll be energized to participate in our content-rich program.

8:30 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.      


Our program will kick-off with a quick introduction from DSA’s Chairman of the Board David Holl.                                                     

David Holl, CEO, Mary Kay Inc.

8:40 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.   

Direct Selling Research & Trends

Hear industry perspectives from consumers and direct sellers based on top-level results from direct selling’s most current research findings, then engage in a discussion with your peers on what this information means for individual company success and the direct selling business model.                                                   

Anne Aldrich, Partner, Artemis Strategy Group

10:10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.                  


10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.                  

Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics

What if you could add the power of thinking to your salesforce’s online experiences? Or, offer your customers a cognitive, conversational self-service engine that provides them with answers and instantaneous action? Sound like science fiction? Today, hundreds of companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) to make their brand experience more personalized and predictive. This session, led by one of the Direct Selling Education Foundation’s Academic Fellows, will demonstrate how your organization can use AI—such as Watson Analytics—for social media brand analysis, marketing promotion campaigns and customer service and retention.

Dr. Haya Ajjan, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems, Department of Management, Elon University

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.     

Buffet Lunch

Continue the great conversations over lunch.                                                   

12:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.  

CEO to CEO Discussion

Our two-day program brought us together to discuss workable solutions that address the challenges and issues we’ve identified with your help. Attached is a list of the topics provided by you and your peers to structure the conversations.

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.     


We’ll enjoy a casual networking dinner to continue the great conversation.

Friday, January 27

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.      

Buffet Breakfast

Fuel up for the last day so you can head home with new ideas!

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.      

CEO to CEO Discussion

We’ll continue the topics of discussion from yesterday.

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.   

The CEOs Guide to Social Media

Social media is no longer an optional tool but an essential part of the way we sell, engage, communicate and connect in the Digital Age. In a world of consumers expecting 24/7 access to information and service, social media interaction is a necessity. Recently released studies show the level of CEO participation online is dramatically increasing year-over-year and for good reason. CEO social media activity increases consumer confidence, employee retention, brand recognition and company reputation.

Of the world’s 50 largest companies, 66% of their CEOs are actively engaged on social media, which is up 30% from just two years prior. What was previously considered taboo is now considered a leg-up on the competition. CEOs involved in the right types of social media, in the right way, give their organizations a boost. Leadership by example in social media is a large contributing factor important to the image of an organization. Learn strategies to maximize your involvement and get a gauge from fellow attendees on how they handle the important question of how best to engage in their company’s social media strategy.     

Shama Hyder, CEO, The Marketing Zen Group

10:30 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.                  


10:35 a.m. – 11:35 a.m.                  

Hot Topics

We will revisit topics of greatest interest from our discussions and make sure your most pressing concerns are addressed.                                                               

Joseph Mariano, CEO, Direct Selling Association

11:35 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.     

Buffet Lunch

Enjoy one more opportunity to break bread and network before heading to the airport.

Hotel Information:

A block of rooms has been reserved at The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel for DSA registrants. To reserve a room, please call the hotel directly at (888) 332-0160 and identify yourself as being with the DSA. The special DSA rate is $315.00 plus tax. Housing is not guaranteed after December 27, 2016.

For more information please contact:
Ms. Nancy M Burke
Vice President, Membership
Direct Selling Association (DSA)
Phone: (202) 416-6436
Fax: (202) 452-9010