Jeunesse Global - Maverick of the Year
Company: Jeunesse Global, Lake Mary, FL
Company Description: Jeunesse is a global direct selling company with a mission to impact the world by helping people look and feel young, while empowering each other to unleash their potential. The company’s exclusive skin care and nutritional products make up a comprehensive Youth Enhancement System and are available in 130 countries around the world.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Maverick of the Year
Nomination Title: Wendy Lewis: Global Change Maker
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated woman since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):
At Jeunesse, affecting positive change isn’t just a goal — it’s the mission the company was built upon. Co-founded by Wendy Lewis in 2009, Jeunesse has supported this mission with unconventional strategies leading to extraordinary success.
As the COO, Wendy heads the operations and technology teams in daily enterprises. She is directly responsible for overseeing the continuous development of the IT platforms she helped develop along with the complex logistics of shipping products around the world while overseeing new market expansion and worldwide human resource management.
Traditionally, direct selling companies establish first in their home market, build a brand, create buzz and then look to expand overseas. When Jeunesse was founded, the company took that approach and turned it on its head. Rather than investing in U.S. branding and marketing efforts, Jeunesse funneled resources into first opening international markets, locating the best regional management experts they could find to assist in each market. Jeunesse has taken great care to learn local business laws, establish entities, register formulas and products, and obtain licenses and proper labeling in each new overseas market.
This international-first strategy has paid off, helping lead Jeunesse through average triple-digit growth since its inception in 2009, and landing the company on the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America for the past three years. Although each year since its inception has been more successful than the last, the past year has been exceptional. Through her leadership and direct day-to-day management of operations, the company and Wendy achieved many impressive accomplishments, including:
• Increasing annual global sales by more than $680 million (163%) to reach a milestone $1.1 billion in 2015 after just 6 years in operations (a direct selling industry record), with 2016 sales on pace to continue triple-digit growth.
• Overseeing the nearly doubling of worldwide employment, from 367 to 715 employees (95% growth).
• Heading market launches in Brazil, Turkey and Cambodia, bringing the Jeunesse brand to 121 markets on six continents with 32 offices.
• Leading the acquisition of MonaVie International, a multimillion-dollar wellness company.
• Ranking on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies in America in 2016 as the only direct selling company and only billion-dollar company to appear this year, and one of only nine billion-dollar companies to appear in the list’s 35-year history.
• Personally garnering several prestigious awards including: Woman of the Year (five-time recipient), Most Influential Woman in Direct Selling (two-time recipient), Maverick of the Year and Lifetime Achievement in Business
• Through its Jeunesse Kids Foundation, partnering with Free The Children, a charity providing sustainable living, food and education to young people in destitute areas through its Adopt-a-Village program.
Wendy is one of just three female founders of the top 25 direct selling companies in the world. Through her unconventional leadership, she has affected positive change within her own company and across the globe. “I’m proud of having helped build this company,” she says, “but not because it’s been successful or because it’s made a certain amount in sales. I’m proud of Jeunesse because it’s empowered people to live a better life. That’s what gets me out of bed every morning.”
Provide a brief biography of the nominated woman (up to 125 words):
Wendy Lewis holds a BA in Sociology and Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MED in Educational Psychology, Statistics and Measurement from Temple University. Throughout her professional career, she has successfully applied her strong analytical and interpersonal skills to the top-level management of several companies.
Prior to co-founding Jeunesse, Wendy enjoyed a rewarding career in the technology and direct selling industries, co-founded other successful companies, and spent significant time and resources giving back to those in need.
Wendy is one of just three female founders to grace the list of top 25 direct selling companies in the world, has led two Inc. 500 companies, and has been honored as a female executive leader and entrepreneur with a multitude of prestigious business awards.