Ron Thomas - NACCE Board Chair and President of Dakota County Technical College
Sarah Baker Andrus - DSEF Vice Chair of the Board and Vector Director of External Relations and Academic Programs
Robin Diamond - DSEF Director
Christine Pigsley -Dakota County Technical College, Business & Entrepreneurship Instructor
Community colleges are front and center in the national conversation as agents of innovation for creating alternative career opportunities in this bleak job market. In response, NACCE and the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) have partnered to create the Direct Selling Entrepreneur Program—a direct selling curriculum for community colleges that provides direct sellers with management and entrepreneurial skills to increase their business success.
Join us on Wednesday, May 30th, 4PM EST to find out more about this program!
Direct sellers are micro-business owners that market a consumer product or service as independent entrepreneurs. Some well-known direct selling companies include, Mary Kay, the Pampered Chef and Silpada.
Direct selling is a microcosm of entrepreneurship—a low cost, low risk, no-barrier entry into the entrepreneurial system. The course will demystify the components of small business management so students embrace entrepreneurship as a career and a way of thinking about themselves in the world.
The Direct Selling Entrepreneur Program—scheduled for a Fall 2012 rollout— consists of ten modules that emphasize the fundamental components of entrepreneurship including: marketing; finance; business ethics; planning; and other proficiencies important to the success of a small enterprise. The course also addresses the wide variety of direct selling business strategies including individual sales efforts, party plan, network marketing, online sales and salesforce recruitment and training.
What’s In It for You?
A complete and customized curriculum for the 16 million people in direct selling
An opportunity to expand your entrepreneurial programs to students with differing education levels, economic situations, and personal goals
An accessible, economic development tool appropriate for any and every community
Your college positioned as a strong, just-in-time, post-secondary educational resource for adult learners
Webinar attendees will be eligible for a raffle for one of three $1,000 introductory grants to be applied towards the cost of holding the course in fall of 2012. Be sure you or another representative can participate!
Ron Thomas- NACCE Board Chair and President of Dakota County Technical College An Illinois native, Ron Thomas has a Ph.D. in education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Thomas served as dean and interim president at Rochester Community and Technical College before accepting the presidency at Coffeyville Community College. He became president of Dakota County Technical College in 1999. Thomas resides with his wife, Ann, in Lakeville, Minn. The couple’s daughter, Taylor, 19, is a sophomore at Northwestern University, majoring in journalism and economics.
Sarah Baker Andrus- DSEF Vice Chair of the Board and Vector Director of External Relations and Academic Programs Sarah Baker Andrus is Vector’s director of external relations & academic programs. Her work involves public relations, social media, corporate communications, philanthropy, and managing Vector’s brand and public image. In February Sarah celebrated her 20th anniversary with the company.
Prior to assuming her current role, Sarah worked for ten years as Vector’s director of campus relations and built the department to include a campus relations manager for each region. She and her team helped managers recruit on campuses throughout the US and Canada.
Sarah represents Vector as Vice Chair of the Board of the Direct Selling Education Foundation, serves as chair of its Women’s Initiative, and previously chaired the Foundation’s Academic Committee.
Robin Diamond- DSEF Director Robin Diamond is the program director for the Direct Selling Education Foundation, a public service 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, D.C., that is supported by the more than 200 members of the Direct Selling Association. In her role as an industry advocate, she provides strategic planning and direction for two of the foundation’s signature programs, the Education and Academic Initiative in its 35th year and the Women Entrepreneurship Initiative, a program she created and fostered during her 13-year tenure at the organization.
Prior to joining the foundation, she served in two positions during President Bill Clinton’s Administration, first as a speechwriter for Ann Brown, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Committee, and as director of communications for both the Office of Women’s Business Ownership at the U.S. Small Business Administration and the National Women’s Business Council.
Christine Pigsley- Dakota County Technical College, Business & Entrepreneurship Instructor Christine Pigsley always brings high energy and a new perspective on Entrepreneurship to her students. She is nationally known for her expertise in starting and growing businesses, and is a recipient of the Iowa Women’s Business Advocate of the Year. Christine has more than twenty years of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Her experience includes work in economic development for large multinational corporations like General Motors and owning multiple small town business in rural Iowa. Currently she teaches Entrepreneurship, Management, Finance, Career Development and Political Science at Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) in Apple Valley, Minnesota, while working on a PhD in Public Policy.
She is a passionate advocate for direct selling as a pathway to business success and personal wealth creation, and is herself an independent business owner affiliated with the Amway Corporation. Whether in the classroom or in the operation of her own small businesses, Christine helps those around her to seize the opportunities in front of them, and explore the challenge and the freedom that self-employment offers.