All right everyone. Last time, we examined the group that caters to USANA’s corporate employees, which means it’s only fitting to now spotlight the group that looks out for our Associates. Yes, USANA has a team of lawyers and compliance officers constantly working to support USANA’s elite force of direct-selling professionals.
Today, we are focusing on the group of intellectuals known as the Legal Department. When it comes to the size and the amount of intelligence packed into this specific department, I can assure you, it’s no laughing matter. Under the umbrella of this group lies a team of compliance and regulatory professionals, and without their hard work, our Associates might find themselves in some hot water — which is the last place we want anyone to end up.
I think if we break this thing into sections, the department will be much easier to understand. Here we go:
International Business Development
This particular group may be a small entity, but it’s certainly a vital aspect to USANA’s ongoing efforts for continued international expansion. You didn’t think France, Belgium, and Thailand — our newest markets — were chosen at random, did you?
Of course not!
It took countless hours of research and development from these dedicated employees before USANA decided to pursue expansion into these three countries. Now, the remainder of their year will be spent working hand in hand with cross-functional teams in these countries to ensure the openings run as smoothly as possible.
In addition to this, the international team will continue researching the potential addition of even more markets that could fit in with USANA’s seven-year business plan.
The compliance group acts as a “watchdog” for every single one of our Associates.
Have you ever wondered what happens to those Associates who stray from what is legally allowed in their USANA business? You can bet they’ve had a conversation with one of our compliance officers.
Now, if you’re an Associate reading this, you might assume we’ve stumbled across the “bad guys.” Not true. Trust me — these guys are in your corner! If you’ve ever been contacted by the compliance department concerning something you may have done wrong — be thankful. They may have saved you from unintentionally breaking a serious rule of the company or even a federal law.
“We’re not a group of USANA policemen seeking to penalize Associates for unintended violations of the policies. Our goal is truly to educate and protect each and every Associate’s business,” says Executive Director of Compliance Dan Whitney. “Our Associates are a great group, and about 99 percent of all compliance violations are accidental. We want our Associates to focus on building their businesses, and Compliance simply wants to be there to act as a helping hand or friendly reminder.”
Although the focus should be on building the business, it’s important for Associates to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations attached to running a USANA business. After all, it was the celebrated scholar Albert Einstein who stated, “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” Compliance helps you do just that.
Somewhere in between the third and sixth explanation, I finally understood the difference between the compliance group and the regulatory group. While compliance handles all the laws, rules, and regulations concerning Associates, the regulatory group deals with all the restrictions attached to the actual products USANA produces.
After all, someone has to tackle the task of keeping our products up to government regulations. These regulations can differ in each market, and they deal with product formulas, labels, and health claims.
USANA’s regulatory affairs specialists are busiest when they meet with the research and development team to discuss the development of new products. Once the R&D team presents a product in the creation stage, the regulatory group gets right to work by researching everything about the product and its potential for market integration.
The regulatory specialists will be hard at work this year as we near International Convention, where new products could be announced.
The Eyes and Ears
No department would be complete without a leader, and in this case, that’s USANA’s Chief Legal Counsel Jim Bramble. Under Jim’s watch, the legal team has grown from four to now over 40 people.
We can all thank Jim for his dedication to USANA. It’s because of his commitment to ethics and attention to detail that we have one of best track records in the industry.
“It is definitely a privilege as an attorney to work for a company with leadership that asks me to always do the right thing,” Jim says. “Too many of my friends have clients who ask for help getting away with unethical behavior. My direction from Dave and Dr. Wentz has always been to do what is right in order to keep this company safe for employees, Associates, and shareholders.”
As you can most likely tell by now, the legal department is a critical part of the USANA team. They see everything created by our writers and designers (including this blog post). They listen to Associate concerns and stay on top of the latest government regulations. These guys keep all of us on track.
We can thank them for saving us from making mistakes we might have never even been aware of. Without their guidance, we would all find ourselves…well, let’s not even go there, right?
Inside USANA is a monthly series in which we check in with various departments to help you get to know them a little better.