Melaleuca unveils new compensation package

Life is good for Melaleuca and its employees.

Late last month, the Idaho Falls-based consumer product company unveiled a new compensation plan for its more than 200,000 independent marketing executives in the U.S. and Canada.

According to a company news release, the plan was announced at the company’s annual convention — an event attended by more than 8,000 people representing 14 nations.

In an interview with Shoptalk, Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot said the new compensation plan represents the first major change in the way the company rewards its marketing executives in more than 14 years.

“We will pay out several million dollars (more in total compensation) every year,” VanderSloot said.

As a result, VanderSloot also expects the company to undergo a dramatic increase in its growth rate while creating several new jobs at its Idaho Falls headquarters.

“If the buzz on the Internet and social media sites is an indication of what is coming, our new building might not be large enough,” VanderSloot said. “We have never seen this kind of response. The result should be thousands of new customers over the next several years.”

The company markets more than 350 health, home cleaning, pharmaceutical and personal care products to customers worldwide.

Since its founding some 28 years ago, VanderSloot said Melaleuca has paid out some $3.7 billion to its marketing executives.

“But that’s going to increase dramatically,” he said. “This change will affect the Idaho Falls community more than any other change we’ve announced.”

Without going into detail, VanderSloot said the end result of the new system will mean larger bonuses for employees without changing the commissions paid on products sold.

“We are not a multi-level marketing company. We compensate people to refer our products,” VanderSloot said. “In our (marketing) model, we create a demand for our products by word-of-mouth and through social media.”

Melaleuca takes a direct-marketing approach in selling its products, rather than competing with other consumer product companies for shelf space in large chain grocery stores and other retail outlets.

Those companies, VanderSloot said, “maneuver and compete with each other for (that) shelf space. They create demand for their products by driving shoppers into a store in search of their products.”

If the product falls out of favor, the company loses the shelf space it fought so hard to obtain. It’s an approach that Melaleuca has no interest in pursuing.

“It’s not going to happen,” VanderSloot said. “Our mission is to enhance the lives of those we touch by helping people reach their goals. Our loyalty is to our customers.”

And from what VanderSloot said, that loyalty works both ways.

“One out of every 300 households in America is a preferred Melaleuca customer,” VanderSloot said. “Ninety-six percent of everyone who bought (a Melaleuca product) last month will buy (product) again next month.”

And perhaps that’s the secret behind Melaleuca’s success — a reported $1 billion in annual revenues.

For more on Melaleuca, visit

Battelle Energy awards contract

Battelle Energy Alliance, operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, recently awarded a six-year contract to Boise-based CRI Advantage Inc.

According to a news release, CRI will provide technical support services. The company has worked at INL since 2006, supporting lab employees and contractors. The new contract will enable CRI to continue providing those services, which range from application, system, end user, and mission specific applications.

“Having INL award a contract of this significance to an Idaho company represents a tremendous vote of confidence in CRI’s service delivery and teaming approach,” CRI President Monte Brookshier said in the release.

In 2009, CRI was named DOE Small Business of the Year for its “creative, unique and extraordinary performance” in support of INL’s mission objectives and requirements in support of the DOE.

“The great thing about this contract is the opportunity CRI has to introduce INL to virtual and mobile technology innovations that will help INL be more efficient in meeting the mission of the Lab,” CRI vice president of DOE service Jeff Nebeker said in the release.

Teaming partners include Science Applications International Corp., ServiceNow and CDW-G. Work will be performed primarily from the secure CRI facilities, located offsite from the lab.

The company operates offices in Idaho Falls, Albuquerque, N.M., and Reston, Va. For information, visit www.criadvan

Franz Bakery Outlet to mark anniversary

The Franz Bakery Outlet will mark its first anniversary in Idaho Falls with a week’s worth of sales and special events, beginning June 9.

Located at 365 E. Anderson St., the Franz Outlet is located in the same building that once housed the Wonder Bread store. Franz offers a variety of products, including bread, gluten free offerings, muffins, cookies, doughnuts, granola bars, pastries and bagels — not to mention a variety of spice, soup, sauce and gravy mixes, as well as potato chips and cheese puffs.

Manager Marilyn Mills said the store will feature different sale items throughout the week, as well as a free grilled-cheese sandwich event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 11, and a free hotdog event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 13. A free strawberry social, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 14, will bring the celebration to a close.

Franz Bakery Outlet is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 524-2508.

Oakridge Furniture, state resolve issues

Oakridge Furniture entered into an agreement with the state to resolve consumer protection issues related to the store’s recent closure, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said in a news release.

The agreement with S &S Sales Inc. — doing business as Oakridge Furniture — and the owners of S &S Sales, L. Kip and Angela Steed, stems from allegations that the Steeds conducted an unlawful “going out of business sale,” the release said.

Under the Idaho Consumer Protection Act, a seller may not advertise a “going out of business” sale unless the seller is closing for good. The Steeds intended to close Oakridge Furniture and reopen as an Ashley Furniture Store. A store that closes and subsequently reopens in the same location, but under a different name, may not advertise as if it is going out of business.

During Oakridge Furniture’s closing, banners on the store read: “$2,000,000 Store Closing Liquidation,” “Store Closing Sale” and “Everything Must Go.” According to the Attorney General Office, those phrases misrepresented the type of sale Oakridge Furniture was conducting because it intended to reopen under a different name, the release said.

Under the agreement, if S &S Sales or the Steeds conduct a future going out of business sale, they must inform the Attorney General’s Office at least 30 days before it begins, among other requirements.

The agreement also requires S &S Sales and the Steeds to address any consumer protection issues that may arise because of a future going-out-of-business sale. The Steeds also must notify the Attorney General’s Office if they change their business name.

The Steeds paid the Attorney General $500 to reimburse the office for its attorney’s fees and investigative expenses. A civil penalty of $10,000 was suspended.

Sleep Inn &Suites wins industry award

TripAdvisor named Sleep Inn &Suites of Idaho Falls a recipient of its 2014 Travelers’ Choice award in the “guest service” category.

The award was announced in a news release.

“We are very proud to have earned the trust, loyalty, and positive regard of travelers who utilize TripAdvisor,” Sleep Inn sales manager Matt McGrath said in the release. “On behalf of our hotel, and our parent company, Town Pump Hotel Group, I’d like to thank all of those that have taken the time to write reviews about our hotel and share their experiences online. Everyone that comes to Sleep Inn is treated like family, and the word is definitely spreading.”

The TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards honor the world’s best hotels, earning their distinction from those who know them best — real travelers, the release said.

For reviews on the Idaho Falls Sleep Inn &Suites, go to /SleepAward. To see all the 2014 Travelers’ Choice winners, go to www.tripad


Vision for Business Luncheon, noon June 17, Willard Arts Center, 450 A St. RSVP requested. Email programs@idahofalls or visit www.idahofallschamber