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About Us

John Fleming

Author & Project Lead | Ultimate Gig

Fleming has been involved in the direct selling channel of distribution, directly and indirectly, for more than 40 years. He is a former executive of Avon Products Inc., former Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Direct Selling News and current principal of Ideas & Design Group LLC. His ongoing work is focused on research, writing, selective consulting and speaking. His “voice” today is focused on supporting the gig economy conversation and those who have sought the flexibility, freedom and rewards associated with working in accordance to available hours, rather than the specific requirements of a specific job.​

His recognition includes Direct Selling Association Hall of Fame, Direct Selling Education Foundation Circle of Honor and Direct Selling News Lifetime Achiever. 

Lauren Lawley Head

Editor & Project Manager | Ultimate Gig

 

Lawley Head is an experienced executive and award-winning content producer who loves to build content strategies and teams that take life-changing messages out to the world. After a 20+ year career in journalism, she founded Lawley Head Media to help organizations and entrepreneurs create and launch new products, streamline content development and implement effective marketing practices. She is a former Senior Vice President of SUCCESS magazine, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Direct Selling News, and Editor of the Dallas Business Journal and Pittsburgh Business Times.

Kate Gardner

Business & Community Relations | Ultimate Gig

Gardner is Principal of GardnerCo and has 44 years of experience. She has co-founded two executive networking and support organizations for her direct selling colleagues: theJuice DFW & Salt Lake City and the Women’s Power Circle. Following many years in executive roles and direct selling company ownership, she now serves and supports the direct selling community with executive search and placement.

Contributing Advisors

Robert A. Peterson, PhD.

John T. Stuart III Chair in Business Administration, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Peterson is a professor at The University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the John T. Stuart III Chair in Business Administration. A gig worker, co-founder of four firms, consultant to scores of large and small businesses, and a former vice president of the university, he was recently honored by the government of Portugal when it named the first supercomputer in Portugal after him. (It’s called “BOB.”)  He has authored nearly 200 books and scholarly articles. He has served vice president of the American Marketing Association and president of the Academy of Marketing Science.  His government service includes membership on an advisory committee to the United States Census Bureau and representing the United States on the Poland-United States Innovation Program Council. 

Kerry Tassopoulos

Founder The Tassopoulos Law Firm PLLC

Tassopoulos is the founder of The Tassopoulos Law Firm PLLC. His firm provides strategic legal, regulatory and compliance advice to clients who create, manufacture and market products regulated by various state, federal and international regulatory bodies, including the U.S. FDA and FTC.    

For more than 30 years, he has served in key legal, business and government affairs roles at Mary Kay Inc., Excel Communications and Jani-King International. This experience, along with his involvement with the U.S. Direct Selling Association and Direct Selling Education Foundation, provides him with a strong understanding of the challenges facing the gig economy.

Greg W. Marshall, PhD.

Charles Harwood Professor of Marketing and Strategy, Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College

Dr. Greg W. Marshall first shared this important perspective on the gig economy in the Ultimate Gig Special Report, published in 2019. Marshall is the Charles Harwood Professor of Marketing and Strategy in the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida. In addition, he is a Visiting Professor of Marketing and Sales at Aston Business School, Birmingham, UK. He serves as editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Marketing, and is former editor of the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice and the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management. He is past president of the American Marketing Association Academic Council, a distinguished fellow and past president of the Academy of Marketing Science, and a distinguished fellow and past president of the Society for Marketing Advances.  Marshall serves on the Academic Advisory Council of the Direct Selling Education Foundation, is a DSEF fellow, and is a member of the DSEF Circle of Honor.

Ultimate Gig Core Team

The authors and collaborators all lead independent businesses. They are also available collaboratively for business assistance, advisory and consulting services in the field of sales and marketing. 

Advocates

Jenkon is the world leader in providing software systems to global direct selling companies, their sales representatives, micro-entrepreneurs and retail customers. For over 40 years, Jenkon has successfully delivered thousands of worldwide deployments, creating a multitude of decades-long, loyal clients.
 
Their most recent release, JoT™ – the Jenkon of Things, is predicated on the IoT principle  that all things which can be connected, will be connected. JoT’s cloud-based APIs and Web Services allow direct sellers to easily connect Jenkon’s robust functionality with the many digital, social, mobile and app technologies being used by your sales force.  The JoT Development Toolkit allows clients the flexibility to internally develop and innovate in the system, without requiring Jenkon or other 3rd-party contractors. No longer exclusively available to billion-dollar enterprises, JoT™ empowers start-ups and trailblazers by unleashing Jenkon’s comprehensive feature-set in one streamlined, cost-effective platform.

Mycyberman365 provides a one-stop solution to protect your most important business and personal communications tools by offering a full repair or replacement program for your devices. As a gig small business operator, your computer, smartphone, and internet are must-have tools. Should any of these systems go down, you are essentially out of business. In addition, Mycyberman365 provides the peace of mind knowing you and your family are protected from identity theft, social media monitoring along with a whole host of other features to protect you from threats that can damage your business devices and home network.

PayQuicker, an innovative fintech company, launched its revolutionary mass payout platform in 2007, allowing Direct Selling Organizations to offer secure and compliant instant global payouts to their distributors in local currency via secured bank accounts with prepaid debit cards and virtual cards, all through a single point of integration.

PayQuicker’s solutions allow businesses to make payouts locally, and around the globe. PayQuicker offers a fully customizable, client-branded experience with advanced technology that becomes the client’s competitive advantage.

Prescriptive Insights is an advanced analytics firm that helps companies institutionalize data-driven decision making. We identify drivers of consumer behavior by transforming structured (transactional) and unstructured (consumer conversations and feedback) data into insights and actions.

 

Our Direct Selling Analytical Framework consists of three major components – 1) Analysis & Insights 2) Strategy Validation and 3) Integrated Reporting. This framework enables companies to enhance their sales and marketing strategies and in turn, drive growth in sales and profit.

Strategic Choice Partners shapes today’s direct sales company to serve tomorrow’s consumer by offering a variety of services including marketing & communications, technology, training, event support, business development, financial support, online reputation management and more. 

 

Their firm offers the most unique combination of industry experience and innovation to help direct sales companies rise above the status quo and emerge as leading, innovative brands that connect with today’s consumer.

Throughout the years, Strategic Incentive Solutions has become a leader in designing and operating effective group travel programs, including incentive travel, company meetings, training conferences and special events. Group travel, meetings and events remain at the heart of our core competency as a performance marketing firm. We have the experience to select just the right destination and venue to meet your budget, audience and logistical issues. 
 
A successful program goes beyond just choosing a beautiful resort and destination, Strategic Incentive Solutions group event management services are based on personal concierge service and an unwavering commitment to quality and customer experience. We pride ourselves on a customer commitment focus that consistently provides experience, customized service, value and convenience to every client.