Jim Dornan – Amway Legend – passes

August 7, 2013

Jim Dornan, arguably the most successful networker in history, passed away at 2 PM yesterday.  He had been battling cancer for months.

For more than twenty years Dornan built and ran the largest, most cohesive network of its kind in the world.  He attracted crowds of 100,000 filling soccer stadiums and auditoriums in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.  As an Amway distributor, product sales topped a billion dollars in multiple markets.  But it was his own “educational system” that created hundreds, if not thousands, of millionaires worldwide.

In the late 1980’s, as Amway began to go international, other networking leaders, principally, Dexter Yager and Bill Britt, shunned foreign markets, even, for a time, teaching leaders that there was no money in them.  Since most income was then made off of the sale of tapes and the running of functions, the American leaders had less leverage and control in markets where their conservative, Evangelical culture was not understood and where they could not even speak the language.

Ken Pittman, a North Carolina former American serviceman was one of the first to step into this vacuum, building a large organization in Germany in the 1970’s.  Tim Foli was even more successful, building large groups in Latin America a decade later.  But what Dornan did towered over any other entrepreneur or network marketing company.

Network 21, originally founded as an alliance of 21 Dornan “Diamonds” and soon named after the coming century, was founded in 1991.  The core of the group was formed out of an Amway organization that Dornan purchased from John and Gil Nuyten of Sydney, Australia.  The Nuyten’s were one of the fastest qualifying diamonds in Amway history.  They sold their group to Dornan and left as Christian missionaries to Israel.

I was immediately hired to speak and train for Dornan and sent to Australia to get things rolling.  I would be a speaker on the Network 21 circuit throughout the world for two decades.

More than any other figure of our generation, Jim Dornan, transformed the networking business.

1.) In an industry that was misogynist, where women were trophies, he made his wife an equal business partner.  Nancy Dornan became an outstanding spokesperson for their business.  Onstage she often stole the show from her husband.  And Jim, his ego secure in his own talents, was openly delighted by it.

The result was that women networkers were empowered worldwide and soon built legendary businesses of their own.  Beginning with Glenda Leonard and Angie Ross in Australia and then Enika Farkas of Hungary and Natasha Yena of the Ukraine.  Yena now leads one of the largest such organizations in the world.

2.) Dornan, who was trained as an engineer, recognized the need of an equitable compensation plan in his system, rather than the favoritism based on relationships that marked most other arrangements.  While he was unable to make it work in all markets and with all groups within N21, it became the goal and is now the ideal for all new systems.

3.) Dornan finally hit upon a method to take networking worldwide.  He recognized that only people with the same language and culture could find a way to relate to others of their own ethnicity.  And Dornan learned that it would take at least three couples, working together for a year, not two couples and not one.  It was a formula born out of time and error and it worked.  He saw Network 21 spread around the globe.

First it began in the ethnic communities of Sydney.   James Vaghy emerged and joined two others in taking the business to  Hungary.  Robert Angkassa, Paul and Linda Argus, S. R. Kristiawan have built huge groups in Indonesia.

When people insisted that networking educational systems would not work in Sweden, a modern socialist state, Dornan patiently subsidized the operation for two years and soon had leaders such as Matt Holmberg, speaking to audiences of 10,000.

Dornan’s European groups grew after a merger with Hans and Eva Nusshold of Vienna, Austria.  The Nusshold’s were longtime networkers who had worked with Max Schwarz.  They provided early leadership and direction.

Mitch and Deidre Sala emerged as two of the greatest Networkers in the world.

4.) Dornan, more than any other modern networker, made it socially acceptable to build such a business.  In a culture that was at times openly anti-educational and proud of it Jim Dornan was  a college graduate who offered cogent analysis on how and why networks grew or failed.  In a culture of unbuttoned shirts and garrulous gold neck chains Jim Dornan was a country club member, comfortable in a Brioni suit.  In a culture of greed, he was a major donor to charities.

Jim and Nancy Dornan’s business was inspired by a baby born with spina bifada.  The Dornan’s were educated, Purdue University graduates, with successful incomes.  But here was a crisis that only money, big money could solve.  They knew the challenges and struggles of network marketing but it had one feature that Jim’s lucrative engineering career could not match.  It had no ceiling on the income they could generate. If they were to give their baby a chance at life, they would need more than insurance or even a lucrative engineering income could supply.

Jim Dornan has many achievements.  He co-authored a book on leadership with John Maxwell.  He was a great philanthropist.  Network 21 is the largest corporate donor to World Vision and other charities.  When we hosted a Charity Awards event, the Dornans were always front and center.  When I worked in the White House I brought Jim Dornan into the Oval Office to meet with the president.

But in the final analysis, his greatest achievement may have been that as a husband and a father.  He and his wife, Nancy, have three children, Eric, Heather and David.   Jim and Nancy built the world’s largest network, inspired by their love of a baby, born with a handicap, but fighting for its life.  That was long ago.  And from that love came hundreds of new millionaires and thousands of dreams come true.  That little baby survived its early battles for life and grew into manhood, helping others with his same handicap find hope for themselves and their futures. He will be there to mourn his father, the networking legend, when he is lowered into the earth this week.

(Note: For some corrections and added details please read the comments of David Steadman below.)


		
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MLM Hall of Fame

May 18, 2009

Having traveled the world for many years now and spoken at networking conventions and met and known many of its leaders, here is my own subjective list for a networker’s hall of fame.

I have not included many of the legendary founders, like Rich Devos, Jay Van Andal, David McConnell, Mary Kay Ash, Mark Hughes, nor did I include the popular speakers, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Billy Zeoli and Robert Kiyosaki.  Maybe someday I will do those lists.  But each one of the following men and women actually built their own significant, personal networks into the hundreds of thousands.

Many on this list have made mistakes but so to have most of the rest of us.  And some have done extraordinary things for their countries and the world. They work with different companies and each have their different ideas and personalities.  What they have in common is uncommon results.

Nowadays, there are many phony “trade lists” of income earners floated on the internet by shill websites.  Some of them list names of leaders who have been paid out huge sign up bonuses.  Some have never sponsored a single person themselves. But I have met most of the people on my list and spoken to their groups in coliseums or soccer stadiums and been in their homes and I can say that their accomplishments are real.

Doug Wead’s Networking Hall of Fame

Robert Ankasa: This former vice president of the Bank of America in Jakarta has built the largest network in Indonesia and has filled soccer stadiums and auditoriums across the fourth largest nation in the world.

Jeff Boyle: Founder of Jus, he is included in this mix because he actually built his company’s own networks. Young. brilliant, with a big heart.  No one knows the science of networking any better.  He is the Alvin Toffler of the industry.

BK Boreyko: He hailed from a family that built one of the largest organizations in the Matal Company and when a corporate crisis occurred he stared his own company, New Vision, which reached the $100 million sales mark in record time.

Bill Britt: At one time his organization may have represented half of all Amway volume.  He transformed the networking systems by being the first to build his own cassette manufacturing company.

Craig Bryson: He is Nu Skin’s biggest lifetime earner and one of the industry’s greatest storytellers.

Bill Childers: He built the largest, single, cohesive group in networking history.  His secret?  He insisted on always appearing as the second man to his upline, even when his own group was at times much larger.

Jim Dornan: The founder of Network 21 has the largest and most efficient system business in the world. His organization has donated $100 million to World Vision..

Tim Foley: He defied the accepted wisdom of all the other North America networking leaders and proved that system networks could be profitable outside the United States building giant groups in Brazil and Spain.

Attila Gidofalvi: This Hungarian businessman is the father of networking in the former Soviet Union, Attila built 120 Amway diamonds in two years and held meetings at Olympic Stadium in Moscow.

John Godzich: He built a network in France and then a company that reached $200 million in sales in two years and annually filled Bercy, the largest auditorium in Paris, four weekends in a row.  80% of the money was made from retail sales, allowing new people to make money too.  It is still an industry record.

Hal and Susan Gooch: They hosted some of the largest networking events in the United States, filling the 90,000 seat Indiana Hoosier Dome on multiple occasions.  While most wives of American networkers were limited to roles as “speakers,” Susan played an integral part in the organization of the business.

Bob Goshen: “Mr. Enthusiasm,” he was the first system’s person in Sunrider and drove its success.

Brig Hart: Already very successful in networking, he felt cheated by his experience and joined a new company.  Brig proved wrong the old networking adage that successful networkers are too soft to build it twice and took his new company, MonaVie, into the stratosphere, making himself a legend in the process.

Randy Haugen: He had a great run in the west.

Don Held: In his heyday he filled coliseums in Ohio and Canada, and launched an educational system, showing that a network can do more than just make money.

Dave Johnson: He is the giant of Nikken. Supposedly 99% of the company is in his downline.

Charlie Marsh: An early Amway pioneer. He organized the first events and functions. In some respects he is “the father of network marketing.”

Norman and Glenda Leonard: Masters of depth.  By some estimates there are 300 diamonds in their organization including all of Amway Russia, most of Eastern Europe, half of Indonesia.  They divorced in 2007.

Ken Pontious:  He was top earner with Enrich, was once taking home a monthly income which was twice the annual salary of the president of the United States.

Vladimir Pozdnyakov: He is nicknamed “The Poz” by his American colleagues, he is one of the new Russian millionaires, who developed a network out of trust, in a difficult environment.  His groups fill auditoriums.

Ron Puryear: He built one of the largest networks in the Britt system and for awhile, ruled in the northwest USA, filling the largest coliseums in Portland and Seattle to capacity..

Kaoru Nakajimi: He has more than 700,000 in his downline.  He built Amway in Japan.

Art Napolitano:  Top earner at ACN. Built  an organization to 500,000 customers that bill into the millions.

Nathan Ricks: The charismatic legend who helped build Nu Skin.

Mitch Sala: He is the great Australian networker who solved the problem of isolation downunder by exporting his business worldwide. Sala has one of the most geographically diverse groups in the world.

Max Schwarz has built networks east and west and has adapted to numerous changes in mlm systems.  He is a survivor.

Rick Setzer: He was once the third leg in the Yager-Britt stool.  Great systems knowledge.

Bo Short built all over again three times and each time  built a leading organization within his respective company.

Sherman Unkefer: A legend in XanGo, with an estimated $350,000 a month income off his XanGo business, Sherman’s simple prospecting package called “The Magic Wand,” helped him build a resilient networking business in only a few short explosive months.  No one has reached the top quicker.

Don Wilson: He succeeded by hard work.  Yager didn’t like flying on airplanes so Wilson soon owned the Yager system in the west.

Dexter Yager: The father of the so called “system,” he may be the greatest networker of all time, he has not only built one of the biggest organizations, he has maintained it big for the longest time.  His secret?  He keeps starting new groups and for years he has outworked everybody else.

Mark Yarnell: Formerly of Nu Skin, he is networking’s thinking man and its most prolific chronicler.

Natasha Yena: A wise and resourceful strategic thinker, Natasha is the mother of all Russian speaking networkers, Her events fill auditoriums across Russia and Ukraine and have spawned dozens of other networking women leaders with enormous businesses of their own, clearly disproving the misogynist declarations of some American networkers who insist that women can’t build the business by themselves.  Indeed, in Russia, it is mostly the women who do.

James Vagyi: He is a Hungarian whose business exploits put him on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.  He successfully launched networking in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Moldavia, Belarus, Romania, Slovenia and Croatia, making him “the networking father of many nations.”  And while others have appeared and died in some of those markets, Vagyi’s groups continue.

Jody Victor: He proved that networking can survive and even thrive into a second generation. Victor has seen the dozens of seismic changes in networking and landed on his feet each time.

Orrin Woodward: He took the so called “systems building” to its ultimate extreme.

George Zalucki:  One of the world’s most inspirational speakers and trainers.  He built a $150 million business with 150,000 distributors for ACN  in
Europe.

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