By Len Monheit
As 2005 begins, it appears to be with a sense of measured optimism - at least if you read the various state of the industry quotes and reports from trade publications. Going back to our closing comments of 2004, you can see that we share that view, but I think the events of the past few weeks have put a slightly altered slant on it.
We all realize that motivation comes from different sources, our goals and objectives slightly different. Business success, while frequently a prime mover, is not the only reason that organizations and individuals participate in this industry. Sure they need economic success to continue to operate, but the chance to make a positive difference is key and core to why they do what they do. They want to feel good about what they're doing and how they do it. They fundamentally believe that they and their products and services make a difference and that difference is solidly and 'measurably' for the better- for their customers, audience, employees and for society.
At some level, every single one of us has been impacted or affected by the tragedy unfolding in Southern Asia. Support and relief efforts have been strong and need to be stronger yet, and as importantly, in upcoming months and years, will need to be sustained.
Participating in this industry, we are fortunate in a number of ways. The products provide benefits to those who are nutritionally challenged, and thus have potentially a critical role in upcoming months. We are also fortunate to have relief agencies like Vitamin Angel Alliance (www.vitaminangel.org) working to gather donations to send to tsunami victims and working on an ongoing basis to get donations of product to populations in need. Tsunami Victims to Receive Vitamins this Week - And we are even more fortunate to have companies and individuals and organizations in the industry who continually step up to the plate to donate product and resources, not only for this cause, but for numerous other causes that are not necessarily for their own direct or immediate benefit.
I salute those individuals and groups and urge us all to consider how we can best support the relief efforts - both now and in the upcoming months.