Ernst & Young: Entrepreneur of the Year

Frank VanderSloot – 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year!

The hotel ballroom was filled with brilliant business people, selected for their genius in bringing success to new business ventures. Among these finalists there were manufacturers, e-commerce retailers, software companies and healthcare innovators. But only one could be named the consumer Entrepreneur of the Year for the northwest — and that person was Frank L. VanderSloot.

What is the Entrepreneur of the Year Award?

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award was created in 1986 by Ernst & Young, one of the nation’s largest accounting firms. Since then it has grown to an international competition in 22 countries, honoring the most successful and innovative leaders of the business world. Past award recipients were the founders of, Best Buy, Southwest Airlines, eBay, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and more. This year, the award was co-sponsored by CNN, USA Today, NASDAQ and the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

An independent judging panel made up of business leaders, former award winners, and academic experts selected this year’s winners. Each honored business leader is also inducted as a member of the Entrepreneur of the Year Institute.

A New Way of Doing Business

Over the years, Frank VanderSloot has proven time and again that he has the ability to lead businesses forward. Prior to Melaleuca, Inc., Mr. VanderSloot held key management positions with two Fortune 500 companies: Regional Vice President for Automatic Data Processing and Vice President for Cox Communications. In 1985 he decided to move his family to Idaho Falls to take on the CEO position of Melaleuca, Inc.

Melaleuca was founded with seven employees in a small backroom office. Each of the eight original products were based on Melaleuca oil, which Mr. VanderSloot had researched and found to be exceptional in many ways. The only obstacle was finding a way to market these home, personal and health-care products, without spending millions on advertising. That’s when he developed Consumer Direct Marketing plan that cut out the middleman and shipped the products directly to the end customer.

The nature of Consumer Direct Marketing made it possible for families to build a home-based business and earn an income by referring customers to Melaleuca’s catalog. These customers not only save money by shopping from home, instead of running around town and standing in long shopping lines, but also save through Melaleuca’s reasonably priced products which do not need to be marked up to cover marketing and distribution costs. In addition, families can earn a consistent commission from each purchase made by the customers they have referred, for the life of the customer. The success and ingenuity of the product line and marketing plan were key factors in Frank VanderSloot’s selection as Entrepreneur of the Year.

Onward and Upward

Melaleuca’s unique marketing plan has brought over 200 products to families across North America. Even while competing against giants such as Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson, Melaleuca has grown rapidly. The company was ranked by Inc. Magazine five years in a row as one of the country’s fastest growing businesses. Sales have reached over $400 million per year. And Melaleuca has expanded internationally, now operating in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, etc.

Mr. VanderSloot has plans to help the company move up and over the billion-dollar mark in annual sales. Yet the focus of the company is still on bringing families exceptional, reasonably priced products. The research and development staff continues to develop new products to promote better health, enhance daily life and reduce impact on the environment. No matter what initiatives the company takes on, the aim is to always support the mission statement of “Enhancing the Lives of Those We Touch by Helping People Reach their Goals.”

Committed to Bringing You the Best

While accepting the award, Mr. VanderSloot stated he felt very honored. “There are several great, high-caliber companies who are finalists here tonight. To be chosen from among them is truly an honor I did not expect. This award is a tribute to Melaleuca’s great employees, and especially to the tens of thousands of Marketing Executives who have bought into our mission and joined us in our endeavor of enhancing lives. I thank them for their belief and their effort in making Melaleuca the company it is today.”

Melaleuca is just as committed today as it was in the beginning to bring exceptional products to families around the world. With this dedication to helping you find healthy alternatives — whether through unique nutritional products, natural and environmentally friendly ingredients, or the ability to work from home and build economic freedom — Melaleuca will provide innovative solutions for your daily life.