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Mar 22, 2010

Devin Thorpe: VIP Brazil Expedition Day 5

Well, today wraps up the MORE Project Expedition to Brazil.  It has been both an exhausting and an exhilarating week.

For days, we kept a schedule with only about 4 hours of sleep per night.  We saw some of the most remarkable sites in the world, including the Amazon rainforest, the Amazon River, the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, but the most moving thing we saw was the reaction of children to a little love and respect.

The Black Diamonds completed a service project that involved real heavy lifting, moving dirt and debris in preparation for the construction of another home for the less fortunate in the favelas.

The trip ended today with the Regional in Sao Paulo.  What great energy!  The four hour event featured Dallin articulating the vision for MonaVie, including tips on building the business without treating people like nails—“don’t pound people into this business!”

Everyone had high praise for Mauricio’s leadership in Brazil.  As the GM, he has successfully laid a foundation for success in one of the world’s largest direct selling markets.

Personally, I had fun.  After studying Portuguese for the last six months, I delivered an 8 minute presentation on the Preferred Customer Program – in Portuguese.  I don’t think anyone focused much on my message, but they seemed pleased that I would take the time to learn enough Portuguese to be able to give my talk in their language.

As I wrap up my reporting, I want to thank Katy, Valerie and Andrea for the great job they did in organizing this week.  It was a non-stop adventure!

Finally, I want to thank MonaVie’s great distributors, not just the Black Diamonds, for their support of the MORE Project.  By teaching them to read and write, to do math and to see the world through an international lens, we enable them to become highly productive members of society who have options beyond drugs and prostitution.  While we won’t end poverty in our lifetimes, we will end poverty for our kids for the rest of their lives.  Together, we make a difference.

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Devin Thorpe

Chief Financial Officer, MonaVie

Mar 20, 2010

Devin Thorpe: VIP Brazil Expedition Day 4

Today I left the MORE Project with Dallin one day ahead of the rest of the group to head for Sao Paulo in preparation for the Regional event here tomorrow.

It was a shame to leave the MORE Project early, but we left a great group of close friends to stay there in service. Karree, who stayed, reported that they were working very hard doing manual labor at the new professional school, which is slated to open soon.

Meanwhile, Dallin was taking a group of four Brazilian leaders to Sao Paulo on the MonaVie Jet. It was exciting for me to go along for the ride.

Most of us will live and die without ever getting a chance to ride on a private jet. The world’s most successful corporations routinely fly their chief executives around on such planes because they are more efficient—meaning that despite the cost of the planes, they save more money than they cost. MonaVie is no different, but by taking distributors along for the ride the impact goes from efficiency to synergy as the jet becomes a part of the compensation plan.

Our four leaders, Marcelo Serakides, Luis Soares, Francisco Nunes, and Bruno Grilo work synergistically across lines to build the Brazilian market. Weekly volume has nearly tripled in the last six months as these great leaders have built their personal success. If four guys ever deserved a quick flight on the MonaVie jet, these four did!

You can find photos of the day below:

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Devin Thorpe

Chief Financial Officer, MonaVie

Mar 19, 2010

Devin Thorpe: VIP Brazil Expedition Day 3

For me, today was the pinnacle of the MORE Project Expedition. We visited the Villa Iparanga favela, the Believers Project school, the Nehemiah House built by funding from MonaVie Management and the Larsen Lodge, where we are staying tonight. These are all key parts of the MORE Project.

In the Villa Iparanga, we saw firsthand the challenges we face and the impact we are having. Amidst abject poverty—the stuff of television commercials—we found the Nehemiah House funded by the MonaVie Corporate Management, including General Managers who met here one year ago. The home is now occupied by a woman who was trained by the MORE Project to read and write and who, upon completing this training at age 50, obtained her first permanent job as a city sanitation worker—a position she holds proudly and that blesses her family.

We visited the school at the Believers Project, which must be the happiest place on earth. Disney’s parks do not hold a candle to this place. It is an absolute sanctuary. The kids are safe here. Some have now been attending the school for four years. Their entire lives have already been changed. They are not only learning to read and write and do math, but are learning foreign languages, a global perspective and self confidence. They will not only graduate from school, they will graduate from the favelas and become great contributors to making Brazil an even more wonderful country.

Tonight, we are staying in the Larsen Family Lodge, which was funded by Dallin and Karree and is used to house those visiting the MORE Project as volunteers. It is a wonderful, safe and Spartan lodge that truly makes it easier for the volunteers to come and serve. A modest and informal dedication ceremony took place tonight. Dallin and Karree were both emotional in describing their vision for the use of the property to bless the lives of both the volunteers and those they volunteer to serve.

[Due to technology issues, I’m afraid more photos and video will have to wait at least 24 hours.]

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Devin Thorpe

Chief Financial Officer, MonaVie

Mar 18, 2010

Devin Thorpe: VIP Brazil Expedition Day 2

Words can hardly express the feelings that we all shared today here in Brazil.

We started the day very early—5:00 AM to see the acai market in full swing. It is winding down by sunup so we have to get out there early to experience it. While the rest of the world sleeps, acai harvesters are hard at work getting their products down the Amazon River to the market place in Belem. What a sight to behold.

After a quick breakfast break, we were headed up river in a small boat to visit a village on an island in the river. There, we visited a school chosen by the MORE Project and delivered much needed school supplies and visited briefly with the beautiful children there. I was impressed by how well mannered the children were; my wife is a school teacher in the U.S. and I can assure you that kids aren’t so well behaved in her school! Clearly, we were all more touched by these darling children than they were by us. I am grateful that we had a chance to visit them.

Then, strolling through the jungle, we saw a local man harvest Brazil nuts from their almost impermiable shell. Amazing! Then, the same 67-year-old zipped up an acai palm just to show off. Tim Marks gave it a try, too. He wasn’t bleeding too badly after his attempt, but enough to keep anyone else from making a serious attempt to duplicate the heroics of the local.
Following our excursion up river, we went to see a plant where acai is processed for MonaVie. We were very impressed by what we saw. The operations are genuinely first rate and just what you’d hope to see in a food processing plant anywhere in the world. The operation was genuinely, religiously clean and operates to world-class standards.

As with yesterday’s post, you can find some photos of the day below.

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Devin Thorpe

Chief Financial Officer, MonaVie

Mar 17, 2010

Devin Thorpe: VIP Brazil Expedition Day 1

May I confess that I found the first day of the MORE Project Expedition just a little depressing? As the leaders gathered from all around the world to come help the MORE Project, it became perfectly clear to me that they have not come on vacation, but rather on a mission. I didn’t come emotionally prepared. I came to work, not to serve. I faced the stark reality today that my heart was not in the right place as I was surrounded by people who live to serve.

I was amazed at their grace under pressure. Several missed a flight today due to slow baggage handling, and you’d think that they’d won an extra few hours in Disney World, not an airport. All smiles. All happy. I am convinced that this is the product of having your heart in the right place. If you are here to serve, a missed connection doesn’t matter.

The MonaVie field leaders are absolutely first rate human beings. They are role models for all of us. I will be posting more in the coming days about what we see and learn, but tonight, I’m putting my heart in the right place and I’m ready to join the MonaVie team in serving the people of Brazil this week.

Below are some photos of these outstanding leaders!

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Devin Thorpe

Chief Financial Officer, MonaVie

Feb 12, 2010

A Year of Miracles: Lily Anderson

Lily Anderson

Lily Anderson was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in September 2009. On Wednesday, February 10, one day after spending time with Dallin and Karree at the Atlanta Georgia Tasting Meeting she and her mother, Jennifer, received news that her bone marrow test results are cancer free, news that Dallin and Karree shared with much excitement in their last post here on BlogMV.

At Dallin’s request, I contacted Jennifer last night to find out more details and put this little gals journey into the proper context. Here are some of the details shared:

Upon being diagnosed last September, 90 percent of Lily’s bone marrow was cancerous. That’s nine out of 10 cells. Jennifer said that since then Lily has undergone six rounds of chemo, which is the most they typically do for individuals with cancer for fear of damaging vital organs. Lily had already lost one kidney due to the multiple rounds of chemo and the risks were high. Furthermore, after round five, her bone marrow was still 25 percent cancerous and doctors told Jennifer and Lily that a sixth round would most likely NOT destroy all the cancerous cells and that they would look at other methods of treatment.

Which makes the most recent news all that more exciting...and amazing. Lily’s bone marrow is cancer free…words Jennifer has been repeating over and over again these last couple days.

The process is not over yet. Lily must now travel to St. Judes hospital and have a bone marrow transplant, then radiation and antibody treatments. Still, these next steps could not have happened before receiving word her bone marrow was cancer free.

This week is a week of celebration for Lily, Jennifer, family and friends. They are so touched by the MonaVie community that has rallied around them, which isn’t hard considering Lily’s fiery and infectious personality. They feel a renewed hope for 2010 and can’t wait to spend time at more MonaVie events, as well as, visit The MORE Project in Brazil, a trip they were planning to take before Lily was diagnosed last year.

Jennifer told me that Lily has a Facebook Fan page, located here and a Care Pages, located at *www.care.com/lilyanderson where they post updates and photos of her progress.

*You must create an account to view this page.

The latest post to her Facebook page reads, “Dear Stupid Cancer .....I just got my bone marrow test results.. NEGATIVE like in zero, ziltch, zip, nada, no mo, your out of here! So with that said please just give up already. Your not going to win this”

Lily and Jennifer, thank you for sharing a bit of your story. We love you! And you are proof that 2010 is indeed a year of miracles. Shine on!

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

Update (February 26, 2010): Lily is now at St. Judes hospital in Memphis, TN. She is schedule to have a stem cell/bone marrow transplant and after will remain at St. Judes until the end of March and then return home first part of April. Due to demand, her mother, Jennifer, will place another order for the yellow Lily bracelets worn by Dallin and Karree. We'll share details when and where they are available. If you wish to send Lily cards or gifts she can recieve them at the following address:

Lily Anderson

535 Alabama Ave.

Memphis, TN 38105

Feb 4, 2010

A Year of Miracles: Message from John De Vries and Yone

It's been a whirlwind of a trip to the United States for Yone this last week and in that time she's realized one of her dreams. After wowing us all with her incredible voice at the Anaheim Regional, one audience member, Blue Diamond John De Vries, was so touched by her spirit and talent that he decided that he wanted to do something more...and much more was in his power. As a music producer he had contact with some of the best of the best in the music industry and within a day it was all set - Yone was going to fly to Los Angeles to record her first CD!

2010 certainly is the year of miracles in MonaVie.

Listen to John De Vries share more insights:

And just yesterday I had the pleasure of talking to Yone, and in retrospect I should have got an autograph! Here's a message from our superstar before she flies back to Brazil, with Katy Holt-Larsen and Marshall Snarr:

What's your miracle for 2010?

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

Jan 12, 2010

2010 Global Kickoff Webcast Goes Straight to DVD!

Due to the overwhelming feedback and requests we’ve received primarily via Twitter, Facebook and here on BlogMV, I am beyond thrilled to report that the powers that be have decided to make the 2010 Global Kickoff Webcast available in DVD format! Whoohoo! Hollar!

The DVD versions will be available in the VO within the next two weeks for a minimal cost and all proceeds will go to the MORE Project. Shout out to Dave Male (from Facebook) for sending in that suggestion!

All, I’m so proud and deeply impressed (apparently I love my adjectives today) with the community we are building through our social media platforms. The webcast was a success because of you! It was a crazy success and at times total chaos but I can only think of how positive the vibes were and how you supported each other and helped each other troubleshoot. At one point my viewer went into buffer mode and for the next five minutes you helped me stay informed by tweeting me play-by-plays of the webcast. Loved it!

Hopefully you’ll feel the goodness or at least understand that your voices are heard! The DVD version of the webcast is proof positive.

I’ll share more details as I get them regarding price, exact date of availability – you know, all the good stuff. Until next time…

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

Nov 16, 2009

MonaVie Blogging Family

First off, let me just say I’m updating Blog MV from 37,000 feet in the sky! Which totally reminds me of this funny YouTube clip of Comedian Louis C.K. Technology, what will you think of next?

I’m off to NYC for the Web 2.0 conference, where I will be learning all about social media – I’ll check in with all the goodness as soon as I get a chance. In the meantime, check out two other very important blogs in the MonaVie family.

The first is the Cannondale blog, located at http://monavie-cannondale.com/, where you’ll get the latest racing schedule, vlogs, race day updates and philanthropic ventures.

Then hop over to the MORE Project site and visit Katy’s Blog. The most recent blog post is from Andrea and Mindy who are currently in Brazil on the latest expedition. Go here: http://www.themoreproject.org/more-project-usa/Recent%20Posts/

Finally, there is one more stop on this fun filled adventure. We’ll be spotlighting some awesome coverage of MonaVie Founder and CEO Dallin Larsen, recent winner of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Emerging Company category. Check out the live Twitter feeds from Saturday’s real time updates during the awards show. We’ll post more here, On the Move, as well as, on Twitter and Facebook as soon as we have those stories from the press.

Today's social media etiquette tip coming right up!

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

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