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The Bob Edwards Story
Long before there was a functional Internet where millions of people turn everyday for their purchases of items and information, Bob Edwards was creating a way for people to unite and purchase items and services for discounted rates from major manufacturers and distributors, simply for the cost of being a member of an organization. This concept is no different than what we now call Sam’s or Costco. The company eventually evolved into FundAmerica.
The idea of having thousands of like-minded individuals sharing their interests and having opportunities that single-purchasing power simply doesn’t afford, grew into a strong, eight-state-wide company with thousands of independent sellers, or marketers. Unfortunately, a Florida, politically-motivated comptroller named Gerald Lewis decided that the success of Bob Edwards’ company had to be at the cost of some broken laws, so he issued a cease and desist order.
The media took hold of the storyline and ran with inflammatory and completely false accusations and stories. While there was no legal groundwork for these allegations of wrongdoing, the damage was already being done. This hurt FundAmerica’s bottom line, and its members.
The reason for this attack became certain. The Florida comptroller, Gerald Lewis, who was responsible for the false charges being brought against the company and Bob Edwards, would be disgraced in 2003 through an impeachment resolution for accepting campaign cash to overlook problems at failing Florida financial institutions under his direct oversight.
California Attorney General John Van de Kamp stepped forward to assure citizens of his state that he “found that FundAmerica’s business model and membership did not violate any state law.” Eventually all charges against Mr. Edwards were dropped but the damage had been done. FundAmerica was closed down as the credit card companies that had partnered with FundAmerica to offer their clients rebates and ‘points’ had taken the idea for their own. Today, nearly every major company uses a points or rewards system, which, they should thank Mr. Edwards for the idea.
Bob Edwards had proven his foresight to develop a system that has been copied and integrated into countless other businesses in the years that followed. His vision and incredible business mind started a new business model that is now used by millions. He went on to develop other very successful businesses and is currently the President and co-founder of Our World Network (OWN) Youth Juice. OWN Youth Juice was created through a grant from the Canadian Government. The Youth Juice business opportunity is now allowing business owners the ability to control their financial future through the marketing of the revolutionary product, Youth Juice.
This story is a great example of how perceptions can sometimes be stronger than realities. Mr. Robert Edwards had a vision that was well ahead of his time. His business mind and leadership are all excellent but like many who revolutionize an industry, many will have do anything they can to stop progress.
Mr. Edwards did nothing but introduce a concept that is now well accepted and used by almost every company in the world and for that we are all fortunate. The only criticism Bob Edwards hears now is from his competition, which is feeling the excellence of his leadership as OWN Youth Juice continues to launch around the globe and take over the health and wellness industry.
Copyright (c) 2010 Amy Matteson