From Kristen's Desk
What an emotional roller coaster the past month has been. It was with great sadness we all learned of Gary Young, our beloved Founder’s passing on 12th May. I was grateful to Jared Turner, President and Chief Operating Officer for suggesting we host our own Memorial Service for Gary, here in Sydney. My heartfelt gratitude to those of you who attended this special service. I would like to share an excerpt of the eulogy I gave in honour of my boss, my mentor and my friend, Gary Young.
Gary was a driven man, a man on a mission, with a vision that had no boundaries. His own welfare was always secondary. Researching Gary, before I joined Young Living (YL), his well-documented, “love and devotion to his staff”, was the reason I joined YL. Meeting Mary on a Skype call cemented it for me - I felt, “I’ve found my home”.
When I first met Gary, although he wasn’t a big man, the moment he entered the room, I felt his presence fill the room. Gary quizzed me about my thoughts on the business at the time and I explained I felt YL Australia, despite being open for 16 years at the time, hadn’t even scratched the surface. I explained I surveyed 40 people, half of them in network marketing, and yet no-one had heard of YL. What an opportunity! Gary told me he felt our HQ was located in the wrong city and felt Sydney would provide a better opportunity for us to grow. When I saw him next, 3 months later, the first thing he said to me was, “Have you moved yet?!”
Favourite memories I will always treasure, was watching him in his home at Tabiona, interacting with his family. It was obvious how much he loved Mary, Jacob and Josef. Sitting around the dining room table, talking about his childhood, my childhood (both growing up in farming communities), Country & Western music playing, Gary and Mary dancing around the kitchen, Mary singing, Mary doing our washing when I fell in the mud! Gary taking us fishing, even though it was zero degrees! Taking us horseback riding, and when one GM fell off his horse, he said “just get back on!”, with Jacob and Josef looking on in amusement. To Sigrid, our former Marketing Manager he mentioned “you can climb that elk fence, it’s only 6’!”, Or riding with him in a 4-wheeler buggy up the side of the mountain in sludgy snow, with the edge of the cliff only inches away, “Isn’t this fun?!”. For the record, it was terrifying! Gary’s motto was “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space”.
Gary had his finger on the pulse of the business. He treated us, his management team, like we were members of his family. Whenever I called him, he always picked up. Whenever I texted him, he always replied. Gary (and Mary) have always given me unconditional love, support and encouragement and I know I wasn’t special – this is just the way they support the whole team.
I was astounded how simply and modestly Gary and Mary lived. Mary driving her 30-year old car she won as a prize in a previous network marketing company. No salubrious mansion, no private jets, no maids, no private islands, no helicopters to go to golf – it wasn’t what I was used to - coming from 15 years of working for the world’s largest network marketing company which is privately owned. Quite simply, they have no interest in material wealth. Gary and Mary have built a culture where their people come first and foremost, their focus is all about giving back to their members, with the most generous compensation plan in the industry and to those who have little or nothing, through their foundation.
Gary lived the life of 10 men and accomplished more in his life than 100 men! His research and vision has benefited millions of people around the world – so far. How would I describe Gary? I would use these adjectives to describe Gary: Maverick (his spirit), amazing work ethic, passion for life, an inspiration to others, bold, courageous, pioneering, driven, old-fashioned gentlemanly manners and kind.
Mary said God was Gary’s foundation, and his word was his bond, and to let anyone down was to disappoint God. He called the bible his Owner’s Manual. He trusted in others until they proved him wrong. I feel this philosophy he lived by is dying in our society today – sadly, having morals to live by, in one’s personal life and business life - seems to be disappearing. I know how deeply wounded Gary was (because he told me), when the people he trusted the most with his company betrayed him & Mary, and used the salaries he paid them to start a business in opposition to them. How do you recover from that? Yet he held his head high, knowing he had a destiny to fulfil…
YL globally has grown 800% in the last 5 years. And this year we are on track to reach $2Billion! In Australia we have grown 74% in the last 3 years. This year we are tracking to grow 41% & NZ 171%. My vision is that we become the largest network marketing company in Australia & New Zealand & to help us achieve this, we have two amazing people at the helm of our company.
Mary our CEO, achieved the highest rank in another network marketing company before meeting Gary, and this understanding gives her a unique perspective into what you do every day, and makes her the perfect champion for our members.
Jared Turner our new President and Chief Operating Officer, has been mentored by Gary every day for the last 6 years. Jared is a great leader in his own right and understands with great clarity Gary’s vision for the future of the company. Jared and our accomplished Senior Management Team, will ensure we take Gary’s vision of taking the priceless benefits of our beautiful essential oils and products to every home in the world for many years to come.
You are Gary’s ambassadors. You will be his champions, and together we will share Gary’s vision with the world.
God bless you Gary. For I know you will be watching over us.