Our leadership masterclass featuring Dr. Jeff Bland and Doug Greene continues! Part 2 focuses on a spectrum of concepts that powered growth of the natural products movement—things like cooperation, team building, mentorship, social purpose, and cross-cultural experiences. Doug spent hundreds of nights on couches. Jeff racked up six million air miles. Would they do it all again? In a heartbeat. Listen now to hear their stories, insights, and suggestions for the next generation of entrepreneurs.
James Maskell: 00:06 Hello, and welcome back to the Big Bold Health Podcast, making health personal in a world of disease.
Jeffrey Bland: 00:13 Well, welcome to Episode Two of the Jeff and Doug dialogues. Boy, did we have fun in Episode One. I hope you were able to hang in with us, because there’s a lot of news to use in that Episode One. But not to be daunted, off we go into Episode Two, and Doug, I’d like maybe you and I to talk over our 40 years of experience working together and collaborating and growing up together, to talk about this concept of cooperation. And because, in this world, often we see competition, and we see the survival of the fittest, and this whole Darwinian concept that one wins and another loses. So, how do you cooperate, particularly, how do you cooperate across the disciplines in which maybe you’re hunting for commonality? Because in the end, there is this common shared belief about an objective. You might get to the destination in a different journey, but you can cooperate along your path in learning from one another.
I think I can say without any equivocation in my life, you have been that in my life. You have been a role model for how I have navigated my journey, how I’ve taken my training and background in the science side of the world, and try to convert it into being present, to engage in the important translation into human value, to do something that would make a difference in people’s lives, and I know you’ve done that as well.
So, let’s start, if we can, just quickly, to review, in your life, the start of Natural Foods Merchandiser, this incredible publication that really unified the industry, and its connection to some of the founding members of the natural products industry as personalities who had their own agendas, but were collected together on these common missions. And then, how that translated into your Natural Foods Expo, and the connection that that afforded me to bring some of my science background into the development of the model. So, tell us about those steps for you, because they were all remarkable stories.
Doug Greene: 02:15 Well, going back to Dr. Peter Thomas, who was an early mentor of mine, who just loved everybody and cared for everyone, and whose name was on the hospital, not because he gave money, because everybody loved him so much, and he was an amazing man. He always spoke about cooperation and working together with people, and trying to understand everybody else’s point of view, and you know, you don’t really walk in their shoes, so be careful about judging them. You don’t know what they’ve been through, et cetera.
So, I had that drilled into me again and again from age 14, and also by just watching him, how he dealt with people. He was legendary in his life and where he lived, and was always the most generous human being I knew.
But what I also realized from all that, and being in the natural foods, and starting this magazine, is that, and I still find that today, people really don’t know how to think about things. They either… Some people had great parents; the mass majority of people were not fortunate to have really great parents. So, where are they learning their behavioral wisdom? Are they getting it from television, watching sitcoms or reality shows today? Where are they getting it from?
And, I also found it out in working with these early natural foods retailers. These are people that all had, again, not come into the business to make a fortune, had come into the business to have a job and change their community and make things better, and they really didn’t know how to think. So, I would come to them to write a story about them, and they didn’t want to say anything, because, “What if somebody reads it and comes steals my business, and I can’t pay my house payment or whatever?”
And, I had to sit down and say, “Hey, I’m not asking you to tell everything about what you’re doing to the world, but I want you to give me one piece of pie, so to speak. If you’ll just take one little piece of your business and go in-depth and make yourself vulnerable on a small piece of what you’re doing, I’m going to go around and talk to all the leaders in the country doing this, and I’m going to get one little piece from each one of them, and guess what? When it’s all said and done, you’re going to get a hundred pieces of pie back for your one piece of pie investment.”
And then they go, “Oh, this is how vulnerability and sharing can help me.” And I said, “Yes. Let’s do it.” It was like kind of pulling teeth on the first couple of ones, but then they started to see how it did make things better, and then they were actually to learn from it. Then that set up a whole network of cooperation. Of course, as I knew these people and got them to know each other, and some of us did some recreational things together outside of work to learn about each other—because I also believe in business, you’re going to have times when you got to sit down and have your real business discussions that can be very frank, but the more you can bring to that, the more you know each other, the better it is.
That’s one reason at Expo, in the early days, we started having dance parties at night, because if you’re out there dancing with somebody, and the next day you’re in a business meeting with them, well, you were just on the dance floor, sweating away and having a good time the night before. You have a different relationship when you sit down to talk the next day.
So, at one time, this is not highly known, but on chart of accounts or how you even track your numbers, people didn’t understand how in the early days, because the natural foods industry wasn’t founded by MBAs and whatnot. And, in the early days, some of the retailers in the country and various parts of the country were sharing their financial statements even with each other, which was unheard of because everybody was trying to figure out what goes into the labor cost, what should labor cost, what’s the dashboard of growing this business and what makes sense?
Then I think once everybody started sharing a little bit, they realized that it was a win-win situation. The key thing is switching from this fear-based model to a trust-based model, and I think that’s what’s happening in evolution right now, period, in what we’re going through.
And again, in the days of when I started the natural foods industry, that natural foods industry started, it was about getting people to share more, to understand what it took to grow an industry, and how we all had to cooperate together, and how together we could create so much more. And it worked.
But, from all this, is I had some ideas, but there were so many great entrepreneurs that came out of this. Watching how Peter Roy, who’s the first president of Whole Foods, how he dealt with people. Watching John Mackey and his brilliance of how to create a bigger platform in the world, the founding CEO of Whole Foods. Just hearing all of them, how they think, and going and playing basketball, or tennis, or whatever you did, and getting to know everybody. We were all so hungry to learn that we were all so generous with each other and everybody slept on each other’s couches.
I mean it was when you went to a city, it was never, “Are you going to get a hotel?” it’s always, you’re going to, “Oh sure.” I’ve spent hundreds of nights on couches just getting to know everybody, and it was a great way. Also, I have to say that you have some of your best conversations later at night. In fact, one time I had inscribed on the back of an early iPad I had that said, “most of what I learned I learned past 10:00 PM.”
Jeffrey Bland: 07:47 Well, you did something that I thought was very wise and quite remarkable, and that is in your early development of the Expo, when I was involved collaborating with you in the development of some of the educational programs that went along with Expo, you made a very conscious decision to honor these founding people from the different components of the industry and to bring them up, and put them on the stage, and allow them to tell their story.
Now, many of these people had never been public speakers. They had never seen themselves maybe even as authorities, but you gave them the pride of their own knowledge-base and their own experience, and many of them grew up then to be extraordinarily good speakers, and good presenters, and leaders, going to Congress and working on legislation, and passing the Organic Standards Act, and all sorts of things.
But they had to have the self-confidence to do that, and you do that by building a collaborative team and making other stars. And you did that very, very well through Expo. And, I’ve used that model, I hope, successfully in the medical side when Susan and I founded the Institute for Functional Medicine. My objective was to bring a lot of outside leaders in the field of medical technology, medical development, so they would show the way into the future.
But then also, to honor those that were really creating the application of that, the clinicians in the trenches doing the daily work, and make them stars and have them tell their stories—so they’d be seen as authority figures. As you do that, as you did in your field, and hopefully Susan and I did in our field, you start to grow them up and you start to see there are all sorts of people that have leadership capabilities that might not have even recognized that.
Doug Greene: 09:30 Well, I think we’re all in the hero-building business, so to speak. Another one of my great mentors was Bill Gore, the founder of Gore-Tex. He and his wife were just amazing people. He was a bench chemist that started Gore-Tex, and he was, I don’t know, in his mid-40s—and usually bench chemists don’t start startups in their mid-40s—but, he was an amazing person who built an amazing company, and he believed that he was in the hero-building business. He said that that’s our jobs, and he said, “If you treat people like heroes, they will become heroes.”
And, I realized early on, for the natural foods industry to grow and become what I knew it could be and wanted it to be, we needed a bunch of heroes. And so, there’s nothing like seeing yourself on the front cover of the magazine quoted or speaking in these meetings, and of course everybody was reticent, and of course there were natural leaders; so many of them, all you had to do is get them an inch out there and they just took off.
But because so many people are afraid of public speaking and et cetera, et cetera. But, once they get out there and understand it and then get great feedback, then they grow. So, we always saw ourselves as in the hero-building business and looking for people who had really the potential to be really heroes, like yourself, although, I would say unabashedly you were already a hero when I met you. But we were always just looking to find good people.
One of the times, as editor of the magazine, I would wonder about, “Well what’s really in my job?” And I said, “Well, my job is … ” Because it’s so easy to write about this is bad or that’s bad and there was a lot of people doing that. And I said, “What we need is what’s working and what’s good, what can we model ourself on?”
And, I kind of envisioned myself as that, the United States being this place, I would get up on a very high ladder, find something really great happening, and I’d hold a mirror down and then show what was happening. And anyone in the country could look up in that mirror and say, “Wow, look what they’re doing in New Orleans. Look what they’re doing in Boston.”
So, my job was to go find people who were expressing courage, doing innovative things—maybe not even knowing it was innovative, because so many of them were led by inner impulses to do these things—and to go find them. Then when you see the great, heroic things they’re doing, share that with others, “Hey, look what heroic thing they did.”
And, keep in mind also, all of us early founders, we were really interested in nutrition and we were really interested in natural and organic and holistic health. But we were also equally interested in social justice; it was really a much broader platform than just selling natural foods. We were trying to treat people better, run better business opportunities.
Because now it’s in the vernacular, but I remember when it was, you know, unheard of. I remember when Stanford had me come give a couple of speeches at the MBA program on creativity, and talk about listening to yourself and whatnot, and it was shocking. They said, “We’ve never had a course like this.” It was the first course on creativity ever in the United States at a major university. Now that’s everywhere, but in the early days it was just getting started.
One of the things that I tackled early on and got in big trouble for it in the natural foods industry, because there was a health food industry that had been around for 40 or 50 years—it had certain belief systems and whatnot. And, this new paradigm of natural foods included health foods, but was a larger paradigm and it shook a lot of people up. I know you had a lot of attacks by some people that were less than comfortable with change and we had a good decade or more of dealing with that. It was trying to still be kind to them and appreciate them but realize that, “Hey, we’re going to change. We’re going to evolve. We’re going to move forward,” and not letting their criticisms … Listening to them always, because there’s always something to learn from everybody, but at the same time being focused on what we were trying to build and trying to go forward.
And, I’d say that every day was an inspiration, meeting people, and it seemed like it was happening everywhere. You’d be in Peoria, Illinois or wherever you might be, and there was somebody in their community trying to bring nutrition and trying to do things on women’s rights, and a whole variety of social issues. You’d go see the bulletin board in their store and there was every social issue you can imagine, that there was somebody having a meeting on or doing a fundraiser for something, and that was really inspiring.
So, I think America and lots of places—it was happening in Germany, it was happening a lot of places at the time—people were looking for how to build this new world based on trust. And we’d come out of this hole, really after World War II, of a hard time and a fear culture, and the world was just, in the 70s, ready to change and wanting to go forward. The natural foods industry happened to be an industry where you could do that, where now some of that’s happening … Well, a lot of it’s happening in a lot of industries today, but I think the natural products industry is one of the first industries to really embrace social change, and equality, and fairness at its core. And that was exciting, and that was so inspiring that it made you get up early and stay late, because you really felt like you were actually achieving something.
Jeffrey Bland: 15:04 Yeah, and I think that there is a very interesting part of this story that shows how a movement gains its own momentum, and it takes on its own identity, and it becomes what it is from kind of the vision-tenders initially, but then it emerges to be something even beyond that what you had originally, maybe suspected. And, I think part of that was fueled by both of you and me and our representative places—not only you and me, but I think we’re exemplary of this—and that is moving beyond our comfort zone to travel the world, to take these messages elsewhere, to hear what other people were doing. And for me, six million miles of travel over the years gave me a much more richness of a palette to paint off. And, I think I’m a mosaic of all the things that I learned from all these people, from all these different cultures and experiences, that we’re all aspiring for similar shared purpose.
But maybe we’re coming at it from a slightly different perspective. I know you did this fantastically, and I think you put Expansion Magazine together, which was pioneering different locations in the country that might be good places to put healthy businesses. That then moved into your international work of plywood in Siberia, and General Motors in Russia, and a restaurant in Grenada, and a toy company in South Africa, and a textile design company in the Caribbean. I mean, all sorts of ways that you were spreading both your learning, but also your impact to bring together these shared values.
Doug Greene: 16:42 There’s no doubt that travel is the best education there is, and international travel, getting outside of your own culture; I don’t think you can really see your culture from inside your culture because there’s kind of a cultural hypnosis that Bill Gore used to talk about. It’s important to get outside of that and I started in 1981, went to England for the first time to look at their natural foods industry.
It was interesting, in those days, there was the natural foods industry and the health food industry, and they had nothing to do with each other. Natural food stores wouldn’t carry vitamins and vitamin stores wouldn’t carry organic foods, except a tiny smattering of them. And in the United States, we were able to skip that step and come together, and of course now it’s come together in England, but in Germany it was also separate for a long time.
I ended up doing, when the Soviet Union collapsed, I ended up doing magazines and conferences there, because I had seen a food industry be developed in the United States with natural foods. So, I saw how an industry could come together, and I ended up, found a great Dutch partner who had a weekly newspaper called the Moscow Times. It was actually funded by the Dutch lottery as a do-good project to try to make the world a better place.
I happened to be in Russia, I was on a mission to see how not to have them have their missiles pointed towards us, actually. I could see that the Russian food industry was going to collapse because you had one factory that made all the yogurt, and one factory that did this, and I toured a couple of those factories. I went, “Oh my god,” so I thought, “This is all going to go away and these people are going to starve.”
So, we set up conventions and magazines for the food industry, the restaurant industry, and it was a great time. I remember once, the CFO of Coca-Cola in Russia stood at a conference and said that our company is the glue that held it all together. But we would have private seminars on how to deal with the mafia when they show up at your place, and real issues that everybody was experiencing. I ended up, I thought I was going there for just a little bit, but I ended up working there for 13-14 years, and from that, on the weekends you’d have to leave because they were killing everybody.
So, we would go to Amsterdam on the weekends. I had literally one year in Moscow, like 150 CEOs were assassinated, and you’d read it in the paper in the morning. And so, we’d leave on Friday and come back on Monday, but that’s how I ended up Amsterdam. Now I’ve lived in Amsterdam part-time and that’s become one of the organic centers of the of the world and the largest ingredient source company is based in Amsterdam, Tradin.
From there, in South Africa, doing work there, it really started with trying to help get Mandela out of jail and actually change the government. We were going back and forth and I’ve still got tapes of me giving speeches to a hundred senior executives in Johannesburg and in Durban and Cape Town, encouraging them to break the laws to bring down apartheid, and going into Soweto to see things, and the only thing they weren’t blowing up in those days were the beer trucks. So, being in the back of a beer truck under a blanket, in the back seat, to be snuck into Soweto and thinking, “Well, I guess this is okay.” But sometimes not knowing so much helps you.
But from there, and then like you, I got very involved in Hong Kong in the 80s, and China and watching that go on, and Japan. And through Expo, we always had these pioneer leaders show up in Anaheim, and meeting them and going and visiting them. Then of course today now, I also live in Australia, where it’s a very vibrant natural foods industry, getting better and seeing the leaders and be inspired by leaders, like Marcus Blackmore from Australia.
Then now, I also live part-time in Spain, in Barcelona. It’s been amazing because the home we have there, there was not a natural foods store within a half a mile of us. Now there’s four within four blocks of us and there’s two within two blocks of us. So, in seeing that come out of the ground, I think it’s very interesting and very fortunate to be able to experience the world from three continents, and four countries, and five cities at once, because you just start to recognize patterns, see things—it always will get my attention.
I would be in Moscow, in a really difficult situation, 1991, ’92, no electricity in the office. People come in in masks, blowing up the safes and stealing all your hard drives and wondering, “What was that?” Then find out it was the tax revenue people, that our competitors had turned us in just to mess with us, and you have all these situations, but you learn from all those things.
But what caught my attention is being in these dark situations in Russia and have some 25 year-old ask me a question that’s the same question that someone in LA had asked me a week before. No way they could’ve known each other, and you realize that that’s human nature.
So, what I’ve always tried to look for is what really is human nature? Because you have to accept human nature for what it is, and then build from there. And all this cross-cultural experience—as you know better than anyone—you learn so much from it. You’re like the Johnny Appleseed, planting those seeds everywhere you go, and that’s why your fan-base is so big globally.
Jeffrey Bland: 22:11 Yeah, I think that a you hit on a couple of really important points. I was reflecting back to an experience that Susan Bland and I had when we started a partnership relationship in Hong Kong—this is prior to the changeover, and Hong Kong was still British. The group we were working with, a group of young entrepreneurs, Chinese entrepreneurs, men and women that were really totally committed to their mission and totally committed to quality and excellence, and prodigious like workers you would not believe—20 hours a day, seven days a week type working.
And, they built a company within three years from start-up; just blew us away. We started off with our first shipment of materials to them in the back of a Jeep Wagoneer; we didn’t even know how to ship to China, to Hong Kong. We did that, and into the second year, their business was $80 million, US dollars. They were voted the number one entrepreneurial startup in Hong Kong, and they had big bulletins, and when you came from the airport, on the signs of buildings of their presence.
And, they had over 700,000 customers within two years from startup. Then all of a sudden, the changeover occurred. Because they were a company that was very much involved with the assembly of getting people together, and to share visions and to educate them and stuff, and China was very reticent to have big assemblies of individuals, that they were suddenly visited by every governmental agency: the tax department, the health department, the this and the that. They confiscated their computers, their hard drives, everything to interrupt their business, and basically pretty much put them out of business, from this very high-flying, very successful company.
But I think it shows the tenacity of the entrepreneurial spirit and ideas that are right will grow. We were very fortunate, just recently, Susan and I could go back to their 25th anniversary—they’ve reconstituted themselves; they never gave up the fight. They now have one of only seven licenses in the whole country of China for public assembly companies, direct consumer companies, and they went from a valuation of virtually nothing to a valuation of $1 billion in one week, with the approval of that license.
The individuals that are running the company haven’t changed at all; they have the same vision, they have the same commitment, they’re working just as hard and they’re there for the long haul. Now they’re 25 years older, but there is something about the spirit that builds into resilience, and builds into stick-to-itiveness, and builds into seeing through the tough times. It always come to the other side of the equation, which is why was I here? What was I trying to do?
I think you’ve been a spirit of that, and the people that you’ve pioneered and sponsored over the years, I’ve seen that in them. You know, good leaders attract other good leaders. As my mother used to say for years, “Birds of a feather flock together.” When I think back to, in our first episode, you mentioned Bill Thompson with the Thompson vitamin company, who was instrumental in both of our early years of development and mentored both of us in his little pied-a-terre there in Santa Monica, and sit us down and tell us … It was he, you know, it was Bill Thompson.
I said, “Someday I’d like to earn $20,000 to take my kids on a vacation,” and he was very… he said, “That’s going to be the least of your worries. The most important worry that you’ll always have is to make sure you stay the integrity of what your mission is. If you stay in your mission, all the other things are going to take care of themselves.”
And, I have thought of that hundreds of times since that period in the 70s. So, I think what we’re laying out between the two of us is, although different paths, our journeys have resulted in very, very similar observations about what it is that leads to value in a life, and how you can make that life purposeful and give back to others and let some of the other things take care of themselves; if you deal with the big stuff.
So maybe this is a good place to end Episode Two. And hang with us, we’re not through. We still have some really good stuff to share as news to you. So thanks, Doug, for Episode Two.
Doug Greene: 26:39 Thank you, Jeff.
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Certain sections of the Site may allow you to purchase many different types of products and services online that are provided by third parties. We are not responsible for the quality, accuracy, timeliness, reliability or any other aspect of these products and services. If you make a purchase from a merchant on the Site or on a site linked to by the Site, the information obtained during your visit to that merchant’s online store or site, and the information that you give as part of the transaction, such as your credit card number and contact information, may be collected by both the merchant and us. A merchant may have privacy and data collection practices that are different from ours. We have no responsibility or liability for these independent policies. In addition, when you purchase products or services on or through the Site, you may be subject to additional terms and conditions that specifically apply to your purchase or use of such products or services. For more information regarding a merchant, its online store, its privacy policies, and/or any additional terms and conditions that may apply, visit that merchant’s website and click on its information links or contact the merchant directly. You release us and our affiliates from any damages that you incur, and agree not to assert any claims against us or them, arising from your purchase or use of any products or services made available by third parties through the Site.
Your participation, correspondence or business dealings with any third party found on or through our Site, regarding payment and delivery of specific goods and services, and any other terms, conditions, representations or warranties associated with such dealings, are solely between you and such third party. You agree that COMPANY shall not be responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or other matters of any sort incurred as the result of such dealings.
You agree to be financially responsible for all purchases made by you or someone acting on your behalf through the Site. You agree to use the Site and to purchase services or products through the Site for legitimate, non-commercial purposes only. You also agree not to make any purchases for speculative, false or fraudulent purposes or for the purpose of anticipating demand for a particular product or service. You agree to only purchase goods or services for yourself or for another person for whom you are legally permitted to do so. When making a purchase for a third party that requires you to submit the third party’s personal information to us or a merchant, you represent that you have obtained the express consent of such third party to provide such third party’s personal information.
This Site may include a variety of features, such as bulletin boards, web logs, chat rooms, and email services, which allow feedback to us and real-time interaction between users, and other features which allow users to communicate with others. Responsibility for what is posted on bulletin boards, web logs, chat rooms, and other public posting areas on the Site, or sent via any email services on the Site, lies with each user – you alone are responsible for the material you post or send. We do not control the messages, information or files that you or others may provide through the Site. It is a condition of your use of the Site that you do not:
COMPANY may host message boards, chats and other private/public forums on its Sites and on other platforms. Any user failing to comply with the terms and conditions of this Agreement may be expelled from and refused continued access to, the message boards, groups, chats or other such forums in the future. COMPANY or its designated agents may remove or alter any user-created content at any time for any reason. Message boards, chats and other public forums are intended to serve as discussion centers for users and subscribers. Information and content posted within these public forums may be provided by COMPANY staff, COMPANY’s outside contributors, or by users not connected with COMPANY, some of whom may employ anonymous user names. COMPANY expressly disclaims all responsibility and endorsement and makes no representation as to the validity of any opinion, advice, information or statement made or displayed in these forums by third parties, nor are we responsible for any errors or omissions in such postings, or for hyperlinks embedded in any messages. Under no circumstances will we, our affiliates, suppliers or agents be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained through these forums. The opinions expressed in these forums are solely the opinions of the participants, and do not reflect the opinions of COMPANY or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates.
COMPANY has no obligation whatsoever to monitor any of the content or postings on the message boards, chat rooms or other public forums on the Sites. However, you acknowledge and agree that we have the absolute right to monitor the same at our sole discretion. In addition, we reserve the right to alter, edit, refuse to post or remove any postings or content, in whole or in part, for any reason and to disclose such materials and the circumstances surrounding their transmission to any third party in order to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request and to protect ourselves, our clients, sponsors, users and visitors.
To use certain features of the Site, you will need a username and password, which you will receive through the Site’s registration process. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the password and account, and are responsible for all activities (whether by you or by others) that occur under your password or account. You agree to notify us immediately of any unauthorized use of your password or account or any other breach of security, and to ensure that you exit from your account at the end of each session. We cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to protect your password or account information.
Limitation of Liability
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL WE, OUR SUBSIDIARY AND PARENT COMPANIES OR AFFILIATES BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES THAT RESULT FROM THE USE OF, OR THE INABILITY TO USE, THE SITE, INCLUDING OUR MESSAGING, BLOGS, COMMENTS OF OTHERS, BOOKS, EMAILS, PRODUCTS, OR SERVICES, OR THIRD-PARTY MATERIALS, PRODUCTS, OR SERVICES MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE SITE OR BY US IN ANY WAY, EVEN IF WE ARE ADVISED BEFOREHAND OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. (BECAUSE SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF CERTAIN CATEGORIES OF DAMAGES, THE ABOVE LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. IN SUCH STATES, OUR LIABILITY AND THE LIABILITY OF OUR SUBSIDIARY AND PARENT COMPANIES OR AFFILIATES IS LIMITED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY SUCH STATE LAW.) YOU SPECIFICALLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DEFAMATORY, OFFENSIVE OR ILLEGAL CONDUCT OF ANY USER. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH THE SITE, ANY MATERIALS, PRODUCTS, OR SERVICES ON THE SITE, OR WITH ANY OF THE SITE’S TERMS AND CONDITIONS, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE USING THE SITE AND THE PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND/OR MATERIALS.
THIS SITE IS CONTINUALLY UNDER DEVELOPMENT AND COMPANY MAKES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, IMPLIED OR EXPRESS, AS TO ITS ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS OR APPROPRIATENESS FOR ANY PURPOSE.
WITH REGARDS TO CONTENT RELATING TO HEALTH & WELLNESS ON THE SITE:
We may cancel or terminate your right to use the Site or any part of the Site at any time without notice. In the event of cancellation or termination, you are no longer authorized to access the part of the Site affected by such cancellation or termination. The restrictions imposed on you with respect to material downloaded from the Site, and the disclaimers and limitations of liabilities set forth in these Terms of Service, shall survive.
Your purchase of a product or service or ticket to an event may or may not provide for any refund. Each specific product, service, event or course will specify its own refund policy.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the “DMCA”) provides recourse for copyright owners who believe that material appearing on the Internet infringes their rights under the U.S. copyright law. If you believe in good faith that materials hosted by COMPANY infringe your copyright, you, or your agent may send to COMPANY a notice requesting that the material be removed or access to it be blocked. Any notification by a copyright owner or a person authorized to act on its behalf that fails to comply with requirements of the DMCA shall not be considered sufficient notice and shall not be deemed to confer upon COMPANY actual knowledge of facts or circumstances from which infringing material or acts are evident. If you believe in good faith that a notice of copyright infringement has been wrongly filed against you, the DMCA permits you to send to COMPANY a counter-notice. All notices and counter notices must meet the then current statutory requirements imposed by the DMCA; see http://www.loc.gov/copyright for details. COMPANY’s Copyright Agent for notice shall be email@example.com.
This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of COMPANY and our respective assigns, successors, heirs, and legal representatives. Neither this Agreement nor any rights hereunder may be assigned without the prior written consent of COMPANY Notwithstanding the foregoing, all rights and obligations under this Agreement may be freely assigned by COMPANY to any affiliated entity or any of its wholly owned subsidiaries.
Class Action Waiver
You may only resolve disputes with us on an individual basis, and may not bring a claim as a plaintiff or a class member in a class, consolidated, or representative action. Class arbitrations, class actions, private attorney general actions, and consolidation with other arbitrations aren’t allowed.
The arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person’s claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a class or representative proceeding or claims (such as a class action, consolidated action or private attorney general action) unless all relevant parties specifically agree to do so following initiation of the arbitration.
If any clause within these Terms of Service (other than the Class Action Waiver clause above) is found to be illegal or unenforceable, that clause will be severed from these Terms of Service, and the remainder of these Terms of Service will be given full force and effect. If the Class Action Waiver clause is found to be illegal or unenforceable, this entire Provision will be unenforceable and the dispute will be decided by a court.
Effective Date: March 2019
How We Collect and Use Information
We may collect and store personal or other information that you voluntarily supply to us online while using the Site (e.g., while on the Site or in responding via email to a feature provided on the Site). The Site only contacts individuals who specifically request that we do so or in the event that they have signed up to receive our messaging, attended one of our events, or have purchased one of our products. The Site collects personally identifying information from our users during online registration and online purchasing. Generally, this information includes name and e-mail address for registration or opt-in purposes and name, postal address, and credit card information when registering for our events or purchasing our products. All of this information is provided to us by you.
We also collect and store information that is generated automatically as you navigate online through the Site. For example, we may collect information about your computer’s connection to the Internet, which allows us, among other things, to improve the delivery of our web pages to you and to measure traffic on the Site. We also may use a standard feature found in browser software called a “cookie” to enhance your experience with the Site. Cookies are small files that your web browser places on your hard drive for record-keeping purposes. By showing how and when visitors use the Site, cookies help us deliver advertisements, identify how many unique users visit us, and track user trends and patterns. They also prevent you from having to re-enter your preferences on certain areas of the Site where you may have entered preference information before. The Site also may use web beacons (single-pixel graphic files also known as “transparent GIFs”) to access cookies and to count users who visit the Site or open HTML-formatted email messages.
Please keep in mind that whenever you voluntarily make your personal information available for viewing by third parties online – for example on message boards, web logs, through email, or in chat areas – that information can be seen, collected and used by others besides us. We cannot be responsible for any unauthorized third-party use of such information.
Be aware that we may occasionally release information about our visitors when release is appropriate to comply with law or to protect the rights, property or safety of users of the Site or the public.
Please also note that as our business grows, we may buy or sell various assets. In the unlikely event that we sell some or all of our assets, or one or more of our websites is acquired by another company, information about our users may be among the transferred assets.
We also use Google Analytics Advertiser Features to optimize our business. Advertiser features include:
By enabling these Google Analytics Display features, we are required to notify our visitors by disclosing the use of these features and that we and third-party vendors use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookie) or other first-party identifiers, and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) or other third-party identifiers together to gather data about your activities on our Site. Among other uses, this allows us to contact you if you begin to fill out our check-out form but abandon it before completion with an email reminding you to complete your order. The “Remarketing” feature allows us to reach people who previously visited our Site, and match the right audience with the right advertising message.
We abide by Facebook’s Data Use Restrictions.
General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR)
The GDPR took effect on May 25, 2018, and is intended to protect the data of European Union (EU) citizens.
As a company that markets its site, content, products and/or services online we do not specifically target our marketing to the EU or conduct business in or to the EU in any meaningful way. If the data that you provide to us in the course of your use of our site, content, products and/or services is governed by GDPR, we will abide by the relevant portions of the Regulation.
If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA), or are accessing this site from within the EEA, you may have the right to request: access to, correction of, deletion of; portability of; and restriction or objection to processing, of your personal data, from us. This includes the “right to be forgotten.”
To make any of these requests, please contact our GDPR contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
Children’s Privacy Statement
This children’s privacy statement explains our practices with respect to the online collection and use of personal information from children under the age of thirteen, and provides important information regarding their rights under federal law with respect to such information.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule
The US Department of Health and Human Services provides: “The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically. The Rule requires appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy of personal health information, and sets limits and conditions on the uses and disclosures that may be made of such information without patient authorization. The Rule also gives patients rights over their health information, including rights to examine and obtain a copy of their health records, and to request corrections.”
You acknowledge that our operation of the Site does not constitute the practice of medicine, and specifically does not create a doctor-patient relationship between you and Dr. Jeffrey Bland, PhD (the “Doctor”). The information provided on the Site is for educational purposes only.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Site does not create a doctor-patient relationship between you and DOCTOR, our preservation of your personal health information shall be HIPAA compliant.
How do we store your information?
Your information is stored at the list server that delivers the Site content and messaging. Your information can only be accessed by those who help manage those lists in order to deliver e-mail to those who would like to receive the Site material.
All of the messaging or emails that are sent to you by the Site include an unsubscribe link in them. You can remove yourself at any time from our mailing list by clicking on the unsubscribe link that can be found in every communicaiton that we send you.
Changes to this Policy
This policy may be changed at any time at our discretion. If we should update this policy, we will post the updates to this page on our Website.
Questions About this Policy