FORBES: How Frank VanderSloot, Wellness Billionaire And GOP Kingmaker, Became Idaho's Richest Person
Idaho might supply a third of America’s potatoes, but you won’t find its richest resident among the state’s 325,000 acres of potato fields, or even in its capital city of Boise. He’s in Idaho Falls (pop. 60,211), running one of the nation’s largest online retail companies from his headquarters four miles from downtown.
Idaho’s wealthiest person, with an estimated net worth of $1.9 billion: Frank VanderSloot, the 68-year-old founder and CEO of Melaleuca, which bills itself as “the wellness company.”
Melaleuca manufactures more than 450 products ranging from vitamins and health supplements to environmentally-friendly household cleaners. It then sells them direct from the factory to more than 1.8 million consumers every month through its online store. About two-thirds of customers simply buy products for personal use. But Melaleuca also offers commissions to those who want to refer customers of their own. Most just earn a 3-4% commission on goods purchased by people they have directly referred, but it’s possible — depending on how many people you have referred and how active a role you take in the company each month — to earn higher rates and commissions on purchases made by the Melaleuca customers referred to the business by your own Melaleuca customers (the chain extends, at most, seven iterations).