Bill Duncan Vice President; Australasia
USANA Health Sciences
Raised in the beachside suburb of Bondi, Bill Duncan graduated from Marist College at Darlinghurst, Sydney in 1964 winning both Commonwealth and NSW Teacher's College scholarships to study Economics at Sydney University and Education at Sydney Teacher's College. He taught economics, social science, geography and commerce in Sydney high schools from 1968 to mid 1972. Bill then joined Science Research Associates (SRA), an educational publishing subsidiary of IBM, where he was employed sequentially in editorial, sales, advertising, marketing, training and publishing functions over eight years. He undertook evening studies in law through the Barrister's Admission Board course at Sydney University and was admitted to the bar of the NSW Supreme Court in March 1984, specialising in business law.
From 1980 Bill was employed by Amway of Australia. Starting as NSW State Sales Manager he progressed through a range of planning, training and administrative functions in sales and marketing to a position on the company's executive management team as Corporate Affairs Manager - responsible, from 1984, for that company's legal, quality assurance, customer service, personnel, government and public relations functions, as well as special projects. One such project was co-ordination of the design and construction of that company's new 4-hectare head office complex in Castle Hill. He completed the Advanced Management Programme at the Macquarie University Graduate School of Management in February 1992. Bill was appointed a Director of Amway Australia Pty Ltd in 1991 and General Manager in 1993. In that year he oversaw the business's transition from a private corporation to a public company (as part of Amway Asia Pacific Limited) which was listed on the Hong Kong, Australian and New York stock exchanges. Sales, at wholesale, rose from $148 million to $189 million by 1997. Mr Duncan was then appointed Amway's Regional Director, Legal & Government Relations for the Asia Pacific Region. During his time with the company Bill initiated substantial corporate sponsorships with Young Achievement Australia, Life. Be In It, Clean Up Australia and the Children's Cancer Research Centre.
Mr Duncan has been a long-standing member of the Legal & Government Relations as well as Education Sub-committee's of the Direct Selling Association of Australia. In 1993 he was elected to the Board of that Association and in 1994 was voted Vice-Chairman. He planned and chaired the 1996 World Congress of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (held in Sydney ). hosting over 300 international and 100 Australian delegates. The conference focussed on industry development in new markets and generated a profit of over $100,000 for the Federation's international education programme. Subsequently, in June 1997, Bill was appointed to the Board of the World Federation and stepped into the new role of Executive Director responsible for protecting and developing industry interests in the Asia/Pacific region. In July 1997 he completed the Certificate Course in Association Management at Monash University 's Mt Eliza Graduate School of Management. Bill left Amway and the WFDSA in September 1998 following the collapse of the Asian economies and associated decline in business activity across the region.
In December 1998 Bill became Managing Director of DK Family Learning (ANZ), a direct sales educational publisher, and remained in that role through 1999. Sales in that new company lifted from twelve to eighteen million dollars under Bill's management. The UK parent company then closed the direct sales operations worldwide following an international takeover. Bill subsequently established a home-based, project management business consultancy: Executive Director Services Pty Ltd. One of the consultancy's significant assignments in 2000 was the organisation and execution of a major public relations and fundraising project for the NSW Paralympic Committee preparatory to the Sydney 2000 'Games.
Mr Duncan was appointed Managing Director of USANA Health Sciences ( Australia and New Zealand ) in December 2000. His task was to turn around a business which had declined from a $4m profit to a $2m loss during the previous year. Under Bill's direction, by the end of the calendar trading year, the business was returned to breakeven and, in calendar 2002, returned a sales growth of over 15% in Australia and 20% in New Zealand together with healthy profit in both markets. Employee training and development programmes improved staff morale and productivity while innovative approaches to business management and cost containment increased return to shareholders. The ANZ business' contribution to the spectacular improvement in USANA's share price on the NASDAQ has been significant. Simultaneously, USANA's field representative's earnings rate rose by 15% while customers enjoyed more competitive prices through a price freeze. USANA (ANZ) sales have continued two digit growth each year since. The business constructed a larger, purpose-built office and warehouse facility in Auckland , New Zealand to support that expanding market and is now undertaking a similar project in Sydney . Bill was appointed as a Vice President of USANA Corporation in May 2006 with particular responsibility for the business in South East Asia and the Pacific region including Malaysia and Singapore . He has developed and appointed a senior management team to run the day-to-day operations in each of these markets.
Mr Duncan has been a Director on the Boards of "Life. Be In It", the Hills Entertainment Centre and the Hills/Hawkesbury Initiative for Excellence (in business and community service). He was an advisor on Sydney 's North West region growth committee for industry, employment and community development and is a standing member of the judging panel in the area's Excellence in Business Awards. Bill was re-elected Chairman of the Board of the Direct Selling Industry Association in July this year. He has championed numerous community initiatives including Work-for-the-Dole projects and business education programmes for high school and tertiary students. Bill was Chairman of the Hills' region Federation Fund Committee leading to the construction of a multipurpose community facility. Mr Duncan co-ordinated major fund raising projects for two of Australia 's America 's Cup campaigns. A certified Mediator, he has an interest in cost-effective community justice and dispute resolution.
As a commissioned officer of the Australian Army Reserve, Major Duncan served part-time in the Defence Force for twenty years, retiring as Operations Officer of an Infantry Brigade. He has been awarded the National Medal and the Reserve Force Medal. Bill retained his interest in education and young Australians from his teaching days and so has been a Scout Group Leader in his neighbourhood, an instructor/assessor in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme and a business advisor with Young Achievement Australia. Bill and his wife, Pat, have privately funded and hosted a weekend nautical scholarship programme for local teenagers to supplement citizenship awards at local high schools. Mr Duncan is Deputy Captain and Vice President of the Kenthurst brigade of the Rural Fire Service and has long worked on community projects in his Shire including the Hills District Disaster Recovery Committee. Bill was named a Community Champion in the Hills district during the Year of the Volunteer.
In February 2005, the Hon. John Anderson, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia , appointed Mr Duncan as Chairman of the GROW Sydney Area Consultative Committee. With offices and staff in Parramatta , a Board of business, professional, academic, government and community leaders and a constituency of over four million people, this is the largest government advisory organisation of its type in the nation. The organisation's grants have quadrupled under Bill's Chairmanship.
Bill and his wife, Patricia, have two sons - Andrew aged 18 years and Michael, 29. The Duncan family live in semi-rural Kenthurst and have an interest in colonial era architecture, history and antiques.