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Friday, May 24, 2024

Market America opens museum to honor Ridinger

Loren Ridinger, co-founder and CEO of Market America Worldwide, experiences the J.R. Ridinger Museum for the first time with her granddaughter, Ayva.

Market America, the Greensboro-based direct sales company, held a major convention in the Gate City over the weekend, drawing more than 5,000 sellers from around the world for four days of motivational speeches, presentations and entertainment.

It was the company’s first major conference in Greensboro since cofounder J.R. Ridinger died last August after a pulmonary embolism on a chartered yacht in Croatia. Ridinger and his wife, Loren, were on their first vacation in three years when the sudden, unexpected death occurred.

The news prompted global news coverage that cited Ridingers’ friendships with stars such as influencer Kim Kardashian, soccer star David Beckham, tennis player Serena Williams and actor Jamie Foxx. Each posted social media comments expressing sadness over Ridingers’ death.

To honor Ridinger, Market America debuted a museum last week at the company’s Greensboro headquarters that includes some of the best-known props that he used in his speeches over the past 30 years. They included a life-sized hamster wheel, a wheelbarrow full of bricks sitting on a tightrope above the museum and a tombstone titled  “Joe Nobody.”

Market America conferences have produced more than $400 million in revenue for North Carolina’s hospitality industry since 1996, the company said, citing Henri Fourrier, president of the Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. More than 600 distributors from Taiwan attended this year’s event, alone.

The company recruits distributors who sell a wide variety of products, including cleaning solutions, nutritional supplements, cosmetics, weight-loss and skin care products. Market America says successful distributors supplement their incomes and attain financial and time freedom. The company also owns the shop.com e-commerce website.

While the company is based in Greensboro, the Ridingers lived in Miami, where they were “fixtures on the city’s social scene” and friends with many famous entertainers and athletes, the New York Post reported last year.

Attendees from around the world visited the J.R. Ridinger Museum following the unveiling ceremony.
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