Education

Colorado school administrator: Join my coffee-selling pyramid scheme

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Brad Jones Contributor
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An investigation by Denver’s ABC affiliate reveals a shocking scheme by a Colorado school administrator to meld his education job and a side gig with a multi-level marketing company.

Chuck DeWayne is human resources director with the Poudre School District (PSD) in Fort Collins; his work email was used to send and receive documents with titles like “The DeWayne’s Definiteness of Purpose” detailing plans for a “Master Mind Alliance.”

DeWayne’s plans to engage PSD employees in his side business selling Organo Gold coffee and tea has the local teachers’ union pushing for his dismissal.

Records uncovered by the TV station include a $600 payment from district coffers for Organo Gold products to DeWayne’s wife, Stephanie.

The “Definiteness of Purpose” memo is laden with insider multi-level marketing language, and envisions a business run by DeWayne and his wife deeply integrated with the board of ed.

Goals include reaching Organo Gold’s “Crown Ambassador” sales level with “$750,000 in monthly income” by February 2017.

Multi-level marketing arrangements, sometimes called “pyramid schemes” by their critics, promise significant income by recruiting an ever-growing network of affiliates, who in turn recruit friends, family and perhaps the local superintendent to sell product. Each level up the chain gets a cut of sales made down the line.

“The exact amount of money we desire is $63,000,000.00 accumulated by: New Year’s Eve December 31, 2020,” DeWayne had planned.

While there’s nothing immoral or illegal about dreaming big, DeWayne is in the hot seat for doing so on the public’s dime, both in his use of district resources and his plans to have PSD employees moonlight as coffee salesmen.

In particular, DeWayne seeks the adoption of a sales book, “Think and Grow Rich,” as curriculum by the school board, with instruction in its “17 Success Principles” a graduation requirement.

The text was written in 1937 by Dr. Napoleon Hill, an early pioneer of self-help literature.

“If I was to tell someone that I intend to make $63 million in my position within the school district I think that would be a red flag,” said Fran Docherty, a director with Poudre Education Association in an interview with 7 News.

Organo Gold sells a type of coffee called “Ganoderma,” which is made with pulverized mushrooms that are purported to have mental health, disease-curing and cosmetic benefits.

DeWayne received but did not respond to requests for comment; when reporters approached him at the school district’s offices, he changed course and sped away in his SUV.

The HR boss, who makes a $141,000 annual salary, can be seen in a YouTube video making the case for Hill’s “success principles” to be taught in PSD schools.

DeWayne says in the video clip the principles have helped him “learn better.”

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Brad Jones