Our Team

We are fortunate to work with some of the most brilliant minds in technology, design and direct selling.  Our “behind the scenes” team of advisors, programmers, designers and technology support staff are amazing.

Meet Our Leadership Team


Laurie Girardi

Founder & CEO

Laurie eats, sleeps and dreams about providing smart solutions and cutting-edge resources for direct sellers across the globe. The key, in Laurie’s opinion, is the melding of classic core business principles and consumer-focused strategies with modern methods, tools and technology.

She is a self-proclaimed techie geek who grew up learning the software industry from her dad.  As a young college student, she had one of the first “portable” computers.  As she lugged it around campus, her love of technology grew as she realized its impact in her writing, collaborating with peers, organizing data and conducting research in the field.  In the 1990s, as a teacher, she wrote grants and participated in special programs to ensure that her students had access to the most cutting-edge tools and resources.  Before it was commonplace, she was using technology to bring cultures across the world into the classroom.

A decade ago, Laurie built a successful direct selling business, and was the top ranking and achieving leader in her company.  After navigating the company’s closure, at the height of her success, she partnered with Sue Rusch and served as an embedded sales leader, strategic advisor and business consultant through Sue Rusch & Associates, LLC.  Today, Laurie is a highly regarded industry expert and owns The Girardi Group, Inc.  Laurie’s background also includes a Masters Degree in Economics & Entrepreneurship for Educators from the University of Delaware.

CLASSIC LAURIE  An eternal optimist with a “can do” attitude. Obstacles make life interesting.  For her, it’s much more exciting and rewarding to pave the way than follow a path already traveled.

INSPIRED BY  The curiosity of children, the men and women who serve our country and secure our freedom, her middle school teacher whose unwavering dedication saved her life, and her mentor who shared her style full of class, integrity and fierce business smarts.

HER BUCKET LIST  Spending a summer traveling the US in an RV visiting team meetings and getting to know the members of the NDSR™ personally, funding technology programs for kids in her home state of Delaware, and a house on the cliffs overlooking Newport Harbor.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE  That her kids totally geek school, the sound of music playing throughout the house and dancing in the kitchen, that first trip to the beach each summer season, and the peace she feels late at night where everyone she’s totally crazy about is tucked in, right where they belong… including 2 dogs and 2 cats.

HAPPIEST WHEN  After accomplishing an important goal and even happier when she’s helped someone else reach one of theirs, enjoying simple times like sitting by a fire pit roasting marshmallows, and Christmas night … when her house is full of family and friends, bustling with chaos, yet simply perfect.

WORDS TO LIVE BY  Go the extra mile, even when no one is watching.


Adrian Peoples

Chief Technology Advisor

Adrian is a data guy and former developer.  He prefers the term “nerd.”  With an uncanny ability to take a conversation or brainstorming session and turn it into an organized plan formatted into neat rows and columns, Adrian’s expertise has been integral in the planning and development of directselling.me™ & the National Direct Selling Registry™. He is well versed in the ins and outs of the direct selling industry, specifically the technological challenges many direct sellers face.

Adrian is a full-time data guy with the Delaware Department of Education and has also worked with several entrepreneurial software development companies. Adrian’s expertise in business and technology guides our software and web-development decision-making processes. He serves the The Girardi Group, Inc. & directselling.me™ in an executive advisory role.  Adrian’s background includes undergraduate degrees in Electrical Engineering and French, and MBA, an MA in Economics and a Doctorate in Educational Technology from the University of Delaware. Yep, he’s uber smart.

CLASSIC ADRIAN… A believer in team success, whether he is leading from the front, or pushing from the back.

INSPIRED BY… Music with lyrics that touch the soul. People who have the courage to do more and talk less.

HIS BUCKET LIST… Spend 12 months in an English countryside village, becoming a regular at the local pub and supporting the local football club.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE… The bright-eyed innocence of his two children. Right now, Daddy knows most of the answers. And if he doesn’t, they Google it.

HAPPIEST WHEN… Enjoying the company of a small group of friends, music playing, and lively conversation in the middle of world around us.

WORDS TO LIVE BY… In life, it is neither how far you run, nor how fast you run… it’s THAT you run.


Suzanne Vaaler

Director of Global Member Experience

When you embark on building a new business entity to serve an entire industry, it’s vital to have people working beside you whose commitment to excellence rivals your own. People who tirelessly delve through details, yet always keeps the big picture in mind. Suzanne is one of those people. Her tenacity is unparalleled.

Suzanne’s understanding of the importance of the consumer experience from all perspectives and her ability to affect results makes her an essential asset to our team. She spent over a decade as a senior sales manager and head of a inside sales division for a major paper company. In the direct selling industry, she built a successful business quickly and was ranked #1 in sales for her entire company.  Through a partnership with Laurie Girardi, Suzanne served a variety of clients as an embedded field development manager driving significant increases in recruiting and retention rates. Suzanne’s background includes a degree in English with a minor in German from Siena College.

CLASSIC SUZANNE… Common sense guru!  Anything can be figured out.  Each experience counts.  Every customer matters.  Someone’s got to do it, why not her?

INSPIRED BY…  Her family – who are the reason she gets up every day, her dad – the most gentle, calm, kind-hearted person, the desire to make people feel special, and people who make it look easy.

HER BUCKET LIST… To watch her children grow into happy adults who contribute to their communities, to travel through Germany for a whole summer, to live on the water, to road trip across the US with her family, and to redecorate her house.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE… When she is am able to cross things off of her “to do” list, when things are organized, when she goes away on vacation and tosses schedules to the wind – total spontaneity, and giving someone the perfect gift.

HAPPIEST WHEN…  Her schedule is busy, she makes a difference, she finds a better solution to something, and when her children thank her for the little things she does.

WORDS TO LIVE BY… Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

Check Out our Whole Team at The Girardi Group, Inc.