Nearly 50

No, not me!  But I can't protest too much, because I'm closer to that age I'd like to admit.

Amway, however, is nearly 50 years old and will celebrate this anniversary in 2009.  Talk is already starting around the company about how to commemorate this milestone, from bringing IBOs from around the world to the place where it all started to capturing the illustrious history of the company in variety media.

I met with someone yesterday who's chronicling the history, and just spending a few minutes thinking about the past is a great reminder of the remarkable contributions of this company and the accomplishments of our co-founders, Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel.

I was fortunate to join the company when Rich and Jay were still at the helm, and even luckier to be assigned to handle some of their many speaking engagements.  I'd make the arrangements, handle logistics and media relations and very often accompany them and hear them speak and see the crowd's reactions. Jay Van Andel would command a crowd at such rapt attention that you could hear a pin drop as they eagerly awaited his next word.  Rich DeVos on many occasions told a story that inspired listeners to tears.  In fact, I sometimes gauged the success of an appearance by how many hankies I saw in the crowd.

I'll celebrate my 19th year here next March and my 20th when Amway turns 50.  And every year, like every other employee, my anniversary is recognized by my boss and others –  cards or notes thanking me and congratulating me on another year.  Milestone anniversaries — 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years of service — usually mean cake.  Anniversaries of 20 years or more can be marked with a reception in the employee's honor — but a lot of people don't want the fuss and attention.  But regardless of the year that's passed, it's always nice to stop and think about the contributions of every Quixtar team member and how they help IBOs be more successful. 

So when you think about nearly 50 years of Amway, from the start of this business in Rich and Jay's basements, how do you think we capture and celebrate the anniversary?  We can't do cake and coffee for every IBO, but what could we do to celebrate all that's happened and all the people who have been part of this business?  If you were planning the party, what would you do?