Its all about the glory…

Editor’s Note:  This post was originally published on the Interns Expose Amway blog.

Over 250 interns from eight different West Michigan companies skipped work to hang out in downtown Grand Rapids.

Why?  To battle for the title of West Michigan Intern Olympic Champion.

Check out the video to see what happened!

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Forever, for the better

Today is the second annual World Social Media Day, a global celebration of the technological advancements that allow people, organizations and companies to listen, engage and connect in real-time.

For us, it’s a day to say thank you to all of our fans and followers, whether they “like” Amway, eSpring, Artistry or Nutrilite on Facebook; read our blogs; follow the @Amway feed on Twitter; or view and share our flickr photographs and YouTube videos.

For us, it’s about so much more than storytelling. It’s about story-hearing, story-magnifying, and story-curating. It’s changed the way we work forever and for the better.



When the Amway 50th anniversary exhibit at the Grand Rapids Public Museum closed in December 2010, people asked where it would appear next.

As of today, this telling of the story of Amway has come home.

Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel today dedicated Amway Heritage Hall, which captures much of the original exhibit at our world headquarters.   

Steve said one of his favorite elements is a collection of letters  his father Jay Van Andel wrote to Rich DeVos when the future Amway co-founders were serving in the Armed Forces.   In these letters,  “Dad talked about what they were going to do and the businesses they were going to start” after their service ended.

As Steve told a group of employees today, the exhibit “commemorates the journey Dad and Rich took more than 50 years ago.”

In the case of the exhibit, its journey ends as it comes home to Amway to stay.



Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal special supplement by Direct Selling News reported that in 2010, direct selling companies generated more than $125 billion in revenue in 150 countries. Titled, “The Ulitmate Social Business Model: Why Now is Prime Time for Direct Selling,” the supplement covers direct sales from nearly every angle.

Here are just a few of the many highlights:

  • Page four: “Products and services delivered directly to customers through personalized presentations that are often educational, entertaining and certainly social have enabled direct selling to thrive for decades even through recessions.”
  • Page six: “Clearly, the economic impact of direct selling companies for the United States and for the world simply can not be overlooked.”
  • Page eight: “The direct selling business model has always had a competitive advantage in the training that it offers, both in business and personal skills. It allows people to be retrained while they pursue something new. It gives people an oppportunity when no one else will.”
  • Page 24: “The direct selling industry is very democratic, inviting all segments of the population to participate in business ownership, regardless of income, education or assets.”
  • Page 28: “Direct sellers tend to rave about the support they receive regardless of whether they are in the business for a new lifetime career or just a few months to earn some needed extra income. . . as a result of the training offered by the direct selling companies, [people] were able to step out of their comfort zones, engage in conversations more effectively, speak in front of groups of people, manage time and money more effectively, and ultimately, enrich their lives.” 

From coverage of direct selling as a truly global sales channel, to commentary offered on the speed, power and reach that technology has brought to direct selling, we think the Wall Street Journal and Direct Selling News have put together a real page-turner.


Beauty Salon Science

Editor’s Note:  This post was originally published on the Interns Expose Amway blog.

As an intern in Personal Care Formulation, Rebecca Hyatt spends most of her days in the lab.

She plans, researches and runs different experiments to test the mildness of surfactants (the foamy part) in sulfate-free shampoos and how they’ll interact with human skin cells.

But last week, her research took her to an unexpected location: the beauty salon.

In order to perfect our products, Amway brings in hairstylists and volunteers to test different hair care products and gain feedback. During this process, she was able to watch Scottish stylist, John Gillespie, who trained the hair stylist used by Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, test and give his opinion on some recently developed hair care products from her own lab.

Volunteers were receptive of John’s expertise and gave honest consumer feedback on our products. The volunteers interacted with John, turning what seemed to be a simple experiment into an entertaining, and memorable morning.

 And it reminded her that science can be found in the most common of places.


A sense of belonging

Today, Amway was proud to host the Quaeris Unconference, an open and frank discussion on attracting and retaining a new generation of  young talent with West Michigan mayors (pictured, left to right) Gary Nelund of Norton Shores, George Heartwell of Grand Rapids and Kurt Dykstra of Holland.

Quaeris was founded in 2010 to promote West Michigan as a place where business thrives and people want to live and work. Quaeris means, “to seek,” and the name stems from the Michigan state motto, “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.”

Amway President Doug DeVos started the Unconference by encouraging participants to turn today’s dialogue into real action. “I’ve lived here all my life. I love it here, but there is one thing I know: we could do better,” said DeVos, who believes West Michigan can make people feel more welcome; encourage them to get involved in public service; and ensure our college graduates stay here to make a living and make a difference.

Amway also concluded the Unconference with a presentation on attracting and retaining GenY by Laura Davis, who directs employee engagement and talent acquisition for Amway. Here, more than 100 interns from 50-plus universities enter the doors each year. And 33 percent of them become full-time employees. According to Davis, creating a sense of belonging for GenY is one critical component to building their employer loyalty.

In between DeVos and Davis, ideas like clustering, investing in urban cores and communicating the diversity of experiences available within an easily commutable distance in West Michigan were heard.


500 in 1

A study conducted by Amway in 16 cities throughout Russia showed that more than 60 percent of respondents are immensely concerned about environmental issues caused by non-biodegradable products. 

That’s just one of many reasons Amway Russia supports an initiative called “500 Waste Collection Actions in One Day,” through an organization called Musora. Bolshe. Net, which translates to ”No. More. Waste.” The organization is part of the larger, global Clean Up the World movement.

On May 15, 2011, Musora. Bolshe. Net set out – with 9,000 volunteers throughout Russia – to clean up parks, gardens and other public areas. Amway provided special gloves; garbage bags; LOC mini wipes; other Amway Home products; and most importantly, 470 distributor and employee volunteers.

By the end of the day, more than 160 tons of waste was collected and cities like Moscow, Samara, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk and many others were cleaner. Musora. Bolshe. Net is an ambitious initiative, and 500 is just the beginning.


Statuesque endeavor

Stefan Starzyński was the president of Warsaw before and during the siege of the city by the German Army in 1939. In the city’s Bankowy Square, a statue was erected to honor him in 1993, but nearly two decades later, the memorial was looking rather unkempt.

Enter Amway employees and distributors, armed with the new line of Amway Home products being launched in Europe. On May 27, they volunteered to return the statue to its original splendor. The volunteers used several bottles of cleaning products, 50 liters of water and several hours of their time.

It was a dusty, dirty task, but the passersby and Polish media recognized that if any people - or any product – could do it, it was ours.


Raising more roofs

Earlier this year, more than 80 Amway distributors and employees from the United States, Central America and South America traveled to the Zacapa region of Guatemala to build 43 homes for families in need. Amway donated $500,000 toward the project and Amway Founders Crown Ambassador Tim Foley and his line of affiliation donated an additional $250,000.

Now the program, a partnership with Habitat for Humanity International, is expanding to 10 additional Latin American countries where Amway does business.

In September, volunteers will head to La Matanza in the Buenos Aires Province of Argentina to give more people a home to call their own. Before the end of 2011, more concrete will be mixed; dirt hauled; cinder blocks carried; and barbed wire cut in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador and Costa Rica.

Each market is embarking on its own fundraising activities through promotions, web sites, telephone orders and Amway stores, as we build, reinforce, and raise the ceiling on our commitment to the Latin American region and its people.


This little piggy…

Editor’s Note:  This post was originally published on the Interns Expose Amway blog.

Kaelie Middleton is an intern in the Human Resources department and shares her experience at a recent Lunch and Learn.

Draw a pig.

It must be a side view, have four legs, two ears, one eye, and a curly tail. Oh, and you only have one minute. Go.

Now have a friend do the same thing. Are your pigs identical? Probably not. No worries, the interns in the Operational Excellence department can help.

This past Wednesday, Amway interns lunched and learned while members of the Operational Excellence team described their summer projects. They discussed how they take a current process, such as a production line, and turn it into a more efficient procedure that saves time and money.

By analyzing each procedure, they are able to find where time and energy are wasted and propose ways to change the process. Reducing waste saves time and energy. One intern saved the company 46 minutes of productivity time and $1.8 million.

This time they helped a bunch of interns draw a pig.

Check out what our pigs looked like the first run, and then check out how the OpX team  standarized the instructions to allow us all to become master pig artists!