BLOG ARCHIVE FOR: October, 2012


Growing positive relationships

In 1912, Japan gave 3,000 cherry trees to the United States as a goodwill gesture.  Every spring hundreds of thousands of people visit Washington D.C. to see these trees in bloom.

To celebrate the centennial of that generous gift, the U.S. Embassy of Japan has given additional trees to communities all around the U.S.  And one of those trees is taking root right here in West Michigan.

As part of Amway Japan’s sponsorship of the Georgetown University Leadership Program (GULP) with The Japan Times, a cherry tree has been planted at the Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden under construction at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

The GULP program is designed to identify and develop future Japanese government and media leaders and build positive relationships.  The fourth GULP delegation visited Grand Rapids last week, including the garden site.

Just as the original gift of trees was designed to foster friendship and positive relations between the two countries, this tree is a symbol of the relationships Amway Japan is growing with emerging Japanese media and government leaders through the GULP program. See more photos on our Amway Facebook page.


Theory and Practice in Poland

Last month marked the 4th annual Women’s Congress of Poland, the country’s premier event focusing on the empowerment of women.

In fact, Women’s Congress is more of a movement than an event. The movement is non-political and growing both in strength and significance with more than 200 prominent and active women including politicians, entrepreneurs, civil activists, ministers, culture activists and feminists serving on its Council.

This year’s gathering attracted 9,500 participants including Poland’s First Lady and was sponsored by Amway Poland.  Themed “Activeness, Entrepreneurship and Independence,” it was the perfect stage from which to present the results of the 2011 Amway European Entrepreneurship Report showing that 68 percent (up slightly from 2010) of Polish people see self-employment positively.


Phytonutrients: Better is better

When you think about the Nutrilite story, China is really where it all began.

It was nearly 100 years ago that Carl Rehnborg was living and working in China when the “seed” of an idea came to him: He noticed a difference between the health of people living in towns and those living in the country.

He also noticed they had different diets. That’s when he made the connection between health and nutrition.

This week, a team from our Nutrilite Health Institute in Buena Park, California, is headed back to China to discuss the latest research connecting health to nutrition at the China & Korea Joint International Phytonutrient Symposium.

The mantra “more is better” is often applied to supplements, including phytonutrients, those wonderful things in fruits and vegetables that give them their vibrant colors. But NHI Director of Research and Development Keith Randolph, PhD, will present the case for “better is better.”

What does that mean? If you get the right kinds of phytonutrients in the right amounts, it will buoy your body’s own defense mechanisms.

“This research is in its early stages, but we have data that shows cruciferous vegetables as being particularly potent inducers of antioxidant response within the body,” Randolph said. (To save you a trip to Wikipedia, some examples of cruciferous vegetables are broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and cabbage.)

Randolph will be joined at the symposium by nine leading nutritionists from Canada, Japan, China and Korea. And it will include opening remarks from Colleen Carkeet, PhD, senior group leader in Global Regulatory Affairs at Amway.

The event is hosted by China Nutrition Society and the Korean Society of Food Science and Technology. Amway China Ltd and Amway Korea are sponsors.

The symposium takes place on Friday. For live updates, follow us on Twitter.


Fishing for a Cause

We’ve already told you about the wildlife habitat that makes up 180 of the 430 acres at our World Headquarters in Ada, Michigan. But did you know that includes a 17.5-acre lake?

Fondly called Lake Amway, it holds 22.5 million gallons of water and has an average depth of 30 feet. Recently, we also found out it is home to some pretty big fish.

For the first time ever, we opened up Lake Amway for fishing to employees, their friends and family as part of our efforts to raise money for the Heart of West Michigan United Way.

Seventeen people signed up for the charity fishing tournament, competing for bragging rights in several categories. We won’t name the winners for fear people will pester them for autographs and fishing tips, but here is a list of the fish that earned them their honors:

  • Quickest catch: largemouth bass in 5 seconds.
  • Largest fish: 22 ¼-inch catfish.
  • Smallest fish: 3 ¼-inch smallmouth bass
  • Most fish caught by one angler: 38
  • Catch of the day: An 11-inch bluegill that qualified for a Master Angler Award by the Department of Natural Resources.

At the end of the day, 294 bass, perch, catfish and bluegill were landed. More importantly, the event raised more than $700 for the United Way. Well done!

Check out a photo album from the day at our Amway Facebook page.


ARTISTRY in the spotlight

ARTISTRY played a “break out” role at the 17th Busan International Film Festival as the Diamond Premiere Exclusive Sponsor of the annual competition. The festival ran from Oct. 4-13 and included more than 221,000 guests and 304 films from 75 countries.

The event also featured celebrities, screenwriters, producers, directors and entertainment industry professionals. Among them? Emerging Hollywood actress Teresa Palmer. We know her better as the global face of ARTISTRY.

Palmer’s recent film, “Wish You Were Here,” was filmed in Cambodia and screened at BIFF. She shined in a Naeem Khan tufted taffeta, bejeweled gown. And, thanks to a billboard 74 meters wide and 29 meters tall, she also took center stage during a fireworks display.

“It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life,” Palmer said. “Seeing my face emblazoned on a gigantic billboard is one thing, but sharing the evening with such amazing talent from around the world in support of independent filmmaking – I felt so blessed.”

Amway Chief Marketing Officer Candace Matthews said ARTISTRY’s sponsorship of BIFF shows Amway is staking its claim as one of the top five premium skincare brands around the world.

“Our goal is to help all women take their beauty forward with superior products that perform, and a business opportunity that helps them play the ‘leading ladies’ in their own lives with grace and poise,” Matthews said.

Check out more photos from the amazing 10-day festival at ARTISTRY’s Facebook page.


Vision, Farsightedness, Determination

Milan, Italy is home to some of the world’s most well known entrepreneurs in fashion and food.

And it is there, last week, that Amway Europe Corporate Affairs Vice President Michael Meissner was on stage at the SELDIA (European Direct Selling Association) Annual Roundtable on the Future of Direct Selling.

His topic? The European entrepreneurial culture and outlook, fed by data from the 2011 Amway European Entrepreneurship Report titled “The Next Generation of Entrepreneurs.”

The study, in partnership with GfK Market Research and the LMU Entrepreneurship Center, surveyed nearly 14,000 people in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. Key findings included:

  • Half of 14-29 year olds can see themselves as entrepreneurs in the future.
  • Positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship are growing throughout Europe, but most significantly in Great Britian, Austria and Ukraine.
  • To encourage entrepreneurship, we must remove the stigma of failure and increase mentoring and education.
  • Denmark is the country that sees self employment the most positively.
  • Non materialistic reasons, such as work-family balance, are gaining ground as top reasons for becoming an entrepreneur.

Then, Meissner participated in a panel discussion with Italian academicians, consumer advocates and government officials on actions that could be taken across the European Union to foster more entrepreneurship. Participant Maria Ida Germontani, a member of the Italian Senate Finance Committee, said something we really liked: that “vision, farsightedness and determination” would help people translate their talents and creativity into real, viable businesses that would drive the worldwide economy.

As an incubator of the entrepreneurial spirit, Amway – and we’re sure our distributors feel the same- could not agree more.


The Star Treatment

The winners of Amway Europe’s Home Demo contest received their free trip to our World Headquarters this month to have their winning demonstrations professionally produced. The three couples, who came from Russia, Ukraine and Germany, received the star treatment for the duration of their stay while they demonstrated the powerful qualities of our PreWash Spray, L.O.C. Mini Wipes and L.O.C. Multi Purpose Cleaner.  If you want proof, check out our Amway Facebook photo album or this video. These Amway business owners, like all others across the world, truly are the stars of our company.


Assessing Sustainability

Do you know what Life Cycle Assessment is?

 It has become pretty important at Amway. LCA, is an internationally recognized way to determine the environmental impact of a product throughout its life cycle. An LCA analyzes the entire production process from raw materials to manufacturing to distribution to “end of life management.” (Can it be recycled or will it go to a landfill?)

 Amway Research Scientist David Byrne recently attended the LCA XII Conference in Tacoma, Washington, and shared the evolution of Amway’s use of LCA and our goal to be recognized as a sustainability leader in the direct sales industry. Here is the gist of his message:

 Amway’s first product, L.O.C., was a phosphate-free, all-purpose cleaner that was one of the first bio-degradable products on the market. It was the first of many products we designed with environmental considerations. The company’s founders did this because it was the right thing to do.

 However, our Independent Business Owners, customers and partners now want to know about our sustainability efforts. That’s why in 2009 Amway started using LCA. As a test case, an LCA helped shape the design of the new eSpring system launched in Japan that year. The result? It used 46% less energy than its predecessor.

Now sustainability requirements are integrated into corporate objectives for all new products and sustainability claims are tested along with performance claims. At Amway, LCA has been used successfully, and it’s gaining recognition inside and outside the company.


Giving thanks


When Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel decided to expand Amway beyond U.S. borders in 1962, they didn’t go far.

That year Amway Canada launched in London, Ontario, as the company’s first international market, a four-hour drive away from our world headquarters in Ada, Michigan.

Today Amway Canada  commemorates its 50th anniversary. The celebration has been going on all year, through different events to mark the golden anniversary. A 50th anniversary video tells the story of Amway Canada from the perspectives of the distributors and employees who helped build our business there.  Others have shared thoughts and words on a “virtual memory wall” at Amway Canada’s Facebook page.   

Yesterday Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving.   Today, we give thanks for the distributors, employees and customers who have made Amway Canada what it is today.


Art “strides”


This week ArtPrize, the world’s largest open art competition, was the setting for a program that allowed kids from low-income families to “take strides” to see the some of the 1,517 pieces on display – and help them create their own works of art.

The first-ever Mayor’s ArtWalk was an opportunity for 55 middle school students to join Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell on an educational and awe-inspiring walking tour of ArtPrize.

For some of the students, the ArtWalk was their first opportunity to see ArtPrize – by foot or otherwise.

For their art teacher, a $2,500 donation from Amway will provide resources to help these budding artists make strides in their own artistic development.

As arts programs have suffered dramatic budget cuts in recent years, donations like this help give students the tools they need to learn and create. 

And maybe even inspire a future ArtPrize winner!