BLOG ARCHIVE FOR: December, 2012


Happy New Year!

As we say goodbye to 2012 and greet 2013, we reflect on our Founders Fundamentals: Freedom, Family, Hope, Reward.

Those fundamentals have laid the foundation for where our company is today and help us remain optimistic for the future.

Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and President Doug DeVos recently shared that optimism with a local business publication for its Crystal Ball project, a look at what Michigan business people consider the major issues for 2013.

Steve and Doug acknowledged the challenges faced by the economy, but they said they put their faith in people.

“We tend to be optimistic in them and what they do and how well they do. We think that makes a huge difference in the future and in the future of our business,” they said.

And about that economy? “We think the economy, on a global basis, has a lot of optimism to it. There’s potential everywhere.”

On that optimistic note, we wish all of you a wonderful new year filled with Freedom, Family, Hope and Reward.

(Our World Headquarters will be closed Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.)


Seeking Healthy Agriculture, Healthy Nutrition, Healthy People

The numbers don’t lie: The prevalence of high-calorie, low-nutritient food coupled with sedentary lifestyles is leading the world down a dangerous path. Worldwide obesity nearly doubled between 1980 and 2008, according to the World Health Organization. As a result, more than half a billion adults worldwide are obese.

To help address this issue, Nutrilite Health Institute President Dr. Sam Rehnborg recently participated in a special conference at the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy. The Healthy Agriculture, Healthy Nutrition, Healthy People conference was a select gathering of thought leaders from across the globe. Experts in public policy, economics, nutrition, medicine and law, along with food and agricultural industry representatives, spent three days wrestling with the issue of global obesity and nutrition. They were striving to understand the obstacles governments face when attempting to implement policies that could lead to optimal diets for their populations.

The conference was organized by Nutrilite Scientific Advisory Board member and pre-eminent Omega-3s expert Artemis Simopoulos and her Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation. Also in attendance was Scientific Advisory Board member Richard Johnson, an expert on the role of fructose in the obesity epidemic, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and hypertension.

Conference members recognized that one way to address global obesity and improve nutriltion worldwide is through sustainable agriculture, an area of expertise for Nutrilite. They also discussed shaping diets based on scientific evidence, economic considerations, regional factors influencing policy change and local initiatives to educate industry.

Perhaps the conference could be more easily characterized as a “think tank,” a gathering of leaders seeking pragmatic solutions that can translate into actual results. The participants will soon publish a white paper presenting their outcomes and policy suggestions. The goal is to help governments address global obesity and the chronic diseases that result from it.

With at least 2.8 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese, it is a goal worth pursuing.


The Giving Spirit

The generosity of Amway employees and distributors shines throughout the year, but it shines the brightest during the holidays.

Some of the generosity is organized by the company, while other efforts developed organically from the employees, such as that done by our ARTISTRY beauty team at World Headquarters.

For the past eight years, the beauty team has shopped for young children at Christmas, the last three for those at D.A. Blodgett St. John’s Clancy House. St. John’s provides services to children and families, including foster care, adoption and an emergency shelter.

This year four girls woke up Christmas morning to large bags filled with American Girl dolls, iPods, DVD and CD players, books, games, Pillow Pets, personal care items and “all things girly,” such as nail polish and hair products.

“It’s extremely important for us to give these girls the magic of Christmas,” Amway Beauty Manager Dawn Carbines told “We make sure that every kid gets these gifts – no matter how many girls there are.”

That Christmas morning surprise follows other efforts by our World Headquarters employees, including Santa’s Secret Workshops and Christmas celebrations at local schools and one employee who dresses up as Old St. Nick himself for some special children each year. (And those are just a few of the ones we know about!)

That same spirit shines in Amway families across the world, too. Read about more examples at our Amway One by One blog. Happy Holidays!



Amway Co-Founder Rich DeVos wished our employees at World Headquarters a Merry Christmas earlier this month and read aloud the traditional Christmas story.

For those who celebrate, we extend the same wishes to you: Merry Christmas!

(Our World Headquarters will be closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.)


The Holidays with Teresa and Rick

It may be the holidays, but ARTISTRY Global Face Teresa Palmer and ARTISTRY Global Makeup Artist Rick DiCecca worked overtime for us. The duo were kind enough to share their holiday wishes, traditions and shopping lists via the ARTISTRY Facebook page. We chose a few to share here, too. 

FAVORITES: Something they have in common: ”Miracle on 34th Street” is their favorite holiday movie. And they won’t be found watching it alone since “togetherness” and “gathering with friends and family” is what they love most about this time of year.

SHOPPING: We don’t want to spoil the surprise, but their friends and family can count on receiving some ARTISTRY products as gifts this year. Teresa will be giving out more than one ARTISTRY Creme L/X and Rick plans to introduce his nieces to a set of ARTISTRY makeup brushes. (Funny how that works out, isn’t it?)

GIVING BACK: Teresa and her best friend will spend time making sandwiches that they will hand out to the homeless in Los Angeles this year. Rick’s schedule keeps him very busy, so he made sure to donate to Heifer International, which provides livestock to families in villages across the world as a means of sustaining support.

FOOD: Teresa is looking forward to her stepmother’s barbecue fish and fresh mango avocado salad, while Rick will be enjoying his family’s tradition of seafood dishes, like spicy tomato sauce with lobster over homemade pasta and fresh shrimp. (“And there’s always room for homemade cannoli and Christmas cookies!”)

SNOW: Are they dreaming of a white Christmas? For Teresa it would be a first. “I would love a white Christmas! I’ve never had one before, but the snow would add to the magic Christmas spirit.”

Not so much for Rick. “Not my thing,” he said. “For many years, I’ve gone someplace sunny on Christmas day and have stayed to celebrate the New Year.”

If you plan to spend the holidays in Miami this year, watch for Rick and say hello. That’s where he’ll be ringing in 2013.


The jolliest volunteer


More than half of Amway’s West Michigan employees volunteer in some way to help children.

But no one does it quite like Kraig Haybarker.

Kraig, who’s a distribution coordinator at our North American Regional Distribution Center,  is a Hospice Santa, making the holidays merry and bright for the youngest patients served by Hospice of Michigan. 

Hospice’s Early Care program provides support for children coping with a long-term illness or chronic condition.

Kraig, as Santa, just paid his third visit to three siblings who suffer from a genetic disorder that causes blindness, seizures and developmental complications. Violet, Willie and Carson Sherman, who have each lost their sight, have come to know the sound of this special Santa’s voice.  

Santa brought gifts of teddy bears, recorders, a copy of The Polar Express and bells from Dasher and Rudolph’s harnesses. 

But more than anything, he brought the joy of the season, which Kraig says he wishes could last all year long.  “Wouldn’t it be great if we all had that same smile, glow and happiness in our voice every time we met someone?” he wrote to the Shermans.

Kraig isn’t finished spreading good cheer.  The jolliest volunteer at Amway will host a live web chat today with Mlive  from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. Eastern Time and answer questions as Santa.


People power

Nearly 70,000 Amway distributors, employees and their guests: That’s the total number of people who came to see Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel on his recent tour of three cities in China and one in Taiwan.

Our leadership makes annual trips to markets across the world to recognize the our top performing distributors, rewarding and recognizing them for their hard work and leadership and motivating them to keep striving.

Van Andel spoke to 11,000 in Beijing, 13,000 in Guangzhou and 10,000 in Shanghai. And when he traveled to Taipei, Taiwan, he spoke to two crowds of 17,000 each. In Taipei he also was joined by Dr. Sam Rehnborg, president of the Nutrilite Health Institute and, at one of the events, Holly Chen, one the most successful distributors in Amway’s history.

In the more than 50 years that Amway has been operating, Van Andel told the crowd he has seen many changes in the company.

“But what hasn’t changed is the people,” he said. “It’s the people that make Amway successful. People like all of you.”

See more photos of his visit at our Facebook page,


Achievements for Amway Vietnam

Our friends in Vietnam started the year with a celebration and they’re ending it with a wonderful recognition.

Amway Vietnam’s manufacturing plant in Dong Nai became the first direct selling company in Vietnam to earn the ISO certification and OHSAS certification from the British Standards Institution for environmental protection, health and labor safety. 

The ISO 14001:2004 certification is for the company’s environment management system and the OHSAS 18001:2007 is for its occupational health and safety management system.

“We are very honored to receive these famous certificates. They are evidence that Amway Vietnam is a responsible corporate citizen caring for environment protection, as well as staff’s occupational health and safety,” said How Kam Chiong, general director of Amway Vietnam.

“This marks another major milestone in our sustainable development and a remarkable affirmation for our long-term commitment in this potential market.”

It’s a great way to wrap up 2012 for Amway Vietnam, which started the year with a grand opening celebration for its new office in training center in the Cau Giay district of Hanoi. Vietnam is our newest market and next year will celebrate its five year anniversary. They’ve accomplished quite a bit in those five years!


Leading the Industry

Amway launched in 1959 with one of the world’s first biodegradable cleaners, LOC. Why did Amway start with the home care category? As Co-Founder Rich DeVos used to say, “Everybody needs soap.”

More than 50 years later, Amway continues to be a leader in the home care industry, and our executives take that role seriously.

Amway Vice President Catherine Ehrenberger, who works with research & development and quality and regulatory issues, this month was elected chair of the American Cleaning Institute Board of Directors. Her tenure follows that of Amway Vice President George Calvert, who works with supply chain management and research & development and is a past chairman of the organization. He now serves on the Personal Care Products Council Board of Directors

The American Cleaning Institute, formerly The Soap and Detergent Association, represents the $30 billion U.S. cleaning products market. Its members are dedicated to improving health and the quality of life through sustainable cleaning products and practices.

Amway is honored to be a part of that mission.


Fearless Females

According to the 2012 Amway Entrepreneurship Report, women in Britain are less afraid to fail at business than their male counterparts and a  full 74% of them believe they have already have the skills to succeed as entrepreneurs.

We know that lack of courage/fear of failure is a barrier to starting a business for many, but when it comes to what motivates people, this year’s study held a surprise – showing that fitting work around family life is an equally important inspiration for women and men.

This article explores other gender-specific differences discovered in the study, which includes interview with nearly 18,000 people from 16 European countries. It was done in partnership with Entrepreneurship Centre at Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians University and GfK in Nuremberg, Germany.

We believe the Entrepreneurship Centre Director Andy Goldstein best summarized the findings on females. He said, ”We have already seen women breaking down the barriers that existed in business and making a huge contribution in terms of ideas and the drive to make them work. The research shows that if they have an idea, they are prepared to run with it and this is something the UK and the rest of Europe must harness.”