Amway World Headquarters will be closed today and tomorrow, Nov. 28-29, in celebration of Thanksgiving.
We are always thankful for our Amway Business Owners and employees, but this year, as we look back on the amazing activities that took place on Nov. 20 to mark 10 years of the Amway One by One Campaign for Children, we are especially grateful.
Earlier this month, all four Amway regional presidents sat down to chat with employees at Amway World Headquarters about their corners of the world. They shared insights, initiatives and compelling stories about local corporate citizenship efforts and Amway Business Owners (ABOs).
In Southeast Asia, Jim Payne uses his 30+ years of experience with Amway and time-tested relationships to lead several countries in which Amway already holds a top market share position. He highlighted Amway’s appeal to those under age 35 in Vietnam, one of our newest markets. He told a story of a Japanese ABO who lost half of her family and downline distributors during the 2011 tsunami. The loss motivated her to rebuild her business to the Diamond level in only three years, using her income to support and help rebuild her still-struggling community.
With 30 countries, 26 languages, 19 currencies and 11 time zones, Europe/India/Africa Regional President Samir Behl describes his region as having three advantages: diversity, complexity and opportunity. He shared that there are more women than men in Russia and they live longer. In addition to the societal impact of this, he (only half-jokingly) said this could contribute to a huge demand for beauty products such as ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND.
Last, but certainly not least, in the home region of our headquarters – the Americas – Tanios Viviani says he lives for hearing, and telling, our ABO stories. The Americas president recently attended an event in the United States where he met a Costa Rican native who had left his parents and moved to Mexico to find success, promising not to return until they could be proud of him. After many years and he returned as a Diamond level ABO and was able to tell his mother that “Amway was [his] graduation in life.” That ABO now supports his family with his business. Tanios knows there are others like him capable and willing to do the same and says his region will do more than its part to ensure the Amway opportunity is relevant to future generations.
Across the miles and the 100-plus countries and territories where the Amway opportunity can be found, these four men brought their markets to life and connected our employees in Ada, Michigan, with the ABOs they support all over the world.
“It’s all about the potential of the people,” Amway President Doug DeVos told a regional audience as Amway was recognized this week as one of the best West Michigan companies providing leadership opportunities for women.
“We believe people are the greatest resource that any company or country will ever have. Seeing potential in everyone is the message we have to keep sharing.”
Since the company’s earliest days, values embracing inclusion and diversity of opportunity have been an essential part of the company’s growth, DeVos said. Hearing different voices and ideas has enabled stronger global expansion and helped manage change and opportunity.
For example, shortly after Amway China opened its doors, the Chinese government decided to ban direct selling. DeVos said the wisdom and experience of Amway China president Eva Cheng was instrumental in helping the company become part of the long-term solution and, as a result of her collaborative ideas, Amway has become a leader in China.
DeVos went on to say that his dad and fellow Amway founder Jay Van Andel progressively believed everyone could do everything. That’s how the business got its start – and continues to succeed.
“I always heard Dad tell people: You can do it. You have potential. You can achieve whatever you set your mind to doing,” he continued.
As it grows, the company continues to look for ways to diversify. Amway Chief Marketing Officer Candace Matthews is the executive sponsor of the Women’s Inclusion Network, one of three networks Amway has launched through its diversity and inclusion office. These inclusion groups help employees network with people of similar backgrounds and expose them to developmental and growth opportunities. DeVos cited the development of women as a positive outcome of robust talent development systems. Today more than 31% of global directors at Amway are female.
“The diversity of our team helps strengthen the development of our products, our business plan and our service,” DeVos said. “When helping develop talent, it’s both an art and a science to help people grow and to help them find new opportunities.”
Because Amway operates in more than 100 countries around the world, our 21,000 employees and millions of Amway business owners are seemingly everywhere.
But unlike real estate, location isn’t everything. It takes a major commitment at the foundation of an organization to ensure diversity and inclusion to engage employees and distributors globally and strengthen our business.
Those efforts at Amway are led by Cheryl Kern, who guides us through best practices that leverage and integrate diversity to help our company grow.
Others are noticing Amway’s momentum, including Corp! Magazine, which recently recognized Cheryl for her efforts to highlight Amway as a great place for diverse talent, increase the number of women in leadership positions and partner with leaders to champion and sponsor diversity and inclusion initiatives.
The first step, Cheryl says, is to understand that each of us has a role to advance diversity.
Her advice: Start by simply seeking out someone with different life experiences. See what they think about an idea you’re considering. It might open your eyes to new possibilities and lead to even greater changes in your life and work.
That’s because he has seen first-hand at Amway how opportunity and hard work can help change people’s lives dramatically, creating personal freedom that opens the door for a positive future.
In his role as chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce, Steve speaks about the importance of economic freedom – how it spreads prosperity, drives healthy competition and inspires incredible business innovation.
His message? That free enterprise fosters self-reliance, motivation, dignity and happiness. It inspires people to tap their potential. Armed with those skills and that confidence, they can do more and be more than they ever imagined.
Hard work and success, he says, are critical components for a strong, dynamic economy.
A successful Research & Development department starts with the right group of people: the right combination of education, knowledge and experience. Those people also need to thrive in a collaborative environment and have a real connection with the customer.
It’s an American holiday, yes, but it represents part of what Amway was built on: independence and opportunity. We can all celebrate that!
We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday weekend. (Our corporate offices will be closed today and tomorrow.) And for those in West Michigan, we hope you enjoy the fireworks in downtown Grand Rapids tonight as we continue our sponsorship of the event.
Pool splash fights, campfire sing-alongs, cabin scary story time, nature hikes, new friends… summer camp is one of my favorite memories from when I was in school. But imagine if your camp didn’t have a playground.
Indian Trails Camp, located 6 miles west of Grand Rapids, provides individuals with disabilities camping experiences all year long. But their playground consisted of a rocker, bike track and tire swing. That changed last week thanks to a seven year partnership between KaBOOM! and Amway.
It took the 300 volunteers (200 Amway volunteers/100 community volunteers) only six hours to build a playground with multiple swings, slides and climbing structures that are sensory-friendly and accessible for campers of all skill levels. (The timelapse video below condenses the build into 30 seconds.)
The Amway-KaBOOM! playground builds are special because the volunteers consists of employees from our manufacturing and logistic plants. They have limited opportunity to volunteer during the year because they have to keep production lines going. But for KaBOOM! builds, Amway shuts down the lines for the day so they can take off their safety glasses and pick up rakes, shovels and hammers to make difference in their community.
The Indian Trails Camp playground is the 15th that Amway and KaBOOM! have built in Michigan, the 11th in the Grand Rapids area and the first designed specifically for children with special needs. See a great a photo album on our Amway Facebook page, too!
Entrepreneurship. Partnership. Free enterprise. Themes that have guided Amway since its inception, each serves as a hallmark of the world’s largest business federation – the United States Chamber of Commerce.
We are proud of his leadership role in this prestigious organization – a position he held once before, from 2001 to 2002.
Steve’s belief that business leaders need to share their experiences and knowledge was a lesson he learned from his closest role model. His father, Amway Co-Founder Jay Van Andel, also served in 1979-80. They are the first father-son duo to hold the chairman position – not only at the U.S. Chamber, but also at Amway.
That legacy of leadership is an excellent example for us all.
If you drive past the Amway World Headquarters today, you will see 57 United States flags lining the front of campus to commemorate Flag Day.
On most other days, the poles display the state of Michigan flag and 56 international flags representing the many countries in which we do business. (We operate in more than 100 countries and territories, but local regulations allow us only 57 flagpoles. So we make sure to rotate them regularly.)
“People driving by Amway find it really special to see the street lined with American flags. They’ll honk their horns to show their patriotism,” said Kammie Van Oosten, team leader of Ada Facilities Buildings and Grounds.
Van Oosten’s team of about 10 employees raise, lower and change flags as needed all while adhering to strict protocol for displaying the American flag through storms and sunshine. In addition to Flag Day, the flags are switched out on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day or other appropriate occasions.
There is a strict protocol for the American flag, but the facilities team treats every flag with the same respect. “We have important rules we follow at all times,” Van Oosten said. “One is that the flags must never touch the ground. This can be very difficult in bad weather.”
Flag Day is a U.S. holiday, but you don’t have to be in the U.S. to honor your flag. Share a picture of your country’s flag using #AmwayFlagDay on Twitter or Instagram. We look forward to seeing them!
Disclaimer: The authors of these blogs are Amway employees. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily reviewed in advance by anyone but the individual author. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the view of Amway or any other person or company.