“Grand Rapids”


Persons of Influence

Every year Time Magazine selects its “Person of the Year,” the individual, organization, idea or object that most influenced the world in a given year.

Earlier this year the Economic Club of Grand Rapids honored four leaders with connections to Amway as “Persons of the Year.”

Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and President Doug DeVos were selected “Business Persons of the Year” for their leadership of Amway as well as efforts to improve their hometown of Grand Rapids. They were lauded for their partnership in leading Amway to unprecedented success, including their commitment to “do the right thing and do it well.”

And Amway Cofounder Rich DeVos and wife Helen were honored for their legacy of community leadership and giving, which literally changed the skyline and future of the city. They were celebrated for being a “catalyst and spark” for the reinvention of Grand Rapids through their “leadership, positive drive and can-do attitude.”

From running a global business in Ada, to giving generously, to leading change in our community, these four meet the criteria for “influence.” And they’ve definitely made a difference in our corner of the world.

This video takes a closer look at Rich and Helen’s contributions.

YouTube Direkt


Playgrounds Rule!

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!

YouTube Direkt

Written by Austin Langlois


Expansion Continues

We are happy to welcome several guests to our community Wednesday as we officially mark construction of our $81 million manufacturing and warehouse facility near our World Headquarters, one of seven sites around the world where we are expanding manufacturing.

We first announced this project last year as part of a larger investment in U.S. operations. Work is ongoing in Quincy, Washington, and in Buena Park, California. And our new protein powder plant at our World Headquarters became operational last year.

But tomorrow the spotlight will be on our 317,000-square-foot plant at 5101 Spaulding Ave. SE. just down the road from our main campus. Since we’re renovating an existing building, a ground-breaking ceremony with gold shovels didn’t seem appropriate. So invited guests, including distributors, employees, local business and government officials and the media, will bear witness to a “beam-signing” to officially kick-off the project.

We anticipate the plant will yield 200 jobs over the next three years with construction wrapping up in 2015. Stay tuned!


Purpose, passion, potential

“Amway was founded on the belief that, by helping people improve their lives, they could make the world a better place.”

So begins the message from our Chairman Steve Van Andel and our President Doug DeVos in the Amway 2012 Global Corporate Social Responsibility Report released today.

The annual report highlights the many ways our company, its more than 21,000 employees and more than 3 million distributors make a difference in the lives of others.

That includes building homes in Latin America, providing water filters in Haiti, building libraries in China and adopting schools right here in the hometown of our World Headquarters.

Corporate Social Responsibility is built into everything we do: our people, our products and our performance.

 Steve and Doug credit their fathers for recognizing the potential in this business for making a difference.

“They made it their mission to be more, do more, give more. And more than a half-century later, we’re still emulating their powerful example. … We’re awed by how far we’ve come and inspired to keep becoming more, together.”

Read the full report here.


It’s official: Amway is ‘Bike Friendly’

Amway was recently given a new designation that we are pretty proud of: We are officially a Bike Friendly Business.

The League of American Bicyclists gave us the designation at the bronze level, giving us praise for the cycling club started last year at our World Headquarters, providing lockers and shower facilities for bikers and sponsoring Bike to Work Day in May with refreshments, incentives and prizes.

Twenty-six employees rode their bikes into work that day, traveling a total of 1,096 miles. Nutrilite also provided sports drinks and energy bars for other official “pit stops” on that day.

Andy Bix, site manager and fitness specialist at our on-site Optimal You Fitness Facility, said Amway sought out the designation.

“Amway has a large cycling population, so it seemed like a natural fit,” he said. “Plus, it supports Grand Rapids (Michigan) in becoming a Bike Friendly Community.” (Grand Rapids also has a bronze rating.)

Amway received the honor in October along with 71 other new BFBs. They joined nearly 500 businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies across the U.S.

“Businesses may be the engine of our economy, but more and more are realizing that the bi cycle can be a powerful catalyst for increased profits, reduced healthcare costs, happier employees and more customers,” League President Andy Clarke said.

Bix said Amway is not done. Based on recommendations from the league, the company is considering providing incentives for bike commuters, creating commuter challenges to increase participation and connecting with local advocacy groups to increase awareness of cycling and healthy living.

“Our goal would be to reach silver within the next four years,” he said.


Flowers of flame

To Vivian Yuan and Christy Xin, fireworks are flowers of flame floating in the night sky.

Vivian and Christy, who are on assignment from China at Amway World Headquarters, agreed to share that poetic perspective as a preview to the Amway-sponsored 4th of July Family Fireworks celebration Wednesday in Grand Rapids.

Their observations?

Meaning: In Chinese, “fireworks” translates to flowers of flame. In English, it is art works of fire.

History: Fireworks are a blend of ancient science, modern technology, infinite imagination and beautiful wishes. They originated in China over a thousand years ago, and were introduced to the Western world in the 19th century.

Moments: Fireworks are associated with breath-taking moments all over the world. Examples include the July 4th fireworks in the U.S., the fireworks of the walking gigantic footprints at the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony and fireworks over Sydney Harbour in Australia on New Year’s Eve.

Wherever these events take place, these “blooming flowers” in the sky create happiness reflected through the smiles on our faces, say Vivian and Christy.

We look forward to sharing that happiness with our friends and neighbors in West Michigan this week.


Garden of friendship

For centuries, the tea house has been a key element of a Japanese garden.

It’s a tranquil place. Before you enter, you cleanse your face and hands to symbolically check your cares and worries at the door. 

It’s a harmonious place, where you meet with friends, receive special tea and cake, and enjoy your time together. 

It’s also a familiar place for our recent guests at Amway World Headquarters, who participated in the Georgetown University Leadership Program, supported by Amway Japan and The Japan Times.

They were excited to learn that a tea house is planned for the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, as part of The Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden. Construction for the project begins in 2013.

During a preview and personal tour of the future garden site, they shared their stories and suggestions for the first official tea ceremony with David Hooker, president and CEO at Frederik Meijer Gardens.

Already new friendships are starting to blossom.


Taking nutrition to new heights

Plant manager James Bowman leads reporters through the nutrition products plant


Journalists love to go behind the scenes. The “hard hat” tour is always popular because media can share news on what’s happening before buildings are completed, ribbons are cut and products are produced.  

That’s why we opened the doors today to our $24 million Nutrition Product Plant at our mile-long manufacturing complex in Ada, Michigan. Media toured the state-of-the-art production facility, interviewed our operations leaders and sampled the Nutrilite products that will be made there.  

This is the first time Amway has produced Nutrilite products in Michigan.  The plant will produce our best-selling  NUTRILITE protein powder, sold by distributors all over the world. Other products to be made at the facility  include POSITRIM meal replacement powder, ACTIVE 8 powder drink mix and INVISIFIBER fiber packs.  

Another first is an innovative work system designed by and for employees at the new plant, including a new work schedule and long-term career path.  Nutrilite employees in California worked closely with the Michigan team to transfer knowledge and processes.  

For this tour, instead of hard hats, media donned safety goggles, lab coats and hair nets to tour the three-story facility.  

We’re taking our No. 1 brand to even higher heights. Learn more on Mlive Media, WZZM and our global newsroom.

YouTube Direkt



One day last week a team of more than 200 volunteers descended on a city park and transformed an old play space into a new playground for kids to enjoy.

But what seemed to happen in a matter of hours was actually the result of months of planning by the City of Grand Rapids, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, the Creston Neighborhood Association, Amway and neighbors of Aberdeen Park.

The transformation of Aberdeen Park was the 9th KaBOOM! playground installation supported by Amway in Grand Rapids and the 13th Amway has sponsored in U.S. cities.

But the most important number in this story is 6,000 – that’s the number of children who live near Aberdeen Park who now have a new, safe place to play.


A perfect match

Amway is and has always been considered a “local” company here in West Michigan, even though today we have a global presence in more than 80 countries and territories around the world.

And now, we’re helping shine a spotlight on other local businesses through sponsorship of business content on  The Rapidian, a citizen journalism project designed to “increase the flow of local news and information in the Grand Rapids community and its neighborhoods.” 

Amway sponsored the development of ”The Marketplace“ section of The Rapidian and is the underwriter of the “Innovation Spotlight” stories about local businesses.  

In making the announcement this week, Amway Brand Manager David Madiol called the relationship between The Rapidian and Amway a “perfect match” because we’re both about celebrating innovation in our community. 

It’s just one of the many ways we’re involved in local activities here in our hometown and in the dozens of cities in which Amway operates around the world.