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


Greetings from Kate@The Gate

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

Hello Fellow Interns!

My name is Kate and I’m the student intern within the Protection Services Department. I’m very excited to begin blogging about my experience with Protection Services. Many interns and employees aren’t quite sure what our responsibilities are, and I can tell you- we do far more than just hang out the Main Gate window to check your passes!

For my first entry, I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself.

I’m originally from Grand Rapids, born and raised! I’m an only child, and an Amway kid. When I was young I thought that Amway was a secret government agency- probably because I was a young X-files fan and I thought that World Headquarters looked like an alien spaceship! What an honor it is to be interning at this ‘secret agency’.

I’m passed my sci-fi fascination, but being a true-crime nerd isn’t much better. Once in college at GVSU, I found myself reading Criminal Justice textbooks in my free time…as a Health Science major. After spending countless hours learning about forensics, private security, and criminal investigation, I made the switch to ‘CJ’. I’ll be a senior this year, still set on CJ, with an emphasis on crimes against women and victimology.

In my free-time I’m a self-defense instructor-I teach an assault defense course for women. Becoming a self-defense instructor has been my greatest accomplishment, next to receiving my internship offer, of course! My goal at Amway is to incorporate these classes into my summer project. Being a self-defense instructor, I’m interested in martial arts disciplines. I received a green-belt in Thai-kickboxing, and I have some experience in traditional boxing.

In a previous blog entry, Esther Looker mentioned her love of animals. We’ve got something in common there! I have a soft-spot for all things cute and fuzzy. My current roommate is a rabbit, who is a hoppy, nose-wriggling ball of fluff. Most people are shocked to hear that I’ve never had a bite of steak in my life… and I plan on keeping it that way. I’m a struggling lacto-ovo vegetarian…I relapse with chicken weekly.

I could blab on endlessly about my hobbies, but I’ll end on this note:

Congratulations fellow interns, we’re so lucky to have been given this opportunity at such amazing company. I trust that all of you will do great things within your departments. Good luck, work hard and have fun!


Meet Ryan Flaherty

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

Please welcome Ryan Flaherty, an intern in the Quality Assurance department (and a fellow Laker!).

Today is the Friday of my first week.  I have to admit there is much more reading than I ever could have anticipated but I suppose it’s almost a right of passage to get to the “fun stuff.”

You may be asking yourself, “What is the fun stuff?” To explain, I’m a bit of a lab rat.  I am going into my senior year at Grand Valley State University as a Chemistry major.  So for me the “fun stuff” is working in the lab!  I guess I’ve always been a hands-on kind of guy, to be honest.  I love working on my car and tinkering with anything I can get my hands on.

This summer my project is the “Development and Validation of a consolidated UPLC Method for the simultaneous determination of AA2G, DPG and SA in finished products.”  Some of you may have just read the project title and mentally checked out, so I’ll try and get you back by letting you know that basically I’ll be trying to find a more efficient way of analyzing finished products for the three compounds listed above.  Some who read this will think that this sounds about as interesting as watching diamonds form….but to me it is very exciting!  I will be the first to admit I am a complete nerd in that sense.  However, I have taken ownership of my nerdy-ness and embraced it!

That’s pretty much the overview of my project, but what about the facility and the people here?  Both are unrivaled by anything I have been exposed to before. The facilities are state-of-the-art and HUGE!  It is my sincere belief that the Amway complex could be a self-sufficient city of it’s own…..well seeing as they make food and every necessity I can think of here….maybe a self-sufficient little country?  Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but you get my point.  The work environment is fantastic and the most welcoming I have ever been in!  Not once have I been made to feel like “the new guy” and everyone is very inclusive whether it is with lunch plans or conversations.

Long story short, I drive here in the morning, “on my way to work,” but once I get here eight hours don’t seem like enough and the question that crosses my mind when its “quitin’ time” for the day is… I really have to go home?


Hola, bonjour, g’day, guten tag!

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

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Leah Zuber, the public relations intern in the corporate communications department, and new managing editor of Interns Expose Amway. I graduate next month with a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Grand Valley State University. I am thrilled to join the Amway community.

I have some blogging experience under my belt, as I’m a contributor for the Classroom to Cubicle Project and used to manage my own blog. In addition to reading me on here, you can also find me conversing on social media channels like Twitter (follow me!), Facebook, Foursquare and LinkedIn.

I’m a Michigan native, originally from Howell, and fell in love with West Michigan when I began at GVSU. In fact, I never want to leave and strive to eventually call this area my home. As my Twitter Bio reads, I’m a “mad coffee drinker” – couldn’t go a day without it. I also love reading, anything from Elizabeth Kostova to the Twilight series (yes, I said it. I’m hopeless) to trashy gossip magazines.

But back to the blog.  This summer’s group of eager and enthusiastic interns will continue to expose, reveal and unravel the purposes and functions behind a diverse group of Amway departments. We’ll show you, first-hand, the places we visit and the people we meet by recording our visits and sharing them with you here.

In addition, we will blog about our learning experiences and the role interns play at Amway.

That said, what are some areas of Amway you’d like us to expose? What are you dying to know about interns or interning at Amway?

Feel free to comment below and tell us what you’re interested in learning about.


Hard work, it really does pay off

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

If it was easy, everyone would be doing it….have you ever heard that saying before? I have heard this a few times while growing up, but lately I have spent some time thinking about it. It seems like most of the things people want in life do not come easy. Hard work isn’t necessarily physical. It can also be mental, like having a positive attitude. Since graduating college back in April I have been reflecting on how I got to where I am today. I don’t believe anything is a coincidence. Everything happens for a reason.

Even going back to high school I think about when I was involved with sports and how that has shaped my attitude and work ethic. I wasn’t the best athlete. I had to work hard for my playing time. Also, I moved to a new high school my sophomore year. That helped me to understand that life is going to throw you curveballs, and sometimes the ball will hit you…hard. It was not easy to leave my friends since middle school and I was quite comfortable of where we were living at that time. From this I have learned to adapt to change. I believe this helped me when I set out on my college journey and when I studied abroad in Barcelona.

Throughout my four years of college, it was definitely a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. Some classes were easy, some seemed like it consumed my life. Even being involved with different organizations was a blast, but at times I felt like I stretch myself out so far that I thought I was going to break. During these times I had some awesome accomplishments and met some amazing people. In fact, being involved in Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), led me to land my internship at Amway Global. During my time here I have worked hard and helped out anyway I can. This past summer my efforts were recognized because my team surprised me by nominating me for the 2009 Public Relations Student of Year Award, which I ended up winning! :)

I am grateful that I have my job here because I know some of my peers are still on the job search. I just want to tell them to keep trying and working hard. It will pay off.

Have you ever worked hard on something and achieved your goal? What was it like? What was your goal? How long did it take? I would love to hear from you!


Starting a new chapter

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

When I was a young girl, I would always imagine what kind a person I would be like when I got older. Like what would look like, what kind of job would I have, or even what kind of car I would drive. But I always knew that I was going to college because my parents have always told so me ever since I understood the meaning of it. A couple weeks ago I accomplished this goal. I graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations.

I can’t believe how fast the four years of college went by. It seems like just yesterday I was driving with my parents on the long stretch of Lake Michigan Drive to campus feeling like I was going to throw up from being so nervous. I knew that this experience was going to have a significant impact on my life. After one bad roommate experience (I swear she is psycho), all-nighters, eating Ramen noodles for a weeks at a time, meeting new friends and professors, and always having a full schedule, I can honestly say that I am a different person than I was in high school. College is not just about going to classes and getting involved with organizations, it is about growing up as well.

My sister Amy will be attending Eastern Michigan University in the fall. She is a very intelligent girl and I know she will be great. She plans to major in speech pathology. I was not fortunate enough to inherit the science gene, that’s why I chose the School of Communications ;) My older sister, April, also took the science path by majoring in chemistry and now is attending U of M pharmacy school. I am excited to see Amy’s transformation as she begins her journey of college. I will come visit her often to make sure she has more than Speghettios in her pantry and maybe I’ll also bring her some XS energy drinks to help her on late nights :)

Although graduation has not hit me yet, I am ready to start a new chapter in my life. It is weird that I won’t be going back to school in the fall, since this is what I have done for most of my life. However, I know that I am not done learning and maybe I still even have some more growing up to do ;)


Hello world!

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

Hi everyone –

Welcome to the Interns Expose Amway blog! My name is Charlotte Sasinowski. I have been interning at Amway Global a little over a year now and I hope to share with you all of the behind the scenes work that goes into such a big company.

First, let me share more about me. I am currently a senior at Grand Valley State University majoring in Advertising and Public Relations. I am almost at the finish line with 3 more weeks until graduation. College has been quite a journey for me. I have learned more about myself and what I am capable of accomplishing. For example, I have been president of the GVSU PRSSA for two years and founded the student-run firm, Grand PR, of which I am also president. Both of these leadership positions have been incredible, but I admit that I am ready to pass torch. I am anxious to have my diploma and get my first “real” job.

When I am not busy with classes or organizations, I enjoy going to downtown Grand Rapids with my friends, reading, watching movies, shopping, snowboarding, or visiting my one-year old nephew. I am also getting married in September, so wedding planning has been tons of fun!

I know when learning about this business, it can be very overwhelming to learn all about the business opportunity and products that we have to offer. One of the interesting things that I found out when I first starting working here was that Amway currently operates in 80 countries and territories!

What surprised you the most when you first learned about Amway Global? Are there odd facts that you will like to know? Like how many flowers are planted in front of Headquarters in the spring?

As I continue to blog, feel free to ask me any questions you have about the company and I will be happy to “expose”  that information to you!

Hope to hear from you soon :)