“opportunity zone”


Goodbye, Opportunity Zone

In February 2007, we launched the Opportunity Zone with three blogs, one of which was then called Inside Quixtar.

The blog had actually existed since 2004, when we decided to start participating in the online conversation about our business rather than letting it go on without us.  As one of the first corporate bloggers, I’m proud to have been one of our social media pioneers.

Almost a year ago I moved from North America to a role with our global PR group focusing on social media, and now it’s time for this blog to officially come with me.  We’re combining this blog and the Amway Media Blog into a single forum where we’ll share our stories with the world.  It will be called Amway Insider, and a few other O-Zone blogs that are more global in scope, like the One by One Blog, will follow in a few months.

Thanks to everyone who’s been part of the conversation at Inside Quixtar and Amway Global Insider.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to have gotten to know many of you on and off the blog.  Thank you for your feedback, your ideas,  your roses and thorns, and your support through the years.

I hope you’ll visit the Amway Insider blog when it launches in a couple of weeks.  I’ll be posting the new URL here once we’re live, and much of the content of this blog will become part of the Amway Insider archives.  So perhaps the blog will be gone, but thanks to the archives, hopefully not forgotten!

After 618 posts and 2,352 comments (and counting), it’s time to say goodbye to the Opportunity Zone.  Come by and say hello at Amway Insider in a few weeks.


Six degrees of pancakes?

They say there are six degrees of separation between each of us and every other person on the planet.

Likewise, there are often unusual connections between organizations and causes. Or in this case, organizations and pancakes.

Today is National Pancake Day. And there’s a real connection between us and this celebration of the griddled breakfast treat.

That’s because for National Pancake Day, every iHop restaurant is giving away pancakes in return for donations to the Children’s Miracle Network. Our connection is that the signature cause for new Miss America Caressa Cameron is the Children’s Miracle Network. Amway Global and Artistry are proud sponsors of the Miss America Organization and Caressa is now an Artistry spokesperson. And the local Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, along with dozens of other children’s hospitals nationwide,  benefits from Children’s Miracle Network support.

And that’s a connection worth celebrating with a short stack.  Pass the syrup!


If we all do a little, it adds up to a lot

When Amway launched its One by One Campaign for Children in 2003, it did so to align and focus our efforts on making life better for kids worldwide.

And that little change made a big difference.

Today at the One by One blog we announced total giving and impact since the program’s launch.  And it’s impressive – in seven years we’ve helped seven million children through 200,000 employee and distributor volunteer hours and more than  $112 million in cash donations.  Read the blog post to learn more about how this time and money helps kids in more than 50 countries.

And consider this…every hour was given by an individual distributor or employee who chose to make a difference in a child’s life.

If you’re currently a One by One volunteer, thanks for your efforts.

If you’re thinking about helping, visit in the U.S. and Canada or your affiliate’s web site in your market.  There are lots of ways to help and children who need you.

After all, as the numbers prove, if we all do a little, it adds up to a lot!


It takes a lot of hands to help

Helping Haiti recover from this month’s devastating earthquake will take billions of dollars and millions of volunteer hours.

And a bit of ingenuity.

In addition to the aid provided through cash donations, personal hygiene kits and relief flights, this week Amway was proud to partner with several local companies, led by Cascade Engineering, to help assemble and provide water chlorination and safe storage kits for Haiti.

Read more about this the One by One Blog.


What’s going on

One of the most valuable aspects of the Opportunity Zone has been the feedback we get — the good and the bad.

In response to a comment I received this week that this blog isn’t quite what it used to be, I’d like to share with you what’s been happening behind the scenes.

In a nutshell, this blog is changing.

The first change relates to me personally.  I left Amway Global/North America last May for a position in our global corporate PR group.  Because of this, I’m no longer an “Amway Global Insider” but an “Amway Insider” with more of a worldwide view.  Because I’m not sitting in our North American affiliate I’m not as tuned in to what’s happening there day-to-day.  In fact, I’m in more frequent contact with colleagues in Japan and Korea than I am with those who work three miles down the street at Amway Global.  So while there’s been “insider” information I would have loved to share, if it didn’t pertain to the North American market, I’ve kept mum or taken the story over to Amway Media Blog.

The second change relates to where this blog lives and what it covers.

Like me, this blog will be moving from the North American Opportunity Zone to a global home.  In the coming months you’ll see Amway Global Insider become Amway Insider and focus more on what’s happening with our company around the world.

We’re still shaping the format and content, which creates the opportunity for you to tell me what you think the new Amway Insider should be.  What do you want to hear about?  Considering that we offer dozens of brands in dozens of markets, there’s a lot for us to cover. Tell me what you want to hear.

And my voice will probably be only one of several at Amway Insider.  Who else do you want to hear from?

Let me know what you think.  And thanks in advance for your help in creating the new Amway Insider blog.


Tie game, but score for Amway

Yesterday’s A.C. Milan v. LA Galaxy game ended in a 2-2 tie.

But for Amway’s Nutrilite brand, this was a big win.

Nutrilite hosted a number of bloggers at its Center for Optimal Health over the weekend.  The bloggers underwent health evaluations, met Nutrilite experts like Dr. Duke Johnson and Sean Foy, and learned about how Nutrilite can help people achieve optimal health.

They also got to meet A.C. Milan and attend and cover Sunday’s game.

Like the Mobile Brand Experiences, this event was another way Nutrilite is reaching out to consumers and influencers with its brand story.  And that’s a win for IBOs and customers alike!


Interns at work

It's summer at Amway, which means the interns have invaded and are hard at work in departments all around the company.  This year we have more than 100 interns at our West Michigan headquarters and 20 or so out at Nutrilite in California.

Which means more action at the Interns Expose Amway blog as this new crop of interns gets settled in for the summer.

Check out the blog as some interns who are graduating recall their time here and as new interns share their thoughts and experiences.  You'll also see our interns at work — and play — building a KaBOOM! playground  last  week as a One by One community service project.


Change a Life, Change the World

Steve Van Andel opened yesterday's Global Diamond Forum business meeting by reminiscing about Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel's seventh — and most successful — business venture.  While the pair had been business partners since striking a deal for rides to high school in Grand Rapids, they had tried a number of different businesses before founding the one that not only stuck, but created opportunity for millions.  The seventh time was clearly the charm.

The difference with Amway, Van Andel told the 4,000-strong crowd in Las Vegas, was that Amway was about bringing people in and not counting anyone out.  And Amway created an opportunity for people to change their lives for the better.  As Van Andel said, "if you can change your life, you can change the world."

Doug DeVos said the essence of Amway came from one desire….give people the opportunity to improve their lives through a business of their own.  And every day, Amway employees honor that idea by supporting business owners worldwide and carrying on the values of the Co-Founders of Amway. 

You can see and hear Steve Van Andel, Doug DeVos, Rich DeVos, and even a clip of Jay Van Andel in an excerpt of the business meeting now posted at Ada-Tudes in the Opportunity Zone and on the Amway Global TV YouTube Channel. 

Rich DeVos talked more about the future than the past, reminding  the leaders convened in Las Vegas that they are the "missing link," bringing opportunity to people and changing their lives forever. 

Change a life, change the world.  A powerful idea for Amway's next 50 years.


Video of Welcome Center, Amway 50th Festivities now at Ada-Tudes

Today Amway Co-Founder Rich DeVos, Chairman Steve Van Andel, and President Doug DeVos welcomed top distributors/IBOs from all over the world "home" to Ada to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary and dedicate its new Welcome Center.  

Rich DeVos made it clear that while the company's mile-long facilities are impressive, it's the people that really make this company tick.   He told the international group that while Amway is often imitated, it's never duplicated.  The difference, according to the company co-founder, is respect.  That respect means that someone signing up in the business today has an equal opportunity to succeed as the top leaders in the business convened in Ada today.  That was a commitment DeVos and partner Jay Van Andel made when they founded the company in 1959, and a commitment Steve Van Andel and Doug DeVos continue today.

Visit the Ada-Tudes blog in the Opportunity Zone for video coverage of today's Amway Welcome Center dedication and other 50th Anniversary fun.



Our sympathies

Last Sunday four IBOs were killed in a weather-related car accident while returning home from a business meeting.  It was a horrible tragedy that took the lives of four young people — including two Marines Corps Reserves officers who had proudly served their country. 

Kyle Sporleder, 20, of Sylvania, Ohio; Aaron F. Esposito, 23, of Novi, Mich.; Lauren Diefenthaler, 19, of Ypsilanti, Mich.; and Rodney M. Echelbarger, age unknown, of Holland, Ohio were killed on icy Indiana roads returning home Sunday evening. Kyle and Rodney were lance corporals in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves.

Amway Global sends its thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims and has reached out to those who knew them to see if we can be of any help or support during this very difficult time. 

But what's made this even more trying for those touched by this tragedy is the reaction of some who are critical of our business.   These critics have taken advantage of online coverage of this tragedy to post attacks on our business.

Here in the Opportunity Zone we've respected the rights of those who are critical of our business to hold opinions that differ from our own.  We've welcomed their voices and allowed them to share their opinions, within reason and within our comments policies. 

But we are shocked and appalled that some have used this tragedy as a forum for their criticisms.  To me, this is like showing up at the wake for a shooting victim to deliver a blistering attack on gun reform.  It's inappropriate and inconsiderate of those grieving for loved ones taken from them all too soon. 

Regardless of your opinions about aspects of our business, please respect those who have lost sons and  a daughter, a sister and brothers, friends and colleagues.  The families and friends of the victims  are suffering a sudden and significant loss and they should not be subjected to this kind of abuse.  We are sorry some have chosen to intrude on your grieving with their attacks. 

There's a time and place for discussion and debate about this business.  This is not the time for anything but supporting the grieving families and friends of Kyle, Aaron, Lauren, and Rodney.  Our thoughts are with them.