“U.S. Chamber of Commerce”


Breakfast Agenda: Entrepreneurship

On Thursday, April 24th, at one of Washington D.C.’s most inspiring places, Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and Amway President Doug DeVos will join three U.S.-based entrepreneurship advocates on stage to discuss ways to create and advance entrepreneurs around the globe.

A number of students, educators and delegates from the Georgetown University Leadership Program will participate in the discussion, and you’re invited, too.

It’s a subject near and dear to Steve’s and Doug’s hearts, and the same goes for these panelists:

• Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute and author of “The Road to Freedom: The Fight for Free Enterprise” and “Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America – and How We Can Get More of It.”

• Lisa Miller, chief growth officer of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), which provides programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, recognize business opportunities and plan for successful futures.

• Kara Valikai, director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Women’s Economic Empowerment Issue Network.

We’ll start with an overview of the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, in which we sought the opinions of 26,000 people in 24 countries on the attitudes, concerns and desires around becoming entrepreneurs.

The data tells one story, but the group of entrepreneurial experts gathering on April 24th will tell the rest of the story. Although they hail from different disciplines, every panel member believes it’s urgent to support the activation of potential entrepreneurs by raising awareness, encouraging further debate and doing anything we can to negate fears.

Audience participation in the Q&A will drive the discussion, and it all happens before 11 in the morning! Watch for live coverage and join the conversation by following @Amway on twitter.


Global potential

Since being named chairman of the United States Chamber of Commerce in June, Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel has shared lunch with the new president of South Korea and addressed the leaders of the top 100 U.S. chambers.

On a recent trip to China, he met with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, several other government officials, top media and distributor leaders.

The theme has been similar in all of these meetings: Our potential is great if we remain true to our values, show leadership and embrace innovation.

“Dad and Rich believed people have an innate desire to make their lives better,” Van Andel said. “And they believed that by empowering others, people would work to reach their greatest potential. At Amway, we offer people the opportunity to own their own business … to pursue a level of success they desire.

“And with commitment and hard work, they can change their lives. Improving people’s lives has been our vision since the beginning. And we believe that ultimately, it’s why Amway’s been so successful.”

It’s a message Van Andel will continue share all over the world as he travels this next year as chairman of both Amway and the U.S. Chamber. We think it has potential – do you agree?

Written by Andrea Clark


Amway. Everywhere.

“My dad pretty much had ideas about Amway everywhere.”

Those were the words of Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel as he spoke with China Daily recently about the company, his role as chairman of the United States Chamber of Commerce, and his father — Amway Co-Founder and former U.S. Chamber Chairman Jay Van Andel.

“It was mostly because he just looked at people, and he said: ‘You know a lot of people want the opportunity to do something for themselves.’ And that’s what the Amway business has to offer,” Van Andel said.

Today, Amway is virtually everywhere.  The company operates in more than 100 countries and territories, and 90 percent of the business is outside of the United States.

It seems Jay Van Andel was right — people want to do something for themselves all around the world.

To read the full China Daily article, including insights from Steve Van Andel’s first visit to China, click here.


World Leader

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.

Today, the two organizations will strengthen their connection, as Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel begins a one-year term as the chairman of the U.S. Chamber.

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.

[Photo by Ian Wagreich, U.S. Chamber]


Elevating entrepreneurship

We’re excited that Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel has been elected vice chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions.

It’s his second time to serve at the top level of this organization, as he was chairman from 2001 to 2002. And it’s a position his father, Amway Co-Founder Jay Van Andel, held as well.

According to U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue, Steve and the Amway family embody the value of entrepreneurship and the freedom to take risks.

“In order for business to grow and create jobs, you need an environment that encourages creativity, innovation, hard work and opportunities for people to succeed,” Steve said in his recent speech at the U.S. Chamber’s CEO Leadership Series. “This is the way we need to approach business if we want long-term growth and prosperity.”


Unleashing the spirit

How do we put America’s economy back on track?

By unleashing something we already have in abundance: The entrepreneurial spirit. 

In a U.S. Chamber of CommerceCEO Leadership Series” appearance today in Washington, D.C., Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel told a beltway audience that an entrepreneurial approach is a part of the solution to our nation’s challenges.

“Entrepreneurs are innovative, have good ideas and are willing to try new things. They work best in an environment with fewer unnecessary and burdensome regulations,” he said. “If we applied these principles to business, we’d see more hiring, more confidence and more optimism than what we have today.”

Harnessing these qualities will “unleash a spirit of entrepreneurship – where hard work is rewarded, innovation and creativity are encouraged, failure is not feared.”

View a webcast of Steve’s appearance here.


Navigating commerce

In their pre-Amway days, Co-Founders Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos embarked on a sailing trip to the Caribbean. They didn’t let the fact that neither of them knew how to sail stop them from their wanderlust.

Well, the boat sank in the waters off Cuba, but one of the things salvaged was the boat’s bell, which Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel will talk about in his May 2 speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C.

“It’s something I keep right outside my office at Amway’s headquarters as a constant reminder of Dad and Rich’s sense of adventure and willingness to take on new challenges,” Steve says. “These were two guys not easily deterred by hard work or rejection.”

Steve will highlight the importance of that adventurous spirit when he visits the Chamber. It will be a familiar venue for him. He has served on the Chamber board since 1996, is a past chairman and currently serves as treasurer.

Our guest blogger is social media consultant Cami Reister.