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.”
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 Commerce “CEO 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.
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.