Earlier this month, all four Amway regional presidents sat down to chat with employees at Amway World Headquarters about their corners of the world. They shared insights, initiatives and compelling stories about local corporate citizenship efforts and Amway Business Owners (ABOs).
In Southeast Asia, Jim Payne uses his 30+ years of experience with Amway and time-tested relationships to lead several countries in which Amway already holds a top market share position. He highlighted Amway’s appeal to those under age 35 in Vietnam, one of our newest markets. He told a story of a Japanese ABO who lost half of her family and downline distributors during the 2011 tsunami. The loss motivated her to rebuild her business to the Diamond level in only three years, using her income to support and help rebuild her still-struggling community.
With 30 countries, 26 languages, 19 currencies and 11 time zones, Europe/India/Africa Regional President Samir Behl describes his region as having three advantages: diversity, complexity and opportunity. He shared that there are more women than men in Russia and they live longer. In addition to the societal impact of this, he (only half-jokingly) said this could contribute to a huge demand for beauty products such as ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND.
Last, but certainly not least, in the home region of our headquarters – the Americas – Tanios Viviani says he lives for hearing, and telling, our ABO stories. The Americas president recently attended an event in the United States where he met a Costa Rican native who had left his parents and moved to Mexico to find success, promising not to return until they could be proud of him. After many years and he returned as a Diamond level ABO and was able to tell his mother that “Amway was [his] graduation in life.” That ABO now supports his family with his business. Tanios knows there are others like him capable and willing to do the same and says his region will do more than its part to ensure the Amway opportunity is relevant to future generations.
Across the miles and the 100-plus countries and territories where the Amway opportunity can be found, these four men brought their markets to life and connected our employees in Ada, Michigan, with the ABOs they support all over the world.
We want to say a big “Thank you!” to all of our employees and business owners across the globe who helped us reach the milestone of helping 10 million children in the first 10 years of our Amway One by One Campaign for Children.
Amway’s manufacturing expansion is well under way. The seven-site, $375 million project is geared toward building an infrastructure that will continue to provide quality nutrition, beauty and home products to the world for decades to come.
Recent visitors to construction sites in the U.S. states of California, Washington and Michigan have seen great advancements, as have visitors to the Tamil Nadu, India site. While there are several months left before these projects begin manufacturing products for consumers, the visible progress is exciting.
And, you don’t have to be on the ground to see the progress. Photo albums of some of the sites are updated regularly, allowing everyone to track the developments. New photos have recently been added to the albums for Buena Park, California, and our new tablet and soft gel facility down the street from our World Headquarters in Michigan.
As work progresses, we’ll soon add photos of our other projects, including China and Vietnam.
It is an exciting time at Amway, as we grow to meet growing demand worldwide.
“It’s all about the potential of the people,” Amway President Doug DeVos told a regional audience as Amway was recognized this week as one of the best West Michigan companies providing leadership opportunities for women.
“We believe people are the greatest resource that any company or country will ever have. Seeing potential in everyone is the message we have to keep sharing.”
Since the company’s earliest days, values embracing inclusion and diversity of opportunity have been an essential part of the company’s growth, DeVos said. Hearing different voices and ideas has enabled stronger global expansion and helped manage change and opportunity.
For example, shortly after Amway China opened its doors, the Chinese government decided to ban direct selling. DeVos said the wisdom and experience of Amway China president Eva Cheng was instrumental in helping the company become part of the long-term solution and, as a result of her collaborative ideas, Amway has become a leader in China.
DeVos went on to say that his dad and fellow Amway founder Jay Van Andel progressively believed everyone could do everything. That’s how the business got its start – and continues to succeed.
“I always heard Dad tell people: You can do it. You have potential. You can achieve whatever you set your mind to doing,” he continued.
As it grows, the company continues to look for ways to diversify. Amway Chief Marketing Officer Candace Matthews is the executive sponsor of the Women’s Inclusion Network, one of three networks Amway has launched through its diversity and inclusion office. These inclusion groups help employees network with people of similar backgrounds and expose them to developmental and growth opportunities. DeVos cited the development of women as a positive outcome of robust talent development systems. Today more than 31% of global directors at Amway are female.
“The diversity of our team helps strengthen the development of our products, our business plan and our service,” DeVos said. “When helping develop talent, it’s both an art and a science to help people grow and to help them find new opportunities.”
Ada and Diamond Pornjaded from Thailand are the next generation of Amway. That’s not a typo; their names really are Ada and Diamond. The two were recently in Grand Rapids representing their parents, Dr. Witat Pornjaded and Jintana Pornjaded, at the 2013 Amway Founders Council meetings.
Their excitement for the Amway business is evident and contagious. “We are a product of the (Amway) product,” Ada proclaims with a beaming smile. “Teens today want their own business and they enjoy the freedom that this business gives them.”
That’s pretty wise advice from a 19-year-old that just qualified Platinum.
Twenty-two year old Diamond (also Platinum) shares his own insight. “Find a good teacher, and be willing to study hard,” he said. “You can’t build this business by sleeping in. You have to be motivated — build it fast, and then you’ll have more time to enjoy the better things in life.”
From their playful banter, it’s quite apparent that there’s not much sibling rivalry here. Ada and Diamond confess they weren’t pressured into the business by their parents.
“We saw them doing the business together and having a good time,” Ada said. “They’re always so optimistic and dedicated to finishing what they started.”
It’s quite apparent that a rich legacy is being created. So, where do their names come from? Mom was pregnant with Diamond when Dr. and Mrs. Pornjaded qualified Executive Diamond. And Ada is named after the hometown of Amway’s World Headquarters.
Ada laughs when she admits that uses her name as a calling card for her business. “All the time people ask me, ‘Why are you named Ada?’” she said. “It’s from Amway. Have you heard about the business?”
It’s an American holiday, yes, but it represents part of what Amway was built on: independence and opportunity. We can all celebrate that!
We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday weekend. (Our corporate offices will be closed today and tomorrow.) And for those in West Michigan, we hope you enjoy the fireworks in downtown Grand Rapids tonight as we continue our sponsorship of the event.
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!
If you drive past the Amway World Headquarters today, you will see 57 United States flags lining the front of campus to commemorate Flag Day.
On most other days, the poles display the state of Michigan flag and 56 international flags representing the many countries in which we do business. (We operate in more than 100 countries and territories, but local regulations allow us only 57 flagpoles. So we make sure to rotate them regularly.)
“People driving by Amway find it really special to see the street lined with American flags. They’ll honk their horns to show their patriotism,” said Kammie Van Oosten, team leader of Ada Facilities Buildings and Grounds.
Van Oosten’s team of about 10 employees raise, lower and change flags as needed all while adhering to strict protocol for displaying the American flag through storms and sunshine. In addition to Flag Day, the flags are switched out on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day or other appropriate occasions.
There is a strict protocol for the American flag, but the facilities team treats every flag with the same respect. “We have important rules we follow at all times,” Van Oosten said. “One is that the flags must never touch the ground. This can be very difficult in bad weather.”
Flag Day is a U.S. holiday, but you don’t have to be in the U.S. to honor your flag. Share a picture of your country’s flag using #AmwayFlagDay on Twitter or Instagram. We look forward to seeing them!
Construction is now going strong at our new Spaulding Avenue manufacturing facility, just down the road from our World Headquarters.
Last week we welcomed about 150 guests to mark the occassion and sign a beam that will be used as part of the project. Why the hoopla? The $81 million investment will add 3 billion tablets and 1.3 billion soft gel capsules to our annual capacity. On average, that’s 136 tablets/soft gels every single second of every day, helping to meet the needs of people around the globe.
So, what exactly will be happening at this plant? Take a look at the video below. You can also read more about our global expansion efforts in the Amway Global Newsroom and see photos from the beam signing on our Amway Facebook page.
When I was younger, I always knew I was different from other children. No, it wasn’t because I was adopted from Korea, nor was it due to my excessive reading. Rather, it was because I was excellent at lying. All my other friends tried to lie and were caught in the process, but not I.
I knew the correct amount of eye contact, the earnest tone of voice and the innocent smile that were all part of the “perfect lie formula.” These lies weren’t your average that-shirt-looks-great-but-actually-doesn’t lie. I told my friends of exotic trips I took to England and Ecuador. I shared stories about how my father was a secret FBI agent and worked undercover. I even told my first grade teacher that I never had a sandwich and convinced her that I truly thought it was a witch made out of sand.
However, I soon realized that nobody likes a liar. It took losing my best friend, frustrating my favorite teacher and annoying my family to their wits’ end to make me change my ways. In fifth grade, I took charge of my life and started telling the truth: an act that has changed my life forever.
Thus, when I arrived to Grand Valley State University in the fall of 2010, I was fascinated to learn there was a career path I could take that you actually get paid for telling the truth: Public Relations.
So here I am three years later, a public relations intern in the Amway Corporate PR department tasked with sharing an intern’s view of Amway. Throughout the summer: I will introduce you to interns from various departments, I’ll bring you to events and activities and together we’ll explore behind the scenes of the largest and most successful direct selling company in the world.
My name is Austin; I am from Grand Haven; I enjoy waterskiing, pie eating and afternoon naps; and I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Disclaimer: The authors of these blogs are Amway employees. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily reviewed in advance by anyone but the individual author. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the view of Amway or any other person or company.