Text Size
Sunday, December 03, 2023

1958 – The Association Idea Takes Form
In November, Nutrilite Distributors Jere and Eileen Dutt, Fred and Bernice Hansen, Joe and Helyne Victor, Rich DeVos, and Jay Van Andel meet in Charlevoix, Michigan, to discuss forming a distributor association. They agree to make it formal at their next meeting.

1959 — The Association Is Incorporated
In April, operating through the Ja-Ri Corporation, the Dutts, the Hansens, the Victors, DeVos, VanAndel and a few others form an association to gain a powerful voice promoting their interests and protecting their rights. The Association is incorporated in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as a non-profit organization under the name "The American Way Association" (AWA).

Walter Bass is the first President of the Association. The AWA Board meets monthly to investigate products for Distributors to retail to earn income. Products must meet five principles: universal appeal, repeatable sales, unlimited potential, not tied to the economy, and support free enterprise.

An AWA seal is developed to identify products that meet the AWA criteria, which appear on products approved by the Board. L.O.C. is the first product, SA8 is the second – brands that pass the test of time over the decades.

1962 – Canada is the First International Market
Amway officially opens for business in Canada. Soon, England and Australia will follow and the International Amway business will blossom.

1964 – Amway Corporation Is Born
Ja-Ri Corporation merges with Sales, Services, and Manufacturing to become Amway Corporation. The AWA begins advising the new company in all areas of its operations that affect Distributors, just as it continues to do today.

1965 – First Diamonds Recognized
Dutts are Amway’s first Diamonds, followed quickly by Hansens and Victors. They attend the first Bahama Rama with 13 Distributorships in celebration. AWA recommends new pin levels as Distributors flock to the opportunity and leaders build growth.

1966 — A New Name: The ADA
The American Way Association changes its name to ADA-U.S. Simultaneously, Canadian IBOs form the ADA-Canada to provide the same protection and representation U.S. IBOs receive through the ADA-U.S.

1960s and 1970s
IBO growth causes a huge expansion of corporate facilities in Ada, Michigan. To keep up with the expansion of product selection and support staff, the Board initials the addition of new production facilities: liquids, powder, aerosol, plastics, even cardboard and printing. Distribution and warehousing are added. The Amway complex in Ada grows to a mile long.

Amway buys majority ownership rights in Nutrilite Inc. and guarantees integrity of lines of sponsorship.

Rich DeVos creates the powerful “Ten Points” talk, assuring the Field of its future.

Board Members attend the dedication of the new Center of Free Enterprise, which becomes the Corporate Headquarters and ushers in a new age of international expansion of the Business.

September 1, 1976 1% added to the IBO Compensation Plan.

Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos arrive at a Board Meeting and announced that the FTC has just requested thousands of documents for an investigation. “It puts us in league with some of the largest companies in the nation,” says Jay. “We are confident we will win.” And we did. To this day it stands as proof of the validity of the business model.

Members of the Board join at the dedication ceremonies for the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, accompanied by several heads of state and the sitting U.S. President, Ronald Reagan.

New Cosmetics Production Plant finishes expansion in Ada. State of the Art on-site facilities support growth of Distributor beauty business. Company expansion now moves off-complex.

Board Members are enthusiastic about the business opportunity in other countries; the Corporation expands Amway into Latin America, Europe, Asia, and places few would have imagined, including Eastern Europe, Russia, and China.

Amway and the IBOAI Board agreed to raise only PV by 20%.

ADA Board celebrates its 25th Anniversary as the voice and advocate of the IBO.

ADA Board commissions Paul Collins to create the Bond mural.

1991 — Association Council Created
Together, ADA-U.S. and ADA-Canada adopt an agreement with the Corporation that creates the ADA Council and legally clarifies its role as an advisor and consultant to the Corporation.

The ADR process, with Jody Victor as IBOAI Board President, evolved into Rule 11.

1994 — ADA-U.S. and ADA-Canada Combine
ADA-U.S. and ADA-Canada combine to form a single organization named The ADA. A larger Board is formed to replace the Boards of Directors of both former organizations.

The Corporation formally agrees to submit to The ADA any proposed new policy or policy change that might affect IBOs in the U.S. and Canada. These include, but are not limited to, changes in the Sales and Marketing Plan, changes to the Rules of Conduct for IBOs, and changes to various IBO documents. Final decision-making authority continues to remain with the Company.

1999 — A New Name: The IBOA International
The ADA is renamed the Independent Business Owners Association International (IBOA International or IBOAI) to embrace all that Distributors have become.

The launch of Quixtar (now Amway) as a business opportunity in the e-commerce model represents a new era for Independent Business Owners.

IBOs and their customers make Quixtar the #1 online Health & Beauty Retailer, a mark achieved multiple years in a row.

Jim Janz becomes first Canadian Chairman of the North American IBOAI Board. Jim has been active on the Board for 25 years, including 15 years as Chairman of the Canadian Board.

Amway begins rebranding, to be completed in 2009. Formerly Quixtar, the Corporation is rebranded to take advantage of the many positives surrounding the original Amway name worldwide.

IBOAI celebrates its 50th anniversary in March as the primary advocacy organization for IBOs, noting that before there was an Amway there was an Association. IBOAI events include dedication of the William J. Halliday Memorial Board Room (author of the original Association charter) and a festive celebration with current and past Board Members, Corporate associates, second and third generation family members, Founding Family Member Bernice Hansen plus special guest Wintley Phipps of the U.S. Dream Academy.

IBOAI and Amway worked together for ten months to create and implement Accreditation Plus for all Approved Providers.

The adoption of the Accreditation Plus program developed by the IBOAI and Amway.

Marketing Advisory Committee was transitioned from ad-hoc committee to a full standing committee of the IBOAI Board.

Collaborative effort between IBOAI and Amway developing on online registration process.

IBOAI and Amway worked together for more than one year to review, rewrite and restructure the Rules of Conduct.

Created the Music Copyright Guide.

Launch of Mobile App with continuing updates.

Worked with Amway to develop and implement A+ 2.0 (The next level of Accreditation Plus)

Worked with IBOs and Amway Corporation to develop successful integration/estate planning/succession planning criteria for IBOs. Assisted many IBOs in helping them develop plans for their estates.

Worked in concert with Amway to finalize creation of new Business Reference Guide.

Launch of new Economy Shipping & Free Shipping Promotions.

Two percent (2%) moved from The Growth Incentive Program to The IBO Compensation Plan, increasing the Leadership Bonus from 4% to 6%.

Implemented recognition of Full Volume Platinums and expanded the recognition of Ruby Volume.

Worked with Amway Corporation to revamp the FAA program.

Drafted and shared with Amway executives a document explaining election procedure and protocol for Board Members, the IBOAI Mission Statement, and the succession plan for IBOAI leadership.

Executive Committee approved the position of Chairman Emeritus as well as Mentoring Chairman Emeritus. Bob Andrews unanimously elected as the first Chairman Emeritus.

The IBOAI celebrates its 60th Anniversary. IBOAI events included a welcome reception in the IBOAI office. A plated meal in the Pantlind Ballroom that was transformed to an enchanted garden. And a closing dessert reception in the Family suites. Current and past Board members, Corporate Executives, second and third generation, and DeVos and Van Andel family members attended this event.

Complete rewrite of the QAS and Best Practice Messages.

Business Transformation Initiative.

Updated Opportunity Messaging.

Social Media Protocol Program put in place.

Assets put in place to better support customer sales.

Business Transformation Development and Implementation.