An Exclusive Interview with Amway’s Jeff Terry with Ideagen CEO George A. Sifakis - Part 1 of the exclusive interview

Amway’s Jeff Terry interview with Ideagen CEO George A. Sifakis

George Sifakis: Jeff is the global head for corporate social responsibility at Amway. The primary responsibility that he has is to develop and guide the implementation of the company’s enterprise wide corporate social responsibility strategy, where he is aligning the organizations capacity to effectively implement its social investment and innovation efforts around nutrition, entrepreneurship and overall stakeholder and community engagement. 

Jeff joined Amway in May of 2011. His career has spanned more than 18 years and prior to joining Amway, Jeff served as director associate and community engagement for Sears Holdings Corporation. He developed a company wide community engagement strategy, including redevelopment of the company foundation, virtual giving initiatives and policies, volunteerism for 300,000 employees, and non-profit partnership planning and negotiations.

Jeff, what an incredible bio. Where do we begin with how you’re impacting the world with all of the game-changing efforts at Amway?

Jeff Terry: At Amway we have a simple philosophy and we call it our vision of helping people live better lives. That’s really at the core and foundation of everything we do. We do this in part by really helping people live healthier, more confident, and more financially secure lives. We believe that through our work and our expertise and our investments we can help do that on a global scale.

Today, we operate in about 100 countries around the world and engage millions of people every single day in helping to develop and run a small business for themselves. We do that by helping to support them with a great portfolio of more than 450 products that cover the nutrition space, the beauty and cosmetics space, as well as personal care and home products. So it’s a core foundational part of who we are but ultimately everything we do is about helping to provide individuals with great business opportunities for themselves and an opportunity to improve their own lives and the lives of their families. So it’s kind of easy to really think about global impact when we have a reach that touches millions and millions of communities around the world today.

George Sifakis: Well it’s certainly profound in terms of understanding the impact that Amway is having on individuals and empowerment across the planet. For those listeners that might be unfamiliar with Amway, you just touched upon several different areas that you’re really helping folks to become empowered. To live the dream, if you may. Could you describe Amway’s mission and goals?

Jeff Terry: Absolutely. Carrying it a little further in talking about helping people live better lives, We believe in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial spirit really is a spark that lives in every individual around the world. It may not manifest itself in someone wanting to build a business for themselves, but in many people that is in fact what it is. So our philosophy and our approach is to help provide the basic building block tools and training and mentorship in communities that help to support one another who have gone through and experience of creating a business for themselves. And really just surround an individual that is kind of interested and inspired to create a business for herself or himself and help them do that.

And at any given time we have upwards of ten million people associated with Amway, building a business for themselves or in some way procuring products that we make around the world or consumers of our products around the world. Whether it’s through vitamins and nutritional supplements, or cosmetics and other personal care and beauty products, or through soaps and detergents, and water filtration, or air filtration units, we’re helping to bring products into households all over the world that are helping individuals either grow a business or improve their home life.

George Sifakis: Well that’s absolutely amazing to think about the breadth and depth of the reach and the impact that Amway is having. In terms of all the areas of products that you’re providing, you’ve personally been involved in the Power of Five campaign. This is an exciting area because it really is a game changer.

Jeff Terry: George, thanks. We call it the Nutrilite Power of 5 campaign. Nutrilite is our vitamin and dietary supplement business. Nutrilite is founded on the principals of sustainable agricultural and organic farming. We take the best of nature and try to surround it with science. That’s how we built a strong vitamin and supplement business for more than 80 years. Beyond that, we knew that kind of being a leader in the space of nutrition science and dietary supplementation that that’s an expertise that we had an opportunity to deploy in a bigger and greater way than just helping to build a strong business.

When we recognized more than 10 years ago one of the most critical issues facing the world was that of childhood malnutrition. And most specifically child malnutrition in the first 5 years of life. We knew that was an opportunity for us for to really take this expertise and deploy it in a different way. It started for us frankly around one of our organic farms in Ubajara, Brazil, where our farm and the employees of the farm recognized the bad state, the malnourished state of children in the surrounding community, and started taking some of the products that we were growing on the farm and in the orchards there at our farm and ground it up and created what we called Multimix, and then partnered with local schools and incorporated into the daily cafeteria meals that the children were getting. We then started seeing improved health, not surprising.

This really spearheaded a new idea within the company, and that was to take what we do extraordinarily well and say, “Okay let’s turn that and let’s use that to create a product.” A Product that we call Nutrilite Little Bits and essentially Little Bits is a powder that is a one gram ... That’s packaged in a one gram sachet that’s filled with 15 essential vitamins and minerals that when mixed into the daily diet of a child in the first 5 years of life, ensures that they’re getting the critical and necessary nutrients to allow for proper brain development. Which is critical in those first five years. Something like 80-85 percent of brain development occurs in those first 5 years of life, mostly in those first thousand days. Partnering with organizations to bring Little Bits to tens of thousands of children around the world who are malnourished, will give them a fighting chance to actually reach that 5th birthday and live into a healthy adulthood knowing that kind of that critical nutrition is happening for them in the first critical 5 years of brain and body development.

The Power of 5 campaign is our effort to really help raise awareness around this issue. We know that more than ... according to World Health Organization, more than 3 million children unfortunately die in the first 5 years of life every year, the root cause of which being malnutrition, and that’s not okay. The Power of 5 is really about helping to elevate to many audiences, the audience very specifically to Amway, is Amway business owners and employees around the world.

03/22/2016 01:47 pm ET