An Exclusive Interview with Amway’s Jeff Terry with Ideagen CEO George A. Sifakis - Part 2 of the Exclusive Interview

George Sifakis: It is amazing to think about the breadth and depth of the reach and the impact that Amway is having globally. 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 Five 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. 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. 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, 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 for proper brain development.

The Power of Five campaigns 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, and 45 percent of those the root cause of which being malnutrition, and that’s not okay. The Power of Five is really about helping to elevate to many audiences, the audience very specifically to Amway, is Amway business owners and employees around the world.

We have great partners. CARE is our global NGO partner on the work that we’re doing specifically, even though we’ve got a great portfolio of partners that are implementing incredible initiatives around the world that we’re supporting with Little Bits and other support. We’re raising a lot of attention and awareness and resources that goes directly to CARE to bring Little Bits to more kids around the world, and really to help fight this terrible challenge that is afflicting too many children in the first 5 years of life around the world.

George Sifakis: What an incredible way to really demonstrate in corporate social responsibility by addressing childhood malnutrition. I can’t think of a more powerful testimony to a company standing up and doing something that is not only profound, but is truly changing the world. 

One of my next questions was going to be what are some of the greatest achievements Amway has accomplished as a company? Based on what you just said, I believe you answered a lot of that and I’m sure there is a lot more.

Jeff, what inspired you to join and become involved with Amway?

Jeff Terry: I’ve been with Amway for five years now, but there are two primary things that really made me want to join and become a part of this great company. One, really comes down to the fact that we’re a family owned business and we operate under some incredible values that are around family focus, that are around teamwork, that are around inspiring the best in individuals around you. The value equation, if you will, that Amway has provided for nearly 60 years was a big attraction for me. It inspired me to realize and align the values that I try to live into my life and do that with a company who had very similar values was something very attractive to me. 

Secondly, Amway has been around for a long time, but a lot of people really don’t understand what we do and what we stand for as a company. Investing personally to understand the incredible work and assets and opportunities that Amway provides every single day, and to help to shape the future of extending those incredible assets and opportunities to more and more people around the world, was the second thing that really was very attractive to me, and inspired me to become a part of a company that’s doing a lot of incredible things in the world.

George Sifakis: Jeff, how do you believe the cross-sector collaboration can help solve many of the world’s most vexing issues, such as childhood hunger?

Jeff Terry: George, this is such an important question, such an important topic. I think it’s fair to say that anybody that is looking at addressing a community based issue, whether it’s in a local community on a national basis, regionally or globally, that the days of taking these things on by yourself and being a solution provider solely by yourself are gone. It will only take us so far. 

Having worked in the space of international development and health, corporate social responsibility, what have you for nearly two decades. It’s really today more than ever the role of the private sector not solely, but in partnership with civil society, in partnership with government, in partnership with many community based organizations, we need to do this together.

We can’t just solve problems on our own anymore. We’ve seen cycles of public private partnerships over the last 30 years and their effectiveness in different levels. I think the day and age of true cross-sector work is really critical. One of the most important challenges with it is having that very open objective trust building conversation early in relationships to say, “Guys here’s what we’re trying to accomplish, let’s figure out how we can accomplish together.”

05/26/2016 03:47 pm ET