The sun sparkled like a "bright diamond" in a beautiful blue Hawaiian sky as the breeze blew warm and gentle. Ideal weather for IBO Leaders of North America to gather and celebrate the 50th Diamond Club, their past accomplishments, and a prosperous future.
It is exactly what they did on the grounds of Ka'anapali Golf Course on Tuesday, February 11. The upbeat tone was set immediately as Diamonds were escorted to an expansive tent, set up exclusively for them, via golf carts. Laughter and smiles were abundant as were photos and videos. The Ka'anapali golf course is as scenic as it is challenging and a popular venue for pro tournaments.
Upon entering the event, IBOs were each given a special Diamond Club 50th Anniversary pin. Judging by the reactions, the pins were appreciated and would become cherished keepsakes.
Amway North America (ANA) Managing Director, Jim Ayres, opened the meeting with congratulations for 50 years of leadership and an optimistic message on entrepreneurship thriving now and in the future. Following Jim, IBOAI® Chairman Bob Andrews delivered a hearty congratulations, complete with fond recollections of what was happening 50 years ago. He took the audience back in time with mention of popular Beatles songs like "Can't Buy Me Love", "Twist and Shout" and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand". Bob reminded us this was when "Lucky Charms®" and "Pop Tarts®" made their debut on grocery shelves, and gasoline was just 25 cents a gallon. Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel hosted the first Diamond Club (Bahama Rama) with the first three Diamond families - the Hansens, Victors, and Dutts. Bob said, "These pioneers built the foundation of this business through hard work and today, all three business are still represented. These founding IBOs' powerful beliefs in God, family, and our country were supported by their unwavering honesty and loyalty to Rich and Jay and to each other." Bob elaborated on the story of these great leaders, concluding with the thought-provoking statement, "The last 50 years tell their story; the next 50 years will tell our story!"
Rajneesh Chopra, ANA National Accounts Director, shared significant business stats indicating the committed efforts of IBO Leaders in attendance. Backing up the important theme, "Together We Grow", Rajneesh encouraged all to continue partnering for success.
Chief Marketing Officer, Jackie Nickel, spoke of leaders serving others and how prevalent it is in the Amway™ business. She cited the partnership of the IBOAI Board in helping develop products and programs for the Field and expressed appreciation for their commitment. Jackie also commented on the Advisory Team specifically created to advise on Artistry® and Nutrilite® brands and programs.
Jackie led a lively panel discussion of what those under 35 years are looking for today and in the future. The onstage panel featured well-respected IBO Leaders: Patrick Mahakkphong, Danielle Nafte (daughter of IBOAI Board members Vinny and Dayna Pappalardo), Theresa Danzik (IBOAI MAC Member), and Ty Crandell.
David Vanderveen, XS® Energy co-founder and newly appointed Amway Vice President, gave a brief history of XS Energy products and the company's relationship with Amway. David assured the IBO Leaders, "Amway didn't buy the XS company to change it, they purchased it to strengthen the relationship and tie the knot." When David introduced a new XS drink flavor (name to be kept a secret for now), it was distributed to the audience in special 50th Anniversary commemorative glassware. After a few sips and plenty of smiles, it was evident the new flavor and the anniversary glasses were both a huge hit.
Continuing the festive mood, Rajneesh recognized the first-time Diamond Club attendees and those who had reached new pin levels. As they stood, IBOs and Amway staff loudly cheered and applauded. It was a picture-perfect moment for these new IBO Leaders!
Then former IBOAI Chair, Jim Janz, took the stage to deliver an entertaining, informative and interesting history of Amway, including some of the ups and downs. He aptly described Diamond Club business meeting as "a bunch of friends gathering together, held by a common foundation - the Amway business." Jim recognized the hard work and dedication of the IBOAI Board through the years, acknowledging the extraordinary efforts of Jody and Kathy Victor in keeping the Board on task and committed to fairly representing all IBOs in North America.
With warmth and grace, Amway Regional Vice President of the Americas, Candace Matthews, expressed gratitude to all who made the business great. She gave special thanks to several IBOs by name, who personally taught her so much about this business. Then, she applauded everyone in the crowd for their achievements and reminded them Diamond Club is a reward for all they've done.
Ending the meeting on a high note, the Legacy Diamonds were invited on stage to join in celebration of the founding families - Hansens, Victors, and Dutts - and the 50th Diamond Club Anniversary. A fabulous tiered cake was brought on stage, and the meeting concluded with Candace cutting the cake for all to enjoy.
Congratulations to all for 50 years of "marriage" - a successful partnership between Amway, IBO Leaders, and the Field.