Category Archives: Reflections

Experiencing our Commitment to the Future

Last month, I was able to experience Amway’s commitment to health and wellbeing firsthand. I spent time in Zurich, Switzerland with Founders Council members, and I also visited Napa Valley in California and spoke to a group of Japanese ABOs about how our future is taking shape.

Amway Founders Council members in Zurich, Switzerland. Can you find Francesca and me? Photo Credit – Dusty Brown, 2024

The event in Zurich reflected the strong partnership between Amway and Founders Council Members who shared examples and best practices of how they are transforming and building their businesses differently with health and wellbeing as the focus.

At the event in Napa, I spoke with Amway Japan ABO leaders who were equally excited about the direction we are headed for future growth as a health and wellbeing company.  While this path forward seems like a new approach, this has always been the foundation of what my father believed in many years ago.

Francesca and me relaxing in Napa Valley, California. Photo courtesy of Amway Japan, 2024.

I came away from my travels and interactions struck by the overwhelming acceptance of this path forward for our business. I spoke with many different people who were so impressed because they can easily see a tangible, positive impact from our renewed focus on health and wellbeing. Not only for themselves, but for all the people connected to their communities throughout the world.

It was very validating for me because it recognizes the fundamentals of a wonderful concept that took root so long ago about the best way to live a healthy life.

Seeing it for ourselves

It has been 90 years since Nutrilite was founded, but more than 100 years since my father, Carl Rehnborg, first went to China and observed that plant-based diets and regular physical activity made people healthier. It created a seed of an idea for him that led to the founding of Nutrilite in 1934. 

I can see for myself that Amway understands that Nutrilite is so much more than a plant-based supplement brand – it is a way of life that has stood the test of time.

Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel traveled with Nutrilite distributors to Buena Park, California, to see Carl and Edith Rehnborg. Photograph circa 1950s.

Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel saw it for themselves when they worked as Nutrilite distributors in the 1950s before founding Amway. Years ago, distributors would travel with Rich and Jay by bus to California to see Carl Rehnborg and the Nutrilite farms firsthand because they knew that the farms, the soil, and the meticulous devotion to quality was the true foundation of their business, something you will see in this incredible film from 1954 – From the Ground Up. 

Building a foundation

Today, those trips to the farm so many years ago – and the belief in a better way – have taken root. As a result, Amway’s foundational products work to help promote healthy nutrition and good daily habits. That’s where it starts.

And we need this more than ever now, because we are still faced with many challenges.

In the United States, where the standard American diet is the norm, people are consuming higher amounts of ultra processed foods and animal products. According to a recent Health Matters presentation from Stanford University, Americans continue to have wide nutritional gaps in their diets. 

The percentage of Americans who consume the recommended minimum amounts of fruits and vegetables is still much too low. According to the CDC, 12.3 percent meet fruit recommendations and 10 percent meet vegetable recommendations. The numbers are even lower for adolescents.[i]

Considering how fast paced and distracting our lives have become, it’s not surprising these numbers remain so low for many of us.

A way forward

It’s why the work we are doing is so important. We are creating vibrant communities that have the potential to empower millions of people to improve their health span – or the number of years they are healthy, happy, and feeling their best.

Don’t forget that it takes a village to do this – going it alone is not sustainable. We rely on our friends, family and counterparts to keep us motivated on our journeys to optimal health.

Together, we can empower people to live better, healthier lives, helping them achieve their wellbeing goals.

I’m so excited to see what the future will bring!

[1] Lee SH, Moore LV, Park S, Harris DM, Blanck HM. Adults Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations — United States, 2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:1–9. DOI:

Harnessing the Power of Nature

With springtime upon us it’s a good time to share a previous post about harnessing the undeniable power of nature. It’s becoming ever more important for us to listen to Mother Nature and to find innovative ways to help create a sustainable future. A future based on nature’s design.

The wisdom of nature fascinates me. You need only take a walk in the outdoors to see why. At first glance, you may marvel at its beauty, but when you look closer, you’re sure to spot the elegant efficiency that is uniquely Mother Nature. Nothing is wasted. All is needed. Everything counts. To me, nature is a perfect place to find inspiration for sustainable solutions not only for healthy living, but for a healthy planet. So perfect, in fact, it has inspired a movement.

A majestic tree at Fazenda Nutriorganica, Ceará, Brazil, 2014. Branches jut out without any right angles, allowing for more efficient distribution of water and nutrients, just like the blood vessels in our circulatory system.

Sustainability inspired by nature

For eons, man has found solutions to problems big and small by watching, learning, and modeling the wisdom of nature. Today, we’re watching even more closely to find sustainable solutions, thanks to the biomimicry movement. I like that.

Biomimicry, a term coined by naturalist Janine Benyus about 25 years ago, is now a mainstream movement. A growing number of researchers, architects, inventors, and other creative types look to nature to inspire their own well-designed solutions. Each one starting with a simple question: “I have a problem; how would nature solve it?”

Water beadlets on the surface of a leaf. Certain leaves, such as the lotus, are textured, which helps water and dirt to roll off easier. This feature has inspired fabric and paint finishes that repel stains without the need for excess chemicals.

What exactly is Biomimicry?

According to The Biomimicry Institute (yes, there is an institute), the goal of biomimicry is to find sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating the patterns and strategies found in nature that have stood the test of time. The result is products, processes and policies that not only help us thrive, but protect the planet.[i]

The bur is a common example of biomimicry in action. These airborne specks of dry plants have hooks that can cling to clothes with impressive tenacity, much to the dismay of most hikers. But not to Swiss engineer George de Mestral, who took a closer look at the bur and was inspired to create the Velcro® hook-and-loop fastener, which he patented in the mid-1950s.

You may also recognize biomimicry in other products: bullet trains inspired by king fisher birds, houses modeled after baobab trees, air conditioning systems patterned after termite hills, or solar power systems inspired by leaves.

Nutrilite solutions powered by Biomimicry

My father understood the wisdom of nature long before the biomimicry movement. As a young man traveling in China, he was intrigued by the shiny coats of cows grazing only on alfalfa and drinking water. He also noticed people in rural areas, who ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, were healthier than their urban counterparts who consumed more refined foods. These types of observation eventually led to the creation of Nutrilite® brand supplements — a supplement inspired by nature.

Another Nutrilite example of biomimicry is the natural pesticide BIOTROL developed by scientists at Nutrilite Products, Inc., in the 1950s. They were looking for spotted aphids, dead ones in this case, that had been rampaging the alfalfa fields. They noticed some of the dead aphids were covered with a fuzz from mold. After testing, they found the mold spores could control the aphid problem and do so without the bugs developing a tolerance to the fungal material. This discovery didn’t result in a commercial product (spotted aphids are not a big pest), but it did inspire my father to find a way to naturally ward off certain destructive caterpillars. He hired entomologists, biologists and fermentation experts and eventually produced BIOTROL. It was derived from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis and considered the first natural biological pest control in the marketplace.

An insect shows off its colorful exoskeleton while blending into the foliage. Some insects are predators of common pests, making them a natural solution to help protect crops.

Good bugs, bad bugs and more

Finding inspiration in nature is a huge part of what Nutrilite scientists do. They use beneficial bugs – lady bugs, green lace wings and others – to balance harmful bugs. They rely on sheep droppings to feed earthworms, microbes and other organisms needed for rich, fertile soil. They closely monitor harvesting time to ensure optimal nutrient content in plants.

It is also important to look to nature to see what is suited for the land. For this reason, we source plant ingredients for Nutrilite® brand products from farms that have the right climate, soil and weather conditions for a particular crop, and why we partner with like-minded farmers around the world in our NutriCert™ certification program.

Surround yourself with nature’s inspiration

We spend a lot of time at our home in Telluride, Colorado, but this year was the first time we were there to see the Aspen leaves changing color. It was an unbelievable sight, true living color in brilliant greens, translucent yellows and deep golds. These majestic trees paint a spectacular picture, but to me, they also offer inspiration for biomimicry of a cultural sort. You see, the Aspens are all connected by one massive root system that allows them to thrive, year after year, earning them the moniker of largest living organism on the planet. Imagine what we could accomplish for our planet if we could be as connected?

The sparkling leaves on Aspen trees near our home in Telluride begin to change color. Telluride, CO, September 2018. Photo: F. Rehnborg

I encourage you to get outdoors as much as you can. Go somewhere that soothes your soul –walk along a beach, hike a mountain trail, sit in a city park or enjoy your own garden more. While there, look closer at the flowers, trees, shrubs and nature’s other wonders. Look for symmetry, check out the patterns, and find something you haven’t noticed before.

I believe the more we connect with nature, the more we open our minds to nature-inspired solutions and, most importantly, the lighter we will tread on our planet. Who’s ready for a nature walk?

Till next time!

Revisiting the Origin Story of the Nutrilite Brand

Carl F. Rehnborg in Shanghai wearing a light colored suit and holding his pith helmet in the 1920s.

I’m excited to tell you that in just a couple months, The Nutrilite Story 3rd Edition will be released and available for purchase. Writing the book — all three editions — has been a labor of love for me.

Revisiting the origin story of the Nutrilite™ brand and sharing my father’s experiences motivates me to stay the course sharing my message of health and wellbeing.

When my father, Carl F. Rehnborg, founded Nutrilite in 1934, his vision was to create a company that would provide people with the highest quality nutritional supplements. He believed that everyone deserved access to good nutrition, that everyone should benefit from a plant-based diet.

He also understood that stewardship for the planet is directly tied to our self-interest and our individual well-being.

A Place of Golden Opportunities

In the spirit of my father, I want to share an excerpt from chapter two of the book, “A Place of Golden Opportunities,” to get you excited about the upcoming release.

It’s magical for me to imagine my father traveling east to the other side of the world in 1915 to begin building a business in China. It’s not as if he could just jump on a plane and arrive, after all.

Passport pages
A page from my father’s United States passport.

His initial trip marked the beginning of a life-long journey of discovery and perseverance that created the Nutrilite brand that we know so well today.

When your destiny is to blaze new trails, it can make you feel like a square peg in a round hole. But then when you find the right fit, magic can happen. So it was for my 28-year-old father during the fall of 1915 when he packed all his goods into a steamer trunk, stepped onto a train in Grand Central Terminal, and embarked on a journey that would take him halfway around the world. He would begin a new career in China as an accountant for Standard Oil Company of New York, which everyone called Socony for short. Beyond the obvious adventure of it all, the Socony job had offered him the means to fulfill a deeper pull, something that had been tugging him powerfully since his days at Pratt Institute, or possibly before, toward that mysterious, inscrutable faraway land.

Before my father could leave, he had to pass a rigorous training program in New York, a program that would prepare him for his new life. During this time, he learned all about the oil business—about oil, solvents, fractionation, and vacuum distillations. He studied Chinese culture, history, and philosophy. He also learned about life as a foreigner in China—how visitors could live in foreign concessions that had the look and feel of their home country. The course was fascinating, but the competition was brutal and the pressure was intense. The class was whittled down from 100 to 20 students in three months. My father not only survived the cut, he thrived in the competitive environment, graduating with honors. His final 200-page project was so good that Socony accepted it as a model for assignments to other men, even putting some of his recommendations into effect. At graduation, the names of the students and their stations were read out. My father’s home for the next two years would be Tientsin (today known as Tianjin), the “City of the Heavenly Ford,” a large port city not far from Peking.

It must have been humbling for my father to stand under the canopy of golden stars in the expansive ceiling of Grand Central Terminal, his pith helmet and pongee suit carefully tucked away in his trunk and try to imagine the adventure that lay ahead. Would it be like anything he and Hester imagined as they had pored over the news, events, and culture of China during their days at Pratt? His long journey began with a train ride from New York through the Midwest to catch a steamship from Vancouver, British Columbia, bound for China after stops in equally exotic Honolulu and Yokohama.

At first, it seemed as if the train would never leave the endless city that surrounded New York, but it soon caught its rhythm and sped through the low mountains on its way to the Midwest. Looking out on the landscape as the train churned on, my father could see the rolling hills of Ohio where John D. Rockefeller had started Standard Oil. He changed trains in Detroit, the city where Henry Ford’s amazing assembly line was cranking out Model Ts so fast that almost anyone could own one. It was hard to imagine that just a few years ago gasoline had been a waste product of the oil refining process, while kerosene for lamps and paraffin for candles were the primary products. In China that was still the case, but when all 400 million Chinese could afford motor cars—well, the future was almost unimaginable. It was a new century and a new world in which technology fueled by oil would make everyone’s life better, and my father was now to play a part in this business, a business of almost limitless potential…

Keep reading my blog for more information about the upcoming release of the new book.

I can’t wait to share it with you!


Going on Tour, and Going Full Circle

Last month, Francesca and I toured through Asia visiting China, Thailand, Malaysia, and Taiwan. The trip was an opportunity for us to talk about Amway’s leadership as a Health and Wellbeing company and to begin celebrating the upcoming 90th anniversary of Nutrilite.

Throughout my visit, I spoke to employees, company leaders and – from the stage – tens of thousands of Amway Business Owners all of whom were eager to learn more about the legacy of the Nutrilite™ brand and the power of nutrition in today’s world. Many leaders have enthusiastically embraced the Product of the Product philosophy and are doing all they can to improve their health and wellbeing, and their outlook about the future. 

In the Beginning

It’s what my father, Carl F. Rehnborg, envisioned when he founded Nutrilite nearly 90 years ago. He was an adventurous man who was innately curious. As a young entrepreneur living and working in China in the early 1900s, he spent lots of time building his business by traveling throughout the Chinese countryside.

While doing so, he made the quintessential observation that ultimately led to the creation of the Nutrilite™ brand: People living in the countryside were much healthier than people living in the city; they were more physically active, and they ate more fruits and vegetables.

Historical image of man standing in front of steps leading up to a building facade.
Photo of Carl F. Rehnborg in Shanghai, Picture During the Years of 1915 and 1916, Carl F. Rehnborg was an accountant with standard Oil Company of New York, in Tientsin, China, which is in the northern part of the country

But let’s rewind and think about this. Just getting to China from the United States in the early 1900s was a monumental task. For him, it included traveling across the continental United States, and then extended passages across the Pacific Ocean where he had lots of time to dream about the future, and the opportunity to learn about a completely different culture – and build a business.

As a young businessman, he started off in China representing Standard Oil selling cooking oil traveling up and down the Yangtze River. But, again, based on his observations, he believed that selling canned milk in China would serve an immediate need and benefit the Chinese population. He soon returned to the States and was able to convince Carnation Milk to let him represent their company in China.

It was while selling canned milk and becoming more embedded in Chinese society, that he realized most people he was interacting with had nutritional gaps in their diets that plant materials could help fill. He also soon understood that eating well, exercising, and leading a healthy lifestyle was the best way to combat poor health. Simply because it helps prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

So, from the very beginning, through my father’s observations, a deep understanding of health and wellbeing has been engrained in the DNA of the Nutrilite™ brand.

The New Opportunity

Today, Amway understands how Health and Wellbeing can help improve peoples’ quality of life and help increase health spanhelping people live better, healthier lives. The commitment to Health and Wellbeing is coming to life in different ways across the globe, but everything is rooted in a consistent direction.

Together, we are focused on six interconnected domains that illustrate how a healthy body, a healthy mind, personal growth, community connection, financial wellbeing, and taking care of our planet can positively transform our overall wellbeing.

Going Full Circle

An exciting part of our Asian trip was the opportunity to share the stage with co-chairmen, Steve Van Andel and Doug DeVos, and CEO, Milind Pant. Spending quality time with them in each country we visited made me realize how interconnected we are and how important our partnership is.

During our final presentation in Taipei, an on-stage interview session between the four of us and Michelle Lin, Managing Director of Taiwan and Hong Kong, I heard Doug say something that truly resonated.

The whole team onstage at the Platinum Rally in Taipei.

While speaking about the direction we are going as a company, Doug said:

“Health and wellbeing is who we were in the first place. And now we’re discovering more about who we are. And if we do that, we can build an even better future together.”

Listening to Doug speak, I realized that we are – in many ways – going full circle.

What my father observed so many years ago is as important today as it ever has been. And it is now at the center of the future Amway is pursuing.

What an incredible opportunity!


The 90th Anniversary of Nutrilite

Believe it or not, next year marks the 90th anniversary of Nutrilite. Many amazing things are in the works to celebrate this important milestone.

For starters, something I’m truly excited about is the upcoming release of The Nutrilite Story, 3rd Edition. The updated version of the book will not only to tell the ongoing story of the Nutrilite brand, but its release will also coincide with the 90th anniversary.

The book tells the story of my father, Carl Rehnborg, and how his insatiable curiosity and dogged determination created Nutrilite. It also shares how my personal journey from childhood up to the present has helped Amway and Nutrilite become what it is today. You’ll be able to get a copy of the book early next year.

That’s not all we have been busy with lately. To help people better understand the Nutrilite story and how my personal life has been so intertwined with health and wellness, I spent several days in a production studio capturing my impressions about the past, present and future.

Here’s a teaser video we put together to give you a taste of the content you will soon be able to see.

There’s even more. During the last two weeks in October, I will be touring Asia – stopping in China, Thailand, Malaysia, and Taiwan – to begin celebrating the 90th anniversary of the brand and all the amazing things happening with Amway and Nutrilite.

So make sure you stay tuned to my blog for updates about my trip.

I’ll talk to you soon!