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Academy of Achievement Jay Van Andel

Jay Van Andel*

Inducted 1990

In 1959, Jay Van Andel founded Amway Corporation with his lifelong friend and business partner, Rich DeVos. The direct selling company now operates in more than 80 countries and territories around the world, and enables more than 3 million people to own independent businesses. In 2000, Amway became a subsidiary of Alticor with sister companies Quixtar, Inc. and Access Business Group LLC.

Van Andel was a lifelong advocate of free enterprise. He was a past Chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Director of the Jamestown Foundation, U.S. Ambassador and Commissioner General to Genoa Expo ’92 and Trustee of the Heritage Foundation. In his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich., he was the founder of the Van Andel Institute for Education and Medical Research, founding Chairman of the Right Place Committee, and through the Jay and Betty Van Andel Foundation, contributed to significant community projects in economic development, health care, education, and the arts.

He was a graduate of Grand Rapids Christian High School and attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, Pratt Business School in Pratt, Kan., and Yale University Aviation Cadet School in New Haven, Conn. He served as a United States Army Air Force Officer from 1942 to 1945 and as a Reserve Officer from 1945 to 1950.

The Van Andel children serve as members of the Alticor board of directors. Steve Van Andel is chairman of Alticor.

*Deceased Member