"Before there was an Amway, there was an American Way Association," says Jody Victor, who at age 11 witnessed the birth of both the industry-leading company and the trade association that preceded it.
Jody was too young to attend meetings, but he remembers his father, Joe, a founding member of the AWA, coming home and telling the family with excitement about the monthly meetings. He recalls with awe discussions approving a 90-day test of Frisk cleaner, which would become Amway's first official product: L.O.C. The original enthusiasm and excitement thrive in the dedication of every IBOAI Board Member serving today, 60+ incredible years later.
"Originally, the Board met monthly," says Jody Victor, son of founding Board Member Joe Victor, and current member of the IBOAI Governance & Oversight Committee.
"They talked a lot about products, which had to meet five principles: universal appeal, repeatable sales, unlimited potential, not tied to the economy, and supports free enterprise. They looked at water softeners and bomb shelters, for instance, but you usually only sell those once." It's not surprising the first product was actually a household cleaner (L.O.C.) that could be sold anywhere, could be offered again and again, had lots of uses, was inexpensive, and one anyone could sell. Today, the IBOAI Board meets officially four times a year, plus frequently conducts phone conferences and meets informally, still applying those principles to support IBOs with top-quality products.
Among the names on the original Association charter signed in 1959 were Fred Hansen, Jere Dutt, and Joe Victor. "They were also the first three Diamonds in the business," says Jody Victor, Joe's son, "and they attended the first Bahama Rama in 1965 with 13 distributorships.
Those three Founding Families are still very active in the business, and they qualify at least at the Diamond level every year." They are even still active on the Board. Jody Victor has been on the IBOAI Board in various roles for over 30 years and now serves on the Governance & Oversight Committee, while Jody Dutt, Jere's son, served on the Awards & Recognition Committee. There are now third-generation members of the families active in the business!