Capitalism and Controversy
Amway’s gateway to the world begins in an unlikely place—a small Midwestern township called Ada, Michigan, 12 miles east of Grand Rapids. Founded as a French-Canadian trading post and home to a historic covered bridge over the Thornapple River, Ada is best known these days for the sprawling world headquarters of Alticor Inc., parent company of Amway. The complex of office buildings and manufacturing plants stretches for more than a mile. Its busy visitors center has become a local tourist attraction with its giant see-through metal globe in front and 50 flagpoles flying the flags of affiliates’ home countries. In the spring, the garden around the globe is planted in tulips, a nod to Jay and Rich’s Dutch heritage. The business partners are immortalized in life-size bronze statues that stand in the headquarters lobby.