WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors Wednesday elected Steve Van Andel, chairman of Amway, as its vice chairman for a one-year term. He succeeds Edward Rust Jr., chairman and CEO of State Farm. Van Andel is the oldest son of Amway co-founder Jay Van Andel. â€¨
“Steve and the Amway family embody the value of entrepreneurship and the freedom to take risks, whether they result in success or failure,” said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. “Steve is a tireless advocate of the free enterprise system here and around the globe.”â€¨ â€¨
Previously, Van Andel was Amway’s vice president–Americas, overseeing the company’s business operations in North and South America, and also served as vice president of marketing. As chairman since 1995, Van Andel is responsible for managing the daily operations of Amway and has led the expansion of the business, growing it into a stronger, more diversified company positioned to be more competitive in the new economy.
Van Andel served a one-year term as chairman of the Chamber from 2001 to 2002 and subsequently was chairman of the board’s Executive Committee. He is vice chairman of the U.S.-Korea Business Council, where he works on behalf of free trade. â€¨
He serves his home state of Michigan and the community of Grand Rapids by supporting the Grand Action Committee, the Van Andel Museum Center, and the Van Andel Institute, a health research center. He is on the dean’s advisory board for the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., and the boards of Business Leaders for Michigan, the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, the Grand Rapids John Ball Zoo Society, and several others.
“Steve works hard, excels in business, and gives back to the community that has supported him and his family business for generations,” said Donohue.
Van Andel has a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., and is a member of the school’s board of trustees. He earned an M.B.A. in marketing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.