A new path for SuperDu – a tribute to Robin Luymes

superduA few weeks ago I learned that Robin Luymes had moved on from his employment at Amway Global as Manager – PR & Editorial. I don’t know the circumstances of his leaving Amway, but I do get the impression the move wasn’t in Robin’s plans, and like so many others around the world these past few years, Robin unexpectedly found himself without a job. Not being an American IBO I really don’t know much about Robin’s role within Amway and Quixtar, but I have followed his work on the internet for some years, and last year I had the pleasure of meeting Robin in Prague. Now Robin has taken the decision to do what new IBOs and other entrepreneurs around the world decide to do everyday – have the courage to go into business for themselves . This week Robin launched luymes.com, a blog, and his new business Luymes Public Relations, LLC. For those that don’t know much about Robin’s contributions to Amway on the internet, I thought I’d give a little background. David Robison over on On the Road with Dave has done something similar, with what I think is a great tribute to Robin.

In Amway and the Internet – A History Part I I outlined some of the background behind Amway’s reputation problems on the internet. That post ended with the launch of Quixtar in 1999, and so far I haven’t gotten around to telling the Quixtar and the Internet story in Part II, and may never, but an important part of that story is Robin Luymes. I believe Robin was one of the first people at Amway (then Quixtar), indeed one of the first professional PR people anywhere, to really “get” that the internet was really important and that corporations needed to have open transparent, and honest discussions with both their fans and their foes on the internet.

Robin began posting as “Kia” at quixtarblog.blogharbor.com back in July 2004 and in August launched The Real Quixtar Blog. In an early “real quixtar blog” post it was said that “kia” (know-it-all) represented 900 staff at Quixtar but was mostly written by one person, and before long the personal nature of many of the posts revealed the truth of that.  In mid-2005 a quixtar critics blog revealed that person was Robin Luymes, and Robin confirmed this in a post in January 2006. When Quixtar became Amway, and Amway launched The Opportunity Zone blogs, the Real Quixtar Blog became simply SuperDu, apparently in reference to the famous pose in the picture above.

Unlike a poorly conceived “internet reputation” effort apparently conceived by a number of Diamonds using automated “cookie cutter” type websites, the Real Quixtar/SuperDu blogs gave Quixtar, and later Amway, an authentic human voice on the internet – and before long both Amway critics and supporters alike dove in to the conversation. I don’t know how many hundreds or thousands of comments Robin had to deal with over the years, but it was a lot – and he was always unflailing polite and professional, even in the face of some less than professional commentators. There were times I’d swear I could almost hear him gritting his teeth in frustration as he tried his best to answer questions and address concerns.

Sites like Robin’s blog helped change the conversation about Amway on the internet, and I for one think Amway business owners around the world owe him a debt of gratitude. I wish Robin and his family all the best in the future and hope his new venture is a great success. With the knowledge, experience, and talent he’s shown on behalf of Amway, I have little doubt it will be.

Thank you, Robin. You made a difference.

4 thoughts on “A new path for SuperDu – a tribute to Robin Luymes”

  1. Having known Robin Luymes for over 2 years, working with Amway and Quixtar as a consultant and contractor, I can also confirm that your impressions of him are true. Mr. Luymes believes in and remains an advocate for Amway. I have met and hope to continue to consult with Robin in his pursuit of new venture as he transforms himself into an entrepreneur.

  2. Having had the privilege of serving on Robin’s team, I can verify that he is as genuine as he appeared on his blog. His Super Du moniker came from a verbal stumble at a staff meeting. We enjoyed giving Robin a good ribbing about that and much more. He always put up with us in good humor.

    So, here’s to Robin, my former boss, may life bring you nothing but good things.

  3. Wow, thanks for the very kind comments! It was my great privilege to be a voice in the dialog about the Amway business and I’m sure, to some extent, that will continue even though I’m outside its corporate walls. There remain many, many people within the corporation and within the business that truly desire to pursue Rich and Jay’s original idea of helping others help themselves through an Amway business of their own.

    From the earliest days in the mid-90s to this past year, I have learned a great deal about the nature of online communities and their impact on business (and personal, I suppose) reputations. I am thankful that Amway permitted me and my team to try many different things over the years to educate people online — with benefits to the business’ reputation.

    Of course, we didn’t always do things the right way and learned over time how best to engage in the dialog. Hopefully, those experiences will benefit clients I hope to serve through Luymes PR.

    I am also thankful for the many wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting digitally or, as in your case, personally. Meeting you and Dave and Bridgett and others in Prague for our blogger panel was one of the highlights, to be sure. It certainly brings new meaning to “storm the castle.”

    Again, thanks for your comments and your support and best wishes to all who continue to have an active and productive dialog about the Amway business and how it can continually improve, helping millions around the world achieve their personal goals through a business of their own.

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