International Connection merges with Network 21

Over on AmwayWiki some interesting news was just posted about International Connection, the Amway/Quixtar organization run by Triple Diamonds Brian and Marg Hays.

Apparently on September 21, 2007 International Connection official merged with Network TwentyOne, lead by Founders Crown Ambassadors, Jim & Nancy Dornan.

Years ago I came across some posts on one of the original “critics” websites that revealed a little of the history of Amway/Quixtar “systems”, and in particular International Connection. In the post, the author chides the “critic” for the same type of thing I’ve been talking about for years – considering all “systems” as somehow the same and “cookie-cutter clones”. Here’s the post, from 1995 (yes, the internet did exist then!) –

Historically, for years probably the two biggest Amway los were the Yaeger/Britt and WDA (World Wide Diamond) organizations. WDA was the downline of Crown Ambassadors Dan and Bunny Williams. Both of these organizations are downline from Crown Ambassadors Charlie and Elsie Marsh. Yaeger may be personally sponsored by the Marshs and the Williams’ are sponsored by Triple Diamonds BIll and Jan Campbell who are sposored by the Marshs.

About 5 years ago, as I understand, the Williams decided to semi-retire and cease being the titular head of the line. They decided to plug into Jody Victor whose folks Joe and ? are upline from the Marshs. Jody plugs into Dexter. Some of the WDA Diamonds followed Dan, and some chose not to.

Those who did not, formed International Connection, with a system, a code of ethics, etc.

There are about 6 Diamonds in the US affliated with IC, with several los represented. And they are an eclectic group, certainly not cookie cutter clones.

Some of the Diamonds you may be familiar with who were WDA pins are Kelly and Jan Brown, Mel and Bea Benke, Jim and Juanice Ward, Triples Brian and Marg Hayes (Brian is President of IC), Doubles Lew and Darlene Riggan, Pam and Dorsey Deaton, Pat and John Vaughn, and Executive Diamonds Pat and Beatty Kaufman. Some of the non WDA pins who chose to affiliate with IC are Diamonds John and Barb Villani and Johnny and Jo Edwin, Doubles Tom and Joy Trozera, Crowns Dennis and Kay Beecher and Crown Ambassadors John and Pat Hendrickson

Interestingly, some of thses folks begat some enormous organizations which aren’t part of IC. For example, 5% of Amway Japan is down one of the Edwin’s legs; a slew of Crowns from California including Jim and Nancy Dornan (Network 21) is another of the Edwin’s legs; and the INA organization is one of the Kaufman’s legs.

The difference in operations:

Having begun the business in Atlanta, I have definite awareness of how some lines pursue their business (i.e. your info).

Most of the Amway systems are similar in their emphasis on tapes, books and functions being important tools for those distributors who desire to build networks. As a Regional Sales Manager for a Fortune 1 company, I am aware of the necessity for the appropriate information to be deseminated. Part of the conundrum in Amway is the those who do not use the tools and patterns don’t grow organizations to direct and beyond. In IC things are kept in perspective. There are no demands with regard to these tools. Use or attendence is voluntary. People who choose not to participate are not ostracized. The tools are reasonably priced (I don’t see the pins getting rich from the flow). There is a cheerfully administered refund policy. We’ve never been chastised for not attending a function.

Here in California we have 2 or 3 Moving Up Seminars per year. The investment is usually $75 per person for seminar fees and the banquet. Accomodations and meals are additional. The organizers arrange special rates at these first class hotels (Hyatt, Red Lion, etc.) usually $69 per night. On three day weekends, we pay for 2 nights and get the 3rd free. Also, if for some reason someone cannot attend the weekend, the registration fee is rolled over to the next.

Another thing that I appreciate about IC is that the reglious fevor that seems to grip some other lines does not exist. Although many folks are christians of varying denominations, there is a sesitivity to those of other faiths. My wife and I are Jewish folks from NYC and we’re real comfortable with the environment. Heck, our sponsor and Emerald was head of AV for the Baptist Home Mission Board and they’ve become among our closest friends.

On another site, in 1997 a poster wrote the following about International Connection –

What an interesting piece of research blended with imaginative speculation. Do you know of any research about the sub-group variations in the organization? I am speaking of major associations of high-level achievers who espouse very different philosophical approaches? These sub-cultures come in a variety of flavors ranging from evangelical Christian (small c is my deliberate connotation) fundamentalist to peaceful intellectuals who promote treating this business as a business rather than a pedagogical thunderbolt.

There is one such group, International Connection (IC), headed by a former Motorola Exec named Brian Hays. Hays developed a training concept called the”8-Step Pattern” that has been picked up broadly across the Amway landscape.

The IC group stands out in several ways. It distributes training materials and seminars at cost. It promotes the distinction between categories of participation: i.e. retail consumer, small business/wholesale consumption, and the network builder and encourages distributors to respect the individual’s level of interest and commitment.

IC functions are kept small enough that contact with high-achieving leaders known as “Diamond Directs” is possible. It teaches the facts, including that only 2% of distributors seek and attain significant income levels. There is no evident deception. In fact, there is a dedication to the respect for diversity and honesty.

These experiences of the IC “philosophy” sound remarkably similar to what I have experienced with Network TwentyOne. I’m sure this new “merger” will be a successful one.

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