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DAA: Glenn S. Armstrong

Glenn Armstrong

Glenn S. Armstrong

Highland Park, IL | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 2009

Whenever someone orders a McDonalds’ fillet-of-fish sandwich, buys a Whirlpool KitchenAid refrigeratorfreezer, or picks a pack of Wrigley’s Orbit Drops, Glenn Armstrong smiles. “Most rewarding is seeing someone select ‘my’ product, and knowing that people make a living by producing it,” he says. “As a food scientist, I can help people live better lives.” And as a skilled researcher and consultant, Armstrong also can strategize ways to reach consumers. His current focus as vice president of corporate and business innovations for Alticor, Inc., parent company of Amway, is to re-vamp a fifty-year-old business model to make Amway’s products and sales force relevant to today’s consumers. His “innovative toolbox” includes Web communities and micro-franchising, and projects take him around the world. When he joined Alticor in 2007, global sales totaled $7 billion. Sales currently total $8 billion, with the goal of $12 billion by 2012. “Benchmarks” are synonymous with “Armstrong.” Recruited to the Wrigley Company by CEO Bill Wrigley Jr., Armstrong was charged with moving the legendary business from gum maker to global confectionary company. Within two years, Armstrong’s confections teams introduced five new candy products. As director of advanced products concepts for Whirlpool Corporation’s Refrigeration area, his group took five projects through prototype and business analysis—the most significant of which was a redesign of Whirlpool’s side-byside refrigerator/freezer. Moving this model’s ice maker to the freezer door saved space and garnered a spot on the high-end Kitchen Aid showroom in 2000. “Many projects are a total stretch,” he says, “but that’s what makes them fun.” Armstrong is also challenged by two wheels. A dedicated competitive endurance cyclist, he placed first in his age group in the 2001 National 24-Hour Challenge, held annually near Grand Rapids, Michigan. His stretch: 401 miles in 24 hours. “I wear my passion for life on my sleeve, and when I hire people, I look for what intrigues or excites them. Job-related skills can be taught, but passion must be part of the soul.”