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,”
“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.”