An Amway career focused on the needs of business owners, customers

The Atmosphere Mini Air Treatment System sits next to a desk in a home office.

The recent launch of new Atmosphere MiniTM Air Treatment System meets a key need for clean indoor air at a time when people are spending more and more time inside their homes.

Remote work, online classes, virtual clubs — more of our lives are happening where we live. Amway’s new smaller air purifier is helping people feel confident about the air they’re breathing.

It also brings a sense of accomplishment to brand manager Tom Sturgeon, who helped bring the Atmosphere Mini to Amway Independent Business Owners and customers in North America. It comes just four years after Tom helped usher in its big brother, Atmosphere SkyTM.

It also it will be the last product Tom launches as an Amway employee.

“It’s an accomplishment,” said Tom, who is one of the many longtime Amway employees saying goodbye to the company in a wave of retirements. “It serves a need that our IBOs and our customers have and that feels good.”

Amway Brand Manager Tom Sturgeon poses next to an Atmosphere Mini Air Treatment System an Atmosphere Sky Air Treatment System.

Products changed over the years

Tom is preparing for new adventures as he wraps up a 32-year career with Amway North America. He held various marketing roles with the company, including with products and services that Amway no longer offers, like long distance service, cell phones, roadside assistance and clothing.

“I touched nearly every category at some point,” Tom said.

Around 2002, Tom focused on home products, launching eSpringTM UV Water Purifiers and iCookTM cookware in North America. He shifted over to NutriliteTM products for several years before returning to home products for the launch of the Atmosphere Sky Air Treatment System in 2017.

The Atmosphere Sky was a new direction for Amway. It was the company’s first “smart” product, featuring an internet connection that allowed owners to control it through a smartphone app.

“We were the first Amway market to launch it,” Tom said. “It’s been well received because we weren’t because this was cross-functional and really took into account the needs of IBOs and customers.”

Performance improvements

The Atmosphere Sky featured several performance improvements over its predecessor in addition to the smartphone app, Tom said. Its three-stage filtration system captures 99.99% of more than 300 airborne contaminants from air passing through it as well as tackling household odors.

“We also introduced the first renewable warranty,” he said. “As long as customers change their filters on time, they get an extra year of warranty up to five years. It’s a two-year base warranty, so you get three additional years by just changing the filter, which you would do anyway.”

[RELATED: 3 ways to improve the air you breathe]

The Atmosphere Mini is in the corner of a small child's bedroom.

The Atmosphere Mini has all the same features, but it covers a smaller area. The Sky covers 465 square feet (43 square meters) while the Mini covers 200 square feet (18.5 square meters). The smaller size brings the product price down, making it accessible to more people, Tom said. And it makes easy to address air quality in smaller rooms without having to purchase the larger unit.

“This really helps by allowing people to combine it with their Sky unit,” he said. “This Mini is a great companion. You can add additional bedrooms with these Atmosphere Minis at a lower price.”

Milestone moments

Tom can list off all the products and services he worked on, but he has other great memories at Amway to take with him, too. He proudly recalled the launch of eSpring when he was tapped to showcase the unit and all its features to the full board and founding families, including Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel.

And he can tell you about a 2015 trip to the Nutrilite Trout Lake Farms in Washington with a group of IBO leaders that included a discussion with Rich, Doug DeVos and Dr. Sam Rehnborg, son of Nutrilite Founder Carl Rehnborg. They related how Rich and Jay got their start with Nutrilite before launching Amway and eventually acquired the Nutrilite brand.

“It was really great having all that history on one stage,” Tom said.

More than colleagues

Tom grew up four miles from Amway headquarters. His best friend’s dad worked there and he always saw it as a good place to work.

“I knew it was this growing company and I would drive by and think: Man, it would be great to work at Amway,” Tom recalled. “And really that dream came true in 1989.”

Tom was able to raise his family in his hometown, while also forming another family with coworkers and the IBOs he’s worked with throughout the years. He will keep those connections with him as he moves on to the next phase of his career.

“I’m going to miss the people the most,” he said. “They’re really my family, too.”

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