Today, Bruce runs the ranch, managing all household duties, the children’s care, and schedules. He also oversees construction of their home and barn, which houses two horses: a Tennessee walker and a quarter horse. “A man does whatever is necessary for his family,” he says.
Bruce plays a supporting role in his wife’s career. He attends company events and offers professional help. For example, he recently attended a dinner in which Matthews was wooing a marketing candidate to Amway. Bruce provided the candidate and his wife with information on Matthews’ management style, the company’s family-oriented corporate culture, the owners’ dispositions, and family life in Grand Rapids. A few weeks later the candidate accepted the position, saying he was won over by the company’s approach.
Matthews never imagined when she received the headhunter’s call two years ago that she and her family would be presented with so many opportunities. At Amway, she’s still focused on building an effective team and a winning strategy to help the company reach its goal—dubbed “12×12”—$12 billion by 2012. She says, “The best of all worlds is when the best of who you are can come out in what you do.”
—Additional reporting by Benice Atufunwa
This story originally appeared in the September 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.