Entrepreneur Dick DeVos

In 1991, Dick DeVos was on his way to enjoying a career as CEO of his family’s company, Amway Corp. One moment changed Mr. DeVos’ life and the lives of so many others that he’s helped since then. That year a plan was publicly discussed in Grand Rapids. The plan was about building a multi-purpose convention and sports arena north of downtown Grand Rapids.

 

Mr. DeVos Didn’t Hesitate to Lobby Against the Plan

 

Mr. DeVos could have remained focused on his tasks as CEO, but that isn’t his way of doing things. He is someone who is willing to step in and right things that are going wrong. That’s exactly what he did when he heard about the plan. Mr. DeVos picked up the phone and started lobbying against the plan to build the convention center and sports arena.

 

He had seen this happen to other cities in Michigan. For instance, the Pontiac Silverdome and Palace of Auburn Hills had been downtown Detroit for years. In the 1970s, the Pistons and Lions, left downtown Detroit and hurt the city forever. It was a lesson, Mr. DeVos would explain as he looked back at his decision, that wasn’t lost on the people of Grand Rapids.

 

Mr. DeVos Campaigned Against the Sports Facility and Convention Center to Protect Downtown.

 

In no way is Mr. DeVos anti-business or growth. He wasn’t going to let Grand Rapids fall victim to the same fate of Detroit. That’s why he campaigned the plan. He formed a Grand Action. Grand Action was a group of business leaders who came together for a common cause: keep the arena and convention center from the north location.

 

Grand Action was Successful in Changing the Grand Rapids Skyline Forever

 

Yes, Mr. DeVos knows success. He and the Grand Action plan were successful in keeping the convention center and arena from the planned location north of Grand Rapids. He and the business leaders who helped him are credited with changing the city’s skyline and stopping the suburban sprawl that would have occurred if the plan became reality.

 

Mr. DeVos and his Wife have Spent Much of Their Adult Lives Helping Other People

 

As the heirs to two family fortunes, Mr. DeVos and his wife, Betsy, have spent much of their lives trying to positively change policies and institutions. They are mega-donors to the GOP. Betsy was appointed education secretary by President Trump. They’ve worked hard to put positive major changes in state laws that have affected labor and education.

 

For example, Mr. DeVos successful engineered the 2012 law that gave employees the right-to-work in the state. This meant that union members could no longer be a condition of employment in the Michigan.

 

One thing Mr. DeVos never wants is accolades. He helps people and positively changes the laws to help everyone. Whether it is creating his own charter school to help low-income children learn about aviation or changing downtown, Mr. DeVos is always there when people need him.

 

Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.

Betsy Devos Hand in Philanthropy

Betsy Devos is among the big names associated with the great work of philanthropy in the United States. Currently, she is the U.S secretary of Education. Betsy was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1958 to an entrepreneur who worked as an auto parts trader. She is a mother to Richard Devos and is married to Dick Devos. In 1979, Devos graduated from Calvin College with a degree in business economics. Before becoming the secretary of education in the States, Betsy spent much of her career fighting to eradicate barriers in education, business, and political fields. As a result, she is described as an advocate and a proven leader. Most of her energy focused on bringing change and a conducive environment through which businesses and people can thrive. Additionally, she has served in different roles in the Republican Party, political action committees and campaigns.

 

Her contribution to philanthropy is extensive, and in times, it comes as a family contribution. The family work in charity goes back decades. They have donated millions of dollars to political campaigns and leadership institutes. The donations are made both at the local and international level. At the local level, she has focused on the state of Michigan with much of the money going to election-related matters. It is estimated that Betsy Devos and family have spent over $ 44 million in Michigan politics alone. Betsy personal contribution towards charity involves co-chairing Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation. The foundation is a great supporter of the West Michigan Aviation Academy. Dick Devos founded the aviation-themed school in 2010. It is based at General R. Ford International Airport. Through the Foundation, Betsy and family support two Christian schools managed by the Potter’s House. Additionally, Betsy provides funding to Education Freedom Forum, an organization that offers scholarships to disadvantaged children.

 

Some of the donation she makes provides insight into her views on education matters. The Family Foundation is a great supporter of the American Federation for children. Also, it contributes significantly to the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Betsy co-chairs AFC that has an affiliation with the Alliance for School Choice. The AFC is closely allied to ALEC and organizations that advocate for schools choice. However, Betsy and Dick Devos work of philanthropy are not limited to school choice giving. They support development in healthcare and arts. She is a significant contributor to ArtPrize, an annual competition that brings art competitors together in Grand Rapids. Additionally, Betsy contributes to pediatric oncology advancement at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital. Betsy and her family have been involved in financing several political events for the Republicans. In 2004, she helped raise over $ 150,000 towards the re-election of President Bush. Up to today, the family has made political donation amounting to over $70 million. Their overall contributions towards charity are estimated to be over $139 million.

 

Visit http://www.betsydevos.com/ to learn more.