Dick DeVos immersed into the limelight at a young age when he decided to fight against the proposed construction of a multi-purpose sports and convention arena in Grand Rapids. This structure was to be erected at the center of the northern area of downtown Grand Rapids. DeVos foresaw the detrimental effects of the construction to the downtown area and warned against it. He became the CEO of his family’s company, Amway from 1193-2002. His massive campaign against the sports arena led to the birth of Grand Action. This is a group of mighty leaders of business collectively responsible for the construction of landmarks in Grand Rapids such as the Michigan State University’s Medical school, the Van Andel Arena, the DeVos Performance Hall, and the Grand Rapids City Market. These structures have immensely contributed to the change in the Grand Rapids skyline.
Dick married Betsy who was also heiress to a mighty family fortune and has since combined efforts to try and better people’s lives. They have dedicated their lives to influencing change in institution policies that they deem incorrect. Being that they significantly donate to the GOP, they have been in positions to effect significant changes in state laws concerning education and labor. The Dick and Betsy Foundation is a significant contributor to leadership programs, art and culture initiatives and other policy reform organizations. The family in 2006 also donated to the construction of the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Dick DeVos who serves as the chairperson of the Spectrum corporate board says that the structure of the hospital will enable parents no to have to take time off when their children are in need of medical aid.
Dick DeVos has always focused on making critical reforms in the education sector. He established the Aviation Charter school that is located at the Grand Rapids International Airport. The school is a great platform which prepares its students for careers in Aviation. Betsy states her husband’s agenda in matters of education is at par with hers. They both advocate for the equal rights of knowledge when it comes to the financial disparity. Although the DeVos have met with a lot of pushback from various stakeholders and even recently lost a campaign for a constitutional amendment, they moved forward. This meant that they had to shift their strategy and began to advocate for private school vouchers in other parts of the country. This momentum for change was among the many reasons that saw Betsy DeVos appointed as the U.S Secretary of Education in Donald Trump’s cabinet.
Dick DeVos was also appointed to the top civilian panel which oversees the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The board is tasked with advising the FAA’s senior management on spending, planning, and matters of regulation. Dick and Betsy DeVos are single-handedly responsible for the immense growth of the Grand Rapid area and its environs. They have effected changes, built school which impact a lot of young lives in the area. The facilities they have helped erect such as the hospital are significant contributors to the quality life lived by Grand Rapids community. The DeVos are true patriots and philanthropists.
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