About Causes Supported by Dick DeVos

Back in 1991, when a plan was introduced to build a multi-purpose arena just north of downtown Grand Rapids, Dick DeVos quickly began lobbying against it. His main worry was that building a convention center at that location would have a negative impact on downtown Grand Rapids, just like the Palace of Auburn Hills and Pontiac Silverdome were bad for Detroit after the Pistons and Lions left the city over forty years ago.


DeVos, who served as CEO of Amway from 1993 to 2002, believed that the people of Grand Rapids should learn from what happened in Detroit and not make the same mistakes. His campaigning against building a sports facility outside downtown led to the formation of a group of business leaders called Grand Action. They were the main driving forces behind building the Michigan State University’s medical school, the DeVos Performance Hall, DeVos Place Convention Center and Grand Rapids City Market. All of these places are believed to have changed the way the Grand Rapids skyline looks like, especially at a time when the city was trying to prevent suburban sprawl.


Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy have spent a large portion of their lives trying to influence policies and institutions. They’re mega donors to the GOP and their influence has resulted in changing laws that affect education and labor. While Dick and Betsy DeVos are known for supporting conservative and Republican causes, they’ve also supported various other charitable endeavors, both in the Grand Rapids area and around the nation.


From 1989 to 2015, the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation has been responsible for providing more than $138 million to programs that promote efficient health and human services, arts and culture, churches, leadership programs and policy initiatives related to education reform.


The fact that Betsy DeVos is a strong advocate of school choice is one of the reasons why President Trump appointed her as Secretary of Education. She was confirmed after some debate happened in the U.S. Senate regarding the impact that school choice measures have on the nation’s traditional public educational systems.


Dick DeVos is well known for starting the West Michigan Aviation Academy, a unique public high school located in western Michigan that opened its doors in 2010. The nonprofit charter school has grown significantly over the years. It hosted 80 students in its first year and operated out of a rundown office building at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The school now has vastly improved facilities and is attended by 600 students from all over the world.


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

Dick DeVos: From Education Reform to Aviation Perfection

In the early 1990’s, a plan was going around in Grand Rapids that would have put a brand new, multi-purpose, sports convention center near the downtown area.


But Dick DeVos immediately began assembling a group to lobby against the idea.


After experiencing the hardships caused by the Pontiac Silverdome and Palace of Auburn Hills, he knew this project would not help to improve Grand Rapids.


In creating a group to lobby against the ideas, he ended up forming Grand Action: a collection of strong business leaders who helped construct many key landmarks in Grand Rapids today – like the Grand Rapids City Market.


Dick DeVos’ contributions to Grand Rapids span beyond forming Grand Action. From 1989 to 2015, his foundation has donated over one-hundred million dollars to various programs, religious institutions, educational institutions, and more. Dick and his wife, Betsy, were also the top donors to the newest children’s hospital in Grand Rapids, too.


Mr. DeVos is also extremely active in education reform. His goal is simple: to provide those from poor families the same educational opportunities as those from rich families.


To do this, he has been a strong advocate for private school vouchers. These vouchers would help children from low-income families attend top private schools. This type of program is now running in over twenty states.


More recently, Dick DeVos was appointed as to the highest citizen group that oversees the F.A.A. (Federal Aviation Administration).


His responsibilities will include recommending rules, allowance, long-term planning, regulations to those in senior management positions.


One spokesperson of the Federal Aviation Administration went as far as to say that those in a position like Dick’s create the overall strategy of the administration.


The reason Dick DeVos is up to this task, is because he was a driving force in fixing the Ford International Airport. He, along with a group of other prestigious leaders, were able to convince certain airlines to offer improved routes out of the airport. This helped increase the amount of passengers who use the airport, as well as reduce airfare for these customers at the same time.


Regardless of if you’re from Grand Rapids, Michigan, or not – it’s difficult to argue that Dick DeVos has not made a positive impact on the United States. From education to aviation, he has made a positive difference that has been able to help those with low incomes. When it comes to education, he’s helped people get vouchers, and when it comes to aviation, he’s reduced airfare costs. It will be exciting to see what Dick DeVos goes on to improve next.


Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/about to learn more.