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.