Dick DeVos Article Recap

Dick DeVos is a quintessential American businessman. As the former head of Amway, he led the company to multimillion dollar sales in a variety of industries and has been one of the biggest sponsors for sports arenas around the world. However, DeVos has also been an influential business leader in his hometown and within the aviation world. Many people did not know this fact until he was recently appointed to the Management Advisory Council by the Federal Aviation Administration.

 

The new council is comprised of 13 members, including DeVos. The members will meet on several issues to discuss about the aviation industry, of which DeVos is quite familiar being a pilot himself. He has also worked closely with many in the airline industry, hoping to persuade airlines to create new opportunities and terminals at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.

 

The Grand Rapids airport went through a re-launch in 1999, becoming the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. However, the airport needed a lot of work to become profitable. DeVos was asked by the CEO to help the airport with new ideas and expanding with airlines. DeVos was able to make a call to one of his connections, the CEO of Air Tran Airways. The CEO and DeVos talked about a variety of things on the call, but DeVos was able to persuade the CEO to add new terminals including St. Louis, Vegas, Denver, and Orlando.

 

However, a few years later Devos had to work with the CEO of Southwest to keep those terminals when it took over Air Tran Airways. Southwest was shutting down a number of different terminals. DeVos didn’t want Grand Rapids location to be next. He talked with Marlboro about keeping the terminals and even expanding them in the future, due to the numbers and growth in the area. While the CEO was still debating, he decided to go with DeVos and keep the terminals.

 

There were other things that DeVos was delving into with the business leaders of his hometown. He wanted to affect change in a variety of ways, including the formation of Grand Action, which was a committee of business leaders in the area. The economy of Grand Rapids needed quite a big boost, but DeVos didn’t want to build in certain areas that wouldn’t affect the downtown business district. He was reminded of the problems facing Detroit and wanted Grand Rapids to become a beacon of change.

 

This is why he worked with business leaders to create opportunities downtown that would lead to greater economic booms for the city. He also had his sights on building up the airport to improve the global economy for Grand Rapids as well. In fact, he did both and continues to support the city through great city planning and philanthropy.

 

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Betsy Devos – on topic article

In the time leading up to the Trump Administration’s cancellation of the Obama-era transgender school bathroom bill, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos clashed with other influential members of the administration. She felt the policy should remain in force. Other members of the administration, such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, pushed the president to rescind the policy. Though education is her turf, the president went counter to her recommendation.

 

Some have viewed this as a defeat for DeVos, but people familiar with her work in Michigan politics warn against underestimating her. She earned a reputation in the state as a tough political fighter. She chaired the Michigan Republican Party, a position you don’t get without knowing how to take on political opposition and win. Her publicly gracious persona shows class and should never be mistaken for deferential meekness, her Michigan colleagues note. She has used her family’s considerable fortune to advance politicians who believe in her mission and punish those who worked against it. She has worked behind the scenes to unseat many opponents in the Michigan Congress.

 

Mrs. DeVos’s political efforts have paid big dividends in Michigan and around the country. She believes passionately in the right of parents to choose schools for their children, regardless of ability to pay private school tuition. She advocated for increased public funding for private schools through vouchers and tax incentives to help families of modest means afford private schools. As a result, Detroit boasts the most extensive network of charter schools in the country.

 

Political opponents in Michigan claimed that Detroit’s charter schools were underperforming and attempted to create a mechanism to close many of them through a bill in the state legislature. In response, Mrs. DeVos created the Great Lakes Education Project, which successfully combated the bill. Mrs. DeVos argued that the charter schools provide much better education than Detroit’s public schools while also providing free choice. This serves as an example of her political determination and acmen that her Michigan political colleagues expect to see during her Washington tenure.

 

Mrs. DeVos has also devoted her time and political and financial resources to educational philanthropy. In a recent interview with Philanthropy Roundtable, she recounted how she and her husband, Dick DeVos, an heir to the Amway fortune, became interested in donating to private schools after visiting a Grand Rapids private Christian school. She noted how much the families struggled to afford the education they wanted for their children. After seeing the hardships this created, she became politically active and has worked for education reform in Michigan and across the nation.

 

Betsy DeVos was born in Holland, Michigan. She graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While in college, she met her future husband, Dick DeVos. The couple has four adult children. Mrs. DeVos was appointed education secretary by President Trump in November, 2016. Her strong belief in education reform through school-choice initiatives has made her popular amongst conservatives.

 

To learn more, visit www.betsydevos.com.