Michigan entrepreneur, business professional, and author Dick DeVos (husband of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos) has never been content with simply floating through life. To be sure, Mr. DeVos’s commitment to achieving favorable outcomes for himself, as well as the individuals and causes he represents—whether he’s familiar with them through business, politics, or simple geography—is unparalleled, as evidenced by the spectacular results he’s produced.
These results are wide-ranging and diverse, and importantly, they date back several decades. In 1991, Mr. DeVos declared his opposition to the proposed construction of a massive sports arena just outside of downtown Grand Rapids; this opposition was revealed during a very busy time in Mr. DeVos’s life, as he was serving a prominent role in his family’s marketing business, Amway. This role ultimately evolved to that of CEO.
Despite his prior professional commitments, Mr. DeVos couldn’t help but speak out for what he believed in—the idea that a non-downtown sports arena would negatively impact the heart of Grand Rapids’ business district. It turned out that a number of Grand Rapids residents and business professionals felt the same way, and together with Mr. DeVos they formed Grand Action, a group committed to the further development of Grand Rapids, and specifically, its prominent downtown area.
It’d take quite a while to list all Grand Action’s accomplishments, but the organization has been largely responsible for initiating the construction of Grand Rapids’ City Market, Michigan State Medical School, and DeVos Performance Hall, amongst many others. These establishments have helped to continually attract visitors and residents alike to the city.
More significant yet is that the wide-ranging physical byproducts of Mr. DeVos’s initiatives are only part of his total accomplishments; he and his wife Betsy have helped to bring about largescale societal change through their numerous donations and charitable contributions. These donations and contributions are cumulatively worth hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars.
For example, between 1990 and 2015 Mr. and Mrs. DeVos’s personal charitable organization, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, awarded over $130 million to all sorts of programs, individuals, and causes, with a specific emphasis on promoting religion, educational awareness, and health. Additionally, Mr. DeVos (along with his wife) contributed over 10% of the funds required to construct a Grand Rapids children’s hospital, which was ultimately named after Mr. DeVos’s mother, Helen.
In short, Mr. and Mrs. DeVos have given back in quite a few ways.
Politically, now that Mrs. DeVos has assumed the role of Secretary of Education under President Trump, she and Mr. DeVos are set to give back on a larger platform than ever before. While it is true that they have donated to no shortage of political causes over the years, and that Mr. DeVos worked hard to make Michigan a right-to-work state while Mrs. DeVos fought for school choice and vouchers, Mrs. DeVos’s new government position is one that ascends partisan politics; it’s one that she holds not to simply agree with those in her political party, but rather, to use as a tool to better her country’s educational quality and experiences.
To be sure, it wasn’t long ago that Mrs. DeVos called President Trump and tried to persuade him not to rescind a gender-identity rule passed by the Obama Administration; while she agrees with the chief executive on certain issues, she doesn’t see eye-to-eye with him on others. And that, in a once again highly partisan political landscape, is the mark of someone who’s assumed office for the express purpose of truly making a difference.
Furthermore, whatever professional paths Mr. DeVos decides to pursue in the future—including another foray into politics—one can also be sure that he’ll carry out their corresponding duties with the utmost sincerity, care, and honor. Learn more: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/10/the_billionaire_that_put_grand.htmlCategories: Politics