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Dick DeVos Loves Grand Rapids And Continues To Do Everything In His Power To Help It Flourish June 11, 2018

During the early 1990’s, a convention and multi-use sports arena was being planned to be built near the downtown area of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The plans were aired to the public, and as soon as he caught wind of them, Dick DeVos began an effort to stop the project before it got started. He started out by making some phone calls to build up a lobbying effort, and before long, he had contacted other business leaders in the area who agreed with his position on the matter. Together, they formed Grand Action, which eventually led to the building of the DeVos Performance Hall, Van Andel Arena, the DeVos Place Convention Center, Michigan State University’s medical school, and the Grand Rapids City Market.

 

The reason Dick DeVos was wary of this particular arena being built was mainly based on its location. He had been around to witness what the building of Pontiac Silverdome and Palace of Auburn Hills had done to the city of Detroit when its sports teams, the Pistons and the Lions, left the city during the 1970’s. What was left in the wake of the two teams leaving was a devastated downtown area that should of been thriving. Dick DeVos loved his city way too much to let it experience the same issues that the Silverdome had caused in Detroit.

 

Dick DeVos has been a positive influence on the city of Grand Rapids for many years, and it has been his wife, Betsy DeVos, and himself who have been responsible for a lot of the money that has gone to support many good causes and important buildings in the city. Without their help, the children’s hospital in the Spectrum Health System would have never been built. Their donation of over $12 million helped to fund the $103 million project that ended up being named after Dick’s mom, Helen DeVos. It was also him who was responsible for making Michigan a state where people can work without being forced to be a part of a union.

 

Dick DeVos was recently appointed to be a part of the civilian panel that oversees the Federal Aviation Administration. The Department of Transportation made the announcement that, along with seven other new members, he would join the group. It is their job to help guide the course of the agency by advising the senior management of the FAA. He will serve as a volunteer for the organization for 3 years and is allowed to continue to work in the private and public sector during his time of service.

 

Dick DeVos is a large part of the reason why the Gerald R. Ford International Airport is the success it is today. It was him who led business leaders, behind the scenes, to ensure that Southwest would offer plenty of flights out of the city of Grand Rapids. The moves he made during that time have kept air fares low and have helped the airport to grow tremendously. Dick was also half of the reason why the West Michigan Aviation Academy was opened. The charter school began by opening its doors on the property of the Grand Rapids airport and is still successful today.

 

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

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Categories: Education

Betsy DeVos: Far from Silent March 23, 2018

Betsy DeVos has been a polarizing figure in national politics. The recent article posted on Nytimes.com, “Betsy DeVos is Publicly Polite, but a Political Fighter” talks about the impression many have of the new Secretary of Education and her previous political reputation. Even though she seems gracious in the face of loss in a recent political fight towards transgender students’ usage of school bathroom facilities, she is not down for the count on all fronts. In fact, her ability to adapt and switch gears makes her a better candidate for this role than many considered her to be at the onset of her tenure.

 

Before being appointed as the 11th Secretary of Education, DeVos worked a very successful career as a businesswoman and a Republican National Committeewoman for the state of Michigan. She also served as a chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party. She is not a novice to the world of politics. Her list of accomplishments also includes a membership on several boards such as the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the Alliance for School Choice, the All Children Matter PAC, and the Acton Institute.

 

One of the major issues that DeVos has stood up for is the use of charter schools. Recently the Washington Post detailed her visits to several charter schools throughout the United States, particularly in Florida. While some charter schools may still be in development, DeVos believes that they will have a bigger role in the future. With the introduction of different school types and even online educational systems, the world of learning is changing. According to DeVos a greater amount of resources being funneled into charter schools will not only help increase education standards, but it will encourage public schools to work harder on their curriculum in order to compete. She has seen a lot of teachers approaching their jobs with lackluster enthusiasm and the children are the ones that suffer because of it.

 

For DeVos, charter schools are the way to go. There is a lot of overhauling that needs to be done, but she is a strong advocate for school choice. Parents should have a bigger role in their children’s education and should not be forced to have their children attend school in a district that continually underscores. So, while she might seem like she is standing on the sidelines, DeVos is doing anything but that. She has strong ideas that she will passionately pursue as she continues to fill this position.

 

Visit http://www.betsydevos.com/ to learn more.

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Categories: Education