For many years now, Dick and Betsy DeVos have made their hometown in Grand Rapids, MI. Dick has really established himself as a force to be reckoned with. However, they weren’t always quite as well-known. In 1991, Dick DeVos was well on his way to becoming the CEO of Amway, the worldwide company that his father helped to start. They probably would have stayed somewhat obscure, except it was during that year there was a plan to build a sports arena in a suburb of Grand Rapids. Dick DeVos knew that it would kill his hometown economy, so he got on the phones and pulled some strings. He knew that construction of the Silverdome in Pontiac and the Palace at Auburn Hills were detrimental to Detroit’s economy, and he didn’t want to see the same thing happen in Grand Rapids. With a bit of persistence, DeVos was able to stop the idea from coming to fruition.
Dick DeVos’ campaign to prevent this detrimental economic decision from occurring in Grand Rapids also led to the formation of Grand Action, which consists of a consortium of community leaders that have been instrumental in developing a number of important Grand Rapids landmarks. These would include the Van Andel Arena, the Grand Rapids City Market, the DeVos Performance Hall and the medical school affiliated with Michigan State University.
Of course, the DeVos family is best known for supporting a number of Republican causes. These would include Betsy’s fight for school choice and Dick’s campaign to turn Michigan from one of the biggest union states in the country to a right-to-work state in 2012. However, they have built just as much of a legacy for their philanthropic efforts as well.
The DeVos family has actually given away about $139 million from 1989 to 2015 to leadership programs, health and human services, arts and culture, churches, scholarships for private schools and policy changes for the promotion of education reform. The DeVos family contributed the top donation of $12.5 million towards the construction of a children’s hospital within the Spectrum Health System that was constructed in 2006 and was named after the late Helen DeVos, the family matriarch of the DeVos family.
Why do Dick and Betsy DeVos place such priority on education reform? For one simple reason: they want to see all children, whether they are from poor or middle-class backgrounds or whatever, to have the same opportunities their children have. Who knows? The individual who discovers the cure for cancer or the first man on Mars or the next great philanthropist just might come from a poor or middle-class background just because of the efforts of the DeVos family.
Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.
Sometimes you hear about a company that’s so unique that it’s too difficult to ignore. Lovaganza is one of those companies. Licensed in the United Kingdom, Lovaganza travels the world to make unique films and to produce special events that are designed to increase cultural awareness.
Imagine going back in time and visiting a movie theatre, or visiting a carnival one hundred years in the past. The films and entertainment that’s produced by the Lovaganza Entertainment Franchise is comparable to those experiences, but better thanks to their use of modern technology.
The films that they produce tend to have an older style cinematic quality. The members of the Lovaganza team have traveled to and produced films in California and Utah, USA. They’ve also been in France and Spain doing the same thing. They’ve recorded film footage in Disneyland that’s in California. They’ve been in the cities Barcelona and Frigiliana that are in Spain. They’ve traveled to many other locations in California.
In their films and special events, they emphasize cultural diversity and the ancient knowledge that each culture has.
The Lovaganza crew knows that teaching cultural diversity isn’t enough, and they care enough to try to achieve a significant and positive impact for the whole world. That’s why they have planned for the Lovaganza Foundation. Lovaganza will be a non-profit organization that will receive a portion of its funding from the profits that they generate from the entertainment franchise.
The foundation will try to make the world a better place for children. In fact, by 2035 the Lovaganza Foundation hopes to: keep all children out of war situations, insure that all children have access to clean water, a place to sleep, basic education and health care. They also want to eliminate child labor and marriages.
According to the website, this special foundation is waiting to be launched. The ideas concerning this future foundation clearly demonstrate the caring nature of the Lovaganza team!
Learn more about Lovaganza:
Dick DeVos’ West Michigan Aviation Academy (WMAA) is a charter school located at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. It currently enroll 490 students, 9-12th grade, who have an interest in aviation, science or engineering.
DeVos, a pilot himself, is a generous philanthropist and a huge proponent of education. His dollars have made it possible for many underprivileged children to go to better schools and prepare for college. This Spring will host the first graduating class.
In a move to help students get the jump on college, WMAA is partnering with Northwestern Michigan College (NWM) to allow graduates to enter the college with 8 credits. “The agreement will definitely help student save and money,” said NWA director Aaron Cook. “We are really happy that we have a local college that can do so much to help students.”
It was recently announced that the school will be undergoing another expansion. WMAA was to be constructed in phases. I, II and III have already been completed. Phase IV will be underway in a few weeks and is slated to be completed by early 2017. The new space will have more classrooms, laboratories and a hangar.
The school’s curriculum is on par with some of the best schools in the region. Students are required to take science, engineering, advanced math and other technical courses along with the aviation courses.
DeVos says he is extremely happy with the school. Students and parents give the charter school high marks.
Students who have graduated are offered the opportunity to further their aviation career at Davenport University or Ferris State University. Both offer Bachelor degrees in business with an aviation concentration.
Find more information on Dick DeVos via LinkedIn.