Category archives: Philanthropist

Dick DeVos Article Recap

Dick DeVos, former president of Amway and current CEO of The Windquest Group, was appointed to the new Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council. For many years, the FAA has looked to create a council that will help them make important decisions on the future of aviation.

 

The council consists of 13 members. DeVos has always worked on the side with airlines and airports, which gives him some unique insight into the needs of the aviation industry. He has personally worked with the CEO of Gerald R. Ford International Airport for many years, expanding the airport’s traffic each year exponentially.

 

The airport is also home to the aviation charter school founded by Dick and his wife, the US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The pair have been champions for educational reform, and part of that campaign has revolved around charter schools as one of the options for private choice or educational choice.

 

As developed as DeVos’ background is, he will be meeting with 12 others who have experience in other aspects of aviation, such as policymaking and transportation regulations. There are also a few airline executives on board to help with the business side. The FAA will talk to the council about budgets, future growth, regulations, and upcoming policy changes. Overall, it’s a plan to stabilize the airline industry and prevent future issues as the digital revolution continues to cause issues for air travel.

 

Dick DeVos started working with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in the late 1990s. He helped the airport bring on new terminals in the 2000s through a personal connection with Air Tran Airways CEO. He also worked with the CEO of Southwest to keep terminals open as the company had begun to shutter many of its flights in other cities.

 

All in all, the efforts led to a $45 million expansion. The refreshed airport will have a new food court area, business center, and upgraded terminals. New technology will help travelers stay connected to WiFi and pass through security faster. DeVos chose the Gerald R. Ford International Airport after working with several businesses in the Grand Rapids area.

 

As his hometown, Grand Rapids has always been the place where DeVos has looked to for inspiration for bigger ideas. He helped expand the area through Grand Action in the 1990s as well. Grand Action was a committee of business owners in the area who wanted to bring more commerce to the downtown business district. Together with the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, over $134 million was donated to help charities, cultural organizations, health services, and family organizations in the area.

 

DeVos will meet with the council once every three months. DeVos’ appointment has been praised by the CEO of the Gerald R. Ford Airport and the CEO of Southwest as a smart decision due to his business acumen.

 

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Betsy DeVos Prepares for Education Reform

During the 2016 Presidential Election, there was a clear sentiment behind most American voters that change would have to come and it would have to come quick. Donald Trump, then a businessman and reality star, campaigned on the idea of draining the swamp of American politics and bringing in outsiders in order to run the country. After his improbable victory, Donald Trump took office and began to immediately render the changes that he had been touting for the past year and it all began by assembling his administration of political outsiders. While there were many high-profile names brought on board, Steve Bannon and Rex Tillerson to name a couple, it was Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education that got most of the political world to perk up their ears.

 

Betsy DeVos was brought on board as the Secretary of Education in order to continue the work that she had been rendering in the state of Michigan for the better part of the past two decades. DeVos was born to a wealthy family, with her father working in the auto industry and her brother becoming a billionaire through his creation of the Blackwater private security firm. Despite DeVos’ massive wealth, she did not sit idly by and grow up with her hands in her pocket. Instead, DeVos wanted to stay busy, pursue higher education, and make a difference in her state. In order to do that, DeVos went on to attend Calvin College where should we become familiar with the works of Milton Friedman. At Calvin College, DeVos would hone the edge that she would need in order to use her education for political change throughout the state.

 

Betsy DeVos would graduate from Calvin College before going on to eventually marry Dick DeVos, heir to the Amway fortune and a former sports franchise owner. Dick DeVos would run for office in Michigan on the Republican ticket and that would put the DeVos name into the public zeitgeist. While Dick DeVos would ultimately fall short, his effort would help to put Betsy into the public eye, thus giving her the boost that she needed in order to get some notice on the federal level.

 

Before heading to Washington D.C. as the first choice for the Secretary of Education position, Betsy DeVos would spend a good 20 years loudly campaigning for the idea of school choice. DeVos would start up several charities while also operating as the chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party. This work would help DeVos get school choice onto the conservative platform and this would be integral in giving her movement the energy that it needed. Since DeVos became a champion for school choice, more than 17 states have adopted the platform while opening 33 private institutions that are currently servicing more than 250,000 total students. This was the level of success that Betsy DeVos had as a civilian and now she will have all of the tools of political office at her back in order to help bring that same change to the rest of the nation.

 

Follow Betsy DeVos on twitter for updates.