You do not have to go back all that far into history to see how Dick DeVos has always been a champion of sorts for the causes that he believes in. Transport yourself to the year 1991 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was at this time that the city was proposing a multi-sports complex to be built right in the heart of their downtown. DeVos took one look at this and just knew that it would not work. He and his wife began to aggressively campaign against the idea. They wanted their fellow Grand Rapids residents to realize that the idea of building a complex downtown could hurt Grand Rapids as badly as similar construction did to Detroit.
The couple won the argument and the plans for the multi-sports complex were scrapped. The DeVos family was not content to just defeat the proposal though. They wanted to help the city build things that they believed would actually be beneficial to them. That is why they went to work building out the DeVos Place Convention Center, the DeVos Performance Hall, and the Grand Rapids City Market among other things. The DeVos family had single-handedly changed the entire cityscape of the place they call home.
They have the means to do this kind of thing thanks to their billionaire status. They are the heirs to two family fortunes. However, they have taken the time to grow out that wealth and do a lot of good with their wealth as well.
Another big thing that the two of them have done (for better or for worse) is work towards the issue of charter school access. They are both passionate about getting as many children in the United States the access they need to charter schools. It is their firm belief that these types of schools are simply better for the children in general. They also think that if parents had the option to put their children in these types of schools, they would do so. In their view, too many are trapped in a public school system that is not serving them well enough.
Dick DeVos has learned how to work in both the political and the business arena. He feels comfortable in both. Some say that he has mastered the techniques that he needs for both. This has helped him be able to have crossover appeal in a variety of different fields that he has worked in. He can be a giving and charitable person, but he also knows how to strike a deal at a business meeting.
All of these things put together make Dick DeVos a very interesting character that is worth our attention. Given that his wife Betsy DeVos is now our nation’s Secretary of Education, there could be a lot more influence from the DeVos family on the whole country in the near future.
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