When Dick Devos learned about the plan to build a sports arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the then-CEO of Amway Corp immediately made up his mind. His main concern was that the convention center would be unfavorable to the city’s downtown. He compared its fate with the Palace of Auburn Hills as well as the Pontiac Silverdome, which he viewed as both detrimental to Detroit.
Dick Devos agreed that it was a lesson many in the state learned, which was why he opposed the construction of the sports arena and convention center. His campaign was supported by other groups and later inspired the creation of Grand Action. This small gathering of business leaders backed Mr. Devos in his fight against the massive center.
The entrepreneurs were also the ones behind several buildings in the city, including the Van Andel Arena and the Devos Place Convention Center. Up until now, these destinations are considered the game changers in the city’s skyline.
Mr. and Mrs. Devos
Dick and his wife, Betsy, are both heirs to the fortunes of their families. These two have always been known for their efforts in modifying policies and institutions. Additionally, they have been huge donors and supporters of Grand Old Party (GOP). In their hometown, Mr. and Mrs. Devos have influenced significant changes, particularly in state laws that have affected labor and education.
For instance, Dick created a law in 2012, which stopped the requirement of union membership to get a job. It was quite revolutionary because the state, for decades, was about organized labor where employers would view the birthplace of the work applicant first. Meanwhile, his wife has been notorious about expanding charter schools for children.
The Devos family is not just about the Republican Party and conservative foundations that they have been supporting throughout most of their adult life. In fact, the husband and wife established their own foundation in 1989. Since that time all the way to 2015, it was reported that the charitable institution named Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation gave away almost $139 million. The funds were allotted to various groups, including human services, health, arts, and culture.
They have also donated to several churches, initiatives, and programs that were education-centric. They also helped some children get scholarships, particularly those who wanted to enter private schools. Meanwhile, in their hometown, they have donated more than $12 million for Spectrum Health System’s children’s hospital, which was worth $103 million. The hospital was named after Helen Devos who was Dick’s mother and the wife of Richard Devos, one of the founders of Amway Corp.
More about Dick Devos
The family’s efforts do not go unnoticed. In fact, Mr. Devos was one of the suggested leaders of the Federal Aviation Administration or FAA. He became a member of the FAA in September 2017, which was made official by the US Department of Transportation Secretary.
Concerning airways, Dick Devos was the force behind changing the air travel methods in the entire West Michigan. With his intelligent decisions and philanthropic actions, it is no wonder that he and his family are well-respected in the whole state.
Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.