Known as a CEO interested in progress, CEO Dick DeVos has always sought to change the world for the better. This is a personality trait that has followed him throughout his adult life, with one of his most notable actions being instilling the change brought to the Grand Rapids, Michigan airport a few years ago.
This wasn’t the only thing that Dick DeVos took action for in Grand Rapids, though. For example, in 1991 DeVos was vocal about a potential plan to build a convention center north of downtown. DeVos opposed the building of the center due to his ambivalence over whether or not it would provide a positive change for the area’s culture.
Having seen the Pontiac Silverdome and Palace of Auburn Hills affect the city of Detroit so drastically in the 70s, DeVos took it upon himself to ensure that such an event would not happen again in Michigan.
None of these actions are contradictory to what Dick DeVos stands for as a person and political figure. In partnership with his wife Betsy, the DeVos family have focused many of their efforts over the years to providing residents of Michigan with successful public infrastructure and systems to regulate labor costs. For example, the couple’s generous donation of $12.5 million to a children’s hospital in 2006 shows that they are interested in helping communities to improve in whichever way possible.
This is where the family’s prioritization of education reform comes in—Betsy and Dick DeVos have always been interested in philanthropy and improving educational circumstances, believing that making education accessible is the way to improve society.
In the early 2000s, this drive caused the DeVoses to sponsor a proposed amendment to allow students to benefit from tax-funded vouchers for private schools, something that was repeatedly rejected. However, it’s not necessarily in the DeVos ethos to simply give up after having facing a dilemma. Instead, they continued their push for the tax-funded vouchers, eventually getting some form of this in 24 different states around the country.
Though the political landscape is always changing, the initiative present in the actions of the DeVos family will continue to stay consistent and strong.
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