Dick DeVos isn’t about to rest on his laurels. Despite serving in a leadership role at his father’s Amway Corporation, Dick DeVos isn’t satisfied with the status quo. He sees businesses as partners with the entire community. When it came time for Grand Rapids to install a major entertainment venue, DeVos sprung into action in order to ensure that the venue stayed in Grand Rapids instead of locating in the suburbs.
The original plans called to install the entertainment complex outside of the city limits. DeVos decided that wouldn’t be good for the development of downtown, and it was up to him to do something about it. Dedicated to working for the benefit of the entire community, DeVos picked up the phone to convince community leaders to install the complex within the city limits.
The plan worked, and Van Andel Arena soon became an important part of the City of Grand Rapids. Located on the south side of Grand Rapids, the arena became just the beginning of what has been a resurgence of downtown development. People from the City of Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas now stream downtown in order to attend concerts, sporting events and even politically rallies. In fact, the Van Andel Arena played host to United States President Donald Trump in 2019.
The Van Andel initiative is only one part of the DeVos commitment to community change. The DeVos family is part to many community projects including education projects. The family is behind an aviation charter academy installed at the Grand Rapids Ford International Airport. Dick DeVos says that as a pilot, he’s interested in sharing his love of flying as well as the opportunity for an outstanding education with the next generation. Students have the chance to learn about aviation as well as study traditional school subjects like English, mathematics and foreign language. Students can earn flights for good behavior and good grades.
The DeVos family has also ventured into politics as part of their plan to improve education. Dick DeVos ran for governor of Michigan but lost to Democratic fixture Jennifer Granholm. The DeVos family also led the effort to bring school vouchers before Michigan voters. The measure failed. However, the family continued their efforts to improve education until Donald Trump named Betsy DeVos Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Betsy DeVos has been busy working for policy changes that she believes are essential to improving education.
In addition to education, the DeVos family has spearheaded other civic projects in Grand Rapids. They are the namesake of DeVos Place, an entertainment complex that is also located in downtown Grand Rapids. They have interests in businesses in the city including the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and the Marriott hotel. The family is also the title sponsor of the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.
Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.