Dick DeVos loves his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has contributed to the spectacular growth in this Second Largest Michigan City. The effort has borrowed from lessons learned from the state’s largest City—that downtown can be a magnet for growth. While working his way up the ladder to CEO at Amway, he foresaw the tremendous advantage of locating commercial assets in the center city area.
In 1991, the City of Grand Rapids considered the development of new sports arena, and the planners seemed pointed towards lower costs of land and development in the suburbs. Dick DeVos immediately joined the discussion strongly urging placing the facility in the heart of the City. He saw the potential to synergize the downtown area with a sports and hospitality venue. He had seen the poor results in neighboring Detroit which mistakenly sent its football and basketball venues to its remote suburbs.
Dick DeVos envisioned the center city is a hub for business and social activities that can essentially define a community. When shaping the direction of future growth, DeVos saw that many communities default into growing larger, having a larger footprint, and falling into patterns of suburban sprawl. The direction he inspired led to later core city developments including the DeVos Place Convention Center, the DeVos Performance Hall, and the Grand Rapids City Market. The city’s skyline and byline have changed for the better; it is a city with a forward view and remarkable signs of progress.
Taking time during and after his time as CEO of the Amway family Business, Dick DeVos has championed causes in which he believes. He has done far more than speak and complain, he has taken action and provided leadership. Dick DeVos has practiced his philosophy of creating opportunity. He expressed his lifelong interest in aviation by starting an aviation charter school at the Grand Rapids International Airport. This outstanding example of career education follows the philosophy and long history of educational activism by both Dick and Betsy DeVos.
Dick DeVos put the public interest at the center if his activities. In the year 2000, he and Betsy DeVos sponsored a proposed State Constitutional Amendment to create rights to access school vouchers. The DeVos’ have been tireless proponents of charter education, and school choice for taxpayers.
Dick DeVos ran for Governor of Michigan, and his campaign offered voters a clear choice towards economic growth and a more diversified educational system. His political ideas still resonate with those that foresaw the importance of technological innovation, increased investment, and economic diversity. He brought a sharp focus to the political arena on preparing young people to become skilled workers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs. Learn more: http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/about