The efforts of Dick and Betsy Devos in the reforms and policies in the education and labor sector have had a significant impact over the years. Betsy Devos has championed for educational choice among students and parents, and she has been a considerable influence towards the formation of charter schools across the country. President Trump appointed Betsy Devos as the US education secretary, and many critics pointed out that her charter schools had significantly affected traditional public schools. Dick Devos, on the other hand, has been of significant influence specifically in the Grand Rapids area. In the year 1991, Dick Devos vehemently lobbied to stop a project for the downtown area that involved the construction of a multi-purpose arena for sports and conventions. Dick Devos was at the time the next in line in the cooperate leadership of Amway Corp– a family company, and the argued that the project would be a bad idea for north downtown GrandRapids comparing the situation to occurrences in Detroit in the 1970s for the Pontiac Silverdome and Palace of Auburn Hills projects. Also, Dick Devos was part of Grand Action an organization of business directors that have been credited with revolutionalizing the skyline of the Grand Rapids. Some of the projects associated with the Grand Action group include; the Grand Rapids City market, the Van Andel Arena, the Devos Performance Hall and the Devos Place Convention Centre. Dick Devos has also tried to make his mark in the political scene having ran for the office of the governor but lost to Jennifer Granholm. Dick Devos was the driving force behind the passing of the bill that transformed the labor system of Michigan State where membership to a union was no longer mandatory and it became a right to work state. Dick Devos has also been involved in contributing to the quality of education in the country as he founded the West Michigan Aviation Academy. Betsy and Dick Devos have not only focused their lifetime efforts on reforming policies and strategies but also have the reputation of being a generous couple and even taking part in philanthropic efforts. The Dick and Betsy Devos foundation have been an active contributor regarding funds towards churches, arts and culture, leadership programs and also initiatives of policies that focus on reforms of education and scholarships for students to attend private schools. The foundation has been reported to give away $138.7 million between the period of 1989-2015. Also, the couple was among the significant contributors to the construction project of the children’s hospital at Spectrum Health System. The children’s hospital was named Helen Devos after the wife to co-founder of Amway Richard Devos. Dick and Betsy Devos have fallen and picked themselves up in their journey towards reforming policies and strategies. Critics and stumbling blocks were the stepping stones of the couple and their efforts has bore fruits as most labor reforms in Michigan and education policies across the country could be attributed to Dick and Betsy Devos.
To learn more, visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/.