Both Dick and Betsy DeVos love their hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. They have worked hard to help make it what it is today. Dick’s father is the founder of the successful Amway Corporation. Dick started from the bottom of his company and was quickly working his way up the corporate ladder towards CEO when something happened in his beloved city. Around the middle of 1991, DeVos heard rumors of a supposed plan for a new convention center to be built. It was going to be for sports and other events in the downtown area.
Not Happy About Proposed Convention Center
DeVos quickly picked up his phone and called other local businessmen in the area. All of these men were owners of other prestigious businesses in the downtown area. Once they heard about the plan, they joined Dick in lobbying against this idea. They were all worried that this new convention center would be bad for the city and have a negative effect on the businesses currently there. The group DeVos formed was called the Grand Action Group.
DeVos Helps Grow Michigan Charter School
Dick and Betsy have a love of education. Betsy DeVos is the current education secretary under President Trump. She has helped her husband create a successful charter school in Michigan. The school was built inside the old hangar at the airport. The school was founded in 2010 and named the West Michigan Aviation Academy. It is a unique type of charter high school that started small with only around 80 students.
The school now has grown to more than 600 students from more than seven counties around the state. There are kids who have to commute hours to get to this prestigious school. More students apply for entry into this school each year than there are spots available. Because of this, there is a public lottery held each year during spring to fill the open spots.
Dick Joins FAA’s Top Aviation Board
Dick’s love of aviation has no bounds. He is a longtime pilot and was just appointed to a civilian panel which helps the Federal Aviation Administration during quarterly meetings. The panel is made of 13 members and they help advise the administration on things such as long-range planning, spending, policies and regulatory matters. Each member of the board is to serve a three-year term and continue to retain all of their private and public sector positions during this time.
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