Category Archives: Philanthropy

Dick and Betsy DeVos, Creating Opportunities Through Investments

Dick and Betsy DeVos use their influence, business sense, and money to help make institutional improvements that create opportunities for others. Their motivation is a desire to see children from low-income families have the same opportunities as their children. To help make that goal a reality, they advocate for businesses and developments that have long-term benefits for the state of Michigan, promote school choice, and donate millions of dollars for healthcare.


Before he became CEO of the Amway Corporation, Dick DeVos was already working towards building a better Michigan. In 1991, he opposed a plan that was underway for the construction of a new sports and convention arena. The proposal was to build the sports arena north of downtown Grand Rapids. DeVos remembered the dangers of what could happen to a city if the teams ever relocated. When the Lions and Pistons left Detroit in the 1970s, it was devastating to the city of Detroit. DeVos campaigned against building the sports facility to keep the same thing from happening to the City of Grand Rapids.


A group of like-minded businessmen Joined Dick DeVos’s efforts to stop the construction of the sports arena. They formed an organization called the Grand Action that helped facilitate the development of several facilities. They included the DeVos Place Convention Center, the DeVos Performance Hall, the Van Andel Arena, the Grand Rapids City Market and Michigan State University’s Medical School.


Both Dick DeVos and Betsy DeVos use their influence to further their conservative and political causes. The couple shares a passion for education reform. Betsy DeVos has successfully campaigned for the expansion of charter schools, beginning in Michigan and then expanding to other parts of the country. Her efforts to change the education system drew the attention of President Donald Trump, who appointed her to the position of Secretary of Education. Dick DeVos created an aviation charter school, which encompasses his interest in flying and education.


In 2006, the couple donated over $125 million to help build a new children’s hospital named after Dick DeVos’ mother, Helen DeVos. His father was Richard DeVos, who founded the Amway Corporation.


Currently, Dick DeVos is the CEO of his own company, The Windquest Group, which is in Grand Rapids. It is a holding company consisting of for several businesses such as Neurocore, Boxed Water, Coppercraft Distillery, and other investments.


DeVos played a critical role in creating more business for the Gerald Ford Airport in Grand Rapids. He helped convince Southwest Airlines to offer flights out of Grand Rapids. The low fares and additional flights resulted in more passengers.


Recently, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao appointed Dick DeVos as a member of the Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) Management Advisory Council. Jim Gill, CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport spoke of what a tremendous asset DeVos will be for the Council. The experience that Dick DeVos has as an aviation pilot and his leadership skills make him an ideal candidate for the position.


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Category: Philanthropy

Scott Rocklage medical career is pretty impressive

Dr. Scott Rocklage is Managing Partner for 5AM Ventures. They help build life science companies to their full potential. He has over three decades of experience in his field, particularly the healthcare management field. Under his leadership the FDA approved of three U.S. New Drug Applications. They are called Cubicin®, Omniscan™, and Teslascan®. Dr. Rocklage has also sat on a number of boards in his career. Scott received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of California. After that he went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT to get his Ph.D. in Chemistry.


Everyday can be different for him with some days he is working with the portfolio company’s management team and other studying life science. It changes day to day. There is one thing that keep him productive each day and that is being well organized. Scott is on top of prioritization, keeping up with his calendar and time management. That is how he is able to get everything done that he needs. All that is important, but finding the right team from the beginning, one regret he has. The doctor suggest readers look at their future and think about what they want. You will not get rich while working for others, jumping into the pool or entrepreneurship can get you there. Of course it’s scary but you cannot succeed in life without some sort of risk involved. That’s just the truth. Scott Rocklage had taken a number or risks in his life and they have panned out well. He has worked as a President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of multiple big companies during his career. He has worked at Nycomed Salutar, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, and Nycomed Interventional. Dr. Rocklage is particularly interested in one trend that targets certain genotypes mutations to uniquely treat cancer. There has been a lot of progress with this type of treatment and has saved lives already. The future of this also look promising. A personal strategy Scott uses to grow his businesses is to stick to his strengths, not just go with the trends. You will experience more success when you focus on what you are good at.


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Category: Philanthropy

Dick DeVos Helps Others

Dick DeVos is someone that people have become well acquainted with as he has given back so much to education. I think that people appreciate a businessman like this that realizes the need to give back. He is a billionaire several times over, but he is also a Christian that believes to whom much is given much is required.


People that have heard of Dick DeVos are well aware that he has engaged in many different business ventures. I know of Dick Devos because he is someone that had a famous father that I looked up to. His father started Amway, and many people know about this company and all the products that they could buy through this organization.


Dick DeVos put his time into taking care of this business and paving a way to success after his father passed the torch. I think that this was a commendable thing for him to do, and I believe that this also allowed him to cut his teeth on what it would be like to be in a leadership role.


From this point Dick DeVos would be able to move on and start other companies outside of Amway. He would continue to stay in a leadership role as he picked up the paste and ventured into other areas of business.


The Dubose family has given a lot back to education, and I certainly believe that this is all a result of the fascination that Dick DeVos had with investing in other businesses. He has been able to give back a substantial amount to the education system because he has made a lot of good business decisions.


Dick DeVos has been the investor that has always stayed in touch with his core principles of getting to know about the business that he is investing in. He has never been one to simply throw money into a business without being passionate about it. This is the same trait that his father had. That is why he was successful with Amway. In the very same way this is the reason that Dick Devos has also been successful in his business endeavors.


I commend him for that, and I also appreciate the fact that he started a foundation with his wife where even more money could be given to school systems. It definitely shows that Dick Devos is a person that cares about helping others succeed.


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Category: Philanthropy