As major influencers of modern-day conservative politics, the DeVoses, both Dick and Betsy, have displayed a steadfastness that has garnered them some true wins on Capitol Hill. In fact, it’s a mix of their habit of sticking behind key causes and benefiting from hard-learned lessons that have really helped the two heirs of two of the most powerful and affluent families in the United States come out ahead in recent times.
Dick, who is the heir to Amway, has served as CEO of the company that his father founded. During that time, Dick has lobbied against corporate overreach in areas like Detroit.
During the 1990s, it was suggested that a multi-purpose sports and convention area be built in the downtown area. Mr. DeVos, having learned at how a similar situation served to the detriment of Grand Rapids in the 70s, worked hard to ensure that a similar mistake wasn’t made outside of Detroit’s important business district. As a result, Grand Action was formed, which was comprised of a group of business leaders that had previously been behind the creation of key Grand Rapids structures such as the Van Andel Arena and the Michigan State University’s medical school.
As a direct result of the work of this group, the Grand Rapids skyline and trajectory has changed dramatically in the years since. Dick DeVos, who considers himself an aviation geek, even used some of this momentum to help improve the service of Grand Rapids’ Ford Airport.
City planning and civic influence haven’t been the only feather in the DeVos’ cap; in fact, the couple has also been very involved with the trajectory of education, labor, and aviation in the United States.
Since the couple can be counted as GOP mega-donors, it’s no surprise that they have had made major contributions to how policy works for these areas in the country. Betsy has been very involved with the expansion of charter schools and has also invested hundreds of millions into both leadership programs and the development of children’s hospitals.
Dick, on the other hand, has also worked hard to ensure that unions aren’t compulsory and that Michigan became the birthplace of organized right-to-work laws. Also, as a lifelong pilot, Dick DeVos has also founded an aviation charter high school and has been promoted to the top boards of the Federal Aviation Administration where he continues to help chart the course of American avionics.
While the couple hasn’t always been successful – they’ve stumbled in the past with political efforts like a failed constitutional amendment in 2000 that would have provided tax-funded vouchers for students looking to attend private schools, but clearly, Dick and Betsy have learned. As a result, of their efforts, they have successfully brought these types of vouchers to 24 states. On many occasions, the DeVoses have stated that their goal is to provide parents and students with choices so that they don’t feel compelled to select from a limited pool of schools.
In fact, it was a result of this advocacy that Betsy DeVos was tapped by President Trump as the U.S. Secretary of Education. While her appointment was hotly debated and faced some dedicated opposition, she secured the confirmation.
To learn more, visit http://dickdevos.com.