Mr. and Mrs. DeVos and the Windquest Group
In response to a proposal to construct a convention center and multi-purpose sport arena, Dick DeVos established the Windquest Group. This is a group of individuals who were key players in the development of the Grand Rapid’s skyline. The Windquest Group is responsible for buildings that include the DeVos Performance Hall, the DeVos Place Convention Center, the Grand Rapids City Market, the Van Andel Arena, and the medical school at Michigan State University.
Mr. DeVos was concerned that if the building was constructed outside of the central business district, the city could face the same fate as Detroit. The Palace of Auburn Hills and the Pontiac Silverdome were constructed outside of Detroit, and the city suffered when the Pistons and Lions moved to other cities.
The Couple Continues to Revolutionize Institutes and Policies
Dick and Betsy DeVos are mega-donors who come from affluent families. The couple advocates for charter schools and made the leading contribution to the construction of the children’s hospital at the Spectrum Health System. The children’s hospital was named after Dick DeVos’ mother, Ms. Helen DeVos, who is the spouse of one of the founder’s of Amway, Richard DeVos. Since the addition of the children’s hospital in Grand Rapids, children and their families can seek treatment without having to go to Chicago, Ann Arbor, or the Mayo Clinic.
One of the couple’s primary focuses is education reform. The couple believes in freedom of school choice. One of their goals is to allow all children in the United States to have the equal educational opportunities. They want to break the stigma that children should attend a specific school solely based on their address. Mrs. DeVos’ notable work has caught the attention of many, and she was appointed to US Education Sectary by President Trump.
Dick DeVos and the Grands Rapids Airport
Mr. DeVos helped to expand airline service in Grand Rapids. He reached out to the AirTran Airways CEO to lobby for the expansion of airline services, which resulted in nonstop flights being offered at Gerald R. Ford International Airport. After AirTran Airways was acquired by Southwest, Mr. DeVos lobbied for the airport to continue to offer nonstop services by Southwest, and he was successful. Southwest started offering direct flights to Orlando, Baltimore, and St. Louis in the summer of 2013. The airport has flourished, and there were 45 million in upgrades on the airport was completed in 2018.
The West Michigan Aviation Academy
In 2010, Mr. DeVos was inspired by his wife to start a charter high school that helped students prepare for careers in the aviation industry. The West Michigan Aviation Academy started with 80 students and has grown to have more than 600 students.
The Great Lakes Education Project
Dick and Betsy DeVos started the Great Lakes Education Project. This is an organization that focuses on school-choice advocacy and has a political action committee. This organization was successful in blocking a proposal that would give a commission to make decisions regarding the opening of new schools in Michigan.
Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.