Dick DeVos grew up in Michigan and has always worked hard to improve the state he calls his home. He ran to serve as Michigan’s governor in 2006 but fell short to Jennifer Granholm, the Democrat incumbent at the time. DeVos worked within his family’s business Amway when he was younger and eventually served as the company’s chief executive officer from 1993 until 2002. He attended Northwood University and earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration there. His hard work led to the passing of an important piece of legislation in Michigan during the 2000s that helped to pay for the tuition costs of many students who desired to study at a charter school.
Looking back in history, Dick DeVos has always put himself on the line to do what he believes is best for Michigan. During the early part of the 1990s, he took notice when plans to build a multi-purpose convention center and sports arena began to circulate around Grand Rapids. While others stood by and hoped for the best, he knew action was needed. He began to lobby against the arena, which he knew would detrimental to the city because of where it was planned to be built. The city was wanting to construct it near the its downtown region, and he knew this would be trouble.
During the 1970s, Dick DeVos had watched as a similar idea was approved of in Detroit. The city had moved forward with plans to build the Pontiac Silverdome and Palace of Auburn Hills. This would have been completely fine if its sports teams had stayed around to enjoy the arena. Instead, both, the Pistons and the Lions left Detroit soon after, and this left the city with a huge financial problem. When the plans to build the arena and convention center came to his attention, he decided to put together a group of business leaders known as Grand Action. This group has continued to be beneficial to the city ever since.
Dick DeVos has continued to work to make his favorite city in Michigan a better place to live. In 2010, he founded The West Michigan Aviation Academy, which is a charter school that is located inside of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The school was originally able to support under 100 students, but it now has 600 students in attendance. Many of the children who attend the school have to ride multiple buses just to get there. The school is so popular there is a public lottery held every year, which determines the lucky student who will be able to attend. As a pilot, himself, DeVos has been thrilled to be a part of making young people’s aviation dreams come true.
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