Philanthropy

Dick Devos Joins FAA Council

The Federal Aviation Administration took on the challenge of President Trump to improve America’s airports and aviation industry with gusto. Starting in 2017, the FAA formed the Management Advisory Council. The council consisted of 13 members from business, transportation authority, and airline executive backgrounds. The council is just an advisory role that provides information to the FAA, but many of the members are influential in aviation and beyond.

 

For one, Dick Devos is on the FAA’s new council. His business acumen is pretty legendary internationally, but many do not realize the kind of impact that he has had in aviation in his hometown airport. However, many do know of the Devos Family Foundation and their $134 million contributions to different charities, health organizations, education centers, and political groups.

 

Devos joins the FAA amid praise for his work with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids. He started working with the airport at the turn of the century, helping airlines expand to new flights and increase the profitability of the airport into the millions. It was this kind of mind that the FAA was looking for to help with new policies and regulations that would spur incredible growth in America’s own aviation markets.

 

One thing that Devos did to help the airport was call up AirTran Airways CEO. It’s not often that a person can use one phone call to make such a difference, but in this case, he was able to convince the CEO to open up four new flights to business traveler destinations, including St. Louis, Vegas, Denver, and Orlando. The idea was that Grand Rapids would eventually become a business conference destination as well. After all, Devos had just built the Devos Place Convention Center in downtown.

 

The nomination was praised by many airlines, including Southwest, who has worked with Dick Devos as part of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport expansion. It’s also a great honor for Devos who has been a pilot for sometime and also the co-founder of an aviation school in Grand Rapids.

 

Devos will continue to meet with the council and help with FAA’s plans for new policies through the next year and a half. He has always been fond of politics, but now he is actually able to work in Washington alongside his wife. He will continue to meet with the council once every quarter.

 

Follow Dick DeVos on Facebook.

Education Sector, Philanthropy

Role Played by Betsy DeVos in the Education Sector

After he began to serve as the President of the United States of America in January 2017, Donald J. Trump nominated Betsy DeVos as the secretary in charge of education. Eventually, the senators approved her nomination and she began her work as the secretary for education. Betsy has played major role of helping children access affordable and quality education throughout the United States. During a recent interview by Philanthropy magazine, Betsy explained that the number of students in educational-choice programs stood at 250,000, and within 2016, the number increased by about 40,000. Indeed, the educational choice-programs have become very popular in the U.S., more so among the Latinos.

Betsy DeVos’ Charitable Donations

For close to 30 years, Betsy has participated in various educational programs advocating and championing for quality access of education for children in the U.S. Her objective is to ensure there is equality among kids from wealthy families and those from the poor ones. Together with her husband, Dick DeVos, they are engaged in various charitable initiates, which are funded directly or indirectly by their family foundation. Her interests in education matters began after visiting a local school that mainly served kids from low income families, and she realized that parents would do anything to enable them afford tuition fees for their kids. The couple decided to support specific students from the institution, and since then the initiative has expanded to other schools and also states. Follow Betsy on Twitter.

Betsy’s mother, who was a school teacher, played a major role of inspiring her daughter in matters related to education. The inspiration came into reality, and in the 1990’s she served on boards of several charitable organizations, whose main objective was to expand educational opportunities to all kids in the U.S. For more than a decade, Betsy DeVos was a mentor at Grand Rapids schools, where she associated with tutors, students and parents in order to provide them with positive approach towards education. Her leadership role in a movement that targets to empower individuals change their attitude towards education, Betsy has been in the forefront to create and support educational causes that are affordable, and provide quality education to learners in 25 states.

Career and Personal Life of Betsy DeVos

Betsy attended Calvin College where she graduated with a degree in arts. Dick DeVos, a very famous businessman is her husband, and together they have engaged and supported several charitable programs through their family foundation. Before she began her role as the secretary for education, Betsy was the Chairperson of The Windquest Group, a company specializing in the investment sector. Betsy Devos has also served on boards of various charitable organizations that mainly focus on improving the quality of education in schools across the United States. Visit betsydevos.com to know more about Betsy.

People, Philanthropy

George Soros, Billionaire Philanthropist, and Expert at Helping the Less Fortunate of the World

George Soros, a self-made man was born in 1930 in Budapest Hungary. He left his country relocating to England where he gained employment as a railway porter and a waiter and put himself through London’s School of Economics. He obtained a position at Singer & Friedlander of London bank in the field of finance and later moved the New York. With this move to the United States, he got his start on Wall Street and in 1969 started a hedge fund, with $12 million, which was renamed later as the Quantum Fund.

George Soros is known as one of the world’s foremost philanthropists. He supports organizations and individuals across the world who are fighting to have governments that are accountable, along with the freedom of expression. He helps societies that are fighting for equality and justice for the people. To date, it is said that he has spent over $12 billion funding these organizations.

He has used his wealth to create and fund Open Society Foundations, which is a network of different foundations with projects and partners in over 100 countries. In 1979, he started his philanthropic endeavors by giving the black South Africans scholarships to the University of Cape Town. that were under apartheid. During the Communist Eastern Bloc in the 1980’s, he provided photocopiers so they could reprint the banned texts, to help promote an open exchange of ideas. He has also created the Central European University after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Visit Project Syndicate to learn more about George.

With the recession in the late 2000’s he founded, in 2009, the Institute for New Economic Thinking. This institute is made up of financial experts in international economic and business who investigate any new radical approaches in the organization of world economics and financial systems. Then in 2011, he returned $1 billion in funds from outside investors of the Quantum Fund and then invested his own money because of changes in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules for disclosure. He said he felt that his confidentiality to his investors would be compromised otherwise. By 2013 the Quantum Fund was the most successful hedge fund in history having made $5.5 billion. The fund has, since its founding in 1973 generated $40 billion. Never a huge donor to the U.S Political scene, he in 2004 according to the Center for Responsive Politics donated $23,581,000 to different tax-exempt groups.

George Soros is now into his 80s and continues to take a personal interest in the works of the Open Society Foundation. He still travels widely to support the work of the Foundation and pushing for a positive change, both public and private with today’s world leaders. He has always had a constant commitment to fight the most intractable problems of this world. Forbs magazine, as of 2017 listed him at the 19th richest person in the world. Know more on investopedia.com about George Soros.

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/profile/george-soros/

Philanthropy

Dick DeVos Moves Towards Education Reform For All

When we discuss the philanthropic work of billionaires in the 21st century we often hear about the large sums of money put into some of the most high profile charitable causes in the world. I recently read an interview with Dick DeVos’s wife Betsy who I was shocked to read had been involved in the education reform movement since before it was a fashionable campaign to take part in; reading in the Philanthropy Roundtable interview about Dick and Betsy DeVos becoming concerned about the schools of Michigan in the 1970s when their own children were of school age made me believe this is a cause the couple care about in a strong way. The fact that Dick DeVos became such a key figure in the education reform movement when it was in its infancy and classed as a radical group pushing for reform. Instead of simply throwing money at the issue Dick DeVos seems to have always been willing to get his own hands dirty and standing for election to the Michigan Board of Education in a bid to push forward with education reform policies in the early 1990s.

 

Dick DeVos has always appeared to me to be concerned with assisting as many people as possible in his local community in Grand Rapids, Michigan and in other areas of the U.S. DeVos has impressed me with the fact he has always appeared to be concerned with caring for the people of Grand Rapids and the surrounding area, which can be seen with the development of the West Michigan Air Alliance that was created because of a lack of air travel options in the area as reported by Wikipedia. Dick is just one of the members of the DeVos family who are concerned with developing philanthropic causes across Michigan, which includes large donations made by Dick DeVos to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.