Dick DeVos And The Importance Of Grand Rapids
The world of American politics is on fire right now with the partisan divide wider than ever. The election of Donald Trump showcased one thing quite clearly, however: American citizens were ready to see change in the world. For that reason, nobody was shocked when Betsy DeVos was tabbed for the role of Secretary of Education for the Trump administration. While Betsy DeVos is currently the one bringing in all of the headlines, she is far from the only mover and shaker in the DeVos family. Back home in the state of Michigan, husband Dick DeVos continues to render huge changes in favor of the people of the state.
While Betsy DeVos is now the more high profile of the DeVos power couple, Dick DeVos has done plenty to make a name for himself already. As the former CEO of Amway and the heir to the Amway family fortune, Dick DeVos is one of the wealthiest men in the world. Instead of sitting on his wealth and relaxing, Dick DeVos has spent decades working to render big changes throughout the state of Michigan. In fact, you could go back to 1991 in order to get a reference for just how big of a change he has helped to bring to the state.
The city of Grand Rapids has changed in a big way, for the better, since 1991 but it all wouldn’t have been possible without some intervention by Dick DeVos himself. In 1991 there had been rumors floating around about a new convention center being installed into the city. Convention centers are notorious for giving and then taking right back from taxpayers. You’d only have to look at the Pontiac Silverdome (former Detroit Lions stadium) and the Palace of Auburn Hills (former Detroit Pistons arena) in order to see the millstone that they could become.
Rather than get behind a potential millstone, Dick DeVos formed the Grand Action Committee. Grand Action was comprised of business leaders in the region who all felt that they could help build Grand Rapids up into a major city without the debt that a convention center would bring. They banded together in order to build some of the most iconic properties in Grand Rapids: the med school at Michigan State University, the DeVos Place Convention Center and even the Grand Rapids City Market. Their work, and opposition to the new stadium, would fundamentally re-shape the Grand Rapids skyline forever.
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