Long before Dick and Betsy DeVos were known for being one of Washington D.C.’s political power couples, they were busy putting their hometown of Grand Rapids on the map. Both Dick and Betsy have taken their own path to remaking Grand Rapids in their own image and ideology, but they both have been equally successful. Insofar as the opponents of this couple, there are a lot of people who have a lot of fear and trepidation when it comes to them, and it’s not just because they are super-wealthy. Many individuals have realized for years that the DeVoses are super determined and do not give up anything without a fight.
This all started many years ago, before President Trump even had to remotely worry about cabinet appointments. In 1991, there was a plan started by some lawmakers to build a multi-purpose sports convention center in a Grand Rapids suburb. The DeVos was adamantly against the idea simply because they had seen how their sister city of Detroit had fared when they had a similar plan to have their sports convention centers built in suburbs. Simply put, it did not help their city, and so Dick DeVos starting fighting against it. To make a long story short, he was successful in stopping the plan, and it led to the formation of Van Andel Arena, the DeVos Place Convention Center, the medical school affiliated with Michigan State, and the Grand Rapids City Market.
You see, even though both of the DeVoses are heirs to vast family fortunes, they both realize that they need to care more about just their own wealth. If they are going to bring about positive societal change, they need to be aware of some of the many important philanthropic issues that are heavy on the minds of many. In that vein, Dick DeVos was instrumental in turning Michigan into a state that is no longer a union-based employment state, but a right-to-work one where it is much easier to find employment without being forced into a union membership.
Of course, if all of this weren’t enough, Dick DeVos has also placed a serious imprint on the face of aviation in the city of Grand Rapids. DeVos has a stake in the Gerald R. Ford Airport simply because he put in the work to fundamentally change the airport to where it was able to run non-stop flights. These are all things this political power couple has done, and all of these activities demonstrate just how much Dick and his wife have changed their world for the better.
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