Dick DeVos is a prominent businessman and politician from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is largely recognized for his political and charitable contributions towards various causes, especially in Michigan. Throughout their lifetimes, Dick’s family has contributed close to $140 million. Two years ago, they doled out over $11.5 million to support various philanthropic programs. Large portion of this donation was used to fund various education causes. According to Dick, the current system of education does not help learners achieve the desired goals. He further added that it has become a civil rights issue where some kids are discriminated purposely because of their backgrounds. Through various initiatives, Dick and his wife Betsy have managed to secure vouchers and tax credits to fund charter schools in different states.
According to John Truscott, a representative of DeVos’ family said the report about the donations can be found on the foundation’s website, and it was a reflection of their commitment to transparency about their financial contributions. He further added the report was to be made public regardless of Mrs. DeVos nomination by President Donald Trump. Dick DeVos explained that the foundation’s contributions are in line with charitable organizations’ criteria. Some have been used to fund the advocacy group for charter schools, the Great Lakes Education Foundation. Mr. DeVos further insisted that large percentage of their contributions is aimed at assisting communities directly. He added that they are not political groups seeking to advance other political agendas as some critics say, but their aim is to serve the people.
After launching aviation school five years ago, the first group of students graduated last year, and Mr. and Mrs. DeVos were proud of their achievements. The school specialized in aeronautical engineering, STEM and robotics. One-third of students at this school are regarded as economically disadvantaged while about 40% are from minority groups.
Dick DeVos’ Personal and Career Profile
From 1993 to 2002, Dick DeVos was serving as the President of Amway. He was responsible for managing the operations of the firm in fifty nations. Before he began serving as the President, Dick was the Vice President at Amway International where he managed the entity’s operations in 18 different countries. During his tenure, the firm established new markets and its global sales surpassed domestic sales, something that had not happened before. In 1991, his family acquired Orlando Magic club and Mr. DeVos served as CEO and President for three years. Dick graduated from Northwood University and he is a qualified pilot. Dick DeVos was running to be elected the Governor of Michigan on Republican Party in 2006, but unfortunately he lost. He is the author of “Rediscovering American Values”, which was published in the late 1990s and is translated into seven languages. Currently, Dick is serving as The Windquest Group’s President.
Education has always played a major role in the life of Success Academy founder Eva Moskowitz who spent a long career passing through various educational institutions as she sought to continue her education in its most effective form.
The issues seen by Eva Moskowitz in the Harlem public school system prompted her to run for office in local government on a series of reform policies in Harlem and across New York; the Johns Hopkins graduate became known in political circles for her skills as an investigator who was known to look at every possible aspect of the Harlem public school system as she set out to create a better experience for students across Harlem and the 32 campuses across the state of New York.
Eva Moskowitz founded the Success Academy in 2006 and has seen the Harlem school become a national blue ribbon educational institution, one of only 200 across the U.S. The founder of the Success Academy has seen the school outperform Harlem’s public school system in terms of test results, but for Eva Moskowitz the need to build positive members of society is far more important than simply achieving academic success; the academic achievements of Eva Moskowitz saw her become a History professor and an important member of the Prep for Prep group that provided mentors for gifted students from minority backgrounds. Using her own knowledge of the education system has seen Eva become a major part of the national education reform movement as the charter school system she founded is now seen as a major part of the success achieved in new York and beyond on behalf of students who may not have been able to achieve similar levels of achievement in the public school system.
The Success Academy has been a major success for Eva Moskowitz and the thousands of students who attend these charter schools on a regular basis where a common sense approach to school is being taken. One aspect of education that has been addressed at Success Academy is the return of an education focused on the children, not on making it as easy as possible for adults to operate the public school system in the easiest possible form.
Every child needs an education but not every child needs to have the same exact education through the public school system that is severely broken. The kids who attend public schools do not get the best chance at the greatest education possible and Betsy DeVos knows that. For that reason, she wants to change the system and make it so that every child – no matter their economic situation – is able to get the education that they deserve. She knows that the system is broken and, as the Secretary of Education, she is going to continue working on fixing it by using all of the different options that she has curated throughout her years as a philanthropist. She wants to make things better for children so that they will be able to get the best education possible and something that will work for everyone.
DeVos recognizes in her education beliefs that not all children are able to learn the same way. For that reason, public education is not the best for every student and some are losing out on what they could be learning if they only had the opportunities that other children had. Devos wants to make it so that children will have the chance to choose between which will work for them. She also knows that parents know their children far better than any school system will and she wants to make sure that they are going to be able to use that to their best advantage.
It is important to note that the education system reform that DeVos has come up with is aimed at tailoring different education options at the individual students. She wants all kids to be able to go to public school or a charter school if that works better. She was one of the biggest supporters behind education choices when the idea first became well known and she continues to push to make it an option so that children will have a better chance at a good education. Even though the idea was somewhat radical at the time, she still stood behind it.
Part of her ability to see where people should be and the way that children should have opportunities comes from the philanthropic ventures that her and her husband have created. They have worked with children who are underprivileged and who do not have an educational choice. She has seen firsthand how economics influence education and she wants to put an end to that. With the charity work that they have done, Betsy DeVos has made huge strides in the changes for these kids and with the different options that they have to choose from public, charter or even private schools. Read her interview with Philanthropy Table.
Anthony Petrello was once a scrawny kid from New Jersey who had big dreams when he attended Yale University to study a mathematic major. After obtaining his undergraduate degree as a protégé of Professor Serge Lang, he decided to become a lawyer. In the midst of all of this he also managed to find a girlfriend that was a soap opera actress and producer. Eventually he married her. He worked hard during school and after school that passion continued to grow.
He left Yale University and began working for Baker and McKenzie law firm. During his time there he focused on international arbitration, taxation, and general corporate law. He added becoming a managing partner during his last five years at the company. While working for them he began helping Nabor’s Industry. Nabor’s Industry is “largest land-based drilling rig fleet”. They were so impressed with Petrello that in 1991 they elected him to their Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Board. He has held several roles within the company, is currently their Chief Executive Officer, and is still an integral part of their business, focusing on strategic planning initiative and helping them to stay ahead of the market.
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One of the most interesting parts about Anthony Petrello, though, is the miracle that he gets to witness everyday as he watches his daughter eat cereal. What may seem a regular occurrence to us and to him is a remarkable feat for his daughter as she was born with Cerebral Palsy. Seeing his daughter struggle to do everyday tasks, he and his wife have donated seven million dollar to Texas Children’s Hospital.
No matter if Petrello is working in the office or spending time with his family, he is grateful to have the life experiences that have brought him this far.
Learn more about Tony Petrello: http://people.equilar.com/bio/anthony-petrello-nbr/salary/503049#.WKHy57YrKRs