Dick DeVos – Article Recap

Dick DeVos has recently joined the ranks in Washington DC. He becomes the 13th member of the Management Advisory Council for the Federal Aviation Administration. Along with transportation policymakers and aviation business leaders, DeVos joins as one of the seasoned business leaders who has helped the airline industry by working with the Gerald R. Ford airport.

 

In the late 1990s, the airline industry was suffering. A series of poor standards and expensive prices led to a bottleneck that nearly crushed the industry. Gerald R. Ford International Airport out of Grand Rapids had been one of the airports in slow decline. However, Dick DeVos saw an opportunity to change the airport’s fate and breathe life into the old airport.

 

For many years, DeVos worked with business leaders around Grand Rapids, even before he became the President of Amway. He saw that business leaders were struggling to bring in new business to Grand Rapids. While there were a lot of businesses that were still making it in downtown, others were looking for ways to bring people back to the city center and grow the businesses in the central district.

 

There were plans in the early 1990s to bring a mega sports center and convention center to Grand Rapids. However, the plans placed the sites away from downtown. DeVos was one of the people against this course of action, mainly because he wanted to see businesses being built up around the central business district. He formed Grand Action with fellow business leaders to support new sites that would attract people to the growing downtown business area.

 

However, his real plan was to look at the airport and create opportunities for airlines as well as the Gerald R. Ford airport itself. He made a phone call to Air Tran Airways in the early 2000s and asked about how the airport could get more terminals and flights for the airline. Air Tran Airways eventually agreed to open up new flights to Denver, Vegas, Orlando, and St. Louis. DeVos saw the opportunity to great a business travel destination out of Grand Rapids, as it was already servicing Canadian and Northwest business travelers.

 

Eventually that led to Southwest taking over Air Tran Airways. DeVos noted that many of the airport terminals were being shut down from the old Air Tran Airways, and he again spoke to the CEO of the company to persuade Southwest to keep the terminals open so that the airport could show its worth.

 

Many years later, the terminals are still open and have been added on since that phone call. There has also been a $45 million renovation project for the airport that has added a business center, new food court, technological upgrades, and upgraded terminals as well.

 

DeVos joins the FAA council to help advise on what the airline industry can do next to solve some of its biggest worries.

 

Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.

Orange Coast College, past and present

The Orange Coast College recently received a donation of one million dollars from a former professor, Mary McChesney, which will be used to fund a Foucault pendulum for the new planetarium that is currently being built. McChesney has disclosed that the donation was made because she wanted to honor her partner, Adelyn Bonin, who passed in January of 2017. Both women were language professors at Orange Coast College, McChesney of Spanish and English and Bonin of German, before they retired in 1983. McChesney holds hope that Bonin will look down from the sky and approve of the new construction and plans as McChesney shares half the credit with her late partner.

 

Doug Bennett, who is the executive director of the Orange Coast College Foundation, has given a quote about McChesney, saying she has been, “an ongoing contributor to the foundation and to scholarships.” He also said that he had known of her thoughts to donate but didn’t know just how far she’d go with her generosity. The necessity for the new planetarium stemmed from the previous one being broken down in 2016. Learn more: http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-dpt-me-occ-planetarium-20170711-story.html

 

In contrast to the old planetarium, which sat about 35, the new one has room for 129 as well as an exhibit hall where there will be a display globe from the weather administration NOAA.

 

The goal is to open the planetarium for the fall semester of 2018.

 

Orange County College, or OCC, is a community college that is located in Costa Mesa, California. It was created in 1947 after voters requested a new junior college. Set on 164 acres and with a motto of “We’ll help you get there”, OCC is one of the three community colleges in the district. Many noteworthy people have attended OCC, from singers to actors to Olympic Champions. Ever since 1948, OCC’s campus newspaper has been The Coast Report. 5000 copies are distributed weekly. Learn more: https://www.niche.com/colleges/orange-coast-college/

 

Betsy DeVos and the Role of School Choice

Betsy DeVos has been something of a local legend for the role of education in her home state of Michigan. DeVos and her husband, Dick DeVos, have been tireless workers in the realm of school choice and private vouchers for educational reform. Betsy has, I believe, been one of the most vocal proponents of school choice over the past 30 years and it has been her work that has brought the concept into the mainstream. Betsy has done a great many things in her political life but she has always been focused on the good of the children, no matter how many obstacles got in her way. Let’s take a look at how much work Mrs. DeVos has done to get us to this point.

 

We can go back nearly 30 years to see that Betsy DeVos has been a warrior for school choice basically since Milton Friedman wrote, “The Role of Government in Education“. School choice, for as obvious as it seems to some people, hasn’t always been a popular perspective to take on education and, for awhile, DeVos was sitting on the fringes fighting alone for what she thought was right. Now, 30 years later, DeVos has been joined by many others rallying around her work. Mrs. DeVos points out that nearly a quarter of a million total students are in the school choice program throughout 33 publicly funded schools that dot 17 different states in America.

 

This past year Betsy DeVos moved out of the local political scene after being nominated by Donald Trump for the role of Secretary of Education. DeVos joins the rest of President Trump’s administration as they seek to re-focus and re-tool the nation in their own image. DeVos has never had a better chance to really make school choice a priority around the nation and you can bet that she is going to take it.

 

It’s easy to read about school choice as a concept but it isn’t something that many people have run toward. If you follow Betsy DeVos’s lead then you’ll see how it can be beneficial. Betsy DeVos was drawn to school choice after a chance visit at the Potter Christian House years and years ago. On that visit Betsy DeVos wanted to focus on how children reacted to being in a school choice classroom. What she saw was a room full of children that were excited to learn, compassionate for one another, and ready to make education an important part of their lives. What more could DeVos have asked for? Right now Betsy DeVos is focusing on both Indiana and Louisiana as two states that are working toward passing major legislation in order to allow school choice to become more popular than ever.

 

Visit http://www.betsydevos.com/ to learn more about Betsy DeVos.