Dick DeVos helps transform Grand Rapids, Michigan, into major commercial center

Many people throughout the country are familiar with the name Dick DeVos. His wife, Betsy DeVos, is a longtime Republican official who now serves as the U.S. Secretary of Education. What’s more, Dick DeVos himself ran for the governorship of Michigan in 2006, a race that he lost by the narrowest of margins to the then-incumbent governor, Jennifer Granholm.

 

All of this DeVos family politicking has led many to indelibly associate Dick DeVos’ name with Republican politics. But this is a woefully incomplete picture of the lifelong entrepreneur, businessman and education reformer. In fact, Dick DeVos has only spent a tiny fraction of his life in anything related to politics. Although he is primarily known for his involvement in Republican causes, throughout DeVos’ home state of Michigan, he is revered for his key role in saving the West Michigan region and Grand Rapids, Michigan, in particular, from a fate that almost certainly would have resembled that of Detroit.

 

 

From maverick education reformer to a city’s savior

 

 

DeVos had been a successful entrepreneur and businessman since his early 20s. By the time he was in his mid 30s, DeVos had become intensely interested in education reform. Specifically, DeVos’ pet project was designing schools and curricula that could help inner-city youth transcend the constraints and impositions of failing urban schools, allowing the best and brightest from America’s ghettos to thrive in ways that would have otherwise been impossible.

 

Despite the many successes that DeVos has had in this area, including creating novel education systems like that seen at the internationally recognized West Michigan Aviation Academy, DeVos quickly realized how stark the challenges were that students, parents and communities faced in areas like inner-city Detroit. DeVos’ Detroit Urban Learning School has been an unqualified success. Yet he saw that once a neighborhood passes a certain threshold of blight and decay, both physical and civic, there is little that can be done for all but the most talented students.

 

By 1990, these experiences had left DeVos with the realization that the only way to avoid the total social collapse seen in Detroit was to prevent the chain reaction of productive-class flight and increasing crime from ever reaching that critical threshold from which return was impossible.

 

As DeVos saw many of the same conditions taking shape in his hometown of Grand Rapids, he decided that swift action needed to be taken in order to avert a Detroit-style catastrophic descent into the black hole of urban catastrophe.

 

He formed the Grand Action Committee, a group of some of the area’s top business leaders, which was dedicated to fomenting investment in the Downtown Grand Rapids area. DeVos himself invested tens of millions of dollars of his own fortune, quickly bringing to fruition such major projects as the DeVos Place Convention Center and the Van Andel Arena. DeVos was also behind the creation of the Medical Mile, a one-mile corridor on the city’s east side that has attracted some of the top medical talent in the country across various specialties.

 

Today, Grand Rapids ranks as the state’s fastest growing and most desirable city.

 

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

The Rise Of Tony Petrello

When Tony Petrello was born in Newark, New Jersey, not many people would have thought that he would one day be one of the top business executives in the world. Being born in a humble family is normally associated with slow career development or even success in life. For a boy who went to public schools, it was hard for him to finally make a breakthrough that would make him reach such senior positions. However, it was too early to judge from his young age.

Right from his early days in school, Tony Petrello started showing unique abilities. He was not like other children. He was brilliant in academic and was also very outspoken. He never feared to speak his mind. He was straightforward with his peers and teachers. In his academics, he demonstrated brilliance in mathematics. He was solving mathematical problems which would be learned in higher levels of medication. His brilliance in mathematics came to be the opportunities-door opener. He was spotted by the Yale University while he was in high school and was offered a scholarship to study mathematics at the university. This came as good news to him as his parents would not have afforded to take him to such an Ivy-League university.

At the Yale University, Tony Petrello continued to show his brilliance. He worked with the then Professor of Mathematics in the university, Serge Lang in proving mathematical theories. His brilliance was exceptional. No other student could match his brilliance. He finished his bachelors and went ahead for his masters. After his masters, he took a dramatic step. He changed his career line from mathematics to law. This came as a surprise to many people since he had shown exceptional talent in mathematics. Tony Petrello was, however, no longer interested in mathematics. He was ready for a new set of challenges. He joined Harvard School of law where he continued to show his brilliance in law. He graduated with a Juris Doctor.

Toy Petrello practiced law for a few years in New York. He was a lawyer in a law firm known as Baker & McKenzie. His performance in this law form was brilliant. In a short time, he managed to attract a high number of clients and was ultimately promoted to be the managing partner of the firm. One of his clients while at the law firm was Nabors Industries, an oil and natural gas drilling company located in Texas. The firm was impressed by his brilliance and understanding of business operations. They offered him a job in their firm in 1991 where he was to be the Chief Operating Officer of the company.

See: http://releasefact.com/2017/09/tony-petrello-helps-to-launch-the-neurological-research-institute-at-texas-childrens-hospital/