During the early 1990s, Grand Rapids, Michigan was on the verge of creating a problem that would have costed it a lot of money. There was a plan being considered that would see a multi-use sports arena and convention center built just outside of its downtown region. No one seemed to oppose the construction of the arena until Dick DeVos stepped in.
While others in the city may not have understood why Dick DeVos was so opposed to the creation of the building, he knew exactly what he was doing. Instead of wasting time, he began to lobby the idea by making some phone calls. The reason he was concerned was because he had been alive when Detroit had made a similar misstep, which ended up costing the city a lot of money. During the 1970s, the Detroit Pistons and Lions left the city, which was already a shame, but the real downside was that the city had recently built the Pontiac Silverdome and Palace of Auburn Hills. The city was left with an empty building and no sports teams to play in it.
Dick DeVos eventually helped to build a group named Grand Action, which was composed of various business leaders. The group has been responsible for the building of many important structures that have continued to make Grand Rapids what it is today. Thanks to DeVos, the combined convention center and sports arena was never built near the city’s downtown area. In fact, it was never built at all. This has potentially saved the city a lot of money.
Dick DeVos has continued to do even more for Grand Rapids over the years. His work ethic and morals have driven him to make the kinds of changes he sees as important. In 2010, he helped to create The West Michigan Aviation Academy, and he did so because of his love for aviation. The academy is a nonprofit public charter school that started out in a worn down office space on the grounds of the Gerald R. International Airport. Some students travel as far as a 150 miles to attend the school, and there are now hundreds of students in attendance.
Dick DeVos is the former CEO of Amway, and he has worked as a businessman in Michigan for quite some time. He ran to serve as the governor of the state in 2006 but lost to Jennifer Granholm. Today, he continues to do everything he can to improve his hometown as well as the state he loves with all of his heart.
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