When it comes to being a leader and a reformer, the name Betsy DeVos can be associated in some way, or another. Betsy has served in the capacity of both within her 30 years of doing admirable work, for those who have needed her expertise and influence. Over the last three decades Betsy DeVos has championed efforts that have made a huge difference in the lives of many and the needed changes in dozens of organizations. Since her graduation from Calve College in Michigan, Betsy has led the charge, for philanthropy and political change to better serve the community. Whether it is through various political campaigns, political party organizations, or political action committees, Betsy has provided sustainable efforts to deliver leadership. For six years, Betsy also served as Chairperson of the Michigan Republican Party. Follow Betsy DeVos on twitter.com
Betsy’s philanthropy and charitable efforts has been to serve on many national and local boards, such as the Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, Kids Hope USA, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Betsy is widely-known and greatly-respected, for her leadership role, for being an advocate towards education reform and educational-choice programs. She is seen by those who have benefited from her tireless efforts as a change-agent, for the people of the community and the nation. Betsy continues to look for innovative solutions to bridge the gap within the education system and advance the needs of children to the public at-large.
Betsy Devos became interested in helping education programs in 1990 after her husband, Dick DeVos, won election to the State Board of Education. She quickly involved herself in a scholarship program which helped low-income families and assisting children to decide what school they could attend through the scholarship fund. Betsy identifies this as a pivotal moment in her alliance, for helping others in need and elevating her role to a more national platform. Betsy went on to serve on national boards as Chairperson with Children’s First America and American Education Reform Council, in order to expand efforts of education vouchers, and to use her leadership role to inform the public of the benefits. Betsy has continued her support of voucher programs throughout the country, and she has elevated the cause by enlightening people of what she believes is the fundamental change needed in the education system. Through her philanthropy and grass root efforts, Betsy has raised awareness to make sure people understand the core aspects of the program. In 2012, her successful efforts helped create wide-spread support of the New Orleans legislature which ultimately led to a new state-wide voucher program, enrolling almost 5,000 students in the first school year. The program has grown substantially since then. Betsy sees this as one of her greatest achievements, so far.
Read more: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/01/dick_and_betsy_devos_lift_the.html
The rise of George Soros to the apex of financial greatness from very modest beginnings sounds like something drawn out of the Seven Wonders of the World. An audacious figure whose resilience in accomplishing a goal is legendary, this modern day Goliath of tremendous achievements both in the nonprofit arena, and the financial world has very few equals amongst people of his caliber. Born and brought up in Hungary, he emigrated to the West in search of learning opportunity, and fortune. He was rewarded with both – starting out as a railway porter and waiter, he made his way to the London School of Economics from where his star began to rise.
His desire to succeed got a boost in a merchant bank that first employed him. This drew him into the technicalities of financial investment, and he started trading in currencies. He had a keen mind that quickly assimilated the fundamental issues in forex trading, and sooner that one might expect, he was acknowledged as an insightful trader. With only a little investment, George Soros moved to New York where his real venture in the cut-throat trading of Wall Street took root. In 1969, he had already amassed 12 million, and not daring to look back; he started a hedge fund. He was not disappointed in this initial investment which was later to be named the Quantum Fund. His instinctive knowledge in making the right moves at the right time made him speculate on the British Pound. He made an enormous financial profit in the venture that earned him the nickname “the man who broke the British Bank.” From this point henceforth, his success knew no limits. He became a champion in the management of hedge funds. Read more at The New York Times about George.
With the help of a highly skilled expert in financial matters known as David Fitzpatrick, Soros has accumulated a fortune more than 30 billion dollars. Fitzpatrick manages the amorphous financial empire for the billionaire. His interests are not limited to the world of finance alone because he is also a sharp political operative. At one time in the past, 2004, he tried but narrowly missed unseating President Bush. After that, he recoiled from the public domain back into the investment circles. However, being a man who abhors defeat in any form, he has re-emerged as a heavy-weight supporter of ethical principles of democracy.
He presently contributes billions to charities, nonprofits, and movements that spearhead liberal policies in politics. George Soros is particularly eager to institute reform policies for immigration rules; foster tolerance in religion, and reinvigorate the awareness of Hispanics and other minority groups in politics through a nonprofit called the Voting Rights Trust. He is a staunch supporter of the rights to abortion. He regularly donates millions of dollars to organizations that champion human rights, quality education and fast rate health care. He passionately hopes to redefine the process of democracy in Eastern Europe. Visit cnbc.com to know more about George Soros.
Article sourced from Forbes Magazine and Politico:
Dick DeVos recently revealed how much he and his family have given to charitable causes over the years. During their lifetimes, and through their Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, they have given away almost $139 million. Just in 2015 the contributed $11.6 million to a variety of causes, mostly related to education and arts. When combined with the amount that the extended DeVos family has donated over the years it comes to $1.33 billion, which places them as 24th on the list of most charitable families in the United States, according to Forbes.
In 2015, $3 million of their donations went to educational causes. The reason why education is so important to Dick DeVos is because he recognizes that children who grow up in the wrong zip code will simply not get a good education. DeVos said that the educational institutions they support show a commitment to academic rigor, accountability, and sufficient adult support and supervision. Among the specific schools they support is the West Michigan Aviation Academy which turns out students that have the STEM skills necessary to succeed in the aviation industry.
It was also revealed that they gave $2.4 million in donations for Arts & Culture in 2015. Part of this went to the DeVos Institute of Arts Management that is located at the University of Michigan. The institute was started as part of an initiative to strengthen the business side of arts institutions. The rest of their donations for the year were split up between civic community organizations, leadership and development programs, public policy, health and human services, and churches. One of the hallmarks that the couple is known for is that the money they donate comes without string attached on exactly how it is spent.
Dick DeVos is the son of Amway Corporation co-founder Richard DeVos, Sr. Dick began working at Amway in 1974 and slowly built his way up to positions of more responsibility. In 1984 he was promoted to Vice President where he oversaw the company’s international markets. During the time he served as Vice President, Amway explored new markets and tripled foreign sales. In 1989 he left Amway in order to found his own company, The Windquest Group. At this company he was involved manufacturing and selling closet and storage organizers.
In 1991 his father bought The Orlando Magic NBA team, and Dick was tapped by his dad to manage it. He continued to manage The Windquest Group during this time, and also after he rejoined Amway in 1993 as the company’s President.