Dick DeVos: One of the World’s Most Renowned Businessman and Generous Philanthropist

The John F. Kennedy Center began a campaign in 2013 with the aim of raising $125 million. The campaign was conducted to fund a project that would see the expansion of the center through the construction of a riverfront pavilion, pedestrian bridge, and three pavilions in the center itself. Other improvements will include office and dining space, and educational and rehearsal spaces. David Rubenstein, the chairman at the center’s board of trustee was the first to make a donation to the project. Rubenstein donated $50 million, and so far, no one’s donation has come close to his. Other donors include the Boeing Co. which donated 20 million and Dick and Betsy Foundation which donated 1 million. The center, which was established in 1971, hopes to complete its expansion project in 2018.

 

DeVos’ Professional Profile

 

 

DeVos got his first job in 1974, working for Amway Corporation. DeVos held positions in different division including manufacturing, sales, marketing, finance, and research. He rose to the position of the company’s vice president in 1984. By the time he was leaving Amway, the firm had increased its annual sales by 50 percent.

 

 

Orlando Magic

 

 

In 1991, the DeVos family bought Orlando Magic from the National Basketball Association. Richard DeVos, DeVos’s father was the CEO and President of the franchise. In 2005, DeVos became a share holder of the company after his father divided ownership between his children.

 

 

Philanthropic Activities

 

 

In 1993, DeVos and his wife co-chaired the “Education Freedom Fund”. The Fund offers private scholarships to underprivileged families in Michigan which cannot afford the schools of their choice. The DeVos foundation currently deals with all the administrative costs associated with running the fund.

 

 

In 2000, DeVos became the chairman of “Kids First! Yes!” campaign committee. This campaign sponsored an initiative that would have repealed the Michigan constitution and permit tuition tax credits and vouchers for K-12 education. Unfortunately, the initiative lost. The DeVos Foundation has contributed money to programs such as the Children First America, Choices for Children, and the American Education Reform Council. The foundation also funds Christian schools in West Michigan.

 

 

In 2010, DeVos established the “West Michigan Aviation Academy”. This was the nation’s first ever aviation pubic high school. Responding to a question on where they derived the name, Dick’s wife Betsy said it was formed after considering the couple’s love of education, and her husband’s love of flying. The academy is situated at the “Gerald R. Ford International Airport”.

 

Read more at http://dickdevos.com/news/.

Jason Hope and His Entrepreneurial Experience in Mobile Technology

Jason hope has an unmatched entrepreneurial spirit, especially in matters technology. He says that he has always had a fascination with mobile communication. This fascination provided him with the start point in his career. After graduating with a degree in business, he founded Jawa, his own mobile communications company.

He acknowledges that the biggest problem faced by startups is funding. At the beginning of his career, this proved to be a major challenge. He, however, has managed to set up a grant program for innovative entrepreneurs. Through his website, budding entrepreneurs can leave submissions that he then takes the time to evaluate and determine which ones deserve the funding.

The Next Big Thing

On his vision for the next huge market revolutionary product, Jason Hope says that the Internet of Things is a close watch. He says that all new devices being created and marketed are utilizing this fact about Internet of Things and putting it into use. This is through their connectivity abilities that increase the level and speed of communication. The very same Internet of Things is also revolutionizing the medical industry.

Advice to Young Entrepreneurs

Jason Hope advises upcoming entrepreneurs to always have the bigger picture in mind when coming up with a new idea. He also says the people you surround yourself with while developing the idea are of much importance. This is because budding entrepreneurs tend to be overly concerned with minute details that back-track their progress.

The Most Valuable Business Skill

On the most important business skill an entrepreneur should be equipped with in this modern age, Jason Hope recommends online marketing. Social media has proven to be a very strong and viable marketing tool for new products. The presence of a strategy that focuses on digital marketing is very critical in business.

About Jason Hope

Apart from his focus on entrepreneurship, Jason Hope is also a big-hearted philanthropist. Jason Hope gave a $500,000 pledge to the SENS foundation on 9th December 2010. The foundation is focused on doing research on the use of regenerative medicine as an anti-aging tool.

He grew up in Arizona where his current business is located in Scottsdale. At the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, Jason Hope graduated with an MBA. He also earned a BS in finance at the same university. He occasionally goes out of his way to mentor high school students in Arizona.