Dick and Betsy DeVos, Powerhouse Couple for Change

Dick DeVos has an excellent sense of history.

 

He looked toward Detroit and saw the damage done to the great city’s center when such ambitious public space projects as the Palace of Auburn Hills and the Pontiac Silverdome got pulled to the suburbs.

 

He was determined to see that the same thing didn’t happen in his beloved Grand Rapids. When a new convention and sports facility was slated for real estate development outside of the city’s downtown, he saw the possibility of Detroit happening all over again. So he got on the phone.

 

He was a top business leader and would be the eventual CEO of his family’s Amway Corporation, so it was a certainty that his calls to his powerful peers would be returned.

 

He spearheaded the group of local business and civic leaders into Grand Action. The new group exerted their collective muscle to get the complex built downtown, and that was just the start.

 

Grand Action got a lot done in short order. It took collective action that led to the construction of such ambitious downtown projects as DeVos Place Convention Center, Andel Arena, Grand Rapids City Market, and Michigan State University – College of Human Medicine, among many others that raised the city’s profile, boosted its national reputation and granted it a new sense of dynamism.

 

This is only one facet of the commitment Dick and Betsy DeVos have shown for their entire working lives. For instance, Betsy DeVos became such a symbol of educational excellence for all children that it resulted in her appointment as the current Secretary of Education.

 

That reputation was built, in part, on the DeVos’s founding of the tuition-free West Michigan Aviation Academy. The innovative charter school reflects Dick Devos’s passion for flying and Betsy DeVos’s commitment to the delivery of a quality education for all.

 

The couple is also well known for their advocacy of arts and culture, healthcare and other charitable and civic causes of critical importance to the region and its people.

They don’t just lead the charge for positive change; they also fund it. Well beyond their founding of the innovative school, the couple also established their family foundation from which, to date, they’ve donated around $140 million to a variety of worthwhile causes.

 

One example, also in the area of quality education, is their start-up of the Education Freedom Fund. Today, it finances private school tuition for thousands of underprivileged students.

 

Dick DeVos’s push was instrumental in getting millions of dollars worth of improvements made to the city’s Gerald R. Ford International Airport and luring Southwest Airlines to expand air routes from Grand Rapids.

 

In recognition of his interest and accomplishments in commercial air travel, Dick DeVos has been appointed to the Management Advisory Council. This civic commission works to help set the strategic direction for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

 

In this era of financial challenges to cities, it’s easy to see Grand Rapids Michigan and the surrounding region in an entirely different light if not for the dedication, civic leadership and financial generosity of Dick and Betsy DeVos.

 

To learn more, visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/.

Enhanced Athlete Doesn’t Back Down, and the Industry is Grateful

Towards the end of 2017, supplement company Enhanced Athlete faced a lawsuit from Nutrition Distribution. Nutrition Distribution’s case was built around the idea that Enhanced Athlete was falsely advertising their product, and that this false advertisement was hurting Nutrition Distribution’s sales. Enhanced Athlete was not the only company being sued by Nutrition Distribution, however. Around the same time as this lawsuit, Nutrition Distribution was in the process of 70 or so other lawsuits, all the while also sending many more cease-and-desist letters demanding settlement costs. In all of these cases, the argument is the same. Essentially, Nutrition Distribution argues that their competition’s allegedly false advertising impacts their sales.

 

But Enhanced Athlete didn’t back down. Instead, they fought back. Scott Cavell, who is the CEO of Enhanced Athlete, had this to say on the matter: “Enhanced Athlete is not going to be the next victim of Nutrition Distribution’s shakedown scheme.” And Enhanced Athlete wasn’t. They fought the case rather than settling, and the outcome was in their favor. After the course was considered by the United States District Court of the Eastern District of California, the judge decided against Nutrition Distribution’s case. The judge’s decision was based primarily on the lack of objective connection between Enhanced Athlete’s advertisement and the sales of Nutrition Distribution’s products. Basically, there was no provable relationship between the two factors, and Enhanced Athlete made it past the case, as strong as ever. Enhanced Athlete stood up for themselves, and the results were huge for the industry in general. Caveli discussed the importance of not bending to the will of companies like Nutrition Distribution, and that doing so only further encourages their behavior: “So long as supplement companies continue to pay these nuisance value settlements, Nutrition Distribution will continue with its business model of shakedown lawsuits.”

 

Enhanced Athlete, along with its two sister companies, Enhanced Gear and Enhanced Coaching, provide top-of-the-line assistance to those looking to get fit. Enhanced Athlete, the specific group that survived the legal attack from Nutrition Distribution, focuses on supplements, offering a variety that help users build muscle, burn fat, and increase performance. On the other hand, Enhanced Gear hosts a great, varied inventory of workout attire for all styles and shapes. Finally, Enhanced Coaching gives participants the aid and counsel of an experienced and trained fitness guru, who gives help with constructing meal plans and tailoring specific workouts. When combined, these services offer a fitness experience rivaled by no other.