When you talk about change agents in the United States, one couple we don’t hear a lot about is Dick and Betsy DeVos. While we do hear about Betsy when it comes to being the Education Secretary, there are still plenty of people who don’t realize the duo have been working to change the way we do things in this country for decades. On occasion, Dick DeVos has been a change agent on a much smaller scale. That was most recently underlined when talking about the way he went about making sure that his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan does not get a brand new multi-purpose sports and convention arena north of downtown.
DeVos felt as though this new center was going to draw away from downtown Grand Rapids. The campaign to kill that center made Dick DeVos understand that he had a bit of a calling as a kind of community organizer. His efforts were carried out in a couple of different ways and he’s now credited with helping steer the development of Grand Rapids in a positive way.
Because both he and his wife Betsy are heirs to great family fortunes, they have had the time and the means to spend a lot of their adult lives to being change agents, whether talking about policies or institutions. Because the DeVos’ are also big-time Republican donors, they are people that have managed to make sure that they have a voice in the political process. That work has led to Betsy DeVos being someone who is now the most powerful person in the country when it comes to deciding what direction public education is going to go. Dick DeVos was also appointed to a government agency by President Trump.
DeVos, who has also spent time as a pilot over the course of his life, was appointed to the top civilian panel overseeing the Federal Aviation Administration back in September. The former president of Amway is now starting a brand new chapter in his career. At the same time, he’s doing what he does best. He’ll be someone who can now change the way things are done at the FAA from the inside. That is, of course, the reason why DeVos has been doing what he’s been doing. Changing things from the outside can be done, but it’s certainly easier to do it from the inside.
People like Dick and Betsy DeVos understand that being a change agent of an agency you are overseeing is quite a bit easier than picking up the phone and hoping you can rally enough people to your cause. It should also be pointed out that while some of President Trump’s choices for his cabinet have come under fire for not having experience in the areas they are overseeing. Dick DeVos is certainly someone who understands aviation. He will continue to push his knowledge in a way that he can change what he sees needs to be changed. Now we’ll just wait to see what his next project might be.
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