Dick DeVos

Dick DeVos was born on 1955 into one of the founding families of Amway. In 1991, his opposition to a plan to put a convention center in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan suddenly made him into a political activist. Fearing a repeat of what happened in the 1970s and 1980s when the city lost the Lions and Pistons to Auburn Hills’ ill-fated Pontiac Silverdome and The Palace, he organized like-minded members of the business community to form a group known as Grand Action to oppose it. Their successful efforts were just the beginning.


Dick married Betsy Palmer in 1980, uniting two wealthy families and using their combined fortune to help support conservative political causes. The marriage has proven symbiotic for both Dick’s business career — he became the head of Amway in 1993 — and Betsy’s political career. However, not all the causes they support have much, if anything at all, to do with politics; in the 16 years the DeVoses operated the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, they also helped fund the construction of hospitals as well as artistic and cultural programs.


While his wife’s support for school choice has lead her to become Secretary of Education under President Trump, that cause has extended to some of Richard’s extracurricular activities as well: a charter high school at the Grand Rapids International Airport known as the West Michigan Aviation Academy where students can prepare for a career in aviation. A licensed pilot himself, Dick used his influence to persuade Southwest Airlines to move their flights to Grand Rapids, a moved that made it possible to reduce the cost of air fares.


If those ventures and causes proved to be successful ones for the DeVoses, not all of them have produced equally good results. Dick’s 2000 campaign to amend the state constitution to support school vouchers was a failure, and despite using a sizable amount of his income to support his 2006 political campaign for Governor of Michigan, he lost to Jennifer Granholm. Those defeats were merely temporary setbacks for Dick’s political ambitions; even though voters in Michigan rejected school vouchers, other parts of the country responded more favorably to the idea and imposed the programs themselves. More successful within the state of Michigan was the DeVos-backed right-to-work law the legislature passed in 2012, showing how times had changed in a state once dominated by organized labor.


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

Aloha Construction Personifies The “Aloha Spirit” by Giving Back to the Community

Dave Farbaky believes in the power of connecting people with needed resources. His company, Aloha Construction was founded on the premise that connecting people with needed resources was the right thing to do. The contractors at Aloha Construction go out of their way to ensure that their customers are satisfied. It is this commitment to excellent customer service that drives the company to serve the community.


Farbaky has built the company to satisfy the needs of the people around him. Making those first connections wasn’t easy. Farbaky learned that connections take time and the ability to trust. At Aloha Construction trust is a very important factor in all that they do. All employees of the company understand that the true Aloha spirit is one that builds on trust and understanding.


It is this Aloha spirit that permeates the company and reaches out to those in need. Recently Aloha Construction teamed up with the Dave Farbaky Foundation to supply needy kids with toys from Learning Express. The fun the kids had on their shopping spree was worth it.


Farbaky’s foundation helps many other charities in Illinois and Wisconsin. You wouldn’t expect a construction company to do as much as they do. The need is real. Farbaky and his employees feel that giving back to their community is important. The children at the Omni Youth Services center agree with this mission wholeheartedly.


Their work with the charity doesn’t deter from their roofing and siding work. Customers can rest assured that Aloha Construction contractors will take the time and effort to make sure the job is done right the first time. Their work can be trusted as they take the time to make the necessary connections to get the right resources at the right time. Creating a memorable experience is Farbaky’s main goal.