How Dick DeVos Help Make Grand Rapids A Destination City

Dick DeVos has played a major role in Grand Rapid’s downtown economic development as a co-chair of the Grand Action committee, a role that he recently retired from to make way for the next generation of civic leaders. His philanthropy and leadership helped to change the Grand Rapids’ skyline and staunch suburban sprawl, bringing the Van Andel Arena and the DeVos Place Convention Center to downtown Grand Rapids. DeVos’s leadership also helped bring a sculpture garden, a newly renovated Civic Theater, a museum and more, making Grand Rapids a destination city for tourists.


Besides changing downtown Grand Rapids, DeVos changed the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. A pilot himself, DeVos lead the effort to bring Southwest airlines, a low-cost carrier, to the airport. He set up the Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan, an organization that stressed how important the airport was to West Michigan’s economic growth. The airport’s makeover and new service greatly benefited the community.


Once CEO of the Amway business that his father, Richard DeVos Sr., co-founded, DeVos is a well-known philanthropist and advocate school choice. He is currently president of the Windquest Group. Devos is also known for founding the West Michigan Aviation Academy at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The tuition-free public charter high school gets teens ready for a career in aviation. While being a helicopter and a jet pilot as DeVos is a natural choice for many teens, the school stresses other careers as well, such as aerospace engineering and airplane maintenance.


DeVos, along with his wife, Betsy, created the Great Lakes Education Project to promote school choice. DeVos and his wife have both publicly stated that they feel that low-income parents should have a choice, as they did, when deciding where to send their children to school.


DeVos and his wife contribute to the community through the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, which focuses on education, art and community improvements in West Michigan. Between 1989 and 2015, the foundation gave away $137.8, including scholarships and a generous $12.5 million to build the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. A graduate of Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, DeVos also has three honorary doctorates. He regularly donates to his alma mater, including buildings and scholarships.


In 1997, DeVos’ best selling book, Rediscovering American Values, came out. The book focuses on how people can apply honesty, fairness and other values in everything that they do.


Follow Dick DeVos on Facebook.

Scott Rocklage and 5AM Ventures Help Secure Funding for MD1 Research

Expansion Therapeutic has recently begun working on a campaign to raise series A funding for the purpose of increasing the efforts that it is making toward research into fighting a wide variety of genetic conditions in their portfolio of concern. Chief among these conditions is myotonic dystrophy type I which is a precursor disorder that is the leading cause of Adult Muscular Dystrophy. The currently accepted research indicated that the symptoms of DM1 begin to manifest once RNA levels reach toxic.


What has been found is that the production of some RNAs eventfully becomes toxic and trigger the effects of DM1. Unlike regular RNAs, molecules that are released from DNA strands and eventually convert into protein molecules which usually are harmless, these particular RNAs can have severe adverse reactions in the cells that contain them. The cells that are most susceptible this toxic RNA activity are the ones which are located in the heart, endocrine system, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, and central nervous system. As the cells at compromised the systems become defective and start to fail.


DM1 can affect entire families and can become worse with each subsequent generation. Expansion Therapeutics is committed to finding a solution to the problem of DM1. There is currently no known cure or treatment for DM1, but Expansion Therapeutics feels that they are on the right track. With the new resource pool of funding that was acquired by the campaign, this effort can now continue until a cure is found.


The funding campaign was led by Novartis Venture Fund, Sanofi Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, and 5AM ventures with Alexandria Venture Investments and RA Capital Management also being attached. A press release was issued by the managing partner of 5Am Ventures, Scott Rocklage on the funding campaign. Rocklage has been a leader in helping to fund advancements in medical research of all types with the goal being to help advance the understanding of illness and increase the benefits of medical science for mankind. Learn more:


Scott Rocklage has devoted his life, both in business and in the realm of science to the advancement of the understating of how science can be applied to the real world problems of everyday people. He started his company 5AM ventures to provide investment opportunities to those who share his dreams of a better world and to provide a secure source of funding to those research organizations and companies that are looking for cures to the worlds most incredulous diseases and conditions. He is a man who has spent the better part of his adulthood working to better the lives of others and continues to find new ways to make the world a better place every day in any way possible.