The John F. Kennedy Center Fundraiser Surpasses Initial Set Goal

The John F. Kennedy Center exceeded its 2013 fundraiser target of $125 million by raising a whopping $135.9 million for its planned expansion project. However, instead of ending its fundraiser campaign, it has decided to up its target by at least $50 million. The expansion will include a pedestrian bridge and a riverfront pavilion. The center will also have new rehearsal spaces, offices, a dining space, and three pavilions. Michigan-based billionaire couple Dick and Betsy DeVos donated $1 million for the center’s expansion through their family foundation. The Kennedy center was opened in 1971 and receives almost three million visitors every year.

 

Dick DeVos

 

Dick DeVos is a Michigan-based entrepreneur, author, and billionaire who was born in 1955. He is a qualified helicopter and jet pilot, a sailor, a father of seven, and a grandfather of six. His father, Richard DeVos, is a co-founder of Amway Corporation.

 

DeVos served as Amway’s CEO between 1993 and 2002. At Amway, he oversaw all aspects of its operations and expansion to six continents and 50 countries. In 2002, Amway reported unprecedented sales of $4.5 billion. Before serving as President, DeVos was the company’s VP tasked with overseeing Amway International’s operations in 18 countries. After the DeVos family acquired Orlando Magic, Dick DeVos served as its CEO for three years. He later headed the Windquest Group.

 

Philanthropy

 

DeVos is a leading authority in numerous community initiatives not only in Michigan but also across the US. He helped launch the Education Freedom Fund that awards over 4,000 scholarships to deserving underprivileged kids in Michigan.

 

He also launched the West Michigan Aviation Academy, which provides a rigorous education with an aviation focus. The Aviation academy became the first public charter high school offering aviation courses in the United States of America. The idea to start the school originated from Betsy DeVos. She had been thinking about their shared interest in education values and her husband’s love of flying. Later, they decided to merge the two passions into a school. They made the school a public charter to allow children from all backgrounds to attend without paying any tuition.

 

Dick DeVos served on Michigan’s State Board of Education. He has also headed numerous revitalization projects in the downtown Grand Rapids as well as healthcare improvement initiatives that include a $130 million heart hospital, a $90 million medical school, a $30 million Downtown market, a $212 million convention center, and a $75 million downtown arena.

 

To learn more, visit http://dickdevos.com/.

The History of Jim Larkin: the Unwavering Trade Unionist

Labor unions have been in existence for a long period. To be a labor union activist, one must possess the qualities of a good leader and must be ready to defend the rights of workers at all costs.

In Ireland, one such a person was Jim Larkin, a trade unionist, and labor activist. Jim was not deterred from his work even with the little education he had at the time. He worked towards what he believed in.

Jim Larkin was born on 21st January 1876 in Liverpool England, but his parents were of Irish origin. His family was poor hence he was brought up in Liverpool’s slums where the poor reside.

Due to his family’s financial status, Jim had little chance to get a good an education. To supplement his family’s income, he worked a lot of manual jobs during his youth before becoming a foreman in the docks. Read more: James Larkin | Biography

Mr. Larkin was a committed socialist, and he believed that workers were treated unfairly hence he wanted to advance their rights. He became a member of the National Union of Dock Laborers (NUDL). Larkin later in 1905 became a full-time organizer of the trade union.

However, Mr. Larkin’s active militant methods of striking alarmed NUDL which made him be transferred to Dublin. After being transferred in 1907, he founded the famous Irish Transport General Workers’ Union with a goal of uniting all Irish industrial laborers, both unskilled and skilled into one union.

In conjunction with James Connolly in 1912, Jim Larkin co-founded the Irish Labor Party which organized a series of strikes in Dublin, the most significant being 1913 Dublin Lockout leading over 100,000 workers in a strike which lasted for eight months. The strike was fruitful as the workers won their rights for fair employment.

At the start of WWI Jim organized a series of anti-war demonstrations. In 2014 he moved to the United States for an educational tour as well as raising money to fight the British. While in America, he joined the American Socialist Party and the then Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) creating bad blood with the American government.

While still in America, he still influenced Ireland’s the Easter Rising in 1916 where his friend James Connolly died. As a remembrance to his friend, he founded James Connolly Socialist club in March 1918 in New York.

Due to his Communist links and activities, he was perceived as a threat to the American government and was convicted of creating anarchy and communism in 1920. He was later pardoned after three years and consequently deported to Ireland.

In 1924, Jim Larkin organized the Worker’s Union of Ireland. In 1945, he became a full member of the famous Irish Labor Party. Until his death in 1947; he was active in advance for the rights of workers.

Dick DeVos: A True Role Model

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, there is a very famous couple by the names of Dick and Betsy DeVos. They tend to receive a lot of attention for their political donations and rightly so. These two are very giving and kind people. As a matter of fact, the DeVos family has lifted the veil on their philanthropy in many ways.

 

Were you aware that in 2015, the DeVoses were kind enough to donate $11.6 in charitable contributions? This was according to a report that can be found on the Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation website. Additionally, this is practically double the $5.3 million in campaign donations from over the past five years that Betsy Devos informed the federal government as a part of her previous vetting process for the Cabinet post.

 

This couple is a well-respected part of a family dynasty that has been involved in the Republican party for decades. Thanks to Dick’s dad, Rich Devos, this devotion to the Republican party has remained stable for the family. Rich Devos himself is a co-founder of Amway. He and his four adult children have generously offered an amount of $104 million in charity donations in 2015. They’ve been noticed as one of America’s top givers.

 

Of course, for both Dick and Betsy, kindness as well as generosity are fundamental parts of their existence. Another critical aspect of their lives revolves around the world of education. In fact, they both consider education as a priority. In 2015, they allotted over $3 million in charitable donations for educational purposes, which is roughly 26% of their charity. Their foundation additionally rewarded about $357,000 to any organizations that supported the reform of educational systems. Both Dick and Betsy DeVos support the rapid improvement of education and will donate to achieve these goals.

 

DeVos believes that there are many great teachers as well as administrators out there who have been working their hardest for years, but the plan of both Dick and Betsy is to do a better job of finding a system that helps the talent of these educators to teach more effectively for each child in the classroom. That’s the main reason why they donate to educational facilities: it’s important to the both of them to ensure the children of our society are developing their cognitive skills at a healthy and beneficial pace.

 

In addition to his philanthropy, Dick DeVos has worked in a variety of different executive positions. These include positions at Amway, NBA’s Orlando Magic, and the Windquest Group where he is currently serving as their president. Despite his varied and impressive work history, Dick DeVos still finds time to donate generously for charitable donations. You could say that he is a true role model.

 

Omar Boraie And His Service To The State Of New Jersey

Omar Boraie runs Boraie Development, and his family business is one of the most important in all of the state. He has created a development company that will serve the communities of the state that are searching for new places to live, and he helps grow jobs when his developments are completed. He is an avid giver in the state, and this article explains how James is giving back to a place that he has called home for so long.

#1: His Headquarters In New Brunswick

There is a headquarters in New Brunswick near Omar’s home, and he believes in investing in the community that has hosted him for so long. He deeply believes in what the city stands for, and he has given quite a lot back to the community over the years. He has donated to Rutgers, and he serves on many boards of directors where his input is needed.

#2: Developing Better Places To Live

According to NJBiz, Omar searching for places where a new development would look best, and he asks the city to allow him to build on the land he has found. The land that he has used for development has been changed into something new, and he believes that the work he does will change the scope of what people in the community do because they may live and work in the same places.

#3: Creating Jobs

Omar invites quite a few businesses into the community because he wants to see them give back by offering jobs, and he often helps them build the specific places they wish to move into. Omar is offering full service to all the partners he finds, and he shows the city that there is a better place to host all the people who live in the community.

In an article on Rutgers, Omar Boraie is changing lives using the developments that he builds. His family has been involved in New Jersey for some time, and he knows that the work he does will completely change the people who live there. A new place to live and work will help improve the community for many people.

See more: http://patch.com/new-jersey/newbrunswick/omar-boraie-chair-genomic-science-established-rutgers-cancer-institute

An Outline of Dick DeVos’ Achievements as an Investor and Philanthropist

Dick DeVos started his career in 1974 at his father’s company, Amway Corporation, where he worked in various departments, and in 1984, he was promoted to vice president of the company. In 1989, DeVos set out to establish his company, The Windquest Group, which pioneered in marketing and manufacturing of storage compartments. In 1993, he was called back to Amway Corporation and was promoted to president of the company after his father retired. As president of the company, he restructured the company and eventually renamed it to Alticor Corporation. This new company housed the Amway Corporation, Access Business Group, as well as the Quixtar Corporation.

 

Under DeVos leadership, the Alticor Corporation expanded business across many countries globally. In 2006, DeVos retired and focused his energy to the Windquest Group. Throughout his career, DeVos has served on many boards such as The Thunderbird School of International Management and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Up to today, he still serves as the chair of both West Michigan Aviation Academy and the Grand Action Committee.

 

DeVos’ early life and educational background

 

DeVos was born on October 21, 1955, to the entrepreneur Richard DeVos and Helen DeVos. He is the eldest son and was raised in Michigan, and schooled at Forest Hills school. He attended college education at Northwood University where he graduated with a degree in business administration. He also attended Harvard Business School as well as Wharton School. Over the years, he has been awarded several honorary doctorates from Northwood University, Grove City College, and Central Michigan University. DeVos is married to Betsy DeVos, and together they have four children. Betsy DeVos is also a daughter of Businessman Edgar Prince. In 2006, DeVos nearly clinched the governor post in the state of Michigan under the Republican Party, but Jennifer carried the day.

 

DeVos’ philanthropic activities

 
In 1989, DeVos and his wife launched a family foundation that supports education and arts. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation support ArtPrize, an art competition in Grand Rapids since 2009. He has also contributed in the health sector donating millions of dollars to various components such as heart hospital and several medical schools. Through Education Freedom Fund, DeVos offered 4,000 scholarships to economically disadvantaged students in Michigan. The West Michigan Academy, a high school that offers educational courses with an aviation focus, is also a creation of Dick DeVos.