Betsy DeVos: Philanthropist, Activist, Businesswoman

Betsy DeVos is an education activist, businesswoman, and philanthropist. She was born and raised in Michigan into a wealthy family. Her father was Edgar Prince, a billionaire industrialist who founded Prince Corporation, a car parts supplier based in Michigan. The DeVos family is among the wealthiest in the entire state. Her husband Dick DeVos is a multi-billionaire heir to the Amway family. Betsy grew up as a member of the Christian Reformed Church in North American. After graduating from a Christian private school, Betsy received her undergraduate degree from Calvin College in political science and business administration.

Betsy became active with the Michigan Republican Party in 1982, where she served as a local precinct delegate. Between 1992 and 1997 DeVos was a Republican National Committeewoman and was a chairwoman of the state’s Republican Party until 2000. After leaving for a brief time, DeVos came back to the party in 2003, where she ran for party chairman was elected with absolutely no opposition. When it came to Bush’s re-election in campaign in 2004, DeVos personally raised over $150,000. Betsy DeVos also hosted a fundraiser in her home in 2008 that headlined former President George Bush. While George Bush was President, Betsy spent two years at the National Republican Senatorial Committee as the finance chairperson and worked closely with the Republican Party on several projects. Her family, the Devos’, has been active in the party for many decades, especially as donors. It is estimated that the DeVos family has donated more than $17 million to the Republican Party, between candidates and committees, since 1989.

In 1989, Betsy and her husband Dick founded the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation which is responsible for helping organizations that focus on community, arts, justice, leadership, and education. Their foundation is motivated by faith and their support of charitable organizations has reached over $139 million in donations. The foundation has been ranked on Forbes list of America’s Top Givers. Betsy was appointed in 2004 by President Bush to the board of directors at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where she stayed until 2010. While on that board she funded a center that taught arts managers and board members how to fundraise properly and how to properly manage their institutions. In 2010, she and her family donated $22.5 million to continue this ambitious endeavor, given in the name of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management. DeVos and her family founded an international art competition named ArtPrize in 2009. Betsy has also created an annual scholarship, named the Betsy and Dick DeVos Scholars for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, which is given to students at Northwood University. Betsy DeVos is even a member of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, founded by Jeb Bush.

The Success Behind Solo Capital

Sanjay Shah is the Chief Executive Officer of Solo Capital. The company is a well-known international finance corporation which Sanjay Shah founded in the year 2011. The company headquarters are situated in London in the United Kingdom. The company specializes in a number of things including consulting, professional sports investments and property trading. Many people know Sanjay Shah as a dedicated and successful business magnate.

Sanjay Shah was born on September 1970. His family used to live in Kenya, but they moved to Central London in the 1960’s. This is where Sanjay Shah grew up. Most people believe that Sanjay Shah has been a great success in the business world because he attended business school but this is contrary to common assumptions. Sanjay Shah never attended business school. As a matter of fact, Sanjay Shah attended King’s College where he studied medicine. However, deep down inside he knew that he did not want to become a doctor. He wanted to work in the financial world. After completing his studies, Sanjay Shah worked as an accountant for a number of banks including a Dutch Bank known as Rabobank, Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse. However, in 2009 the financial sector was hit by a crisis that saw many banks lay off their workers. Sanjay Shah is among those employees who had been laid off by the banks as his position had become redundant. Sanjay Shah realized that it would be superfluous for him to seek employment in the already volatile job market. This was the push he needed to build something great.

Solo Capital was founded in a small rented office in London in the year 2011. With the help of a couple of graduates, Sanjay Shah grew the company and within five years it was estimated to be about $280 million. As we speak today, the company has expanded into Dubai, and the management sees it expanding into other countries in future. Sanjay Shah also owns about 30 other companies spread out across the globe. Most of these businesses are in London, Dubai, Malta, The Cayman Islands, The British Virgin Islands and Luxembourg.

Sanjay Shah is not only a renowned astute businessman, but he is also a philanthropist. In 2011, Sanjay Shah founded Autism Rocks which is a non-profit organization that creates awareness on autism. He established this foundation after his youngest son, Nikhil, was diagnosed with the neurodevelopmental disorder. Autism Rocks raises awareness and funds through holding concerts. The whole idea behind Autism Rocks was birthed when one day Sanjay Shah was having a cup of tea with Snoop Dogg. Since then a number of concerts have been held, and the proceeds have been used in research. Since the establishment of Autism Rocks, many great musicians have been involved with the project including Drake, Lenny Kravitz, Snoop Dogg and other famous DJs.


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Koch Brothers’ Role in Eliminating Social Problems is Good for the Society

Koch brothers have created a subsidiary non-profit wing aimed at addressing the deep-rooted social ills as well as revitalize the civil society. The focus of the charity organization is on poverty and educational quality. The group has been named “Stand Together” and although it is in its start-up phase, it aims to raise about $15 million this year alone according to top officials of the new organization.

The organizers are already describing the new organization as a “venture philanthropy” that only aims at strengthening the people and states of the American society. The primary goal of the organization is to engage and make a real difference in peoples’ lives through solving the most pressing issues.

The Koch family is an American family of philanthropists, industrialists, and business people who control the Koch industries and associated with political activities in the United States. Koch Industries is the undoubted second largest private owned in the United States, which recorded $115 billion in 2013. Koch brothers refer to David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch, the only two remaining Fred Koch’s sons.

According to the group’s executive director, the organizations does not intend to veer into policy rights but partner with like-minded private groups to address societal issues related to high recidivism rates and gang violence. One of the aims is to team up with Bob Woodson, who is a prominent conservative and the CEO of Center for Neighborhood Enterprise. He is prominently known for his role in the fight against poverty. This is not the only charity group the Koch brothers have been involved in. Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries, is known for spending millions of dollars for charity organizations aimed at eliminating poverty in a society that is based on free-conservatives. In essence, Americans for Prosperity is a long-standing grass-roots arm. The other initiative is referred to as Libre initiative which is meant to offer free turkeys to Latinos.

It is publicly known that Koch Industries and Charles Koch made a $25 million contribution to United Negro College Fund most of it meant for scholarships. The aides of Koch brothers are now partnering with Obama administration to change the criminal justice system that excludes the poor from business and job opportunities. However, it is not only charity that has made Koch brothers become an important part of the society. Koch brothers are known for their massive spending into the American political system to boost the Republicans who share their views. They have recently announced their commitment to spend nearly $900 million over a two-year period with a third of the chunk going to the 2016 elections.

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Businessman DeVos Believes That Giving To Education And The Arts Produces Incredible Benefits For Society

More than $358 billion was given to charities across the country last year. More than $53 billion of that total was given by various American and International Foundations. Donating has become one of the most important things Americans can do to offset some of the discrepancies that exist in our Capitalistic society. In a sense, charitable giving is a hybrid form of socialism because it benefits society as a whole. Every charity and non-profit organization has a mission statement, and most of them include the word change. Charitable giving is about change: A change in the status quo and a change in a system that has a number of social holes in it. 

Trying to fill those social holes isn’t easy, but men like Dick DeVos make it look easy. DeVos uses hard work, forward thinking, a belief in a higher power, and the ability to realize that we all go through challenges, but some people go through more than others. Dick and his wife of 30 years, Betsy, started the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation in 1989 to fill some of those social holes, and they have done an excellent job. Dick and Betsy are passionate about education, the Arts, Justice, Leadership and the Community. 

Both Betsy and Dick are also involved with The Windquest Group. The Windquest Group is a Michigan-based investment management firm. The company has several projects in progress in the technology, manufacturing, and non-profit industries. Dick is also known as the man that led Amway to more than a billion dollars in sales.DeVos played an important role in developing Amway’s international business. 

But Dick has worn several hats through the years. Some people still remember him as a politician that run for governor in 2006. Other people know him as a pilot and an award-winning sailor. Sports fans know him as the former President of the Orlando Magic or as a stakeholder of the Chicago Cubs. But others know him as the founder of Michigan’s Education Freedom Fund. You can see his entire work history including the multiple boards he works on by viwing his LinkedIn or by viewing his Wikipedia page.

DeVos has devoted his life to helping others, and a recent article in confirms the fact that DeVos and his foundation will never stop making a difference. The family foundation donated more than a million dollars to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

When all is said and done, the measure of a human life is not the amount of money in the bank or the celebrity status achieved in certain vocations. The real measure of a human life is giving without conditions. Learning to give without an agenda is a challenge we all face, and DeVos has conquered that challenge. Don’t take my word for it though, listen to these young entrepreneurs say their thanks for the generosity of DeVos.