Dick DeVos and the FAA

Most people do not realize how important the DeVos family has been to the Republican Party in Michigan and beyond. Betsy DeVos is now the 11th US Secretary of Education, which has been her lifetime goal since she was a little girl. For Dick DeVos, his path has led him into political circles as well. Although he was not able to secure governorship in Michigan in 2006, he has always helped build Michigan as an education leader and business-oriented state.


For many, Dick DeVos is still the face of Amway. However, he left the company in the 2000s to focus on his own endeavors, which mostly include politics and charity. In fact, the DeVos Family Foundation has given away almost $140 million to education, culture and the arts, healthcare, and community organizations in Michigan. For DeVos, it’s also been about the growth in his hometown.


In the 1990s, DeVos saw a lot of opportunities for his hometown to grow. He worked with business leaders to change the face of the downtown area as well. He wanted to see Grand Rapids grow as big as some of the other business destinations in America, and he had a strategy for how he would get that done. It all started with building up the downtown area to be more entertaining and conducive to business travelers. This included the creation of the DeVos Place Convention Center, Andel Arena, and DeVos Performance Hall.


Then, he saw another opportunity and one of the best strategies to bring business travelers to the city. He began working with the local airport to build up the airlines in place as well as the flight destinations. He made one phone call to the CEO of AirTran Airways, and the airline added four new flights in the early 2000s. This would be a spring board for the airport to start making real ticket sales.


Before this point, the airport had been a small executive airport that many didn’t realize existed. Now it’s an international airport with a new name. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport tripled in growth and even expanded. In fact, the $45 million expansion was completed in 2018 and included an all new business traveler center, as well as food court upgrades.


It was these types of strategies that the FAA saw as important to its own growth in 2018 and beyond. The agency unveiled new policies and regulation changes, as well as a $40 million renovation for the GSO Tower recently. While DeVos and the council cannot make decisions for the FAA, they do meet with the agency once per quarter to go over new changes and future growth. DeVos has been quintessential to the council’s success.


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Dick Devos and his latest appointment to the FAA

Have you looked at the news out of Washington? The latest comes from the FAA where Dick Devos has been appointed to the Management Advisory Council. As of September 2017, Devos has joined the council along with 12 others. The members come from all walks of life, including transportation authority and aviation, but Devos comes from the world of business.


Devos has been moving in political circles for quite some time, but he originally got his start in sales and business. He is the former CEO and President of Amway, as well as the current CEO and Founder of The Windquest Group. As someone who has worked around the top elites in business, Devos knows business strategy like no other. It will be his job to help the FAA with upcoming ideas for growth as competition grows steep in some markets.


Aviation has been up and down in the past decade. The changes with digital have created several bumps in the road for airlines, as well as airports. Devos worked with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport for many years helping it to expand and eventually renovate the entire airport. The $45 million renovation will be completed by the end of 2018. The airport renovations were just one part of a long story for Devos in aviation and business. He has helped the airport add on new flights, change international marketing and sales operations, and a variety of other ideas that have led to the airport’s rapid success over the past 10 years.


In fact, Grand Rapids has risen to become one of the fastest growing cities in North America. As more business travelers use the airport, they may see some changes as the airport looks to upgrade its terminals, food court, and business traveler center.


Devos started working with business leaders in Grand Rapids early on in the 1990s. Together, they created Grand Action, which led to the economic support of downtown Grand Rapids, including new buildings in the downtown area, such as the Devos Performing Arts Center.


It’s public works and philanthropy that have given Devos opportunities to affect his hometown for the better and lift up the business leaders in his town as well. The hope is that he can do some of the magic for the FAA as well.


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Founded in 2006 as GreenSky Trade Credit LLC by David Zalik, GreenSky Financial LLC is a private equity firm based in the Southern state of Atlanta. It changed its name in December 2015 and offers quick and paperless financial services, credit and consumer lending to businesses through its online platform. It helps enterprises provide credit to their customers by acting as a program administrator and third-party service provider for federally and state insured chartered banks that offer consumer loans. Besides providing revolving credit products and installment loans it also provides credit programs for elective medical providers, home improvement merchants, and furniture retailers.

Through its merchant, retailer and provider networks all over the US, it serves both consumers and large, medium and small-scale businesses. David Zalik’s GreenSky offers business card service as well as same day funding for submitted invoices, online transaction management, credit services and invoice verification.


Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer for GreenSky, 43-year-old David Zalik were born in Israel with his family moving to the USA when he was four years old and settling in Alabama. His father became a Mathematics professor at Auburn, and he attended the same school his father was teaching but later dropped out to concentrate on building his computer assembly company, MicroTech. In 1996 then aged 22 years he sold the 20-employee company for a tune a few million dollars and moved to Atlanta. Zalik later founded Outweb Inc., a consultancy for businesses trying to create their websites, in 1999 after a few years of investing in the real estate sector. He helped start the Rockbridge Commercial Bank in 2006 which initially attracted capital from a clique of local investors including billionaire Bernie Marcus, co-founder Home Depot. In three years’ time, it failed making him lose up to $500,000 and lawsuits from the FDIC.

It is after all this that he founded GreenSky, which he named after hearing Willie Nelson’s rendition of Blue Skies. Robert Sheft, an investor, and founder of RMA Home Services, later joined him their big pitch being less hassle in offering their customers financing as compared to stalwarts like Wells Fargo and GE.

David Zalik has also served on the board of directors of The Marcus Community Centre, The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and Hands on Atlanta. He has been a recipient of the 2000 Abe Schwartz Young Leadership award, 2003 catalyst Entrepreneur of the Year Award and 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

ClassDojo-Streamlining Effeciency in the Classroom


ClassDojo is not your average app. It is helping classrooms to become much more efficient and is helping teachers, parents, and students to connect better. ClassDojo is easily accessed through laptops, interactive white boards, and through smartphones. Students can even customize their avatars to reflect their individual personalities. ClasDojo is a lot like a reward jar, and what kid doesn’t look forward to a reward jar? It uses dojo points and students get very excited and motivated with the point system.

ClassDojo is helping teachers to get more out of their time in the classroom by freeing up their time to spend on other tasks. The teacher can just leave the Smartboard on all day and it makes it easy to keep track of their student’s behaviors throughout the day.

ClassDojo helps teachers and parents to stay connected and the app automatically keeps track of and records the actions in the classroom. Teachers can then use the information gathered on their students to create reports that can later be emailed to parents. When parents get the emails, they will be reminded to review the reports on their children, keeping them updated on the progress of their children.

ClassDojo is very handy for organizing and setting up the classroom. When a teacher sets up a class in the app, each student is assigned an avatar. The app has a list of behaviors that are customizable. This allows the teacher to regulate the behaviors in the classroom and to adjust tongs accordingly.

ClassDojo helps parents to keep in touch with what is happening in the classroom and to know what their children have been working hard on. It also makes it easier for students to share with their parents what they have been doing during the day with visuals rather than explanation.


Success at Success Academy

Success Academy Charter Schools Since 2005
With 41 schools in the New York area, proficiency in Math and English scores are at 90% out of 100% and above; public school scores which currently are reaching beneath 20% proficiency begs the question: What’s the solution? The gap between charter and public education is widening in effectiveness, more independent instruction and challenging curriculum.

Success Academy Charter Schools Responds to Elementary Student Needs
Public schools are “change resistant” and tied to union regulations, as well as administrative and government restrictions that charter schools are free from. Extra-curricular activities in public schools are being cut due to lack of funding and cuts in already lowered budgets, without change in sight. Change is what charter schools are sensitive to, and they train their instructors with this in mind.

Success Academy Charter Schools Are Inclusive
Solutions at the academy’s educational centers are as such: strict rules, strict curriculum with high-bar expectations and consistent and fair consequences for those that have perhaps fallen through the proverbial cracks in a public school setting. Low income, broken homes and students with disabilities are inclusively part of the charter school population.

Success Academy Charter Schools are Multifaceted
English Language learners excel in specially-run immersion classes as they listen, speak and engage in progressively-sophisticated literature from Day One. Students are allowed to follow their own pace in learning. This eliminates boredom and checks behavior issues. Tough learning during long days at school is made pleasurable, exciting and challenging due to state-of-art technology, a diverse variety of choices in coursework: Language, Math, Science, Debate, Music, Art, Dance, and Chess tournaments. Expectations for both students and faculty are at the highest level here.

Success Academy Charter School Mission
The tenet that appeals to most parents is the school focus on the graduating student, no matter what grade they are in at the time of instruction. Opening up opportunities for the future generations of America is what their methods and daily goals are established for. Visit [] for more information on how you can make the called for difference that impacts your child’s education.