Dick DeVos Has Been Like A Caring Shepard To The City Of Grand Rapids

Dick DeVos loves his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and he has been a part of many different efforts to improve his city. As the son of the founder of Amway, and the former CEO of the company, he has leveraged, both, his knowledge and income to make important changes to Grand Rapids. Close to three decades ago there was a plan that was gaining steam to build a sports and convention arena in the city that would be used for multiple purposes. While many others began to support the idea, he knew better.


The sports and convention arena was going to be built just north of the downtown area of Grand Rapids, and this alerted him to what he needed to do. Instead of just voicing his opinion about the negative aspects of building such an arena, he got on the phone ans started making phone calls. During his lobbying effort, he managed to help with the formation of Grand Action, which is a group comprised of business leaders in Michigan that have worked to make the city of Grand Rapids a better place. Over time, they have done so by being a large part of the construction of buildings like the DeVos Performance Hall Michigan State University’s medical school, and many others.


The reason Dick DeVos was so adamantly opposed to the idea of the sports and convention arena was because he had witnessed something similar in Detroit way back in the 1970s. What took place then was the building of the Pontiac Silverdome and Palace of Auburn Hills, and its construction ended up being a huge mistake when the Detroit Pistons and Lions decided to leave the city. Dick DeVos could have just waited and let the city make its own mistakes, but like a good businessman and caretaker of Grand Rapids, he decided to get involved before a lot of time and money was wasted.


This wasn’t Dick DeVos’s first rodeo, because he was also the key person who was responsible for bringing Southwest Airlines into the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Instead of just wooing Southwest to Grand Rapids, he ensured that the airline company would offer non-stop flights of the city. Dick DeVos is also the co-founder of the West Michigan Aviation Academy, which is nonprofit charter school. The school started out with 80 students but is now bursting at the seams with 600 students who are interested in the aviation industry.


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

Andy Wirth’s Philanthropy and Career in the Mountain Resort Industry

The Squaw Valley Ski Holdings’ CEO, Mr. Andy Wirth’s life has been linked with the hotel and mountain resort sector for many years. He has a 25 years’ experience, which will help him in transforming the ski area into a leading international winter tourist destination. Andy was born in Nuebrucke, West Germany.

He attended the Colorado State University and later joined Edinburgh University for further studies. While still in school, he got some experience as a backcountry ranger and a wilderness ranger in the Rocky Mountain National Parks and San Pedro Parks Wilderness Area respectively. Mr. Wirth’s grandfather was a former Director of the National Park Service, and therefore, Wirth has always loved National Parks.

Before Andy Wirth joined Squaw Valley in 2010, the ski resort had been under the management of the Cushing family for about 70 years. He took over from the Nancy Cushing, who had served for 16 years as CEO of the company. Andy was made to be in charge of the resort’s 70 million dollars upgrade, which was meant to raise its standards for it to be able to tackle its competitors. Learn more about Andy Wirth: http://www.sierrasun.com/news/business/17254546-113/squaw-valleys-andy-wirth-appointed-chair-of-reno

He made Squaw Valley to be in the leading top 20 percent of the skiing business within a period of one year. One of his significant accomplishments in the resort is facilitating of a merger with Alpine Meadows Ski Resort and clients are now able to buy one admission ticket that is accepted at both resorts.

Andy Wirth is a philanthropist and with the help of two Navy seals, he created the Special Warfare Warrior Support Team. The group helps in raising funds to support families of soldiers who lost their lives or limbs in the line of duty. The donations are given through the Navy Seal Foundation. Learn more about Andy Wirth: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfSquawValley/posts/10152191670133708

Mr. Wirth was inspired to be involved with the group after he got a traumatizing accident while skydiving. On that day, the pilot had used a wrong route, and therefore, they jumped away from the landing zone. He landed in a vineyard and a pole severely tore off his arm making him stay in the hospital for a long time.

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Andy Wirth — KCRWandy wirth | POWDER Magazine