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Before Her Education Secretary Role, Betsy DeVos Was A Dedicated Campaigner

The name Betsy DeVos is now well known across the U.S. for her work as the incumbent Education Secretary of the U.S. Prior to her appointment as the Education Secretary, DeVos found herself campaigning for more charter schools to be given a chance across the nation. One may not think of a campaigner for charter schools as a radical in terms of the education sector, but Mrs. DeVos remembers a time when the mistrust of educators regarding charter schools saw her classed as such.


The question for many is why would a wealthy woman look to take on such a difficult task as trying to reform the U.S. public school system. The system is undoubtedly dated and out of touch with real-world learning solutions, but Betsy Devos is determined to make sure the children of the United States have a bright future. Despite coming from the family of a wealthy industrialist and marrying the billionaire Dick DeVos, Secretary DeVos remains intent on bringing more success to the U.S. school system.


Betsy DeVos points to the Potter’s House School in Michigan close to the Grand Rapids home she shares with her husband and children that prompted the interest of Betsy DeVos in educational programs. When her own children were of school age, the Education Secretary began visiting local schools for a range of reasons and eventually made her way to the Potter’s House location. Both Betsy and Dick DeVos saw the desire for parents to have their children attend a school where they had the chance to achieve success and become better members of society. The couple set up a number of programs designed to assist the parents of students at the school to make their way in the education system.


Although she is now one of the most important people in the U.S. public school system and has achieved many of her aims over her first years in her Secretary of Education role, Betsy DeVos looks back at her campaigning days with pride. In many interviews, the Education Secretary points to the charter school successes achieved when she was a campaigner looking to assist with the launch of a new publicly-funded scholarship program. Betsy DeVos points to the work of politician Marco Rubio in his home state of Florida where school choice has become a major issue.


The success achieved in Florida where more than 50,000 students are now attending the school of choice for their family has been a source of pride for the Education Secretary. For those who question why Betsy DeVos should play her role in the educational system of the U.S., her mother was a public school teacher in Michigan with the Education Secretary volunteering in local elementary schools as a young adult.


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Corporate Citizenship in Action: Kisling Nestico & Redick Helps Disadvantaged Kids

The Ohio personal injury law firm of Kisling Nestico & Redick is giving back to the community in several dramatic ways. The personal injury law firm, one of the largest in the state, is seeking to prevent accidents though programs in its KNR Cares About Kids initiative. KNR Cares focuses specifically on highlighting the dangers of texting while driving, and the need for bicycle riders to wear helmet to prevent head injuries.

Through participating in area corporate fundraising events, and outright donations by Kisling Nestico & Redick, the law firm has begun an annual scholarship fund competition open to college students who provide the best proposal to illustrate the dangers of texting while driving. In 2019 a $5,000 scholarship was awarded for a soon to be completed television advertisement with the story line of teenagers riding in a car with a blind folded driver. On the bicycle safety front, KNR Cares recently donated 500 bicycle helmets for youth attending YMCA summer camps in Youngstown and Toledo, Ohio, along with 25 additional helmets awarded through a social media give away campaign.

To date, Kisling Nestico & Redick has raised or donated over $300,000.00 for disadvantaged child related food banks and other community organizations, and their actions usually address a specific need for those children in a particular community. KNR Cares has sponsored a backpack food give away to ensure children who receive free meals as part of the school lunch program in the Cleveland Ohio area did not go hungry over the Spring Break period, and “The Coats & Cans for Kids Turkey Giveaway” in the Columbus area.

The Kisling Nestico & Redick law firm, which has grown to 38 attorneys and over 130 support staff, was started in 2005 and has ten locations throughout Ohio. KNR was recognized as a Premier Law Firm by Newsweek magazine in 2017 and Managing Partner Rob Nestico and other attorneys in the firm have been previously selected among the Top 100 Lawyers in Ohio, named to Super Lawyers, and nationally as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association. To date Kisling Nestico & Redick has obtained $450 Million for their clients through verdicts and settlements.

Dick DeVos Life and Philanthropic Deeds

Dick DeVos was born in Grand Rapids, a small town in Michigan. As a young boy, he got oriented to the family business. In its earlier stages, DeVos says that they operated from the basement in their house. DeVos and his brother Doug were assigned the roles of mini hosts. Under this role, they were supposed to welcome and greet attendees at Amway conventions. These conferences were held on yearly basis. Later after the events, Doug helped in clearing plates and ferrying guests who were interested in playing tennis. With time, the responsibilities grew to public speaking and giving product demonstrations. The enterprise has expanded to become a global business. Later, DeVos marries Betsy who is now the former chairperson of the Michigan Republican Party.


Dick DeVos and his entire family are involved in various philanthropic activities. As a community leader, he contributed a lot of his time to community-based activities that played a part in the development of these communities. He also funded the Education Freedom Fund. The organization is responsible for over 4,000 scholarship opportunities. The scholarships are awarded to various students in Michigan. Dick DeVos is also responsible for the establishment of West Michigan Aviation Academy. The main agenda behind the start of this school was to offer affordable and quality education to children who were interested in aviation technology. He got elected to the State board of education shortly after. This position allowed him to reach the vast community regarding education.


He is also an entrepreneur. He has spent his career working in different executive positions for various organizations. His career began at Amway Corporation in 1974. There, he held several positions in Manufacturing, sales, marketing, and finance. 10 years later, he was promoted to become the Vice President of the company. Under his leadership, the company opened up several other new markets. Consequently, their international sales tripled. Six years later, before he left, the company had registered growth of over 50 percent sales yearly.


His family acquired Orlando Magic Basketball Franchise in the year 1991. DeVos was appointed to become the President and Chief Executive Officer of the basketball team. DeVos worked with the team for two years and left in 1993 to re-join the Amway Franchise as the president. Under his authority as Chief Executive Officer, the company expanded its operations in over 50 countries. He worked for the company until August 2002, when he retired.


On 2nd June 2005, he announced his intentions to run for Governorship in Michigan.