Dick DeVos: A Major Donor To The Kennedy Performing Arts Center In D.C.

Richard Marvin (Dick) DeVos Jr. has spent his career in business, politics but most notably philanthropy as he’s served with organizations whose objectives mesh with his beliefs of traditional conservative values. He also is a performing arts enthusiast, so it’s no surprise he and his wife Betsy have served on the board at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center and also donated $22 million to the completion of its Arts Management Institute which was named in their honor and later merged with the University of Maryland. Dick DeVos also donated another $1 million to the Kennedy Center in 2015 for an expansion project.

 

Dick DeVos started out getting his formal business training at Northwood University in Michigan and worked for many years at his father Richard DeVos Sr’s company Amway Corporation. He even was CEO of Amway for 10 years and also founded an investment firm known as The Windquest Group whose holdings have been in neurosciences, clean water products and alternative energy production. He also served as CEO of the Orlando Magic for a few years after his family acquired the franchise in 1991.

 

Dick and Betsy are probably best known for being education reformers and working with lawmakers to promote legislation favoring school of choice and more opportunities for private schools. Dick was elected once to the Michigan Board of Education and also became a founder of several scholarship funds including the Education Freedom Fund and Children First America, while also working closely with the American Education Reform Council. He was also responsible for a Michigan State ballot initiative in the 2000 elections that would have amended the state constitution to favor private school voucher programs, though it was voted down. Dick and Betsy also chaired several charter school associations and helped open the West Michigan Aviation Academy. In the election of 2016 Betsy was chosen to become the next US Secretary of Education.

 

Dick has taken his philanthropy to Michigan’s Healthcare industry as well, and was given the Art of Giving award for his gift to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. He is also a former political candidate who ran for governor in 2006 but lost to then incumbent Jennifer Granholm. But he also wrote the book “Rediscovering American Values” in 1998 and has also worked closely with the Heritage Foundation and Hudson Institute, both of which were key in passing a 2012 right-to-work law in Michigan along with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Robert Santiago: Brazil’s Modern Man

Roberto Santiago is one of the most prolific entrepreneurs in modern history. While Santiago is known for his popular Manaira Shopping center, few know that he also owns the most popular concert hall in all of Brazil. Domus Hall-which is located on the rooftop of the Manaira Shopping center- is the perfect concert hall for lovers of the night. Even though Santiago is just 58 years old, he is just getting started.

 

Roberto Santiago has an incredibly strong entrepreneurial presence among the state of Paraiba. Citizens from far and wide have been able to experience the creative genius of Santiago. Both the Domus Hall and Manaira Shopping center are conveniently located between the city and the beaches of the northern coast of Joao Pessoa. Santiago placed the hall and shopping center at their locations to cater to inner city citizens as well as citizens who live along the coast. The building placement makes it easy for city dwellers to enjoy the fast paced lifestyle as well as being able to serve coastal dwellers with the shopping center’s wide array of inventory.

 

Santiago did not just intend to create his shopping center and concert event hall to cater to local citizens; he wanted his creative genius to reach an international populous. Being the visionary that he is, Santiago plans on attracting as many artists to the concert hall in Joao Pessoa as possible. So far in his venture, Santiago has garnered entertainment for a diverse selection of musical talents and genres. Sertanejo, rap, reggae, rock, axe, MPB, and samba artists have all gotten to grace the stage of the concert hall. Since its opening, Domus Hall gave a stage to artists such as Seu Jorge, Jorge Mário da Silva, and Ana Carolina. The development of the concert hall is considered to be one of the most modern concert halls to be designed in recent history. The ingenuity and creative design of the concert hall does not stop at musical acts and talents. Domus Hall was created to cater to whoever may seek its services. The event center is also available for private events, fairs, graduations, weddings, presentations, and, comedy stand ups. Santiago intended to serve the people using the concert hall in the same way that he served the community surrounding it.

 

Along with offering Domus Hall and the shopping center to the community, Robert Santiago could not imagine how his businesses could have innovated the city itself. In 2014, business owners and investors around the globe started to understand the hype surrounding the city of João Pessoa. Investment companies started to notice that the value that Santiago placed on the city was unmatched. Almost overnight, numerous companies were attracted to the region and many started making plans to invest into the company. Robert Santiago used his creative and cultural genius to the lay the framework for a prosperous and bustling city. Unlike most entrepreneurs, Santiago made this happen without abandoning the community he was building on; rather, he made sure to cultivate it and ensure that it would be a powerhouse for decades to come.