Dick DeVos leads Grand Rapids, Michigan, from economic woes to lasting prosperity

Grand Rapids, Michigan, is currently one of the most sought-after destinations in the Midwest in which to live, work and play. The city has established itself as a major hub for entertainment, dining and diverse industries. Grand Rapids has one of the more modern-looking skylines, dotted with glass-wall structures and ultra-modern high-rises that bustle with activity both economic and recreational. It is one of the only cities in the Midwest that has been undergoing a genuine construction boom over the last decade.

 

But things were not always looking so optimistic for the city. Grand Rapids had long been a major center of manufacturing. This was true to such an extent that the city was still primarily reliant on manufacturing right up until the 1970s. Grand Rapids had started out in the 1830s as a trading post, and it quickly grew into a center for lumber, receiving the bounty of Michigan’s vast logging industry by river and by rail.

 

Throughout the 19th century, Grand Rapids not only became one of the top lumber producers in the country, it also used all of that wood to build the furniture that would fill the millions of new buildings that were constructed throughout America’s great cities and the West during the late 1800s. It was lumber from Grand Rapids that helped build the many towns that marked the closing of the Western frontier, and it was Grand Rapids furniture that filled many of the buildings and homes that said lumber built.

 

But the Michigan logging industry eventually began to decline as the state’s supply of quality timber dwindled. Grand Rapids would go on to redefine itself as a major automotive manufacturing center. The city’s automotive industries didn’t actually produce the cars themselves. Instead, they acted as critical hubs in the supply chain, providing key parts for the big automakers of Detroit.

 

As the Detroit auto industry began its sharp decline in the 1980s, however, Grand Rapids found itself facing many of the same problems that cities like Flint and Detroit had faced earlier. The city’s leaders knew that something needed to be done, or Grand Rapids would likely begin spiraling towards the same slow and inexorable death that befell other rust-belt industrial towns.

 

Dick DeVos was one of Grand Rapids’ most prominent business leaders. He was determined no to let his hometown experience the same fate as Battle Creek, Detroit and Flint. As a consequence, he founded the Grand Action Committee, a group of the city’s top business leaders, who were dedicated to taking concrete actions to prevent the Downtown area from falling into urban blight.

 

DeVos himself was instrumental in the effort. He infused tens of millions of dollars of his own money into projects throughout the Downtown area. Facilities like the DeVos Place Convention Center created massive amounts of additional economic activity for the city’s urban core. DeVos was also instrumental in the creation of the Van Andel Arena and the Medical Mile, both projects that would bring tens of billions of dollars in economic activity to the city.

 

Follow Dick DeVos on twitter.

 

A Corrupt Arizona Sheriff Actions Helped to Establish the Frontera Fund

Many people might not be aware of the Frontera Fund, but this is an important non-profit financial source. The money from the Frontera Fund is used to support pro-immigration and migrant groups. Civil Rights organizations can also have access to this funding as well. This financial source helps to provide the money that is needed to improve the lives of illegal immigrants, to protect their rights and to provide them with legal services when they need them the most.

 

The Frontera Fund was created by two men who reside in Arizona back in 2013. The names of these men are Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. They are the owners of the Phoenix New Times paper. In 2007 the paper owners ran a series of articles exposing a corrupt Maricopa County Sheriff name Joe Arpaio. This man was the former sheriff of Maricopa County for nearly 25 years. He served in that office from 1993 to 2017.

 

During his time as sheriff, Arpaio supposedly did a lot of things that were wrong and even downright criminal. Some of his wrongdoings were never officially proven. However, many of his indiscretions were. It is a known fact that the former Sheriff Arpaio would profile Latino people in his jurisdiction. He also ran a tent city jail back in the 90s where the inmates lived in poor conditions. It is a known fact that people died in his jails and his department had botched many investigations which allowed criminals to go free.

 

When Larkin and Lacey reported these transgressions by the former sheriff, he did not like being exposed. As a result of their actions, Arpaio had both of the men arrested and thrown into jail. He came to their homes in the middle of the night and arrested both men. He dragged them off to jail and kept them in their overnight.

 

Sheriff Arpaio used a subpoena to carry out the arrests but they did not give a valid reason to have the men detained. Arpaio wanted to take the newspaper owners have them locked up to keep the public form learning about his actions as a leading lawman in the state. This incident took place in 2007.

 

Larkin and Lacey only spent one night in jail. The next day there was a huge protest outside of that jail and the men were freed. The two men decided to sue the sheriff’s department for the violation of their constitutional rights. Six years later, the men won this case and was granted well over 3 million dollars.

Dr. Saad Saad – recap article

Dr. Saad Saad is the creator of many medical devices. He has patented these devices throughout his medical career, and they have been used to make the jobs of doctors much easier. He has been a dedicated pediatric surgeon for more than 40 years, and he has saved thousands of lives. There are small children that send him thank you cards, and families are forever grateful to him for his great work. Dr. Saad Saad has been the leading surgeon in reducing pain and decreasing the risk of pediatric surgery. He is a very charitable doctor. He has performed surgeries on poor children for no charge, and he has saved their lives. Such an act of kindness and bravery is rare in the world. This is why Dr. Saad Saad is the great doctor he is, he goes the extra mile for his patients. He has taken mission trips to Jerusalem and the West Bank to perform free surgeries. The children in the poor, war torn areas were more than grateful. It is truly a blessing to have Dr. saad Saad as a pediatric surgeon. Learn more: https://about.me/ssaad/getstarted

 

One of the leading patents that Dr. Saad Saad has filed for is Methods and Apparatus for Providing Suction and/or Irrigation in a Rigid Endoscope While Maintaining Visual Contact with a Target Area Through the Endoscope. This patented invention is meant to make the use of endoscopes easier. Surgeons use an endoscope to search through a patient’s body during a surgery. This can be dangerous work, and it requires pinpoint accuracy. The tool can be used anywhere – the throat, stomach, spleen, intestines, heart, windpipe. The tiny optical lens gives doctors a full view of what is going on inside the patient’s body. The tool has detected problems that doctors did not anticipate, and it has been vital for the practice of surgery for decades. It is important to know what is going on inside of a patient prior to cutting them open for surgery. Dr. Saad saad invented an attachment that will allow doctors to drain away excess fluid that may be blocking a doctor’s view. The suction-irrigation has been instrumental in providing doctors with a clearer view of the patient’s body. The fluids have the potential to fog up the lens, so Dr. Saad Saad’s suction-irrigation attachment has been completely revolutionary to the medical field. He has saved lives and made surgeries much safer.

Ronald Fowlkes Strives for the Successes of his Team

Ronald Fowlkes posts frequently to his blog, particularly about his affinity for hockey. One of his more recent posts describes the accomplishments of Professional Hockey Goalie, Jeff Glass. Glass spent nearly 14 years playing both international and minor league hockey, and in December 2017 he made his first rookie appearance in the National Hockey League. Fowlkes says that Jeff deserves this opportunity to play due to his perseverance in the many years he spent working to achieve his dream.

 

Ronald Fowlkes is a man of many trades. Marine, St. Louis P.D. SWAT Team lead; these are just some of the titles that he has held. In his current position as Director of Business Development for FirstSpear, he takes part in the development and delivery of top quality gear for security departments. Fowlkes is a strong proponent of teamwork, and as a team leader, he focuses on leading by example. He believes that teamwork strongly influences the success of his ideas. To stay organized on a day-to-day basis, Fowlkes habitually creates lists and uses a journal to keep track of tasks that require completion.

 

As an entrepreneur, Ronald believes that surrounding yourself with good people is of great importance. He recommends that entrepreneurs gain the ability to learn from others, as this is often the key to finding the right answers. In his current line of work as Director of Business Development, Fowlkes is primarily responsible for coordinating with professional users from Law Enforcement and Military communities. He says that new ideas generally come from both the field and from the end users based on relationships that have already been established.

 

Fowlkes says word of mouth is a marketing strategy that works for FirstSpear, and due to their product quality being of such high caliber, they’ve found that business will often come to them. FirstSpear has a customer-driven focus, and according to Ronnie Fowlkes, this is what drives company growth. Recently, Fowlkes became a partial owner of the company and feels a greater depth of responsibility towards the company’s success. But even so, he still believes that his failures have served him well, and they’ve helped him push the limits and try new things.