Leaders

Betsy DeVos Shows The Importance Of Philanthropy To Her Family

The well known education reformer and philanthropist Betsy DeVos has recently revealed a large amount about the way she and her husband, the former AmWay Group President Dick DeVos go about their amazing philanthropic works. Most of us now ken Betsy as the serving U.S. Secretary of Education, looking at the career of Betsy DeVos I have always been a dedicated political commentator and education reformer as she has set out to use the wealth and power of herself, her own Prince family, and the DeVos empire to do as many good works as possible for the future.

Betsy DeVos has always been willing to use her own position to aid others, but her work is often misunderstood by those who feel her conservative credentials make it difficult for her to have a say in how the children of the U.S. are educated. In fact, Betsy DeVos is a dedicated reformer who is not looking to undermine the democratic public school system, but is instead looking to provide as much choice and programs to assist families in getting the best possible education for their children as possible. I believe the many surveys and areas of research undertaken by education reform groups that show African American communities and the majority of other groups are supportive of the work of Betsy DeVos to halt the problem of zip codes being a drawback in education for many children in communities across the country.

I was aware of Dick DeVos for a number of years through his work with the AmWay Group and the NBA franchise of the Orlando Magic, which has allowed he and Betsy the chance to explore their philanthropy in many different ways. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation was formed in 1989 and I believe the work they have completed is among the many most important in the U.S. and around the world; in looking at the work of the foundation I see many areas where Betsy DeVos has been a major supporter and activist in her work to reform education and support many different groups. Betsy DeVos has been a major supporter of combining her faith as a Calvinist and her work as an education reformer; through the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation the Secretary of Education has been a major supporter of the Willow Creek Association that is aiming to create new ways of promoting morality and leadership in the youth of communities across the U.S.

Visit their foundation at dbdvfoundation.org.

Duda Melzer: Insired To Innovate

Eduardo Sirotsky Melzer, known virtually exclusively as Duda Melzer, is a third generation member of the Sirotsky family, which run Grupo RBS, one of Brazil’s largest media companies. As president, Melzer oversees the company founded by his grandfather, MaurĂ­cio Sirotsky Sobrinho, in 1957. While family-operated businesses are common in Brazil, Duda Melzer was not handed his position as CEO on a platter. His uncle, Nelson Pacheco Sirotsky, who was chairman of Grupo RBS, insisted that all family members working in executive positions first earn an MBA from a respected university, which Duda obtained from Harvard University. Another condition was that executives prove their worth outside of the family business, which Duda Melzer did by working at the Delphi Corporation and as CEO of BoxTop Media in New York.

Since becoming head of Grupo RBS, Melzer has prided himself on implementing an innovation strategy, which the company received honors for in 2014. In recognition of the example he sets as part of the new generation of executives in family businesses worldwide, Duda Melzer was placed on Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise’s 2015 list of examples of excellence.

Additionally, Duda Melzer serves as chairman of e.Bricks Digital, Grupo the VC company he founded, which provides capital and expertise to companies in Brazil and U.S. companies targeting Latin American markets.

When Dino asked Duda Melzer who inspired him, Melzer credited John Davis, a Harvard University professor and consultant who worked with RBS in 1999 and Jim Collins, another consultant who specializes in family-run businesses.

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