Category: Philanthropy

Betys Devos Overturns Transgender Bill for the Greater Good

Current U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos rescinded the Transgender Bill back in February of 2017. I know that Devos stood for this groundbreaking piece of legislation but she had to rethink her position in light of her party’s actions. President Trump wanted Devos to get on board with his decision to overturn former President Obama’s stance on the federal Transgender Bill.


President Obama endorsed the Transgender Bill back in May of 2016. The bill simply stated that public schools must allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their selected gender. Any public school refusing to adhere with this decree would lose federal funding. This bill sent shockwaves throughout the nation when it was announced.


Many conservatives went against this bill. A lot of them could not see why government had to get involved with this issue. They believe that it is up to school districts and local communities to decide this matter. So, President Obama’s decision did not sit well with them.


So, after President Donald Trump finally got into office; he successfully struck down President Obama’s bill regarding this issue. As a republican, President Trump realized that this bill had no place in American pubic education school system. I whole heartedly am in favor of his decision. However, Betsy Devos did not agree.


Betsy Devos is a woman who deeply religious and extremely conservative. She might not be in support of the lifestyle that transgender people live; but she does care about what happens to them as individuals. Devos understands that transgender people live a rough life. Their decision to identify themselves as a sex outside of their natural birth state causes a lot of issues for members of this group.


Devos realized that the bill that President Obama passed was important for protecting them from harassment, ostracization and possible death. The U.S. Secretary of Education realized that transgender people experience a higher rate of suicide. They also spend a lot of time alone and are often considered second class citizens.


Devos was hard pressed to agree on Trump’s stance of this matter. However, she agreed with the party. The president made it clear that she could not fight this issue without having to resign her position. Devos went along to keep her position intact.


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Right now, Devos is doing a great deal of good for her party and the American school system. So, leaving her position would not be a wise thing to do. Secretary Devos, is looking at the bigger picture. No, she is not happy about the President’s decision over this matter. Even though this is the case, I agree with what she has done for the greater good of conservatives and American people everywhere.

Sheldon Lavin’s Accomplishments at OSI Group

OSI Group, LLC has made several achievements in the meat processing industry which can partly be owed to its current CEO and Chairman Sheldon Lavin as most are seen under his leadership. Sheldon Lavin is also affiliated with Oakland Foods LLC, OSI International Foods Ltd, and OSI Industries LLC. Sheldon Lavin joined the group when it was known by the name Otto & Sons after it had been founded by Otto Kolschowsky in 1909. He served in the company as a financial manager. At the time when the firm had a deal with McDonald’s restaurants as a meat supplier, Sheldon secured a contract with Otto & Sons when it had insufficient funds.

The bank requested Lavin to become a business partner in the company, but he declined and remained a financial consultant for the company. In 1975, Sheldon oversaw the expansion of the company and got involved with it continued until he became a partner alongside the two sons when their father retired. The company therefore changed from the name Otto & Sons to become OSI Group, LLC. Sheldon received the first half of the ownership of the company when one of the two brothers sold his interest. Later, Sheldon received full ownership when the second brother retired.

Lavin planned several joint ventures such as the one with Pickstock in the United Kingdom to allow his company to distribute beef throughout Europe. OSI Group has also acquired the Tyson production plant under his leadership which has provided an abundant amount of storage covering about 200,000 square feet. OSI Group LLC continues its expansion and is currently in seventeen countries and with more than seventy facilities. It also produces from meat products to some sauces, vegetable and baked goods. The company now has over 20,000 employees all around the world. Sheldon shares that the company’s success is due to the knowledge that each employee adds to the company.

Lavin maintains great levels of responsibility and discipline to run such an organization. In a recent interview, Sheldon mentioned that OSI Group is all about a family culture where everyone’s opinion is listened to and taken into consideration. He is also passionate about giving back to the society thus his involvement with Ronald McDonald House Charities among other charity organizations. At the age of eighty-five, Sheldon still focuses on the continued expansion of his company across the world. Sheldon has also received several awards such as World’s Visionary Prize from the Vision World Academy of India for his great innovations.


The Philanthropic Activities of Dick DeVos

Dick and Betsy DeVos are most known for their often perhaps extravagant political donations. However, such donations would be made to look reasonable for the dwarfing effect of their philanthropic contributions. It has been revealed that throughout their lifetimes, the couple has spent well over 139 million dollars in charitable activities. The couple which is from West Michigan revealed the extent of their charitable activities and expenditure in January just before Ms. Betsy DeVos was confirmed for the position of secretary of education in the American cabinet. It was revealed that through their foundation the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, the couple had spent 11.6 million dollars in 2015 alone on charitable contributions. This doubled the 5.3 million dollars the couple had contributed to political campaigns and similar politically motivated courses over the past five years combined. The amount spent on political campaigns had been reported to the federal government, again, before Ms. Betsy’s confirmation in the cabinet as part of her vetting process.


The DeVos originate from a family dynasty with a lengthy history of supporting the Republican Party. Dick DeVos’ father, Rich DeVos is the co-founder for Amway Global and is one of the key funders of the Republican Party even to date. Rich DeVos, along with his four grown sons, handed 104 million dollars as a donation to the Republican Party in 2015 alone, placing the family as the 24 biggest givers of the year as ranked by Forbes. The family had jointly spent well over 1.33 billion on giving, representing about a quarter of their combined 5.3 billion dollar net worth.


For Dick and Betsy, their giving and philanthropy are mostly directed towards educational vocations. They spent 3 million dollars in on education causes in the year 2015, representing 26% of their entire charitable donations. They also gave 357,000 dollars to groups that are committed to educational reform. This represented 3% of their entire giving. Dick DeVos confirms that educational reform is a priority for the couple and maintains that the current education system is skewed against people who originate from certain ZIP codes which he believes will likely not be able to realize the American dream. He believes very strongly that unless the American education system is reformed, such an unfair imbalance will persist, and many people will suffer as a result. That is the main reason why the family has committed itself to contributing to education reform through all channels at their disposal.


Dick DeVos is the president and chief executive officer for the downtown Grand Rapids based Windquest Group. He is the father of four children and an equal number of grandchildren. He is also a senior member and a major contributor to the Michigan Republican Party.


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