Monthly Archives: August 2018

Dick Devos: Businessman and Philanthropist

Dick DeVos may be Grand Rapids, Michigan’s most enthusiastic booster. After all, Mr. DeVos was born in Grand Rapids, and he attended public school in the nearby suburb of Forest Hills. He met his wife Betsy when she was a student at Calvin College, which is a liberal arts college that’s associated with the Christian Reformed Church and is located in Grand Rapids.


Dick DeVos’s affection for Grand Rapids is more than just a sentimental indulgence, however. Like every successful entrepreneur, Dick DeVos is a pragmatist, and he has correctly identified the city’s potential for dynamic business growth. That’s one of the reasons why in the early 1990s, when a plan was floated to build a sports arena and business complex far away from Grand Rapids’ downtown, Dick DeVos vehemently opposed it. Why not invest energy and money into revitalizing Grand Rapids’ downtown, he asked? This question was the genesis of the Grand Action Committee, which has grown into a nonprofit organization known today as Grand Action.


A Revitalized Grand Rapids


Fast-forward nearly 30 years, and Grand Rapids sports an impressive skyline, thanks—in no small part—to the efforts of Dick DeVos. The Van Andel Arena is home to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins as well as a popular location for concerts. The DeVos Place Convention Center is a combination business meeting venue and another spot where Michiganders can enjoy live entertainment; it is connected to the Van Andel Arena by an attractive skyway that’s known as the Grand River Promenade.


Dick DeVos: A Business Visionary


While Dick DeVos may be less well known than his wife Betsy, whose zeal for educational choice helped propel her into a role as U.S. Secretary of Education, he is no less committed to constructive change. He’s presently CEO of a holding company called the Windquest Group. The Windquest Group is based in Grand Rapids, of course.


The Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation, which Dick DeVos helps helm, donated a staggering $139 million to various groups and organizations between 1989 and 2015. The beneficiaries of the DeVos Foundation’s largesse included art and cultural initiatives, churches, educational programs and programs that support the development of leadership skills. In 2006, Dick and Betsy DeVos also contributed nearly $13 million toward the construction of a local pediatric hospital so that Grand Rapids’ children would not have to travel all the way to Chicago or Ann Arbor should they fall ill.


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Category: Philanthropy

ClassDojo Bridges the Communication Gap Between Parents and Teachers

Entrepreneur recently published Jodie Pozo-Olano’s article on education technology in the article “What Your Edtech Product Needs to Get a Gold Star from Educators.” The article reveals that Edtech companies need to pay attention to the needs of their potential customers instead of just assuming they know what the teachers and schools need.

One of the most significant issues in the Edtech market is that many companies believe they know what the problems are in classrooms without ever doing the research. Often they think that if they can gamify the lesson, they will be able to make learning more fun and that their products will fly off the shelves. What they do not recognize is that teachers can often do a better job at making the lesson more fun even without the technology. However, because of this only 59% of teachers feel that the technology they use in the classroom is meeting the needs of the students. Teachers want to see that the technology can be implemented and adopted in the classroom seamlessly. Creating a new product is not enough. Edtech companies need to keep teachers in mind as they develop products to support them. Teachers also want to see that the technology has a proven track record of improving student performance.

Some companies have been able to meet the student, teacher, and parent needs by listening to their potential customers and proving that it works. One such company is ClassDojo. The co-founder of the company, Sam Chaudhary, developed the product with both teachers and parents in mind after recognizing a unique problem. He realized through his research that parents and teachers wanted to communicate more about the student’s needs. Previously, they were only able to have an in-depth discussion about student progress in parent-teacher conferences. ClassDojo was developed to bridge the gap of communication.

The free app is no available to teachers and parents for free, and it is used in more than 90% of classrooms around the U.S. More than 180 countries use the app, and it is available in 35 different languages. There is also a 12-month deletion component to protect the privacy of students.

Category: App

The Work Of Roseann Bennett

A family therapist and marriage therapist with more than a decade of experience, Roseann Bennett has been impacting the mental health space for quite some time. Bennett has made a name for herself by working and advocating for patients from a variety of backgrounds with a variety of issues. Bennett has an impressive resume that includes starting her own center called the Center for Assessment and Treatment, located in New Jersey.


Recently Roseann Bennett shared some insight into her success. Bennett has gone through a series of stages that have helped her to reach her current status. Bennett is a graduate of Seton Hall University where she earned a Master’s Degree in Psychological Studies. While studying at Seton Hall she earned a specialty in family therapy. Today her practice focuses on young people and families in New Jersey. Some of the counties she focuses on include Warren, Somerset, and Hunterdon counties.


Roseann Bennett’s biggest success is her Center for Treatment. After years of working to heal and treat people, the idea for the center came to Roseann. Roseann had lots of experience working with in-home therapy and she really understood her patient’s needs. Center for Treatment and Assessment focuses on those patient needs. They treat families from all backgrounds specifically those people who are unable to pay for these services.


Roseann Bennett continues to be focus on The Future of Therapy. She hopes to inspire future students by offering various scholarships. She also continues to look carefully at telemedicine and how it can improve current service. Bennett believes in the power and advantages that telemedicine can offer, but also is committed to encouraging people to see their therapist in person. Go Here for more information about Bennett’s one-on-one session with Ideamensch.





Felipe Montoro Jens Transforms Brazil’s Financial Institutions

The adaption of private-public partnerships has fostered rapid development in various parts of the world. This concept is highly supported by Finance guru, Felipe Montoro Jens. His input in the benefits of governments allowing private companies to invest in their countries has created a name for him in his home country of Brazil. He has been known to be the link between governments and private investors seeking to set up infrastructure in Brazil. His experience in financial planning that dates as far back as two decades has earned him a voice in finance and administration. Visit to know more about Montoro Jens.

Felipe Montoro is the brain behind the new financing structure, which encourages different players in the private sector to come in and finance projects that were previously, solely financed, by the banks. This he says creates competition and does away with monopoly market that existed previously. In return, the citizens are assured of better services because the private companies will do their best to secure another financing project in future.

In a recent meeting with officials from the Inter-American Development Bank, Felipe Montoro noted that allowing public-private partnership between America and Brazil would close the gap between the two regarding infrastructure. Felipe Montoro Jens stated that the partnership would kick-start projects that had not been started due to lack of capital. This resonates well with his belief in the improvement of Brazil’s economy through building modern infrastructure He also believes that this model will benefit the country by making it easy to monitor the projects and account for the money spent.

Felipe Montoro advises young entrepreneurs to have a goal and remain focused on it until the goal is achieved. In addition, Felipe Montoro asks aspiring leaders to give their best regardless of the nature of their work or their current position.