Betsy DeVos and The Philanthropy Roundtable

This article is an interview between U.S. Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, and an interviewer from the Philanthropy Roundtable about her work in education reform in general, and more specifically, her thoughts and reformative efforts regarding school choice. Betsy and her husband, Dick DeVos, are both very active in the political world, and they are also very avid philanthropist–their charitable contributions to a variety of different charities add up to almost $140 million dollars over their lifetimes. Needless to say, the DeVos family are avid philanthropists, which is probably why The Philanthropy Roundtable chose DeVos for an interview. DeVos is also a reformist, working to reform the public education system so that it will become more successful in this country. She is perhaps best known as a leading advocate for the educational-choice movement, which is what most of this interview is focused on.


The interviewer begins by asking DeVos her thoughts on the progress regarding school choice that has been made both recently and in the past. DeVos gave an extremely optimistic response, stating that the progress is very evident, given the number of students who have begun participating in educational-choice programs and private schools (over 40,000 within the last year). She also makes the bold statement that our public schools are failing, and that the progress of the educational-choice movement is forcing people to take notice of this fact and act on it.


DeVos is then asked what sparked her interest in becoming a reformer and a supporter of this movement. She tells a story of visiting different schools when her daughter became of school-age. They visited the Potter’s House Christian School in Grand Rapids and fell in love with the atmosphere and the people. However, they noticed that a lot of the families that wanted their children to attend the school were low-income families. While DeVos’s family was well-equipped to pay for their daughter to attend, they knew other families were not, so they began paying the tuition of individuals from those families. This grew into a larger commitment and began their career as philanthropists and strong advocates for educational-choice.


Betsy DeVos then goes on to explain her belief in charter schools and why she thinks the educational-choice movement is so important for our country’s education system. She says that she is firmly against the idea that a child’s family’s zip-code has to determine where they can receive an education from. She believes that institutions like private schools, charter schools, and even homeschooling should be valid options for families who want to provide their children with a safe, stimulating environment and a great education, and that these options should be made more readily available to those that wish to employ them.


The interview ends with DeVos revealing her dream–that all parents, regardless of their situation, are able to choose what they believe to be the best educational system for their children, and that all students are given the resources to fulfill their potential in their education.


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The Brown Agency Has Central Texas’ Top Models And Actors

The Austin, Texas branch of the model and talent preparation and management organization The Brown Agency is quickly becoming a major force in Texas. Under the leadership of Reno, Nevada native and former model Justin Brown, the three year old company is helping a growing number of models and talented individuals to find work with some of the world’s most iconic and best known companies. Brown, who has a degree in business administration, worked as a model and held several positions in the industry. In Austin in 2008, he founded JB Models and Talent a model and talent preparation company. It became known as Wilhelmina Austin in 2010.


The modeling and acting agency, which specialized in training people to work in fashion, commercials, print, film and television, grew again in 2015. Justin Brown’s Wilhelmina Austin acquired Heyman Talent-South, an acting preparation agency founded and run by Michael Bonnee. Together they re-launched as The Brown Agency. The new company, part of the global powerhouse The Brown Agency family, is now Central Texas’ largest full service modelling and acting agency. They have been able find their models and talent consistent work in some of the biggest fashion shows and with internationally known companies.


While Justin Brown is The Brown Agency’s president, Michael Bonnee, known for his expertise and success training actors, is now in charge of the new company’s theatrical division. Working together and drawing on the connections and resources of the larger Brown Agency, Austin, Texas based The Brown Agency has been able to ramp up the standards and expectations it has for its models and talent. The Justin Brown led agency now offers a more comprehensive set of training, preparation and management services and has a large and growing stable of the most unique-looking, beautiful models and extremely talented actors and actresses.


In Austin, The Brown Agency is able to select the best and most talented models and actors, work to make them more professional and find opportunities for them in the most lucrative and attention-grabbing markets around the world. The agency has gotten its charges work in commercials for Bright House, Dodge Ram, Landshark Beer, Bing, Converse, Ford, Holiday Inn, Sports Authority and on the TIGI Hair Show. The actors have appeared in programs on TNT, HBO and other major networks. Plus, they have secured roles in movies, theatre, industrial and commercial video, conventions, trade shows and corporate events. And they are making more money than ever before.


The Brown Agency has a host of models with a wide range of ages, styles and distinctive looks and talents. From their offices in Austin and Dallas, Texas, The Brown Agency can provide any type of model or actors clients want. You can visit their Instagram page.


Hussain Sajwani: Real Estate Tycoon

Hussain Sajwani is a business tycoon born with a humble beginning. He was influenced by his father who owned a watch shop at a very tender age. He learned from his father how to deal with business issues. He was motivated by his father’s hard work, ambition and dedication.


The spirit of entrepreneurship was embedded in him at very young age. He ventured out on his own with determination to succeed in his pursuit of knowledge and business. He was taught the importance of education by his parents. Hussain Sajwani enrolled at the University of Washington to further his education. He graduated and earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics.


He started his career in 1981 and worked with the National oil company as a contract manager. He later moved on and started a successful catering business with customers all over the Middle East including the United States military in Kuwait and Iraq. He continued to pursue his passion in business. He founded and started another business in 2002 known as DAMAC. This business was created out of motivation, dedication and hard work.


DAMAC has grown to be the largest property development in Dubai. His property covers vast areas of expertise including marketing, sales, legal, finance, customer service. DAMAC projects have expanded globally. Hussain Sajwani is a giant in Real Estate business and inspiration to many across the globe.


DAMAC specializes in developing Luxury apartments, commercial leisure properties across the Middle East and the United Kingdom. DAMAC is known as the leading luxury developer in Real Estate. They are committed to developing dream homes and exceptional living ideas to their customers all over the world in Real Estate Industry. Their style and elegance have set the standard high for their competitors in Real Estate.

DAMAC does not only develop luxury properties, they are committed to delivering excellent customer service by providing the right working environment for his employees. They always strive for Customer satisfaction and retention.


The DAMAC owner has a lot in common with Mr. Trump. They are both billionaires and real estate tycoons. He is friends with the Trumps and his is working to maintain their business relationship with the Trump organization. Mr. Trump being the President has helped to enhance his business profile. DAMAC has developed many projects including a golf course designed by tiger woods and managed by President Trump family organization, and many luxury apartments.


Over many years Hussain Sajwani has contributed to so many philanthropic activities including Emirates Red Crescent, Dubai Cares, and Dar Al Ber Society. Hussain Sajwani is truly a visionary with impeccable wit. If you are looking for luxury in Real Estate visit DAMAC website for more information.


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Jeremy Goldstein on How Company’s Can Include Stock Options

There has been a changing dynamic amongst many of the world’s most prominent corporations in recent years, and these days, stock options are no longer offered to employees at the rate that they once were. The reason for this change is usually due to increased costs associated with accounting, yet there are also a number of other factors that have contributed to this changing of the guard involving company practices. A few of the reasons for this sharp change in practice amongst these companies include incurring the risk of option overhang, the effects of economic downturns, and the fact that employees often consider increased salary as a better incentive. One of the best alternatives for companies who still prefer offering stock options to there staff members is to include a knockout clause. By including a knockout clause, the risk of option overhang is considerably reduced, as well as the cost associated with the additional accounting steps. A knockout clause is effective because, in the chance that the value of the company’s stock drops significantly, the option becomes completely void.

As the founder of his own law firm, Jeremy L. Goldstein and Associates, LLC, Jeremy Goldstein has been very active in some of the most momentous business transactions of the last ten years. Playing an integral role in United Technologies Corporation’s acquisition of Goodrich, as well as the deal between Miller Brewing Company and South African Breweries PLC, Jeremy Goldstein is the current chair of the Mergers and Acquisition Subcommittee belonging to the Executive Compensation Committee of the American Bar Association Business Section. In recent years, Mr. Goldstein has been named as one of the best executive compensations lawyers in the United States by prestigious directories such as The Legal 500 and Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Aside from heading Jeremy L. Goldstein and Associates, LLC, Mr. Goldstein is also a very active contributor of articles regarding corporate governance and executive compensation, and he currently sits on the Board of Directors at Fountain House, which is a developing charity geared at helping men and women overcome issues associated with mental illness. Prior to founding Jeremy L. Goldstein and Associates, he was a partner with another firm, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, and Katz. Jeremy Goldstein attended Cornell University, the University of Chicago, and New York University School of Law, receiving his Bachelor of the Arts, J.D., and M.S.


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Richard Blair’s Three Pillars to Wealth Solutions

Financial planning is an important part of our lives and with the ever-changing financial markets, it’s important that wealth strategies are carefully-planned and up to date. Time is always an issue for busy people, but they need to keep up with trends to ensure our financial plans are on track to meet our long-term financial goals. To do this alone for most people is daunting because in our busy lives time doesn’t always allow for us to see all the potholes on our road to financial success.


Wealth Solutions is a registered investment advisory firm and is the answer to plotting a roadmap to financial success. Richard Blair founder and CEO of Wealth Solutions can put us on the right road to our goals. Mr. Blair takes the ‘Three Pillar‘ approach to long-term financial planning. First, the Wealth Solution team will identify our goals, strengths, and tolerances for risk and second they can help us layout a strategy that is long-term and unique to our needs. The third pillar comes after we are on our road to wealth by carefully planning out how to ride the storms of life.


Wealth Solutions will teach us about the three keys that open the door to our financial goals and those keys are an investment over time, the proper route to savings, and avoiding debt. Wealth Solutions offers financial management, financial and retirement planning through investment, insurance, tax, and estate planning. Wealth Solutions offers asset preservation, advisory and the Wealth Solutions holistic retirement planning services The firm understands the changing market and offers solutions for wealth strategies to change with the industry.


Richard Blair founded Wealth Solutions to make a difference to families and small business owners on their rocky road to financial success. Richard Blair’s mother and grandmother were teachers and he learned the importance of education, but after one year in the financial services industry after college graduation, Mr. Blair founded Wealth Solutions. His belief in education is at the core of Wealth Solutions and it guides us to rewarding investments and finance.


Mr. Blair brings over 20 years of experience to Wealth Solutions and he enjoys the challenges of helping others over their financial road. Richard Blair is a graduate of the University of Houston and holds a long list of certifications in the financial industry. He is a family man who spends his free time with his wife and three children.


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The Many Faces of Betsy Devos

2017 has been a volatile political year, to say the least, as the public has made the adjustment to a new President with no political background, (besides running for office) who also has a habit of filling governmental offices with leaders who often lack hands-on experience in the departments they are assigned to lead.


Case in point is President Trump’s appointment of the billionaire conservative political activist Betsy Devos to the position of Education Secretary. Though Devos has had a background in championing the use of vouchers so that students can attend religiously-run charter schools, she has little experience in running public schools. By the same token, her action regarding charter schools has drawn criticism from some political watchers. Ultimately, Devos’ actions in support of vouchers are seen by many as a way for her to move government money over to church activities, which is in violation of the constitutional ideal of the separation of church and state.



The Public and Private Face of Betsy Devos on Transgender Issues


Devos has been weathering many public relations storms since her appointment, and one area where she’s been involved in a controversy is on the issue of transgender students use of bathrooms that match their current gender identification. The Obama administration passed a policy in support of transgender students being able to use restrooms matching their current gender, but the Trump administration has now moved to rescind the ruling. In public, Betsy Devos seemed to support the actions of the Trump administration. Her attitude showed her to be following along with Trump, as she deemed the Obama administration’s move an example of “overreach” by the government. Insiders who know Devos, however, have reported that in private, she met with the representative of a group of transgender and gay employees who work in the education department, with the goal of warning them in advance of the ruling, so they could have time to prepare.


All of this speaks to what some people feel is an inconsistency in Ms. Devos views. While Ms. Devos publicly has a warm and graceful persona (which could be construed as “meek”) the fact is that those who have known her from her political actions back in Michigan say in reality she is tough political operator who is not above using her family fortune to influence political outcomes and take down those who cross her.


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The Charity Work and Life of Dick DeVos

Dick DeVos Jr. is an investor and businessman based in Michigan. Dick is also an accomplished author who was born in October 21, 1955. Dick is the eldest son Richard DeVos, the co-founder and president of the Amway Corporation. From 1993 to 2002 Dick served at the consumer goods distribution company as its chief executive officer. In 2012, DeVos ran for the Michigan Governor, but he lost to the then Jennifer Granholm Democratic incumbent. He is the husband of Betsy DeVos, who is the 11th United States Secretary of Education.


Dick DeVos graduated from the Forest Hills public school system. He attended North Wood University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Dick DeVos later paid to attend Harvard Business School, but he did not complete the course. DeVos has received several honorary doctorates from Central Michigan University, Grove city College and Northwood University. Dick DeVos is also a distinguished alumnus of Northwood University. He has worked in some executive positions and has been a leader in many community initiatives.


DeVos started his career at Amway Corporation in 1994 where he headed positions in various departments such as finance, sales, manufacturing, marketing, research, and development. He became one of the Amway vice presidents in 1984, taking the responsibilities of the firm operations in 18 countries. The organization tripled its foreign sales exceeding its domestic sales and opened numerous new markets in his leadership.


Richard DeVos, Dick’s father, became the president and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Basketball Associations (NBA) Orlando Magic in 1991. On October 21st, 2005 DeVos has announced the next part owner because his father had split ownership evenly among his children. Dick became Orlando Magic’s president and the chief executive officer.


Dick DeVos became one of the Michigan State Board of Education in 1990 after winning the election. He resigned after two years of his eight-year term because he wanted to return to Amway as CEO. Dick was appointed a board of control at the Grand Valley State University by Governor John Engler in 1996. In 2008, Dick DeVos and his wife, Gila, teamed up to start The Dick & Betsy DeVos Scholarship to support the Thunderbird School of Global Management’s MS, MA, and MBA. Betsy and DeVos also committed $22.5 million in 2010 to the Kennedy Centre Institute of Arts and Management. The Devos family has donated funds to Northwood University including buildings, financial donations, and scholarships. They believe that public health and safety are essential.


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Adam Milstein Fights Anti-Semitism

While society may seem more tolerant than ever, prejudice is still alive and rampant in many areas of the world. Racism, sexism, xenophobia and religious discrimination are still prevalent and pose a growing threat. One successful real estate investor is actively fighting hate and prejudice through his activism and philanthropic work.


Adam Milstein is an Israeli-American real estate investor and managing partner of Hager Pacific Properties. Having been born and raised in Israel, Adam Milstein moved to the United States in 1981. Passionate about his Israeli heritage and Jewish pride, Milstein and his wife started the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation in 2000. The foundation is an organization that sponsors education for young professionals to connect with the State of Israel and better identify with their Jewish roots. Adam Milstein has also co-founded the Israeli-American Council, a group that has become the fastest growing Jewish organization in America. Taking advabtage of current technology, Milstein recently started The Adam Milstein Podcast, a radio show that airs conversations with artists, policymakers and elected officials.


Being empassioned about Jewish culture and active in the community, recent acts of anti-semitism have hit Adam Milstein very hard. Modern anti-semitism is coming from various groups, including radical Christians on the far right and anti-Israel groups on the far left. Milstein is particularly concerned about growing hostility towards Israel coming from young progressives on the Left who disguise their anti-semitism as intersectionality with Islamists. This hatred for Israel and the Jewish community is often presented as politically correct behavior, but is actually a new form of anti-semitism.


Adam Milstein wants society to take notice of the recent hate crimes and behavior towards the Jewish community. He encourages taking a stand for Israel and its people, rather than letting anti-semitism rise again as it has throughout history.