In 1989, Dick DeVos and his wife created the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation. Among their many initiatives, I’m happy to see that school choice has been a primary goal of their charity work. They continue the work of Dick’s father, also named Dick, and his mother Helen. For two generations now, the DeVos family has sought to allow low-income families the chance to have their children attend private schools throughout Western Michigan. Their work has gone beyond Michigan, however. It’s been good to see that their efforts have helped turn school choice from a “fringe movement” at the turn of the 21st century into a real deal for kids in Michigan. The effects have spilled over to at least a dozen other American states.

Glad to see the Grand Rapids area make another “best of” list! Thank you all for your role in making our city great.

Posted by Dick DeVos on Friday, March 11, 2016

Dick and Betsy DeVos’ school choice efforts began in the early 1990’s. They joined the Education Freedom Fund in 1993, using their Foundation to cover the Fund’s administration costs. This Fund provides private scholarships to Michigan low-income families. These scholarships allow the parents to send their children to schools of their choice. They also matched a $7.5 million grant to the Fund from another group. Also, in 2000, DeVos was on a committee sponsoring a ballot initiative to amend the Michigan constitution. This amendment would have allowed for school vouchers and even tax credits to cover the tuition for private education. Unfortunately, the initiative lost with almost 70 percent voting against it.

Religious-based schools have become a large part of the philanthropic efforts regarding school choice. The family’s passion for religious schools has been the major fuel for their decision to support choice in schools. Regarding education, their foundation states “We strive to be a catalyst for positive change by expanding choices and improving access opportunities in education.” The foundation funds many Christian schools in Michigan and also has supported American Education Reform Council, Choices for Children, and Children First America.

Also, sports programs in schools play a major role. The DeVos family has long been visible in the sports arena, making contributions to several sports programs, including those in schools. Dick DeVoswas even CEO of the NBA team, Orlando Magic from 1991-1993 before he left to found and run the Windquest Group. In line with sports, programs in the arts have a strong connection to the DeVos family as well. Several arts programs within schools and outside of them have been funded by the family. I’m glad to see this, as many of these families may not have otherwise been able to participate in such activities. This is one of many reasons why putting money into the schools (and choice thereof) are a big focus for Dick DeVos and family.

Wikipedia is an incredible online encyclopedia updated by a collaborative process. Anyone with information on that particular subject or person can take their knowledge and update that designated page with the data they have. It is an open source site and when used correctly is monumental for brands. It is a great marketing platform that increases your brands visibility.

Wikipedia can also be used for GOOD! Emily Temple is a science student who took the initiative to combat online bullying by using this open source platform. Every time Emily receives hateful messages and from trolls that continue to verbally abuse her online, she will make a Wikipedia page on a female scientist. She is an avid writer and will also update a Wikipedia page as she has been active on the site since was was a pre-teen, however she has found that she receives abusive, sexist and sexually abusive messages from the Wikipedia community more than any other community, since she started at the young age of 12.

A few years ago Emily, who is a Biology student at Loyola University located in Chicago began combatting the nasty messages with empowering content. Her emphasis is on science. Female scientists. At first she ignored the negative commentary, but eventually grew tired of it and channeled her rage into something positive.

Wikipedia is over 15 years old and it is still a very male dominated platform. 90 percent of Wikipedia writers are men! An astonishing number that lends itself to the realization of how volatile the messages can be and just how many. Siko Bouterse a former Wikimedia staff member said that “Emily has been able to channel every instance of harassment into more fuel for her focus, so it’s backfiring against those who hope to silence women online. That takes courage.” She is an incredibly brave 21 year old student that continues to inspire young girls and women globally. 

Wikipedia despite these incidents is a great way to improve your online presence. If you are not seen or heard, no one knows you exist. Many brands are afraid to create a Wiki page and don’t have the time to manage one. Hiring Wikipedia editors insures that your page is constantly being updated. It allows your brand to always be represented in the best light because your Wiki writer is able to monitor your Wiki page. Wikipedia writing services such as Get Your Wiki are able to improve your brands prestige with their writing knowledge.

Learn more about their services here >>

With the field of beauty constantly evolving with new ways to rejuvenate skin, loose cellulite, and erase wrinkles there are still some who find solace in going under the knife with a trusted plastic surgeon. While Botox, laser treatments, and skin peels can help with the small things getting plastic surgery is the end all be all for larger transformations. The most talked about doctors of 2014 were compiled onto a list and separated by state and specialty, but the woman named Texas’ top plastic surgeon comes to no surprise given her reputation in the medical field.

Dr. Jennifer Walden MD was born in Austin, Texas and spent her entire medical education attending The University of Texas and The University of Texas Medical Branch. She graduated salutatorian of her class and continued her internship and residency at the Texas Medical Branch. Her talent caught the attention of renowned surgeon Dr. Sherrell Aston, the current chairman of Plastic Surgery at the Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital. Walden obtained a prestigious fellowship at the New York hospital where she studied under Dr. Aston and learned highly innovated plastic surgery techniques. After her fellowship Walden continued to work on the Upper East Side for nearly eight years during which she participated in clinical trials which ultimately led to silicon breast implants becoming reintroduced as an option for surgery.

After her twin sons were born in 2011 Walden moved her practice back home to Austin and opened up a second office in Marble Falls. Walden has been an active member in advancing medical techniques pertaining to aesthetic surgery and has multiple papers published on the subject in medical journals. Walden has even co-authored a best selling book about her field. In the media Walden has become a well known voice and has spoken about new techniques and given commentary on celebrity surgery, on a variety of TV networks such as VH1, Fox News, and ABC News. Walden is currently an active member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and currently serves on the board of American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

The political world has become more joked about as things began to heat up. Donald Trump has been one of the main targets for this type of political satire. He is really setting himself up for a lot of this satire. It can be fun to watch comedians do their best to a man who is trying to make himself look as intelligent as possible. Jon Oliver is an individual who has been very precise when it comes to his political and social satire. His recent takedown of Donald Trump was so well received that it brought forth a whole new Wikipedia page to match his “Donald Drumpf” skit.

Wikipedia has been one of the most well respected and widely used forms of internet information for years. Wikipedia is amazingly being updated every day by individuals who are passionate about the information on this site. There are individuals who have been able to create an amazing database over the years, and there are also professionals who maintain the validity of the information on this site. This site is run by the donations of users every year. This non-profit organization continues to thrive as one of the top websites on the internet.

Wikipedia business page creation is a great marketing tool for any business. There are many ways for individuals or businesses to make a Wikipedia page, but it can be a very long and difficult process if you are trying to create a Wiki page for yourself. It is always more likely for others to create a Wikipedia page for you. There are Wikipedia editing services out there that will help you to create a Wikipedia page by hiring Wiki writers through their service. These Wiki experts for hire have been perfecting the art of creating Wikipedia pages. Get Your Wiki is a great example of one of the best companies in the industry for creating Wikipedia pages. This company will help any business or individual create the very best Wikipedia page possible. This is an investment that will really pay off in the long run.

Connecting with a loved one at an institution has just become easier, thanks to Securus Technologies, the leader in civil and criminal justice technology. Visiting inmates in correctional facilities has always been a strict and inflexible occasion. The convenience of the visitors take a back seat to the litany of rules and regulations. While it is quite understandable why the maze of procedures to see an inmate are in place, it often leaves the visitation with a less than comfortable feeling. Many of us even forego visiting our family and friends who have for different reasons found themselves in their unfortunate position, simply because the system is wrought with so much complexity.

Instead of being subject to limited visitation times, you can now schedule your visitation according to your own schedule, by downloading the mobile video app. Their is no need for a tethered computer, as long as you have access to cellular or WiFi service, you can use your Android or Apple device to remotely visit your loved ones. Now, with this free mobile app, birthdays, weddings and other special occasions can be easily shared, in real time. The video visitation apps are so successful, the Android version has been downloaded 60,000 times, and the Apple version which was only released a few weeks ago, already has over 5,000 downloads. Download the app from Google Play here >>

Securus Technologies is a leader in providing solutions for investigations, public safety and corrections and inmate communication monitoring for good reason. The firm has invested over $600 million in acquiring and developing hundreds of products that relate to safety, security and efficiency, over the past three years. With the addition of executive sales executive, John Bell, in the fourth quarter of 2015, Securus has positioned itself to transform those product lines into sales. Mr. Bell brings impressive experience from past employment at IBM, At&T, and Time Warner Cable.

Securus Technologies is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The company carries a strong commitment to serving its more than 3,400 law enforcement, public safety and correctional facilities clients. Their software solutions span a wide range of applications including emergency response, biometric analysis, incident management and inmate self service. Their easy to use website allowed me to open a prepaid account to immediately start receiving inmate phone calls from my family member. I was able to verify that the institution he is in, was definitely on the list of participating facilities. Sign up was as easy as selecting a scheduled visitation day. This new app will make my life much easier.

FreedomPop, the Los Angeles-based mobile startup, has announced the launch of a global hotspot device.The company says that the mobile hotspot will allow users to access a “seamless data connection” in 25 countries.

The device will initially be on sale for consumers in the United States and the United Kingdom and will offer 200MB of free data in the U.s., Uk, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Portugal, Greece, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia and Hungary. Before the end of the year the company plans to expand coverage into over 40 countries including Asia and Latin America.

FreedomPop’s global hotspot will have a launch price of $49.99 (which will later increase to $99.99). It will require a SIM card that will retail for $10. The company states that they will remote update the SIM as new countries come online, thereby not requiring users to purchase a new one.

While 200MB of data is not a lot the company says it is perfect for those occasional mobile users. The company sells additional data at the rate of $10 for an additional 500MB.

The company has recently raised $50 million in an effort to expand its free mobile service into countries in Europe, South America and Asia. So far the company has raised a total of $109 million in capital.

Steven Sesar, FreedomPop’s COO and co-founder, said in a statement that the company has enough capital to become a “top 10 global service provider.”

The Manse On Marsh is one of California’s most refined assisted living centers. Assisted living facilities, also called senior living communities, offer apartments or cottages for individuals who are capable of living on their own, however, the person may need assistance with housekeeping and their personal care needs. Seniors retain their independence by living in their own apartment, while family members rest easy, knowing their loved one is safe and all of his or her needs are being met.

The Manse On Marsh stands out from other assisted living centers because of its upscale atmosphere. Residents don’t feel like they are living in an institution; The Manse On Marsh strives to replicate the high standard of living that its residents enjoyed before they came to the center. An elegant dining room and a cozy cinema with freshly buttered popcorn help the men and women living at The Manse On Marsh feel like they are enjoying a typical evening on the town, and afterwards, each goes home to their stylish studio or cottage, kept tidy by the housekeeping service.  A big part of the reason they’ve won so many awards.

Adult children with an older parent living alone frequently worry that their parent will fall and not be able to get up because of an injury. Every The Manse On Marsh resident is given a small pendant to wear, which they can use to summon help, if needed. The facility also keeps an eye on the seniors living there, without being obvious about it, during daily visits by employees who make beds and take the residents trash out each evening.

The Manse on Marsh also offers independent living and hospice care, in addition to traditional assisted living options. Senior care consultants recommend families choose facilities offering multiple levels of care; this way, if a loved one’s needs change, a disruptive move to another facility is not necessary.

The Manse on Marsh has won numerous awards, including several “Best Retirement Community” awards. It’s not difficult to see why, the senior living center in scenic San Luis Obispo looks more like a small, friendly community than an assisted living facility.

Nikhil Shah is similar to about 319 million children in the world. He has autism, but the condition should not define his childhood experiences. Instead, it should help determine how those around him, including his Dad, Sanjay Shah, and others interact with him. Sanjay admits that as a father he first wanted to fix the situation. Learning that was not possible, he created Autism Rocks to fund research so that teachers, parents and others could educate these children better.
Sanjay Shah already had a successful career as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Rabobank when he created his own investment management company in Dubai. Through a business connection, he met rapper Snoop Dog. It was that meeting that ended in the creation of Blended Festival featuring artists Elvis Costello, Joss Stone, Aloe Blacc and Xavier Rud to raise funds for Autism.
Through this effort and others, Sanjay Shah, who had become a millionaire through his hard word founding Solo Capital, was able to found Autism Research Trust that funds the work done by researchers working for Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University. While Sanjay admits that it would be great to find the cause of autism, the real focus of the research is to learn how to reach these children more effectively.

The road to helping Nikhil has not been easy. Once a team of child psychologists at Portland Hospital in London decided that the boy had autism, Sanjay took his son to Dubai Autism Centre for applied behavior analysis therapy. He was told that the government funded center had a five-year waiting list. While he was immediately able to secure three full-time therapists for his son, Sanjay was not content. He returned to the center and asked them what they needed to expand their services so that those who did not have his money could get treatment for their children. He immediately purchased two Hyundai minibuses. He says his primary focus, however, remains on research.
He now invites you to join his Go Fund Me campaign to fund the research needed by these precious children.

Greg Hauge has added a new twist and excitement to sell homes in the residential real estate industry. His 35 years in the industry have allowed him to open several successful firms and study the industries sales tactics. He tours and lectures across the country. Greg had decided the time for changing the way houses were promoted and sold for the last 75 years had ended. He has watched other companies like Apple and Amazon successfully sell big ticket items and noticed they had a formula.

Greg had grown tired of homes being treated like a loaf of bread sitting on a shelf waiting to be purchased. The decision to eliminate what he calls the “death to the price of a home” is when the house remains unsold for a long period of time. This gives the buyer ideas of haggling to lower the price because they assume there’s something wrong with the home.

This gave Hauge the idea to design and develop a formula for the real estate market. Greg Hauge launched the Real Estate Mavericks program. The 22-Step Home Launch Formula and a 29-day Fast Sale Plan coaching seminar will be a standard method of operation for the real estate agents “sales tool box”. This applied knowledge will increase the sales of homes in their cache. within a short time period. Real estate agents will be taught to maximize the sales of homes in their cache. With building anticipation and letting the buyers have a sneak preview of the house that is going up for sale makes the home more attractive and desirable.

Developing a strategy to generate interest in the soon to be listed home, and alerting other real estate agents about the property is just the beginning of sparking a buyers interest. Before a “For Sale” sign is planted in the yard the home buyers that have expressed a genuine interest in securing homes are notified about the homes that aren’t listed on the MLS sheet. The buyers appreciate the personal touch and knowing they are looking at a home that is unknown to the public.

His mission for 2016 is trying to get the rules changed to benefit the agents and the sellers. In the meantime, he will continue the 90- day immersion techniques for quickly promoting and advertising the homes for sale. The agents will be awarded a “Top Agent” certificate that they were successful in completing the program.

Read more at Forbes online

Investment banks are financial organizations that assist companies and individual to raise operational capita. They specialize in making an investment on behalf of the investor through the stock exchange. Clients for investment banks range from small organizations, individuals and large corporations like pension managers and university endowments. The investments are becoming more popular as people divert from saving money through fixed deposits in commercial banks and embracing commercial banks. They are crucial in enabling business professionals and entities to find investments that are profitable. They underwrite and issue securities to customers as well as acting as their agents. Engaging in investment banking according to Forbes is very beneficial for both investors and trading companies. They are the bridge that links those wishing to invest and those seeking capital for expansion. Investment firms are also intermediaries between the investor and the market. They provide a broad range of options for investors to put their money with minimal risks. Investments banks regulate the market and control its financial transactions. They provide good ideas that are both sustainable for investors and companies seeking capitals. The investment firms are the facilitators in trading and promoting securities. The cash or other securities traded in the market widely depend on investment banks. Their role expands the market through undertaking research granting its sustainability. Talk of mergers and acquisitions. The companies who wish to buy other firms and investors who already want to sell their business all rely on investment banking. They facilitate and overlook the entire process. Investment firms are specialized banking institutions that have changed the way the world does business. Dealing with investors and managing individual or companies regarding their investment is the role of investment banks. The banks serve a range of clients including the pension funds, hedge funds, and mutual funds. They provide a platform where investors can build and maintain their investments. They provide them with experienced professionals who offer reliable knowledge and insights in the stock exchange market. The investment banks also invest in the latest market technologies that individual investors would not have installed on their own. The pool of collections from the investors enables investment banks invest in alternative sectors and still command profits. The banks have a relative freedom of operation from the commercial banks and can research the best sectors of the economy that offers maximum benefits. Chicago is the home of investment banks. With the majority of the leading investment banks are based in Chicago. Among the giant firms is the citadel. The investment firm has been operational for the last two decades building customer trust over time. The company is headed by its CEO Mr. Kenneth griffin. Griffin is a skilled entrepreneur and business mogul whose experience spans over three decades. Since graduating from the Harvard school, He embarked on a career to build the leading investment firm in the industry. Griffin of Wall Street started the company in 1990 with the backing of frank Meyer. During his days on campus, Griffin had a satellite dish installed in his dorm room to monitor the market data in real time.