Dick DeVos: A Community-Involved Business Leader

In 1991, there was an idea being floated in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, business community of building a multi-purpose arena north of the city. Dick Devos, who was working his way up in Amway, the company founded by his family, at the time, was against the idea. He had seen firsthand the devastation to the Detroit community when Detroit’s professional sports teams moved their games to facilities away from the downtown in the 1970’s, and he didn’t want the same thing happening in Grand Rapids.

 

His lobbying led to the formation of the group Grand Action, which over the years has been highly effective at fighting sprawl and led to the construction of numerous community centers, stores and other buildings in the Grand Rapids downtown. As a result, the downtown is now thriving economically and has an impressive skyline.

 

Dick Devos has also long been involved on the state and national levels when it comes to advocating for the causes he cares about. He was a key figure behind Michigan’s move towards becoming a state where union membership is not a condition for employment, and he has given substantially to Republican efforts across the nation.

 

About Dick DeVos

 

Dick DeVos is one of the heirs to the Amway family fortune and has worked in a leadership role for the Amway corporation for much of his adult life; he is now the CEO of his own business firm, The Windquest Group. Outside of his financial work, he is an accomplished pilot and was recently appointed to serve on the civilian panel that oversees the Federal Aviation Administration. Married to Education Secretary and Charter School advocate Betsy Devos, he has long been a key player in pushing for changes in laws pertaining to labor and education.

 

One of his proudest achievements was the work he did to promote the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids. Along with other business leaders, Dick Devos worked behind the scenes to attract Southwest Airlines to the airport, and this has been a tremendous boon for Western Michigan in general and Grand Rapids in particular.

 

Working with his wife, Dick Devos combined his passions for aviation and education by co-founding the West Michigan Aviation Academy in 2010. This academy prepares students for careers in the aviation industry; Devos himself is licensed to fly helicopters, single-engine airplanes and jets.

 

Follow Dick DeVos on Facebook.

Larkin and Lacey Fighting Arpaio, Donald Trump, & the U.S Justice System

After a decade of back and forth altercation, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey are left aggrivated at Donald Trump’s clearance of Sheriff Arpaio. In 2017 Joseph Michael Arpaio had served 24 years as sheriff law enforcer of Arizona’s Maricopa County.

The law enforcement department of Maricopa country oversees the 4th largest county in the country and the 5th largest city in the U.S, the city of Phoenix, Arizona. And, for the the last 24 years Sheriff Arpaio’s law enforcing patterns have spoken greatly about the country’s dismissal of misused power in governmental entities.

Arpaio’s biggest accusation remains the use of racial profiling motivating the detention of law breaking suspects and treatment in prison facilities. Sheriff Arpaio’s controversy stirs parts in Donald Trump’s own plot running for president in 2016. Alike Trump, the targets of Sheriff Arpaio have remained Latinos, specifically, Mexicans. Arizona hosts a high Latino population and as border state to Mexico, Mexicans are the biggest target for charges against unlawful immigration statuses. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | Twitter

The first ever to speak about Sheriff Arpaio’s actions has been two journalists by the name of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, who in their self-founded Phoenix New Times Newspaper have spoken blatantly about the Sheriff’s constitution infringement.

Larkin and Lacey themselves were targets of Arpaio when he organized their imprisonment in 2007. It only took 24 hours for their arrest to go public and to be set free, but the conflict became part of the larger scale. During 2007 the sheriff itself had been finally charged on multiple accounts of racially motivated raids of Latinos throughout Arizona, in specific one that did not remain silent. Manuel Ortega Melendres, victim in one of Arpio’s organized raids, was the first to formally sue Arpaio.

Through the slow deemed pursuit of justice against sheriff Arpio, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey have heavily covered the news of Arpaio’s case. In 2011, Arpio’s court conviction sentenced him to stop the raids and maltreatment of suspects. However, in 2013, after Arpio’s repeated sentence misconduct he was once again brought to the attention of the court.

Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey’s 10 year long condemnation of Maricopa’s law enforcement and Arpaio drew the public’s discredit and criticism of the federal entity. This past September when it seemed Sheriff Arpaio would at last receive jail time for his crimes, Donald Trump cleared him innocent.

Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey’s closed in on Trump’s clearance of Arpio stating their recollection of Arpio’s offenses were damaging enough to the readers of the Phoenix New Times and would surely serve as actions punishable in court.

Larkin and Lacey’s disappointment and frustration in Arpio’s freedom stems from the nation’s lengthy civil right violations of the U.S constitution. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey continue working in favor of the people and dedicate their funds in favor of the rights of immigrants and people like Melendres’s whose case is one of thousands.

Michael Lacey Explains why Arpaio was Pardoned

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were one of the hundreds of people who say they were illegally arrested by Joe Arpaio. Most of Arpaio’s victims were Latinos and Hispanic-Americans. What makes Larkin and Lacey’s incident so different is that they are two elderly white men who owned their own local business.

Lacey and Larkin were the co-owners of The Phoenix New Times at the time of their arrest. Some of their journalists, under presumed orders from Lacey and Larkin, had been investigating Arpaio and his questionable actions as Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. Eventually, Arpaio had had enough, he sent his deputies in unmarked SUVs to pull Lacey and Larkin out of their homes.

The two were separated and taken to different jails, both under operation of the then time Sheriff Arpaio.

It wasn’t long until people all over the country were reading about their arrests in national publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Readers were furious, their outrage convinced Maricopa County’s county attorney, Andrew Thomas, to call a press conference to announce that the journalist are going free.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin sued the county on grounds that their first amendment rights had been violated and the duo went on to take home a 3.75 million dollar settlement.

When it comes to the crimes of Arpaio, cases like the journalist’s is minor league. Arpaio has been accused by many as being responsible for the beatings and torture of inmates in his facilities. Reports from CNN in 2011 suggest that one time a pregnant woman in his care was chained to a bed.

Only a year after he was elected, his most immoral construct came to life. In 1993, he created Tent City with the supposed intent to combat prison over-population. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase

In reality, Arpaio operated it like a Nazi concentration camp. Reports of inmates being beaten and tortured circulated in publication for the 20 plus years it was allowed to be operated. Finally, in 2017, Tent City was closed down. Arizona began to put Sheriff Joe Arpaio behind them.

2017 was also the year it looked like charges were finally going to stick to Joe Arpaio. In the Summer of 2017, Joe Arpaio was found guilty of contempt of court and was all set to face sentencing.

That’s when Donald Trump, under presumptions that he could make his fanbase happy, pardoned Joe Arpaio. The victims of Arpaio had been taken for a an emotional roller coaster and now would not see justice served. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://about.me/michael-lacey and https://michael-lacey.com/

“At the end of the day,” Michael Lacey began, “that sort of racist, brutal, cracker philosophy appealed to enough voters.” he said as he explained the reason he believes Trump gave the pardon. “Trump thinks there’s some political traction to be had by pardoning the guy.”

With Trump’s approval ratings so low, Lacey believes he is trying to please the thirty percent that are still on his side.

Lacey and Larkin Speak Out Against Presidential Corruption With the Pardon of Joe Arpaio

Last October in Arizona, President Donald Trump’s pardon of Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was formally validated by District Judge Susan Bolton.

Sheriff Joe had been convicted in July of the same year for criminal contempt of court. Trump’s pardon came about weeks before Arpaio’s scheduled sentencing. This conviction came about as a result of a racial-profiling lawsuit in 2007, after which, Arpaio elected to ignore the order of a federal judge.

The Infamous Sheriff Joe Walks Away a Free Man

The validation of Trump’s pardon puts an abrupt end to possibly the final chapter of the decades-long story of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Throughout Arpaio’s 24-year run, he’d been at the forefront of numerous scandals, including the arrest of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, journalists, and former co-owners of the Phoenix New Tims. Over his time as sheriff, Larkin and Lacey used the Phoenix New Times to consistently expose Arpaio’s scandals and atrocities against migrants and inmates.

Lacey offered a few words of appraisal on Arpaio and Trump: “This is the perfect marriage of two corrupt individuals,” he notes. “[Arpaio] is a sheriff who advertised torture and racism,” Lacey added.

Arpaio Manipulates Politics to Make His Escape

While Trump’s pardon is what ultimately allowed Arpaio to walk away, few people ever believed that he would spend any time behind bars for his cavalcade of criminal actions. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Jim Larkin | Crunchbase

Looking back, one has to wonder if Arpaio sensed that he was nearing the end of the line, and leveraged his political acumen to formulate a strategy to leave unscathed by the ghosts of his atrocities.

His endorsement of Donald Trump in early 2016 surprised many, who, at the time, found the idea of Trump even securing the GOP nomination outlandish. While his 2016 run for a seventh term as sheriff fell flat, endorsing Trump would later pay off for Arpaio.

“He was a terrible sheriff… But he was a great fucking politician,” going on to say that “It’s hard to admit that because I don’t respect Arpaio for anything other than his political acumen.” Lacey goes on to note that Trump will likely gain approval from his followers for this move, but says that “the rest of us are never going to forget it.”

Larkin and Lacey Fight Against Joe Arpaio’s Racist Philosophy

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin knew Arpaio had to be stopped and were tireless in their exposure of his crimes against humanity. Perhaps this is why, in late 2007, they were stuffed into unmarked cars by Arpaio’s thugs, and brought to one of his jails in handcuffs.

Predictably, the public didn’t exactly approve of the arrests, and due to immense public outrage, the pair of journalists were released less than 24 hours later.

Larkin and Lacey sued, settling several years later for $3.75 million, which was paid for by the county.

Using this settlement, they created the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund, which serves to provide grants to Arizona organizations focused on migrant rights and free speech.

Maricopa County

After the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, was pardoned by President Donald Trump, erasing the chance of any jail time, U.S. District Judge, Susan R. Bolton, made the decision official; a move that surprised few. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, longtime foes of “Sheriff Joe,” who were famously and unjustly rousted from their homes by Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputies, continued their crusade to expose his many injustices by speaking to the media concerning President Trump’s decision.

Michael Lacey seemed to agree with Rex Tillerson’s assessment of President Trump, reiterating his “moron” statement, then proceed to lay out a condensed list of Joe Arpaio’s trespasses against humanity.

Joe Arpaio made national headlines when the conditions involving his jail, often referred to as “tent city,” came into the public eye. Instead of attempting to right the conditions, Sheriff Arpaio referred to tent city as his own personal “concentration camp,” continuing his harassment of minorities, particularly Latino’s, throughout the region.

In 1970, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were simply two college dropouts living in the midst of the rapidly changing environment of the United States. With the Vietnam War in full force, protests began erupting throughout the country, particularly on college campuses.

In the wake of the Kent State Shooting, and already discouraged with the way the traditional media was covering the war, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, along with a group of their peers, including Nick Stupey, Hal Smith, Karen Lofgren, and Frank Fiore, decided to enact change by taking advantage of the nation’s budding desire for an alternative take on current events.

Later that year, they published their inaugural issue of the Phoenix New Times – a free weekly print paper that delivered perspectives that were in stark contrast to the ideology of mainstream 1970’s America. Eventually, Michael Lacey would take on the role of Executive Editor, while Jim Larkin, already married with children, would handle the marketing aspects of the newspaper.

This proved to be a formidable combination due to Michael Lacey and his team’s staunch commitment to presenting an accurate description of the times, and Jim Larkin, who had increased motivation due to his family responsibilities, kicking off a campaign that would convince established companies to place adds in their fledgling paper.  Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427427/Jim_Larkin and http://james-larkin.com/press/

Throughout the 1970’s the company continued to grow exponentially, and by the early 1980’s, they would acquire the Denver area newspaper, Westword – a move that would lead to the acquisition of 16 additional papers, spreading their message from coast to coast.

Eventually, these acquisitions would come to include world-renowned print papers such as LA Weekly, Village Voice, Nashville Scene, and OC Weekly. After years of growing their company, New Times Inc, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey decided to step down, selling their stakes to a few longstanding executives.

Today, the team of Larkin and Lacey continue to focus on human rights, consistently pushing the Frontera Fund, and they recently decided to delve back into the world of journalism with the launch of FrontPage Confidential.

Read more: Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund and Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia

Scott Rocklage; Leader of the Business World

Scott Rocklage is a leader of the venture capital firmlocated in both San Francisco and Boston MA. He is currently a managing partner at the firm 5AM Ventures, where he brought decades of healthcare management experience to the team and his initiatives in the healthcare and pharmaceutical field has landed him many FDA approvals for much needed medicines in the field Your text to link….

Not only is Scott Rocklage an important part of the team at 5AM Ventures, he has also worked as the acting chairman and CEO of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, as well as Nycomed Salutar. Aside from his leadership roles in various healthcare management companies,he has also has been part of many different research and development efforts at both Catalytica and Salutar Your text to link….

Scott Rocklage prides himself on being an advocate for business owners as well as entrepreneurial scientists, researchers, and business executives looking to further their efforts in turning ideas into real medicines that are not yet in the market. He uses his finances, experience, as well as business networks to further these aspiring business owners in their pharmaceutical ventures. He is especially excited about his success in aiding in the development of various cancer treatment medications that have already proven to extend the life of people with late stages of cancer Your text to link….

Scott has proven himself to not only be a leader in the business world, but also an advocate for small business owners, looking to better our medicinal world. With his extensive knowledge in the field combined with experience, he is sure to continue to make a bold statement in the medical and pharmaceutical world.