An In-Depth Look at Dick DeVos, the Philanthropist cum Politician

Personal and Professional Life

Dick DeVos was born October 21, 1955 to Richard DeVos. He went to Forest Hills schools for his High school diploma before joining Northwood University for a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He subsequently enrolled in Wharton and later Harvard business schools but never graduated. He later married Betsy DeVos, the 11th United States Secretary of Education to whom they have four children. Since 1974, DeVos has been part of the family owned Amway marketing company. He served under sales and marketing, manufacturing, research and development. In 1984 he was appointed Amway’s vice-president. He was in charge of global sales; leading that component to account for over 50% of annual revenues across six years.

 

After his family’s acquisition of Orlando Magic in 1991, he was appointed CEO and club President. He served for a short period and in 1993, he was brought back to Amway as CEO and President. He led the company to fully globalize reaching six continents serving in excess of 50 countries. He oversaw the rebranding of Amway to Alticor in 2000. He later retired in 2002 to join The Windquest Group, having led the company to record sales of $4.5 billion. Dick has served in the Michigan State Board of Education, Grand Valley University Board of Control and also vied for the 2006 Michigan gubernatorial seat. He however lost to the incumbent, Jennifer Granholm in a tightly contested race that saw Dick ably marshal overwhelming support from GOP.

 

Philanthropy and Donations

Valued at $5.2 billion, the DeVoses have over the years donated a whopping $1.3 billion to charity. The family’s immersion in election campaign and countless charity donations saw the family add $113 million to this figure in recent times. $5.3 million in campaign donations to GOP and $11.6 million to charity within the last five years. In 2015 alone, the family donated in excess of $104 million to charity and campaigns placing them 24th on Forbes’ America’s Top Givers list. Both Betsy and Dick, were born in families well-engaged in philanthropy and politics hence their equally greater nature of donating. They greatly value education having donated $3million in 2015, which was 26% of their charitable donations. This was across disadvantaged and dependent schools to aiding in setting up an aviation training institution. The family has also donated to civic and community charities ($1.8 million), leadership ($1.5 million), health and humanity ($618,000), policy and churches ($488250).

 

The couple donated $12.5 million to the construction of the children hospital at Spectrum Health System. The $103 million hospital was named after Dick’s mother. The family has also immensely contributed to improving education. They have advocated for reforms to address the diminishing returns of the current education system. Their advocacy and philanthropy in the education sector culminated in Betsy DeVos nomination to the position of Secretary of Education by President Trump.

 

Sawyer Howitt’s Endeavors

As Millennials continue to grow and expand their influence, corporate America continues to do the same. In spite of Millennials being portrayed as a being more dependent than previous generations, Sawyer Howitt has disproved numerous stereotypes that Millennials face.

Also, Sawyer Howitt has exemplified the tenacity of the millennial generation. For those unaware, Sawyer Howitt remains a prominent figure in the business world. To expound further, Howitt has remained a role model to both his peers and colleagues. Currently, Sawyer works at Merriweather Group as the company’s project manager.

Moreover, Howitt has remained one of the top racquetball players for his high school’s team. For those unaware, Sawyer Howitt remains a native of Portland, Oregon. Aside from being a project manager, Sawyer hails from a family of entrepreneurs. To expound further, his father remains the founder of Meriwether Group. Moreover, Howitt remains a senior in high school. During this time, Sawyer Howitt excelled academically. Moreover, Howitt has shown his overall versatility. To expound further, Sawyer Howitt has become a magnanimous figure at the school. Due to his natural abilities in racquetball, it remains a high possibility for him to play professionally.

After graduating high school, Sawyer plans on attending college and obtaining a degree in Entrepreneurial Finance. This remains noteworthy due to the fact that he already has a high-paying job. With that being said, Howitt selflessly speaks to his peers and guides them on how to make decisions in life. Moreover, he remains vocal in his community about certain issues. On numerous occasions, Howitt expresses his support for the women’s rights movement. In parallel, Sawyer Howitt loves to do what other people his age like to do. This includes going to the movies, listening to music, and so forth. In closing, Sawyer remains someone that everyone can learn from.

Learn more about Sawyer Howitt: http://orjewishlife.com/business-midwife/

Nathaniel Ru Knows a Thing or Two About Success

Sweetgreen is a great example of how fast food companies should run their businesses and they have grown tremendously in popularity. It is a high-end salad chain that is backed by investors such as Daniel Boulud, Danny Meyer, and Steve Case. Sweetgreen has grown to 40 locations and their customers just can’t get enough of their healthy, fresh, organic, and local cuisine. Learn more: http://www.psfk.com/2016/04/psfk-2016-how-sweetgreen-brought-healthy-and-delicious-to-the-busy-psfk-2016.html

 

According to Ru, Sweetgreen is not just all about good food, but it is a brand that really stands for something much bigger. 30% of all their transactions are made through its website or form a mobile phone app and technology plays a very big part of Sweetgreen’s success. Learn more: http://observer.com/2016/04/jobs-report-sweetgreen-co-founder-jonathan-neman-lives-the-sweet-life/

 

In order to stay more grounded and closer to their customer base, Sweetgreen shuts down almost all of its corporate offices five times every year so that everyone has the chance to work directly in their restaurants. According to Ru, they do not believe in big corporate headquarters and want to operate without a main headquarters.

 

Ru, Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet have a few things in common. Not only did they attend the same university together but they all have parents that are first-generation immigrants and who have started their own businesses. Learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnQ9aK4ZmFA

 

The trio knew that if they could survive the winter break on campus, then they would make it. They did survive and they are only growing in popularity.

 

Nathaniel Ru is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Sweetgreen, a casual kitchen that offers fresh, local and sustainable food. He is an entrepreneur, investor, and businessman. He was born and raised in the Pasadena, California area. He graduated and obtained his BS in Finance from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. It is also where he met his future Co-CEOs and Co-Founders, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman.

Nathaniel Ru has been recognized as Inc.’s “30 Under 30” and “40 Big Food Thinkers 40 and Under” as well as other accolades.

 

In 2007 Nathaniel Ru, Nicolas Jammet, and Jonathan Neman started Sweetgreen. They opened up their very first Sweetgreen restaurant in Georgetown and in 2010 they launched sweetlife, the biggest music and food festival in the East Coast. The festival features food presented by top chefs, well-known performers, local food trucks, as well as local farmers and purveyors. The festival attracts thousands of festival-goers every single year and it has grown to become the largest music event in Washington DC.

 

Talos Energy: Small Company Makes Big Strides

Due to the huge oil reform movement in Mexico, foreign competitor will now be allowed back into Mexican waters. In the first bidding for companies to work on the Zama-1 exploration, Houston’s Talos Energy and London’s Premier Oil came out on top. They will be working with Mexico’s Sierra Oil and Gas as they venture off the state of Tabasco and into the Sureste Basin. This is the first time in 1938 that the Petroleos Mexicanos, a state run monopoly, has not controlled the market. This is a huge step for everyone involved and this exploration is expected to have a hugely beneficial effect on Mexico’s failing oil industry.

The Zama-1 well is estimate to hold anywhere from 100 million to 500 million barrels of crude oil according to Premier Oil. It will cost Premier around 16 million dollars for the entire operation. Talos Energy is the operator of the well and it will take them just under three months to complete the project. Based on the location and structure of the well, Zama-1 is expected to be an extremely successful exploration and yield great results. Many people are eagerly watching the proceeds of the Zama-1 exploration since it is expected to have such a beneficial effect on the Mexican oil market. An analyst for Edison Investment Research suggests that the Zama-1 well has a good geological chance of success due to its ideal positioning.

Talos Energy is based in Houston and is a private upstream gas and oil company. They are mainly focused on the exploitation of oil properties as well as the exploration of new territories that have potential success for future expeditions. They are mostly interested in the areas in the Gulf of Mexico and the lower Gulf Coast. They are backed by several companies and continue to make big strides for such a relatively young and small company.

Talos Energy acquired Helix’s subsidiary Energy Resource Technology GOM in 2013 after their success of finding over 100 feet of net oil in the Wang exploration. Energy Resource Technology GOM is expected to bring a large stream of income and oil properties to the company.

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James Dondero and Highland Capital Reach Cooperation Agreement with RAIT Financial Trust

At long last, an agreement has been reached between Highland Capital Management and RAIT Financial Trust. The former, helmed by portfolio manager James Dondero, released information about its holdings in the company to the Securities and Exchange Commission in November of 2016. In the time since, attempts have been made to adjust the membership of RAIT’s Board of Trustees. In May 2017, Highland Capital and RAIT reached a cooperation agreement whereby Highland Capital and its affiliates will vote shares in support of RAIT’s recommended slate of trustees at its annual meeting. Following the vote at that meeting, RAIT will appoint one of two candidates that have been recommended by Highland Capital.

Without question, the situation involving RAIT and Highland Capital is complex. It is a lot easier to make sense of things when you have a decent understanding of the key players. In particular, attention should be paid to James Dondero, the co-founder and president of Highland Capital. The innovative portfolio manager has more than 30 years of experience in the equity and credit markets. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated again and again his ability to effectively manage and strategize. The recent cooperation agreement between his firm and RAIT is just the latest example.The first thing to understand is that in November, Highland Capital reported its holdings with RAIT to the SEC. According to the filing, Highland Capital owned 5,282,377 shares, which is equivalent to 5.9 percent. James Dondero and Highland Capital understandably wanted more representation on the Board of Trustees, and that is when the back-and-forth began. In the end, two candidates who have been recommended by Highland Capital will join the board. One will join right after the matter is voted on, and the other will within 120 days of the agreement being reached.

How has James Dondero been able to navigate his firm through so many complicated situations? It is easier to understand when you are familiar with his history. A native of Hoboken, New Jersey, James Dondero attended the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. He graduated from the school with high honors in 1984 with dual majors in accounting and finance. Directly out of college, he worked as an analyst on the Morgan Guaranty training program. In 1985, he began his role as a corporate bond analyst for American Express. He remained with American Express until 1989.In 1990, James Dondero and his partner Mark Okada became involved with a joint venture with Protective Life Insurance Corporation. This venture initially became Protective Asset Management Company, or PAMCO. It remained partly owned by Protective Life for a few years. In 1997, Okada and Dondero bought out the company’s stake. The following year, Highland Capital Management became official. The company became a successful, independently owned alternative investment management firm. In 2014, it had approximately $18.7 billion in assets under management. James Dondero lives in Texas because Highland Capital is headquartered in Dallas. The firm also has offices in New York City, Seoul, Sao Paolo and Singapore.

Highland Capital is now one of the largest and most experienced worldwide alternative credit managing firms in the world. It employs more than 180 people and specializes in complex debt deals, emerging trends and turnarounds. James Dondero and Highland Capital were instrumental in the early days of the collateral loan obligation, or CLO, market. Meanwhile, RAIT Financial Trust is a real estate investment trust, or REIT, that provides direct lending to owners of commercial real estate through a full-service lending platform. It makes sense that Highland Capital and James Dondero are interested in this particular REIT, and it will be interesting to see how the collaboration unfolds.The collaboration agreement between RAIT, Highland Capital Management and James Dondero is just the latest in a long line of successes not only for Highland Capital but for Dondero as well. While handling business for Highland Capital consumes much of Dondero’s time, he is also actively involved in many other funds and organizations. He is on the Boards of Directors of MGM Studios and American Banknote, and he serves as Chairman of the Board of Cornerstone Healthcare, NexBank and CCS Medical Corporation. With so much experience in this arena, he should have no trouble navigating things with RAIT. Learn More.

Doug Levitt Shares His Thirteen Years of Travelling in Greyhound busses in His New Book

Not everyone had correctly predicted the election of the newest U.S. President Donald Trump, as most people thought that Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 elections and would be the next president of the nation. However, one of the things that Doug Levitt learned during his thirteen years traveling through the United States, more than 120,000 miles, is that there is a lot of alienation in the country that people is not aware of. He predicted correctly who would be the next nation leader in the white house, and, he is considered, probably correctly, to be the man alive with the broadest and most extensive knowledge of the American society and its culture.

Traveling through all these years in Greyhound buses is amazing. Levitt’s been doing this for Doug’s newest research, and to develop a book he calls the Greyhound Diaries. Through his constant traveling and meeting new cultures around the nation, most of which most Americans aren’t even aware that exists, is something that is really amazing if considering the amount of work that Doug Levitt has put into the development of his book.Everyone is keen to read the pages of that research, stated an American interviewed about Doug Levitt and his Greyhound Diaries.

For those who are not aware of the reasons behind the 13-year study that Doug Levitt is conducting, it goes way beyond the urge to get to know the United States as a whole. According to the author himself, when you use these Greyhound busses, you are using them because you cannot afford a better option. That had opened his eyes when he began to use these public transportation systems. He met all kinds of people, and learned more in these thirty years about the average population of this country than he had during his entire life. According to Levitt, it is not an art anymore, but a way of life that he adopted for himself.Among the unusual people that he met during his years traveling in public transportation of the Greyhound kind, he met a neo-Nazi, or at least, a former one. Being a jew, Doug Levitt admitted that he was very scared of the encounter, but the man was actually a fine person.Stay tuned for Levitt’s Greyhound Diaries release.

Fabletics Using Efficient Strategies For Success

Fabletics as we all know is being handled by the talented Kate Hudson. She is the one person who is successfully guiding this brand to the next level and helping them make Fabletics a success. Activewear is always needed, and Hudson wanted to give a women a solace for when they look for things that match their lives. Fabletics is by far one of the best brands out there because of what they can offer women. Now women of any size can find an outfit for working out that can fit them since Fabletics brings the best designs for people of almost any size.

 

Fabletics is trying to take their work to the next level. They even have some incredible people who work for the company. Kate Hudson is the co-creator, and she recently brought in Demi Lovato to create a great campaign for young girls to stay fit and active and remain confident in themselves. Demi is very much for girls empowerment, and this is the way to do it. Fabletics is proud to have somebody like Hudson bring together the brand because of who she is and what she stands for. The company plans on opening several stores in person, and Hudson loves the idea because it will give women the chance to try on different activewear without any struggle. You can try on the clothes all day long and just choose what you want to buy online if you want to. It’s by far one of the easiest things you could ever do if you want to shop easily and get access to it all right now.

 

Fabletics remains to be one of the best companies because of how well Hudson is taking over the brand. In a way, Kate Hudson handles countless aspects about the brand in her own little way. The thing she does the most is focus primarily on handling differnet areas whenever she can. She isn’t always in the offices, but she for sure does her best to help around. She looks at data, researches the different things they can do as a business, and she strives to come up with solutions. Fabletics loves to provide their talent with everything they could ever want so they have an easy time shopping for the best activewear that they can find. Fabletics already has thousands of people using it every month, so now it’s your turn to join.

The U.S. Money Reserve: Dealing in Precious Metals Since 2001

The U.S. Money Reserve is the only gold company in the world and deals in gold, silver, and platinum. These are primarily in the form of gold and silver coins, but they do offer gold and silver bars as well. It is currently making its website more user-friendly to be able to reach more people. The U.S. Money Reserve was founded in 2001 and has grown since then into a global force. It is based out of Austin, Texas and the head of the company is Mint Director Philip Diehl.

The U.S. Money Reserve announced that its new website will be the face of the company with more user-friendly with an easier to understand format. There is also a coin gallery so consumers can see what the U.S. Money Reserve deals in. This new website is trying to educate people on the importance of buying and owning government-issues coins and bullion, as well as making the experience of buying precious metals with gold coins a pleasurable one.

The new website also has a Knowledge Center where customers can go to learn about gold and gold bullion. They are able to sign up for a free Gold Information Kit and visit the Knowledge Center to get information on precious metals and also the terminology that comes with purchasing, grading, and coin minting.

The new website boasts a tool that allows the U.S. Money Reserve to show quality content across different platforms, make it easier to contact and interact with clients, and offer precious metals for sale in an innovative online store. There is also live pricing options on gold and silver to ensure the customers get the best price of gold and silver. The site offers one-on-one private consultations, special releases that can only be found offline, and secure transactions with a BuyBack Guarantee so there is no loss to the customer.

The U.S. Money Reserve has a few different ways that customers or potential customers can get in contact with them. You can sign up through email, through Facebook or Twitter, call the toll free numbers, have them call you by filling out a short form, or mailing any questions or concerns to their mailing address. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are looking forward to doing business with you.

 

UKV PLC Dissects The Entire Wine Production Process In France

The process of wine production in France is alien to many; not many people understand it at the very least. UKV PLC, a celebrated European wine company, tries to break the process down into small bits that wine lovers can understand.

UKV PLC advises that for beginners the fundamental thing to know about French wine is the wine appellation system in the country. According to UKV PLC, the Appellation d’origine controlee is the dominant wines appellation system in France, which categorizes wines by their places of origin. Apparently, the type of wine in France is dependent on the kind of soil, altitude, climate, and topography in its place of origin. Some regions are known to produce the best wines in France. Some of these areas include Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Champagne.

Different Wine Production Regions in France

UKV PLC analyzed the different wines from these regions. Côte de Beaune Chardonnay is the most popular wine that is produced in Burgundy. Located in eastern France, the region has a history of the best vineyards and winemakers in France. Burgundy also produces white and red wines. Bordeaux, on the other hand, is a region known mostly for exporting wine. Red wines are leading in the area, with its vineyards specializing in grapes production. As for the northeastern region of Champagne, most winemakers largely employ the double-fermentation production technique due to the high altitude in the region.

About UKV PLC

UKV PLC is a wines company that outsources for wines for their clients from different European countries. Located in the UK, the company also offers wine consultancy services to wine lovers.

Follow UKV PLC on Twitter.

Hussain Sajwani; the Brains behind DAMAC Properties

DAMAC Properties is a well-known company in the UAE that specializes in the development of high-end properties. It is known for some expensive stunts such as offering a free Bentley for every luxury apartment purchase. Besides that, the company is into designing golf courses. It is the company behind the development of golf courses for Trump’s company in the Middle East. Read more: Hussain Sajwani Interview  | Crunchbase

Hussain Sajwani Still Remembers His Roots

Hussain Sajwani’s career began in the food industry. He even has a plaque that commemorates the good work that he did for the US armed forces during the first Iraq war. During operation Desert Strom, he was in charge of supplying food to personnel serving in the US military. Learn more about Hussain Sajwani: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/dubai-billionaire-hussein-sajwani-ready-do-more-deals-trumps-n695566

Besides Iraq, he has helped the Americans in many other places such as Bosnia, the Gulf, and Somalia. Hussain Sajwani’s food business is still in existence today. However, it has been cut down to allow DAMAC Properties to concentrate mainly on real estate.

Hussain Sajwani’s Talent

Hussain Sajwani’s talent is his ability to make friends with almost anyone. It is a skill that has been acquired throughout the course of his career. It has given him access to some of the most astute businessmen on earth such as Donald Trump.

Hussain Sajwani has combined his good people skills with his great business skills to take advantage of the property market in the UAE. Besides that, he plans to take DAMAC public through an IPO at the London Stock Exchange. With the IPO in its initial stages, he cannot divulge too much.

About DAMAC Going Public

However, Hussain Sajwani has said that DAMAC is not in a hurry to offer the IPO. One reason for this is that they still have quite a lot of cash. Their debt/equity ratio stands at only 10 percent.

However, the DAMAC owner does acknowledge that an IPO would provide his company with some cash for expansion. Although he has refused to speculate about the value of the IPO, some experts put DAMAC’s capitalization to be in the single digits billions area.

DAMAC Properties began to emerge in 2002 to take advantage of the real estate opportunities in the UAE. Since then, it has expanded into much of the Middle East.