Category Archives: Philanthropy

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21st Century Information With Vinod Gupta


Vinod Gupta is presently a famous individual within the information industry. He is most notorious for starting his first company with simply a $100 bank loan. Vinod Gupta was originally born in India, and later came to the United States for his higher education at the University of Nebraska. The first job he took out of college would forever shape the future of his career and direction of his life.


He goes into greater depth during a recent Ideamensch interview.


Upon graduating college, Vinod Gupta was hired by a manufacturing company named Commodore Corporation. Vinod Gupta was imminently assigned the task of assembling a list of companies who could be interested in doing business with his boss. This was the pre-technology era, thus he had to create the list from scratch. Vinod Gupta quickly realized how beneficial this kind of information could be for the business world. Vinod Gupta soon created InfoGROUP with his bank loan, and began creating a database with an unparalleled amount of information. Refer to This Article for related information.


The company InfoGROUP was later sold off for millions of dollars, and Vinod Gupta began his present day venture with Everest Group He spends each day focusing on the long term goals of the company. This can involve anything from client relationship building, technology testing, or researching. Vinod Gupta finds that long term views keeps the companies activities stable. In particular, Vinod sees strong potential in how artificial intelligence affects database interaction going forward.


The information industry is a sector that has truly bloomed in recent years thanks to the advent of technology. It is extremely easy for consumers and organizations alike to access any kind of information they want at their finger tips. Vinod Gupta is a man who believes in the work he is performing. He will forever shape the industry.


In an article with Medium, Vinod shares his Business Advice on how to succeed in the competitive and modern world of business.


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Dick DeVos: The Other Champion for Education Reform

In the early 90’s, the midwest city of Grand Rapids Michigan once considered building a sports/convention center arena north of its downtown area. It was former Amway CEO Dick DeVos who spearheaded the effort to quash that idea. The billionaire saw the negative effects to Detroit’s center when the Lions and Pistons left for the suburbs of Pontiac and Auburn Hills in the 70’s and 80’s and was concerned the same thing would happen in the town he was born in.


DeVos formed a group made up of business leaders called Grand Action. It’s mission was to make the central business district of Grand Rapids an cultural/entertainment/convention hub. They led efforts to build venues such as Van Andel Arena, a convention center, and a performance hall. The influence of Grand Action led Michigan State University Medical School to put a campus there. It was the efforts and vision of Dick DeVos that changed downtown Grand Rapids Michigan and kept it a vibrant civic, entertainment, and cultural center.


Richard “Dick” DeVos is one half of what must be considered a high profile power couple in the Trump era. His wife, Betsy DeVos, is Education Secretary in Trump’s cabinet. Dick DeVos (a longtime pilot) was recently tapped to join the top level citizen panel that provides oversight to the Federal Aviation Administration. The couple are stalwarts of the GOP and have been for decades. They have spent their sizable fortune and influence to advocate for conservative causes they believe in. It’s notable that from 1989 until 2015, their foundation gave nearly $140 million to churches, arts programs, scholarships and more.


While there are many worthy charities and programs to advocate for, one cause that has been consistently championed by both Dick and Betsy DeVos has been education reform. School vouchers and charter schools are the mainstays of that reform. The couple’s now grown children had the benefit of going to private schools because the couple had the resources to send them there. The couple believes that for parents who don’t have the resources, school vouchers gives their kids the ability to go to those same private schools.


Since both believe that giving parents options is key. Charter schools are another alternative from the traditional government funded public school. Betsy DeVos, prior to taking the job as Education Secretary, made charter schools in Michigan a viable alternative for parents. Ultimately, her vision is to make that alternative available nationwide. Dick DeVos, with his experience as a pilot, founded a charter school focused on aviation at the Grand Rapids International Airport.


While there have been some setbacks in their education reform initiatives (a DeVos sponsored amendment to the Michigan Constitution mandating the creation a school voucher program statewide failed to pass back in 2000), both Richard and Betsy DeVos have shown that they have the tenacity and willingness to adapt and act on their vision.


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Shafik Sachedina: Dentist, Entrepreneur, And Member Of The Institute Of Ismaili Studies

There are several adjectives used to describe Shafik Sachedina; he is a dental surgeon, entrepreneur, and a member of the Institute of Ismaili Studies.

Sachedina studied dentistry at London University (a collegiate and a federal research university), where he earned his dental license, in 1975. However, Sachedina’s career ambitions would lead him well beyond the world of dentistry; in fact, shortly after earning his degree in Dentistry, he took on a leadership role with Sussex Health Care, an organization that provides care to the elderly as well as those in need of occupational therapy or physiotherapy.

Although Sachedina’s role as CEO and Founder of Sussex Health Care is far removed from the world of dentistry, it is a role that allows him to change the lives of the people that he comes in contact with, often by simply taking a moment to engage in conversation. If you’re not already familiar with Sussex Health Care, they are a healthcare company that has been in existence for over 25 years and is ISO certified. In addition, they have received accreditation from Health Quality Services, which denotes the facility’s commitment to providing a high standard of care to patients.

In addition to his leadership role with Sussex Health Care, as well as his dental profession, Shafik Sachedina sits on the Board of Governors for the Institute of Ismaili Studies, a religious organization that carries out research related to the Muslim community. The organization’s primary focus is to promote cultural understanding among its members as well as nonmembers. Additionally, the organization is committed to removing misconceptions related to Islam. The Institute of Ismaili Studies is comprised of several subcategories, one of which is the Aga Khan Development Network. Sachedina is a committee member of this division and routinely organizes programs and activities. Also, he serves as a head delegate for all foreign affairs, which, in 2017, included an expedition to Russia to meet with Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov. The meeting was intended to spur productive dialogue concerning the crisis in the Middle East, namely Afghanistan and Syria.

Shafik Sachedina has held various roles throughout his career and whether by luck or by design, these roles have allowed him to touch many lives.


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Society Is Improved Through The Work Of George Soros

The work of George Soros may be largely based in the hedge fund and investment industry where the Hungarian Holocaust survivor has made his name as a leading hedge fund manager capable of making a series of gambles on the stock market and global financial markets. Soros has not only developed a series of investments for his own Soros Fund Management company, but has also created a successful global network of not for profit groups under the stewardship of his Open Society Foundations; the network of charitable groups fight for freedom and democracy for all under a name that harks back to the work of philosopher Karl Popper, the former mentor of George Soros who introduced him to a new way of critical thinking. Read more about George at The New York Times.

The Open Society Foundations explains George Soros has always sought to help others in the same way his own life was saved during the World War II occupation of Hungary by Nazi German forces who killed around 500,000 members of the Jewish community. Originally called Schwartz, the Soros family changed their name in a bid to hide their Jewish roots and moved the young George into the household of a Christian family who passed him off as a distant Christian relative. During the occupation of Hungary George Soros became a successful figure and has stated he managed to help a number of people by aiding them in hiding their Jewish identity in similar ways to those developed by the patriarch of the Soros family. After departing his native Hungary in 1947, Biography reports George Soros arrived in the U.K. and began studying at the London School of Economics, where he found philosopher Karl Popper and learned about his theory of the open society; even today the theory that any nation that believes its political ideology is above all others is failing remains a constant for Soros.

Soros began his career as a philanthropist in 1979 when he began a two pronged attack on the oppressive regimes in South Africa and those living under Communist rule in Eastern Europe; these first successful attempts at philanthropic ventures would eventually lead to Soros developing the work of the Open Society Foundations, which has now benefited from an amazing $12 billion in funding from George Soros. The Open Society Foundations works with many groups in the U.S. in a bid to make sure minority groups across the nation have their rights protected through the backing of political and not for profit groups from across the U.S. and across many parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe. Read this story at about George Soros.


Still Hard At Work, Dick DeVos Has Diverse Stories To The $139 Million He’s Given Away

Dick DeVos is constantly making news in Michigan, along with his wife Betsy who now has the big job of managing the entire nation’s education system. Dick DeVos has made billions worth in sales and investments in his time running Amway Corporation and his current company, The Windquest Group. But it’s his staggering $139 million that he’s given away in his lifetime that’s had the most attention in the national spotlight. It wasn’t long after it had been announced that President Trump had chosen Betsy as US Secretary of Education that the DeVos’s revealed their total philanthropy amount, yet they say it was not this decision by Trump that led to it.


Dick DeVos’s business background has been nothing short of spectacular, and he learned from his father, Richard DeVos Sr., one of America’s leading pioneers in multilevel marketing. Dick started at Amway after graduating from Northwood University, and his specialty was global marketing and he started exploring investing in the Asian and Australian markets during this time. Dick left Amway for about 4 years during which he founded The Windquest Group and also was President of the Orlando Magic. When he returned to Amway, it was as CEO during which term he began a greater parent company over Amway known as Alticor, and it was through this company that Amway grew sales profits into the billions, especially in 2002 when they made over $4.5 billion.


They attempted to bring it further to the Michigan voters by trying to get an initiative for vouchers and tax credits in the 2000 election, but came up short doing so. But they still went beyond private school scholarships to looking to start a public charter school, and in 2010 they succeeded in opening a tech-based school known as the West Michigan Aviation Academy.


Dick DeVos has gone beyond education in his $139 million and worked with leaders in Grand Rapids, including in the change in a sports arena project that was moved from the suburbs to the downtown area of Grand Rapids. The committee responsible for this was Grand Action Committee, chaired by Dick DeVos and the Van Andel family. He also gave over $12 million to a new children’s hospital facility and research center in 2006 that made him the recipient of the Art of Giving award that year. He was also a candidate for governor that year, though he did not win the seat. But in 2012 he and Betsy successfully funded the passage of a right-to-work law and also donated $22 million to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.