Dick DeVos – A Living Inspiration to Everyone who Wants to Contribute to the Betterment of the Society

Recently, I got fascinated with West Michigan’s philanthropic patterns. Unlike other places where the wealthy status is established by the ostentatious display of wealth through clothes, jewelry or cars; the West Michigan social clout is defined by how much a family has given away. And leading the way, there is the DeVos family represented by Dick DeVos and his wife, Betsy DeVos.



I knew about the couple majorly as donors to Republican candidates. However what took me by surprise is their much larger donations to all other philanthropic activities. Their large contribution of $5.3 million to Republican candidates of the presidential elections paled in comparison to their $11.6 million charitable contributions in 2015 alone. What humbled me more was that fact that Dick admitted to his philanthropic streak being deeply embedded in him by his dad, Richard DeVos who is not only the co-founder of Amway Corporation but also a highly reputed and respected philanthropist. He had three other sons besides Dick; all are known to donate more than generously. It is only recently that the couple has started throwing light on their lifetime contribution legacy.



Dick joined his father’s business in 1974, and he quickly climbed to the position of vice president by 1984. By this time he was handling the Amway’s brand operation in eighteen countries. In 1989, he founded his own company, The Windquest Group which manufactured as well as marketed storage and closet organizers. He went through several experiments and change to finally again concentrate entirely on Windquest Group in 2002.



However, I think, more than his illustrious career, Dick and his wife Betsy will be known and remembered for their philanthropic activities. Recently, the couple humbly accepted of donating over 139 million dollars to various causes and institutions during their lifetime. Their entire family legacy of donation today crosses the one billion dollar mark which amounts to one-fourth of their total fortune. Dick personally is more inclined to donate in the education sector more than the others. His total donation in this sector stands at three-hundred-and-fifty-seven thousand dollars. His passion became evident to me when he stated in an interview that their present education system failed in fulfilling the American dream.



Another passion of his philanthropic streak is seen in his efforts to increase both knowledge and awareness about arts. Is it any wonder that this family ranks 24th in the Forbes list of “America’s Top Givers.”




Event Hosting Help


Planning a big event in NYC can be intimidating. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. There are event planners in NYC who can do the work for you or you can find many online resources if you want to “do it yourself.”


Recently HGTV ran an online article “Secrets from a Party Planner,” to help you plan the perfect event. In her article, Camille Styles takes us through her 10 stages of planning a big event with advice for each step:


  1. Getting organized- lists! Guest list, shopping list, to do list, etc.
  2. Creating a theme- set the tone.
  3. Sending out invites- online or by mail.
  4. Offering a self serve bar- let guests be their own mixologists.
  5. Creating a specialty concoction- have at least one specialty cocktail.
  6. Keeping appetizers simple- bite sized, finger friendly.
  7. Setting up a kid’s table- keep them busy with crayons, paper, and fun.
  8. Keeping settings simple- incorporate natural elements.
  9. Staying relaxed- give yourself time before the guests arrive.
  10. Not forgetting the favors- send them home with a reminder of the day.


Maybe the “do it yourself” option is still a bit daunting or your event needs to be more professional. There are good event planning companies in NYC, one of which is Twenty Three Layers. They are a New York based full service planning and design firm. They do everything from fun and whimsical to glitz and glamour, from small private events to corporate events. They have solid working foundations with several premier vendors and establishments which will ensure a momentous occasion. Because Twenty Three Layers’ services include photography, catering, entertainment, venues, floral design, and more, they are the premier corporate event planners in NYC. If you prefer more “hands on” party planning, they have workshops designed to make you the best host or hostess you can be and to impress every guest.


No matter what your event, or how involved you want to be in the planning and execution, you have the opportunity to shine and to wow your guests. Most importantly, enjoy yourself and the process, as the host or hostess always sets the tone.


A Look At Entrepreneur Vijay Eswaran And His Charitable Work

Vijay Eswaran is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the QI Group of Companies. Under the QI Group of Companies are subsidiaries that operate in several sectors of the economy including retail, financial services, direct selling, education, and hospitality. He founded the company in 1998 and has built it into a global operation with products, services, and independent direct selling contractors in countries across the world.

According to QBuzz, Vijay Eswaran’s approach to selling his products and services is to combine direct selling and web-based sales together. The first product he sold was commemorative coins for the 2000 Olympics which were held in Sydney, Australia. Learn more about Vijay Eswaran: http://philanthropies.org/vijay-eswaran-2/

His company quickly grew and by 2000 he had placed in the top 3 in this market out of 42 distributors of the coins around the globe. Today he has led QI Group of Companies into being one of the top 40 direct selling companies.

Outside of his work with his companies, Vijay Eswaran is deeply committed to philanthropy. One of the nonprofits he has established is the RYTHM Foundation. This foundation (RYTHM stands for Raise Yourself To Help Mankind) helps people achieve by providing them with business opportunities and life-enhancing products.

RYTHM Foundation also provides services to children with special needs. Additionally, it helps develop communities and has initiatives to help with the community members wellbeing.

Another foundation he founded in Malaysia is the Vijayaratnam Foundation which is devoted to helping children, especially disadvantaged female teens, through a variety of ways including education, arts & culture, community development, and improving the environment.

The Vijayaratnam foundation grants study loans to impoverished children who are enrolled in vocational courses. It funds projects that engage people in Malaysian culture such as dance, music, and fine arts. The way Mr. Eswaran helps the environment is by funding conservation efforts including planting trees.

Eswaran graduated from the London School of Economics with a Socio-Economics degree. He earned his MBA at Southern Illinois University before moving back to his native country of Malaysia.

Fabletics: The Future of Online Retail Fashion

It has always been difficult for a new product or innovation to enter and actively compete in new markets. However, this does not seem to be the case for Kate Hudson as Fabletics is taking the e-commerce fashion industry by storm. Despite Amazon controlling more than twenty percent of the market, Fabletics has grown to a net worth of around 250 million dollars in only three years.


The online retail company deals with women’s sports gear and accessories popularly known as athleisure. The process is quite simple with customers required to subscribe and like their preferred brands. Armed with this data, Fabletics can capitalize on their customer’s likes and are therefore more convenient.


Previously, all that was needed to run a successful enterprise was excellent quality and reasonable pricing. With changing economic times, this is no longer the case. Instead, one has to put into consideration things like customer experience, exclusive design, brand recognition among other things to appeal to the new client. This move appears to be paying off well for Fabletics. In addition to their online stores, the brand is currently planning to open new ones in addition to their current ones based in places like California, Florida, Illinois and Hawaii. The present number of Fabletics retail stores stands at 18.


Gregg Throgmartin, the company’s general manager, believes that the brand’s knowledge of their clients is key to their extraordinary results. Most people browse for items in person but buy them elsewhere at lower prices. With this in mind, Fabletics’ strategy enables them to create and nurture relationships and as such get to know more about their markets. This way, almost half of the people who enter the store are already subscribed, members. This also beneficial to the stores since they only stock items that appeal to their individual localities.


Fabletics recorded a growth rate of 35 percent annually for the period it has been in existence. This increase is a result of excellent product quality and pricing. If the brand’s ability to understand the new market consumer is anything to go by, then Fabletics is a force to be reckoned with in the fashion industry.

Richard Blair Transforms Client’s Businesses through an Advisory Investment Firm, Wealth Solutions

Richard Blair is the founder of Wealth Solutions, which a leading company in providing advisory services to clients for growth, protection, and management of their assets. Blair has a vast experience in his field of operation, and his clients find him as a very important partner. Wealth Solutions is located in Austin, Texas operating as a Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm.

According to Crunchbase, Richard Blair Wealth Solutions believes in a solid plan for businesses because it helps one to achieve financial goals and he recommends every entrepreneur to have one. This is why he purposed to help the community in Austin, Texas by providing them with wealth management services as well as retirement planning advice.

Below is a financial planning process that the firm follows:

Wealth Solutions apply an approach that involves three pillars aimed at understanding client’s current financial situation, retirement needs which in turn helps them come up with a complete customized plan for each client.

Pillar One

This pillar is aimed at helping the clients to lay down an effective financial plan. It does this by identifying client’s goals, strengths, growth opportunities as well risk tolerance. On understanding their current situation, it becomes easy for the company to formulate a realistic financial plan that they can follow and achieve their overall goals.

Pillar Two

This is a long-term strategies development stage and is designed to help meet client’s investment needs. Each client receives help depending on the investments goals and liquidity needs they have.

Blair works towards re-allocation and management of assets so as to ensure a maximum utilization and performance during favorable market periods and reduction of the same efforts during the unfavorable market periods.

Pillar Three

Since Client’s goals have already been determined as well as the way to achieve them established, Blair then formulates for them life insurance, long-term care and annuities plans for the purpose of meeting their insurance needs.

About Richard Blair

Richard Blair is a prominent financial advisor and the founder of wealth solutions, an investment advisory firm. He has over 20 years of experience serving the financial services industry.

He is determined to provide objectives advice to his clients at Wealth Solutions so that they can achieve their individual financial goals. His services include developing customized investments, retirement solutions, and wealth preservation plans.

Blair graduated from the University of Houston holding a Bachelor’s Degree in finance. He has other certifications such as CES, CAS, CFS CIS, CTS, and RICP. Away from work he spends his time with his wife Joanne and kids.

How To Hire The Best Event Planner For Your Next Event

Hosting an event typically comes with an enormous amount of stress. Between making sure that each of your guests are happy, coordinating with vendors and keeping track of multiple schedules, the experience can turn even the calmest person into a frazzled mess. That’s why so many people hire a professional event planner. These industry experts know how to keep any kind of event running smoothly.


However, if you’ve never hired an event planner before, you may not know where to start. Luckily, we’re here to help. Here are some must-know tips about hiring the perfect event planner who can make your dreams come to life.



  1. Decide on an Objective


Before researching different event planners in NYC, determine a basic objective of your event. What message are you trying to convey to your guests? On which day of the week will your event take place? How many people, roughly, will be in attendance? Your event planner will need to know this information right off the bat.



  1. Have a General Budget in Mind


Your event planner will also need to know what your general budget is going to be. That’s because they will not be able to make any decisions until they know what kind of money they have to work with.



  1. Know What Kind of Planner You Need


As you can imagine, there are hundreds of event planning companies in NYC. Some specialize in helping you find vendors while others just handle day-of coordination.


Some event planning companies provide services as well. Twenty Three Layers, an event planning company in New York City, can help you with everything you could possibly need for an event. In addition to coordinating your event, they can provide every service imaginable from catering to photography. Twenty Three Layers can manage events of any size and style.



  1. Do Some Research


Don’t just hire the first planner that you come across on the internet. Spend lots of time browsing online review websites and ask around to find out if anyone you know has worked with an event planner recently who they are happy to recommend.





By hiring the right event planner, your event will be a huge success and you will be able to avoid lots of stress. Follow these tips to find the right planner for your special event.

Find Twenty Three Layers in NYC:

Covers.com equals consistency

The college football game is one of the most enduring sports in America. There is well over a century of serious contests and rivalries. For me as a sports bettor, it also means mountains of information. It may seem as though betting on football odds is simply based on luck, but it is much more than that. Those that play the NCAAF odds with knowledge and skill win much more than they lose. Believe it or not, there are professional gamblers that make considerable incomes playing common odds that clearly show favor in one direction or another. Additionally, to sweeten the pot, often betting platforms offer a spread. The spread is played favorably by professionals and is utilized to gain their business, but to amateurs, the spread is an enticement to gamble.

When an amateur learns that they do not necessarily have to pick the winner to make money, they dive right in. As a professional bettor, I treat the spread as a hedge to my riskiest bets because although I like to win, I like to bet big sometimes and that means more risk. Even with these bigger football odds, I still win much more than I lose. However, I do not want this to seem as though betting successfully is easy. It is not and for me, it requires a lot of research in order to win enough to make this a profession. Ultimately, I like the thrill of the win, and for all this research, I am still able to enjoy being a sporting guy. I make as much doing this as I did when I worked a regular job, but I probably work just as hard. The difference is I am doing what I am enjoying.

If a there is one bit of great info that I would give someone wanting to bet for enjoyment is that winning is fun. I increase my odds greatly by utilizing information. I get this information in one place. It is a website called Covers.com, and Covers.com makes winning very easy. Before places like this website, and this website in particular, betting required compiling information from various sources like newspapers. This type of compilation to make educated odds guesses could be shaky, but that type of flaw-ridden data collection is far in the past now. Today with one click, I have all the information necessary to make me a consistent winner.

Luciana Lossio takes over Superior Electoral Court

In mid-2016, Luciana Lossio was sworn in as the Minister of the superior electoral court. This is a position that is only available to lawyers, and it became available after the Minister Arnaldo Versiani. Her appointment to the TSE was attributed to her devotion to her profession.



Luciana advanced in her career because of her hard work and dedication. In 2011, she ended up occupying one of the most coveted vacancies available to lawyers. She was first the substitute at the Supreme Court before advancing her career.



She is a member of the Brazilian Institute of the Electoral Law. She has built a solid career as she has governors as clients. One of the things that have propelled her career is her character. She respects all persons and tries to uphold their constitutional rights.



Consumed with the desire to acquire knowledge, she completed her law degree in 1999 and was approved by the Brazilian Bar Association. She also completed three postgraduate degrees that include the civil procedural law, state and constitution and legal department and the public prosecutor. Her legal knowledge is what has helped her to achieve success.



She started her career at the Attorney General’s office where she worked for seven years. During this period, she was working with Claudio Fonteles and also Geraldo Brindeiro. The two were former Attorney General of Brazil. In these seven years, Luciana was working as an advisor to different cases that involved the Supreme Federal court.



Her appointment to the Supreme Court was due to her technical ability and her professionalism. You know, the TSE consists of 7 judges. Two of these judges are picked from a list of well-performing lawyers. Luciana was one of the chosen.



Both as a lawyer and a minister she has demonstrated competence and knowledge in law.



In addition to her being a hard working and competent lawyer, she has also developed great hobbies that keep her busy away from the court. She loves horseback riding a passion that she developed from a young age. She even competed in the Brazilian championships. She has also represented her countries in different international competitions. She has received great support from her family in her different horseback riding quests.



She was born on July 18th, 1974. She has faced different obstacles in her life both in her work and personal life, but she has overcome them with ease. She is young and has a long future ahead of the court.




Anthony Petrello: Moving Beyond Law Practice

During organizational leadership transition, it is imperative that the incoming leader has more than just academic qualifications. Successful transition calls for appointing leaders with the prerequisite academic qualifications and the experience to fully grasp the demands of leadership. A leader who is well versed in the company’s culture, operations and industry stands a better chance of successfully transitioning into a new role. Such leaders instill investor confidence and easily win the approval of colleagues. These are the tenets that guided the board of directors at Nabors Industries, a leader in the oil and gas industry, in their decision of appointing Anthony Petrello to replace Eugene Isenberg as the company’s Chief Executive Officer.

The Rise to CEO: Experience

Prior to being appointed as Nabors’ CEO, Anthony Petrello had served as the company Chief Operating Officer (COO) for two decades. He also doubled up as the deputy chairman of the company’s board of directors, which is led by Eugene Isenberg who will retain his position despite stepping down as CEO. Upon joining the company in 1991, Mr. Petrello was appointed to company’s board of directors and its Executive Committee. He served as the President of the company for ten years. His rise through the corporate ladder began prior to joining Nabros as he had served a managing partner a law firm for the last five years of his decade long stay at the firm. His time at the firm provided him with importance experience and skills in corporate law and taxation, which played a critical role in his appointed as COO of Nabros Industries in 1991.

Becoming CEO: Academic Qualifications

Academic qualification is one of the success factors in leadership and management. Mr. Petrello’s successful career in a highly competitive corporate world began in Yale University where he finished both his Bachelors of Science and Master of Science degrees. At Yale, Mr. Petrello specialized in Mathematics but later changed to law when he joined Harvard Law School for his Juris Doctor degree. His education equipped him with important skills and knowledge that enabled him to effectively merge the two academic fields into a successful career in the oil industry.

The Evolution of Eric Pulier

Evolution comes from change and if we as a people never experience change, we’ll certainly get left behind. Eric Pulier has gone through many changes throughout his life and with this change he’s able to adapt in a variety of fields. The world is bein run off advanced technology, but years from now this very technology might be obsolete. Eric Pulier is the very definition of this notion since he has a strong passion for the use of technology which translates into making society a much better place to live.

This guy has done some amazing things (via) technology. One of his first professional companies specialized in using technology to handle the demands of the ever changing healthcare and education fields. People Doing Things was that company, but Pulier continued with his journey and created a private social media platform for chronically ill children. Starbright World has a hit as it allowed these special kids to communicate with one another to share there perspectives. This not only was great for sharing stories, but it helped the kids connect much better by raising their moral. Pulier just has a way of getting things done effectively and fast. Being a technologist himself, he’s raised capital for tech start-up companies and many of those very companies have gone on to become a huge success. This love of technology was always present even when he was a child back in Teaneck, New Jersey. Pulier programmed his first computer while in the fourth grade and he started his own computer database company while in high school.

When it comes to founding, Pulier it down packed. He’s actually founded up to 15 businesses such as XPRIZE, Service Mesh Inc, Akana Software, FLY, Digital Evolution, and many more. Pulier even put together a showcase that displayed live interaction between the NASA and the Space Shuttle Astronauts. This was unheard of at the time, but Pulier’s brilliant mind used some of the most advanced technology to achieve this. As of today this loving father of four resides in the Southern California Area and who knows what this highly intelligent individual will come up with next.