Dick DeVos plays key role in saving Grand Rapids, Michigan

Although Dick DeVos is known to most people for his 2006 gubernatorial run in the state of Michigan, the veteran entrepreneur and business magnate has only dedicated a tiny fraction of his total career to politics. In fact, if you ask anyone from Grand Rapids, Michigan who Dick DeVos is, they’re likely to tell you that he is one of the town’s local heroes. At a time when Grand Rapids was facing the same dire fate as many other Rust Belt cities across the state of Michigan, DeVos stood up and delivered, saving Grand Rapids from the urban decay and rapid economic decline that afflicted so many other Midwestern cities.



Motor City no more


As someone who had long been involved at a hands-on level in the development of education solutions for the failing Detroit Public School System, DeVos had first-hand, up-close knowledge of exactly how bad things can get when all of a city’s economic opportunities dry up, and its entire political class lets it down. DeVos got a front-row seat to the devastation of Detroit, largely caused by decisions that led to the fleeing of most business from the city.


By the late-1980s, Grand Rapids was in a very similar situation to what Detroit had looked like in the early 1970s. It was clear to many of the city’s business leaders that steps needed to be immediately taken to stop the progressive urban blight that was engulfing the Downtown area. The city featured block after block of abandoned warehouses and once-thriving factories. The neighborhoods on the Southeast and West sides were also beginning to show signs of serious urban decay, with houses being newly abandoned that apparently had little to no market value.


Many of the area’s top business leaders understood that something had to be done quickly in order to prevent the same sort of spiraling urban decay that would eventually lead to a Detroit-style exodus, taking all of the businesses and productive classes away and leaving a hollowed out urban core. DeVos was the one person who decided to take action.


He convened a committee of the area’s leading businessmen. The organization was dubbed the Grand Action Committee, a name that signified that the group tended to do far more than sit around and have intellectual policy discussion. DeVos himself was one of the first members of the Grand Action Committee to pledge serious quantities of his personal fortune for use in the redevelopment of the Downtown Grand Rapids area.


One of the first projects that DeVos undertook was the construction of the sprawling DeVos Place convention center, the largest convention center of its type in the Great Lakes region, outside of the McCormick Place in Chicago. Another development of huge import to the city that DeVos personally funded was the Medical Mile, a one-mile stretch of Michigan Ave that features some of the most advanced medical facilities in the United States. The Medical Mile has attracted some of the top medical talent from around the world, giving Grand Rapids the reputation of being a center of innovation in many healthcare subdisciplines.


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Scott Rocklage’s contribution in the health industry.

With over thirty years’ experience in healthcare administration, Dr. Scott Rocklage is a person to esteem and learn important life skills to make one successful. His expertise and remarkable leadership skills helped him gain approval of new drugs; Teslascan, Cubicin, and Omniscan.

Scott’s education background.

Scott Rocklage was awarded a bachelors degree in chemistry from the University of California, he then attained his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

His career journey.

Dr.Scott has served as the CEO and chairperson of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, later on, he joined Nycomed Salutar and was appointed as the president as well as the CEO, Scott has served in many organizations as the board chairman.

Currently, Scott serves as Board Chairman in several organizations; Rennovia, Kinestral, and Cidara later in 2003 he joined 5 AM ventures.

Scott’s most current career move was joining expansion therapeutics in January 2018 as a founding member and chairman of the board of directors.

Expansion therapeutics is involved with developing and discovering drugs, the company’s main aim is to unveil the power of molecule medicines. Some of the main genetic diseases that have stirred the search for therapies and treatments include; myotonic dystrophy type I also known as DM1. This disease mostly affects adults.

To achieve success in fighting the disease, the company dedicated approximately $55.3 million, DM1 is a risky condition as it can affect an entire family, it also gets worse with the succeeding generation, and it is because of this factor that expansion therapeutics are creating medications that will help address the condition. Learn more: https://angel.co/scott-rocklage

As the chairman of the board and a founding member of expansion therapeutics, Scott released a statement saying their lead scientist was working effortlessly to come up with a solution for the disease.

Matthew D. Disney backed Scott’s statement and confirmed that together with his team they were proud and happy to reveal that they had developed a therapy over the past 12 years and this was a significant step, Mr. Disney also vowed that his team would not stop working until the best remedy is achieved.

Hearing such words from the lead scientists in finding the cure is encouraging, now all we can do is wait and hope that all goes well.