Adam Milstein has a very busy schedule, though by his own admission there’s nothing very routine about it. His typical day usually involves making investments in large commercial properties or brokering purchasing or leasing deals for clients at Hager Pacific Properties, but you can also usually find him at work in philanthropy. Ideamensch decided to interview him not long ago so that other people looking to invest in real estate could glean advice from him.
Adam Milstein told Ideamensch that he chose real estate coming out of college because the rewards he could gain by investing in it were quite numerous, and he said it offered more than what most recruiters at his grad school offered. Philanthropic activities are often included in his daily tasks because not only because they provide a little more structure to his day, but also because they’re important to his beliefs. One of Milstein’s most shocking revelations is that he doesn’t consider goals to be helpful in his business but instead says without them he can actually push his limits further and do more.
Adam Milstein has been with Hager Pacific Properties for about 30 years, and prior to that he was a soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces and a graduate of the Technion Institute in his hometown of Haifa, Israel. While he still lived in Israel, he also met and married his wife Gila and began raising two of his three daughters. The Milsteins have been involved in philanthropy and activism ever since moving to the US, but when they started the family foundation in 2000 they expanded it.
Adam Milstein considers college campuses to be an important area of philanthropy because they are where tomorrow’s leaders in the Jewish community are. He is proud to sponsor and travel with these groups back to Israel and let them see how the culture over there is important to to their identity. For Jewish families who want to learn the Hebrew language and learn the stories of leaders in the past, Sifriyat Pijama B’America is a branch of the Milstein Foundation that supplies that material to them.
Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy who is currently the Secretary of Education have always been champions for their community. A recent article, “Dick and Betsy DeVos: Changing Institutions and the Face of Their Hometown” discusses some of the influence that they wield throughout the nation. The article, located at crainsdetroit.com, is a great listing of some of their good work and discusses how they have used their position to be a catalyst for change.
In fact, Dick DeVos used his knowledge of a similar situation in Detroit to stall the construction of a convention center in downtown Grand Rapids. He believed that building a sports facility would ultimately be detrimental to Grand Rapids because of the proximity to the central business district. His ruthless campaigning and vigor eventually led to the formation of a group dubbed Grand Action. This became a very important organization in Grand Rapids because it led to the construction of buildings that would be useful in better locations. Projects supported by Grand Action would go on to facilitate the growth of the skyline by adding a medical school, a convention center, an arena, a city market, and even a performance hall.
The couple has always been busy with their own causes. Betsy DeVos has been a major advocate for charter schools and educational choice, while Dick DeVos has been instrumental in the overhaul of labor laws. While Betsy DeVos seems to have made a big name for herself in the education sector, Dick DeVos is also passionate about education. He even went on to help found a charter school dedicated to aviation at Grand Rapids’ airport. He has also made himself an outspoken supporter of his wife’s efforts to enact school choice. As a team with their combined motivation, there is no stopping them from achieving all the dreams they have for the future.
The DeVoses have shown that they are willing to use their substantial financial backing to help advocate for the people in their community. They are the heirs to vast family fortunes, but they choose to work for those that are most affected by these circumstances. They both believe that school choice is important and that it gives parents the right to choose their children’s educational path. This helps to create a better future, not only for the children but for the entire country. They have even successfully advocated for school voucher programs in charter schools on a national scale.
Dick and Betsy DeVos are not afraid to jump into the fray of politics and lawmaking to help enact real change. They know what it takes to lead this country in a positive direction. They haven’t always succeeded in their efforts, but they have also never given up. They rely on their knowledge of history, their substantial education, and the voices of people within their community to fight for the issues that really matter. Their dedication will continue to mark them as significant leaders within the national community as they continue to lobby for change.
Follow Dick DeVos on twitter.