Category: Charitable Leaders

Bruce Levenson Is Not Only A Former NBA Owner, He Encourages Philanthropy Among Young People

Bruce Levenson made the news when he recently decided to pursue legal action, along with other members of Atlanta Hawks Basketball & Entertainment (AHBE) against AIG Insurance. Levenson and AHBE had just sold their shares of the Atlanta Hawks not long ago and also decided to buyout then General Manager Danny Ferry’s contract. Ferry had been involved in a dispute with some of the owners and in the midst of the buyout decided to file a claim with AIG. AIG denied the claim, and Ferry as well as AHBE and Levenson decided to take legal action against AIG. The case is still being worked out in a Fulton County court.

Levenson has been a long time businessman who co-founded Unified Communications Group (UCG) back in 1977. He had previously enrolled at Washington University where he got his bachelor’s in journalism, and also attended American University where he got a degree in law but never entered the attorney profession. He had also contributed to the now defunct Washington Star but decided he wanted to launch his own publishing business. He and Ed Peskowitz began business operations in a little storage room in a quaint part of Washington D.C., but soon they had created a large publishing conglomerate. UCG has been the founding company of TechTarget and recently the GasBuddy app. Levenson is also on the board of BIA Digital Partners.

Bruce Levenson purchased most of the shares of the Atlanta Hawks in 2004 and owned the team until 2015. Levenson has also given back a lot of money to his Washington D.C. community and helped establish the Center for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership at the University of Maryland. Levenson did this to teach young people the importance of giving back to their communities. Levenson also contributes to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and once he even took the Atlanta Hawks entire team and coaching staff to the museum where his wife shared her personal story of surviving the event.



Betsy DeVos Gives Her Views on Reforming Education

Dick DeVos currently serves as the President of the Windquest Group. He previously worked for Amway International and under that leadership, Amway reported its aggregated sales to be over $4 billion. During that time, DeVos singlehandedly assumed all of the responsibilities for the company’s operation in over 50 countries. DeVos also has a wide range of ties within his community. He founded the Education Freedom Fund, which has awarded over $4,000 in scholarships to children who are financially challenged. He also ran for Governor of Michigan in 2006. In saying all of this, I believe that Dick DeVos has accomplished so much as a leader and as a philanthropist.

 The Spring 2013 issue of Philanthropy magazine interviewed Betsy DeVos, referring to her as a reformer. She is Dick’s wife and currently serves as the chairman at Windquest, which she founded with Dick in 1989. Philanthropy magazine discussed her views about the educational reform and school choice.

I believe that one thing that Betsy has right is the fact that public schools in the United States are not doing well and that it’s a driving force behind the radical reforms. From what she has stated , many factors influenced her and Dick to become involved in providing a proper education for low-income children. One of these included a trip to the Potter’s House Christian School, where she said that the atmosphere was vibrant with a level of tolerance and curiosity that she had never before seen.

Betsy is concerned not only about reforming schools but also reforming the current system of public schools throughout the U.S. altogether. For example, she stated that she wants to change the current system of having to choose schools based on zip code alone. She said that one thing that is working in that favor is digital education. She sympathizes with and advocates for homeschooling as well, which she says is increasing even in urban areas due to parents being fed up with feeling powerless to do anything about the current education system. She also semi-vouches for charter schools but speaks from experience when she says that one has to be willing to invest the time and resources in getting them off the ground.

At the end, she says that her idea of success is that parents would be able to choose the best education system for their children no matter what. And that they’d be able to choose one that helps their child fulfill their potential at their healthiest level. Amen to that!

Visit the site to know more about Dick DeVos.

Bob Reina Practices What He Preaches

There are a lot of people that talk about all of the great things they do or are doing, but they don’t back it up. However, that is not the way that Bob Reina works in his day-to-day operations. It has been talked about how he leads by example. His hope is that others will see all the good that he is doing and will follow in his footsteps and do the same. When they see the CEO and founder of Talk Fusion doing great things and making time for charities, they will do the same. The key is having the want to do it. Reina wants to do it and he believes in doing it.

As soon as he got the chance to do something great with Talk Fusion, he looked beyond the product and looked for ways to use that for something even more positive. He knows he has worked to be put in the position he is in, but he does not want to keep it all to himself or not share the wealth. He is not a greedy person. He is the opposite, in fact. He is selfless. He has given back a record-breaking $1 million donation to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. This has saved so many animals because of that. When someone can save the life of an animal, they are helping someone that can’t help themselves. That is extraordinary. He has also donated to an Indonesian orphanage.

The thing that is different about Bob is that he seeks out these causes to help. It is not like they are asking Bob for help. He does a lot of research online and is very active in a number of communities. Because of this, he looks for places that needs help and tries to help out as many as he can. He knows the more he can help, the more difference he can make. This is in addition to all of the lives that have been impacted in a positive way by Talk Fusion and using it to live out their dream jobs and dream lives. Listen to about Bob Reina.

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