College honoring exec with Excellence in Business Award


Daniel DeVos. Courtesy DP Fox Ventures

A college will honor a local businessman at a gala downtown featuring a hall-of-fame quarterback as guest speaker.

Davenport University said it plans to give the 2017 Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business Award to Daniel DeVos, chair and CEO of DP Fox Ventures, at the college’s 20th-annual Excellence in Business Dinner Gala, which benefits student scholarships.

The gala will be held at 6 p.m. on April 28 at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.

Retired NFL quarterback Joe Montana will be the event's featured guest.

The university said the excellence award is presented annually to an individual who demonstrates "professional success and commitment to community service and support."

“Dan DeVos’ contributions to business and his service to the West Michigan community are simply outstanding,” said Rick Pappas, president, Davenport University.

Table reservations and ticket purchases can be made online or by calling (616) 233-3417.


DeVos is also CEO of the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL and chair of the Orlando Magic of the NBA.

DP Fox Ventures owns and operates Fox Motors and Fox Powersports, which are retail dealers representing 41 manufacturers at 28 locations in Michigan and the Chicago area. The diversified company also has other interests in multiple industries.

Beneficiaries of the philanthropy and service of DeVos and his wife, Pamella, have included the Grand Rapids Symphony, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Children’s Miracle Network, Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Hope Network, Grand Valley State University Foundation and Davenport University.


Montana won four Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers in the 1980s.

He is also a two-time NFL MVP and three-time Super Bowl MVP.

He retired from playing football in 1995.

Montana now teaches preparation, teamwork and performance under pressure to large and small business audiences as a motivational speaker.

Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business Award

The award was established in 1998 in honor of Davenport alum Peter C. Cook.

The award recognizes business and community leaders who exemplify "the entrepreneurial spirit, success and generosity to community that are hallmarks of the Davenport University mission, vision and values."

More than $2.2 million has been raised to benefit Davenport University Foundation scholarships through annual award galas over the past 19 years.


Founded in 1866, Grand Rapids-based Davenport University serves about 8,000 students at campuses across Michigan and online.

The university offers 80 undergraduate and graduate programs.

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