Category: Philanthropy

Dick Devos -Finding Happiness in Giving Back

Dick and Betsy Devos are a power couple that loves giving back. In their lifetimes, they have managed to give out $139 million dollars in charitable contributions. Dick is the product of public school and strives to improve the education system the best way he can. He and his wife give out wholeheartedly without expecting anything in return. The couple contributed $11.6 million to charity in 2015. This is double the $5.3 million they have spent in campaign donations in the last five years.

 

The two belong to a high profile family dynasty that has been a key player in Republican politics for years and is led by Dick’s dad, Rich Devos, who is the Amway co-founder. Dick Devos’ father and siblings gave out close to $104 million in charitable donations in 2015. This series of actions led the family to Forbes “America’s Top Givers” list.

 

Education is a priority to Dick and Betsy. They put aside a little over $3 million specifically towards educational causes. Education accounted for 26% of their charitable donations in 2015. The foundation also awarded $357000 (or 3%) to groups which support education reform. Dick Devos has mentioned that together with his wife they feel as though the current education system does not fulfil the American dream. It is not fair that kids growing up in the “Wrong ZIP code” cannot get the chance to access the American dream and have the necessary education that will give them a shot at the dream.

 

Dick Devos was born in 1955 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Even as a child, he was always involved in the family business. He went to Northwood University and received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He then went on to Harvard Business School and Wharton School’s Executive Programs but did not graduate. He has been given honorary doctorates from Central Michigan, Grove City College, and Northwood University. DeVos was CEP of Amway from 1993 – 2002.

 

In 2012, Dick Devos was involved in the engineering of the 2012 law. The law changed Michigan from the home of organised labor to a state where Union membership is not a condition for you to get work. Dick and his wife Betsy formed an organisation, the Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation. The foundation has been reported to give away $138.7 million to different causes such as health and human services, arts and culture, policy initiatives that are based on education reform and private school scholarships. The couple made the leading donation of $12.5 million to go towards the construction of the children’s hospital that was named after Helen Devos, who was Amway Co-founder’s wife. Education reform is at the heart of the Devos’ initiatives. Dick Devos started an aviation high school at Grand Rapids International Airport.

 

Entrepreneurship And Leadership Skills Taking Dick DeVos To Higher Positions

Dick DeVos professional résumé reads perfectly with achievement upon achievement and success after success in all his public and private undertaking. He is a business executive and an entrepreneur with a flair for politics and philanthropy is close to his heart. He was the first born son of a multi-billionaire Richard DeVos, the co-founder of Amway’s Corporations.

Dick DeVos took over the mantle of Amway’s Corporation in 1993 to 2012 during which he expanded the firm’s operations to fifty countries on six continents. He also increased sales to a tune of $4.5billion. As the president of Amway’s, he restructured the firm to form Alticor Corporation, a group of companies that comprised of Amway’s Corporation, Access Business group, and Quixtar Corporation.

Having begun his career at Amway’s Corporation, he understood how to drive sales and expand business chains. In 1974, he worked in various capacities, and it was not until 1984 that he was made the Vice President in charge of branches in 18 countries.

In 1991, he was entrusted to manage the family’s basketball franchise as the CEO and president of the Orlando Magic’s NBA team. He resigned his position to become the president of the WindQuest Group, a private financial investment entity with investments in the energy and manufacturing sector. He is also a member of the board of directors.

As a man with a passion, and professional training in jet and helicopter flying, he formed the West Michigan Aviation Academy in 2010, the first of its type where public high school students learn to fly.

He was a local community leader who initiated the Education Freedom Fund that offers scholarships to thousands of students in Michigan. DeVos loves progress in the society and through his position as the Grand Rapids Committee chairman, he has been instrumental in championing key infrastructural developments in the downtrodden areas. Through his Dick and Betsy Family Foundation established in 1989, he has helped improve the health care system by opening a $90 million medical school and, a $130 million heart hospital.

Dick DeVos is married to Betsy Prince, and together they have seven children and five grandchildren. He is also an author of a New York Times best-seller known as “Rediscovering American Values.”