Dick DeVos, an American entrepreneur from Michigan, is known for his philanthropic acts both in politics and through charitable donations. He is also known to lobby conservative issues like the right to work and school vouchers legislations. His greatest passions are children, education, and art, and this is evidently so from the numerous projects he has donated to.
Dick DeVos, the son of Richard DeVos of The Amway Corporation, began to work at the corporation in 1974, rising to the position of vice president and later left to begin Windquest group, which dealt with the marketing and manufacture of storage and closet organizers. Later, he was appointed to manage the Orlando Magic basketball franchise and then returned to Amway as the president.
He plays a significant part in a family empire that has, for decades, been a participant in Republican politics, led by Dick’s father, Richard DeVos. Besides politics, the elder DeVos family is also greatly involved in charity donations, and in 2015, it landed a position amongst the “America’s Top Givers” list.
Under the Dick and Betsy Family Foundation, they state that their giving is motivated by faith and is centered on nurturing leadership, accelerating transformation, and leveraging support for Community, Education, Arts, Justice, and leadership areas.
They believe in equal rights for all to access justice, build capacity in art lovers to manage their organizations best while being promoters for positive change through expansion of choices. Also, they believe in improving access to opportunities in education while aiming to train, equip, and develop leaders.
Together with the wife with whom they run the Dick and Betsy DeVos family foundation, he dedicates his charitable donations majorly to education as is evident in the percentage of their donation that specifically goes to funding causes and groups that support education; for example, The Lakes Education Foundation. They also support other causes like community, civic leadership, development, public services, churches, health, and human services.
The couple is known to make huge donations to causes they find worthy. In 2006, at Grand Rapids, they donated $12.5 million towards the construction of the $103 million children’s hospital at the spectrum named after Dick’s mom. He chairs the Spectrum’s corporate board.
He is not one who gives up easily. When he sponsored the constitutional amendment to create tax-funded vouchers, he didn’t give up but changed strategy, and this saw twenty-four states adopt some form of private schools vouchers. He tried his hand at politics, running for governor of Michigan State where he lost to Jennifer Granholm.
He lobbied against the idea to establish a sports and convention arena in north downtown, worrying that it would be detrimental. This led to the formation of the group of business leaders; Grand Action.
Dick and Betsy believe in capacity-building in people’s leading abilities and that effective leaders make a positive impact in their community. Together, they have helped develop and nurture leaders from across the globe through the global leaders’ summit.