Dick DeVos, along with his wife Betsy started a foundation over 20 years ago that has supported a lot of non-profit groups in Grand Rapids Michigan. Dick and Betsy have been prominent political activists and advocates of social changes, and Education may be the greatest area of change they’ve focused on in contributions. According to Philanthropy Roundtable, visits to a local private school, Potter’s House, prompted the desire to help struggling families afford private schools, and so they began several programs to help fund scholarships for these students, as well as helping pass legislation that would grant school of choice. Much of Dick DeVos’s philanthropy stems from values that his family has held since he was young.
Dick is the son of Richard DeVos, and the brother of Daniel, Doug and Cherri DeVos. Richard DeVos founded a direct selling company that became Amway Corporation, a seller and distributor of household products, personal care products, and other consumer goods. This company would be where Dick and his brothers would all start out their careers. Richard DeVos held true to a philosophy of generosity and strong ethics, values that Dick would come to embrace as he grew up. Dick stayed at Amway for almost 30 years, and when he became CEO the company would grow its sales overseas and open up new offices in the Asian and Pacific territories. Dick DeVos also was CEO of the Orlando Magic after his family bought them in the early 90s, and today he runs an alternative investment company called The Windquest Group.
Outside of business, Dick DeVos became involved in helping rebuild and adding new commercial developments to the city of Grand Rapids, and through the Grand Action Committee, Grand Rapids built a sports arena, Marriott Hotel, an art museum, and extension campuses for Grand Valley State University. In addition to starting up the Education Freedom Fund for child scholarships, Dick also helped found the West Michigan Aviation Academy, a charter school that instructs young people in aviation courses. The Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation also supports heritage and family associations, children’s hospitals, local churches, and several colleges and universities.