Dick DeVos: A Driven Entrepreneur And Philanthropist

Dick DeVos is one of Michigan’s most affluent figures, with a net worth reported at $5.1 billion, making him the 67th richest man in the US. But Dick DeVos has dedicated his work to helping others, and in addition to serving with many for profit as well as non-profit groups, he’s raised awareness for many social causes such as education, healthcare, and the environment. Of the many prominent boards he’s served on, some include the NBA’s Orlando Magic, where he was president from 1991-1993, the Michigan State Board of Education from 1990-1992, Chairman at RDV Coporation, the Board of Directors at the Michigan State Chamber of Commerce, Co-Chairman of Grand Action Committee, and a member of the Board of Trustees at Health Care Foundation. Dick and his wife Betsy have given to local charities and conservative political causes through the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation.

Dick DeVos was born into an entrepreneurial family, the son of Richard DeVos, the founder and former CEO of one of America’s top direct selling enterprises, Amway. DeVos saw the operations of the business growing up, and after he earned his bachelor’s from Northwood University, he went to work for Amway, a part of the business for nearly 20 years, and he became the CEO when his father Richard retired. As CEO of Amway, he expanded company operations all across the globe and made them one of the most profitable privately owned companies in the US. He stepped down from his CEO position at Amway in 2002 and now is president at the Windquest Group financial firm.

Education is one of Dick DeVos’s largest passions, and in addition to serving on various boards of trustees at local universities, he and his wife have been instrumental in starting up school voucher programs. The DeVos’s are staunch advocates of schools of choice and believe every child should have a chance at the best education they can get, and Dick DeVos’s Education Freedom Fund is a program that aims to accomplish just that. Dick also founded the West Michigan Aviation Academy, a first of its kind charter school at an airfield near Grand Rapids.

Dick DeVos also loves art and gave a large donation in 2010 to the Kennedy Center’s art institution, thereby having it renamed as the DeVos Institute of Arts Management. DeVos has also written a book called Rediscovering American Values, a book that is meant to inspire people to work hard and pursue the American dream. But when he isn’t too busy, you might find Dick at the Chicago-Mackinac race, a race for sailing vessels down Lake Michigan.

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