Dick DeVos has now done something that many people have known him not to do over the years. He’s now released a number on the amount that he and his wife Betsy have given to charities over the years. The business-minded couple has spurred local businesses through their investments at their company, The Windquest Group. They’ve given back to their community through charitable foundations including their own, and the beneficiaries have included primarily private and charter schools, but also public schools, universities, and civic centers such as libraries, museums and public services have also received contributions. It’s now been estimated that Dick and Betsy have given around $139 million in their lifetime to these groups.
Dick DeVos’s business resume began at his family company, Amway Corporation. This company was started nearly 60 years ago by his father, Richard DeVos and Dick and his two brothers Daniel and Douglas as well as his sister Cheri have all at one time served at Amway. Amway has not only manufactured and sold products, they’ve allowed them to be resold through independent business owners as part of their multilevel marketing model. Dick DeVos has helped this company grow both as vice president and later CEO, including opening operational headquarters in the Asian, European and Pacific markets. At The Windquest Group, Dick and Betsy have acquired controlling shares in many companies, including a recent addition of Coppercraft Distillery in Holland, MI.
Dick and Betsy are also grassroots activists when it comes to their philanthropy. They’ve worked hard to bring change to Michigan’s education system through supporting private and charter schools and advocating for school of choice. They’ve also setup scholarship programs through funds such as Children First America and Education Freedom Fund. They also took it a step further in 2010 when they opened a charter school at the Gerald R. Ford Airport known as the West Michigan Aviation Academy. Betsy DeVos was even recently selected by now President Donald Trump to be Secretary of Education.
Dick is also the honorary recipient of the Spectrum Health Foundation’s Art of Giving award which he received for his generosity to local children’s hospitals. He also helped spur development and growth in downtown Grand Rapids through his Grand Action Committee. He ran in the governor’s race of 2006 falling short of election to incumbent Jennifer Granholm. But in 2012 he helped lead an effort to pass a right-to-work law against heavy union leader opposition. In his spare time he likes to fly planes or race in sailing races across Lake Michigan.