Dick DeVos is an entrepreneur and philanthropist from the state of Michigan. As a very successful businessman, he has earned a great deal of money over the years. Along with his wife, Betsy, he has made it a lifetime priority to use this money for positive purposes. As such, they created the Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation through which they donate money to various causes in Michigan and across the United States. In a recent interview that Dick DeVos conducted he revealed that over the years they have given away close to $140 million.
A significant percentage of this money goes to education reform. One of the main flaws with public education is that student outcome is largely tied to the zip code they reside in. Those in rich zip codes tend to get a quality education while those in low-income zip codes do not. Dick recognizes this state of affairs as inherently unfair. As such he and Betsy donate money to organizations which look to expand private charter schools across the nation.
In addition to backing charter schools, Dick DeVos has donated money to other educational causes. This includes Compas College of Cinematic Arts, located in Grand Rapids, as well as New Urban Learning. Other examples of educational organizations he has given money to includes the West Michigan Aviation Academy and Rehoboth Christian school which is an alternative, parent-led school located in the state of New Mexico.
Another area that his foundation gives a lot of money to is arts and culture. In just 2015 they donated $2.4 million to a number of organizations in the arts community including the DeVos Institute of Arts Management located on the campus of the University of Maryland.
One of the things that Dick is known for is giving money to organizations with no strings attached. The organization is free to use the money in the way that they see as most effective in accomplishing their mission. Over the years he has also involved their four children in where the money they donate can achieve the most good.
Dick started his professional career in 1974 at Amway. He eventually worked his way up to being a Vice President at Amway in 1984. He was instrumental in increasing the company’s international sales during his time as a Vice President.
Dick DeVos is also a co-founder of The Windquest Group which is a private equity firm that invests in manufacturing and technology firms. He established this company in 1989 and continues to lead it. For a number of years he was also the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Orlando Magic NBA team which his father had bought in 1991.