Dick DeVos is the leader of a private investment company based in Grand Rapids known as The Windquest Group. He and his wife Betsy started the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation that has been a force for philanthropy in Michigan and around the nation. Dick DeVos has given away millions each year that many business magazines and newsletters have mentioned in the headlines, but nobody has really known just how much the total lifetime giving has been up until this last January. When Betsy DeVos was scheduled to appear in Washington D.C. for her confirmation hearing for US Secretary of Education, she and Dick decided to let the public know they had given $139 million in philanthropy.
A good percentage of that $139 million has funded private and charter school institutions. While they were sending their own children to private schools in Michigan, they saw how expensive those schools were for many families, and they also saw a few schools operating on a limited budget. So under the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation they decided to partner with the Children’s Scholarship Fund and form Education Freedom Fund to help families, and Children First America to help out the schools. Many years later they formed the Great Lakes Education Association for Michigan charter schools. Dick and Betsy even helped fund the establishment of a school based in flying, mechanical sciences, computer technology and general studies at the Gerald Ford Airport known as the West Michigan Aviation Academy.
Dick and Betsy DeVos also work with universities such as Calvin College, Grand Valley State and Northwood University, Dick’s alma mater. They started the Dick & Betsy DeVos scholarship for business degree students and also started an executive training program at Arizona State’s Thunderbird School of Global Management. Dick is also the chairman of Grand Action Committee and is on the boards at Heritage Foundation and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He won the Spectrum Health System’s Art of Giving award in 2006.
Dick DeVos began his career in 1974 at Amway Corporation, a famous direct selling company his father Richard DeVos Sr. who currently owns the Orlando Magic cofounded. Dick started out in small tasks as a young boy, and then after graduating college came up through managerial roles to vice president, and then when his father retired in 1993 he became CEO until 2002. Dick also founded The Windquest Group where he and Betsy have invested various venture capital into Michigan energy and technology companies. Dick’s activism in the Republican party has been both as a candidate who ran but came up short in the 2006 governor’s race, and as a donor who supported Republican legislators in the 2012 right-to-work law that Governor Snyder signed into law.