Dick DeVos Opens The Book On The Millions Of Dollars He Has Given To His Community
Dick DeVos certainly makes no secret about being a philanthropist, a badge of honor that he and his family have worn for years. But he hasn’t been nearly as open to telling the actual amounts that he and his wife Betsy have given to charities over the years. The beneficiaries of the DeVos’s charity have been local schools and colleges, but hospitals, museums, libraries, theaters and civic organizations have also received generous amounts from the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. Dick and Betsy finally decided to open the books on their charity and it was discovered that their contributions total around $139 million in lifetime giving.
Dick DeVos’s career began in business at the company his father Richard DeVos Sr. cofounded, Amway Corporation. He started out as a department manager at the multilevel marketing company, and gradually worked his way to becoming vice president. After his father retired he ran the company and expanded its client base into the European and Asian continents. Upon stepping down from the company in 2002, he then turned his business endeavors to attracting investors to The Windquest Group, the company he is currently running. The Windquest Group owns shares in many local Grand Rapids and Holland businesses and also invests in alternative energy and clean water companies.
Dick and Betsy started their foundation in 1992 and began supporting education reform groups through its donations. They started scholarship programs for underprivileged children to attend private schools through the Education Freedom Fund and Children First America. They also donated to many colleges and business training programs as well as politically conservative higher education groups such as Hudson Institute. Dick DeVos was also honored with the Spectrum Health Foundation’s Art of Giving award for his support of Grand Rapids health centers. He also helped renovate Grand Rapids through projects at Grand Action.
Dick DeVos has spoken with news organizations and written books on his free market economics and constitutional beliefs, including the 1998 book Rediscovering American Values. He and Betsy have helped fund Republican candidates both locally and nationally, and Betsy at one time served as chair of the Michigan Republican Party. Dick even decided to run for governor at one time himself against incumbent Jennifer Granholm, but he didn’t perform nearly as well as expected in the debates and came up short. He did later lead an effort that passed a right-to-work law in 2012. When he’s not in the office or at political gatherings, Dick spends time outdoors piloting airplanes, or even sailing in various Lake Michigan boat races.