Dick DeVos is an entrepreneur and political activist from the State of Michigan. Dick and his wife Betsy DeVos have long been champions of the use of vouchers in the public education system of the United States. Betsy was recently appointed by President Donald Trump to be the U.S. Education Secretary. Dick and Betsy are parents to four children and have one grandchild. They have often stated their passion for school choice advocacy was born out of their desire to make it possible for all children to have the same educational opportunities that were afforded to their own children.
As a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan for most of his life, Dick is heir to the Michigan-based Amway Corporation. Dick has spent his life working for Amway and other business related ventures, including the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Currently, Dick is serving as President of the Windquest Group, a privately held investment firm.
Dick and his wife are also heavily involved in both the local and national political scene, notably with the Republican Party. As a big donor to the Republican Party, Dick is influential in public policy and regulations. Dick failed in his 2006 attempt to become the governor of the state of Michigan, yet has remained active in the state political scene. Currently, Dick is serving a term on the board of the Federal Aviation Administration. This council advises the FAA on many crucial elements of the country’s aviation system including budgeting, regulatory matters, and policy.
Dick and his family are known in Michigan for their charitable giving to causes near to them with education services at the top of their list of benefactors. As President of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, Dick and his family have donated to many institutions including churches, the arts, and education. As a testament to his support of vouchers and school choice, Dick founded a charter aviation high school at the Grand Rapids airport. The West Michigan Aviation Academy was founded in 2010 and prepares students for careers in the aviation field. As an avid licensed pilot, this school is an extension of Dick’s passion for flying. The DeVos family also supports health services, with the pinnacle of this involvement being a $12.5 million dollar donation to a children’s hospital named after Dick’s mother, Helen DeVos.
The political influence of Dick and his family also extends into the labor market. In 2002 Dick was the leader in a movement to move Michigan away from organized labor and transition it into a right-to-work state. This change was significant because Michigan was the birthplace of unions in this country. Learn more: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/09/dick_devos_tapped_for_faas_top.html