I sat down and began reading the InsidePhilanthropy.com article School Of Choice, But Much More: Making Sense of DeVos Family Philanthropy I was familiar with the DeVos family only to the extent that Richard Sr was the co-founder of Amway. Mr. DeVos and his wife Helen began a tradition of philanthropy, creating the Richard and Helen DeVos foundation, while also giving generously to education reform and political causes.
Reading further into the article, I discovered Richard “Dick” DeVos Jr learned much from his father. Dick and his wife Betsy also formed their own philanthropic foundation, The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, which, according to the article, was created to “‘serve as faithful stewards’ of greater society through ‘projects that build a strong community.'” The foundation has awarded grants to such groups as a Michigan Christian organization that runs both a faith based elementary school and high school. ArtPrize is an art competition in Grand Rapids, supported by the DeVos Family Foundation, and Mr. DeVos undertook a unique venture in opening the nation’s first aviation public charter high school.
Moving on to Mr. Devoses’ Wikipedia Page, I quickly realized philanthropy was only a portion of the things he has accomplished in his life. He began his career with Amway in 1974, though he shares fond memories of having helped with Amway events even as a child. In 1993, Dick DeVos took over as President of Amway, soon after restructuring it to become Alticor, the new parent company of Amway and other subsidiaries. After he retired from Alticor in 2002, DeVos became president of the Windquest Group, an investment management firm with holdings in several sectors including technology, manufacturing and a venture in alternative energy. Mr DeVos also found time to pen a book, Believe!, in the midst of his other demanding work.
With all Dick DeVos’ accomplishments, in business, charity, and influencing politics, I wondered if he could have time for a private life. The answer is yes, indeed he can. DeVos and his wife have 4 children, Richard Marvin (Rick) III, Elisabeth (Elissa), Andrea, and Ryan, and are the proud grandparents to two granddaughters. DeVos and his wife own homes in Michigan and in Florida, residing between the two states. A final interesting fact, he is a competitive sailor as well as an avid aviator. Mr DeVos is truly a man of many accomplishments.