Dick DeVos has really built quite a business resume throughout his life, but he’s also made quite a name through his charitable work. It’s unknown just how much Dick and his wife Betsy have given throughout the time their foundation has been in existence, but it’s estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Dick and Betsy currently run The Windquest Group, a company that manages several subsidiaries in retail and consumer goods, clean energy, technology developments, and alternative investments. Recently, Dick brought on Phil Dolci to run The Windquest Group’s subsidiary The Stow Company, and has also made inroads into the acquisition of a brewing company.
Dick DeVos is the son of Richard DeVos Sr. and brother of Daniel, Douglas, and Cheri DeVos. Richard DeVos Sr. co-founded Amway Corporation, the company that Dick would spend much of his early career working for, and would later become owner of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Dick worked in some lower level jobs in the company as a young man, and after completing his degree at Northwood University started becoming an upper level manager. Eventually he became vice president along with his brothers Doug and Daniel, and when his father retired he became CEO, in which he led the company into new foreign markets and opened new offices. By the time he had stepped down in 2002, the company had churned billions in profits.
Dick and his wife Betsy started their foundation in 1992, primarily aimed at educational endeavors and reform activists. Both he and Betsy staunchly support school of choice, and decided to startup a scholarship program to help lower income families send their children to private schools. But they also wanted to grow charter school operations, and in the mid 1990’s they started up The Great Lakes Project, and later The West Michigan Aviation Academy. This charter school includes aviation courses as well as mechanical skills, and is open to the public.
The DeVos’s have also supported many museums and art institutions, including the Kennedy Center’s Institute of Arts Management, which became the DeVos Institute of Arts Management after it received a large contribution from Dick and Betsy. Dick has served a long time in the state’s Republican Party, and once decided to run for governor in the 2006 race, though he narrowly lost it.