Dick DeVos, a well-known entrepreneur cum philanthropist, is known for some desirable changes in the American community with his philanthropic initiatives and contributions. He is a major driver of education reform in the country, and his school of choice, charter school system, school vouchers, and more are played some vital role in raising the education quality of the country. DeVos gives greater importance to education as he feels that every American child should have the choice for chasing the American dream. He believes that the quality education in the country has deteriorated significantly in the recent decades, and DeVos plans to expand his initiatives across the country.
Interestingly, the biggest share of his philanthropic contributions goes to educational initiatives and campaigns. Dick and his wife, Betsy DeVos – the current U.S. Secretary of Education – allotted more than $3 million in 2015 to various educational initiatives – almost 26% of their donations of the year. It should be noted that both the DeVoses contributed $11.6 million in that year, and that stands more than double the amount of $5.3 million, their collective political contributions for the previous five years. Interestingly, they have set up a foundation – Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation – to manage and monitor the effective utilization of funds.
A recent report available from their foundation shows that they have made contributions that add to $139 million until the date. Even Dick’s dad, Rich DeVos, the Amway co-founder, was also known as one of the leading philanthropic contributors in the country. Rich and his family have made life time contributions worth $1.33 billion; it is almost a quarter of their total fortune of $5.2 billion. From the contributions of both Dick and Betsy in 2015, 16 percent of the amount went to the community and civic initiatives, 12 percent to public policy, 13 percent for leadership and development, 5 percent for health services, and 4 percent to churches.
Dick is credited with many community support initiatives in his home town, Grand Rapids, Michigan. It includes the DeVos Performance Hall, Van Andel Arena, the Grand Rapids City Market, the DeVos Place Convention Center, and medical school of Michigan State University. These institutions and initiatives have changed the skyline of the Grand Rapids forever. In 2006, both the DeVoses contributed $12.5 million towards the construction of a children’s hospital under the management of Spectrum Health System.
Dick DeVos is the former Chairman and Chief Executive of Amway. He is currently the Chairman of Windquest Group, an investment advisory group and management firm, that focuses on clean energy, technology, and manufacturing. DeVos was also the President of well-known NBA team, Orlando Magic, during the period 1991-93. He completed his graduation from Northwood University in Business Administration, before joining Amway.