Dick DeVos’ success in the the world of business has enabled him to pursue philanthropic activities thanks to not only his funds, but also his strong influence. Dick DeVos, at an early age, has had a passion for business and helping others. Mr. DeVos has spent his entire career in executive positions at Amway, the NBA’s Orlando Magic, as well as the Windquest Group. His current position is as President at the Windquest Group. His success has even been noted by Forbes when he was placed on the list of the world’s richest individuals. Mr. DeVos was placed at number 67 and was reported to have the net worth of 5.1 billion dollars. He doesn’t just hoard this money away though. He is known throughout Michigan and the U.S. as the founder of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation and as a generous philanthropist.
He and his family have remained quiet when questioned about exact amounts of money donated in the past, but he and his family have recently revealed that they have given over $1.2 billion over their lifetimes. Their money has been given largely to education and arts institutions, but the various causes and charities they donated to are far reaching and can be seen detailed in another article by MLive. Dick was clearly humbled by the recognition he received from his community.
One of the first positions within the business industry that DeVos held in his career was with Amway. Though DeVos joined this company in 1974, he gained the high position as President in 1993 and held the position until 2002 when he decided to pursue other business ventures. The experience that he took away from Amway was immense as he was responsible for all the aspects of the country’s operations in 50 countries on six different continents. The leadership that he demonstrated at Amway opened the company to new markets and even tripled the company’s international sales. Learn more about Dick’s work experience here: http://www.newnetherlandinstitute.org/history-and-heritage/dutch_americans/richard-dick-devos-jr/
With his success in the business industry, Mr. DeVos became interested in sharing his success with those who are less fortunate. An example of his dedication to the community, Mr. DeVos started the Education Freedom Fund. This scholarship fund has awarded over 4,000 scholarships to underprivileged children in Michigan. He has geared his scholarships to those who are pursing a higher education and come from developing countries.
An example of his dedication to education is also demonstrated through his contribution to create the West Michigan Aviation Academy. This academy is the first public charter aviation school in the nation. The goal behind creating this aviation academy is to offer free education that is of the highest quality. The goal is not deter excellent students from being blocked from an excellent education merely due to financial trouble. Dick is a talented pilot of both airplanes and helicopters as you can see in the video below, so it’s no wonder that he wanted to give others the opportunity to pursue careers in this field.
Dick DeVos and his wife are dedicated philanthropists that are constantly involved with their community in Michigan. They believe that change is done at the local level which as been shown to work through his many successful stories. Mr. DeVos and his wife have helped the artistic community, the religious community, the education community, as well as the civic community.