When you are looking for someone who has used their advantages to make life better for others, you need look no further than Richard Marvin “Dick” DeVos, Jr. He was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Helen and Richard Marvin DeVos, on October 21, 1955. Senior Devos was co-founder of Amway Company from which the family fortune emerged.
From a very young age Dick was involved in his family’s Amway business. He and his brother worked out of his family’s basement and were called on to clean-up, wash dishes, greet guests and other such chores. It was a great introduction to the job of earning a living.
Dick graduated from Northwood University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Upon graduation from school, in 1974, Dick filled all types of jobs at Amway, including marketing, sales, research and development, finance and sales. In 1986, Dick became Vice President of Amway’s foreign section where sales increased dramatically and was President from 1993 to 2002,
It was in 2002 that he took over as manager and CEO of the Orland Jets basketball team. He stayed for three years and then returned to Amway to succeed his father as President and CEO.
In 2000 he restructured the Amway Company and established a new parent company, called Alticor, together with other subsidiary companies. It was in August of 2002 that President Dick retired from Amway and became President of The Windquest Group.
Previous to this time, he and his wife, Betsy, formed the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. It is focused on “cultivating leadership, accelerating transformation and leveraging support in education, arts, community, justice and leadership”. This concept concentrates on helping Christian private and charter schools and Christian Foundations. Although some donations have been made to private schools. From 1989 to 2015, this foundation has donated over One Million dollars to these enterprises.
Education has long been an interest of Mr. DeVos and his family. This article would not be complete without mentioning one of their proudest moments which was the establishment West Michigan Aviation Academy where students can learn to fly as well as learn other educational subjects.
Although there is no breakdown of the family’s 2015 grantees, it is reported that the sum donated amounted to over $1.2 million dollars. In all, this family has contributed over $133 million, over the years, to help children obtain a better education or enjoy a better life.