Dick DeVos’ family has been involved in numerous philanthropic contributions since 1989. According to information posted on the website of their foundation, they donated $138.7 million to charities from 1989 to 2015. These funds have been channeled to leadership initiatives, healthcare services, churches, arts and culture, and most of it to scholarships and education reforms. According to John Truscott, Dick & Betsy DeVos’ spokesman, the report about their contributions reflects the family’s commitment to transparency and accountability. He further added that the report was to be made public regardless of Mrs. Betsy DeVos being nominated by Trump as United States’ Education Secretary. Mr. Dick DeVos maintained all the contributions made through their foundation were in line with regulations governing charitable organizations.
The main objective of these charitable donations is to impact positively the lives of other individuals, according to Mr. DeVos. He also added that the organization does not advance political agendas, but focusing on serving people from all walks of lives. Some of the beneficiaries of the couple’s donations in 2013 were Ferris State University, West Michigan Aviation Academy, Northwood University in Midland, New Mexico’s Rehoboth Christian School and others. In 2015, Dick’s family gave out more than $11 million to fund various charitable programs. Education received the largest share of this amount. Dick DeVos is the son of Rich DeVos, Amway co-founder. Forbes Magazine estimates the larger DeVos family has donated close $1.33 billion in their lifetime.
Dick DeVos’ Involvement in the Transformation of Grand Rapids
Education reform in Michigan has been one of the biggest initiatives supported by Dick & Betsy through their donations. A few years ago, Dick DeVos founded West Michigan Aviation Academy, a charter school for educating pilots and aeronautical engineers. His wife, Betsy DeVos, was also involved in similar causes, trying to assist kids from poor family backgrounds to be on the same level as those from wealthy families. Although they have experienced some challenges, the private school voucher programs have already been rolled out countrywide and have attracted hundreds of thousands of students from 24 states. The movement is still growing and expanding, according to Betsy DeVos. Their aim is to offer parents more choices when selecting schools to send their children.
Dick DeVos’ Professional Profile
Dick DeVos is a successful business executive who served as the Chief Executive Officer of Amway from 1993 to 2002. He previously held other roles before ascending to the CEO’s position. Under his leadership, Amway’s annual sales and profit increased significantly to levels that had never been achieved before. After leaving Amway, Mr. DeVos joined The Windquest Group as the President, a position he serves even today. The firm is located in Grand Rapids, MI, and it invests in technology, hospitality, manufacturing and other sectors.