Dick DeVos, the former Chief Executive Officer of Amway and the son of its co-founder Richard DeVos, always wanted to be a philanthropist and political activist for causes. What to say about a person who contributed $11.6 M in 2015 alone for various causes, which is almost double the amount of his 5-years political contributions. He and his wife Betsy are part of many activism that are of genuine causes which address every aspect of the society. It should be noted that their lifetime contributions to various organizations totaled to $139 million.
Even father of Dick, Richard DeVos is very keen in contributing to the needs of society. It is reported that the lifetime contribution of DeVos family stands at $1.33 B – almost 25 percent of their $5.2 B fortune. The family believes in the principle that it is not about what could be worn or what type of car could be driven, but it is all about what they give to others. Both Dick and Betsy set up a foundation called Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation to contribute in arts, education, justice, community, and leadership.
From the 2015 contributions, a big share of the amount, $3 million went to educational causes and both of them considering the need of quality education. “I think that the current schooling and academic system in U.S. are not creating the American dream. Children in the countryside or backward area are not getting the adequate education to chase the American dream,” Dick said. To improve the quality of education, they formulated a number of ideas that can change the pace of the quality of education. It includes charter schools, school vouchers, school of choice, the grading system for schools etc.
After education, they give importance to Arts & Culture and from 2015 contributions almost $2.4 million accounted for it. They also helped the University of Maryland to set up a DeVos Institute of Arts Management with a contribution of $22 million, to promote arts and culture. The rest of the contributions are going in the decreasing order of civic and community, leadership and development, Public Policy, Health & Human Services, and Churches.
Dick completed his graduation in business administration from the Northwood University. He joined the Amway Corporation in the year 1974 and assumed various positions for the next 10 years. In 1984, he became one of the vice-presidents with foreign operations. The years saw a rapid growth in foreign sales. In 1991, the family bought one of the NBA teams Orlando Magic and he joined the team as the President and CEO. He came back to Amway in 1993 as CEO and led the company in a major restructure. He left Amway in 2004 and currently he is the President of Windquest Group, an investment management company with holdings from manufacturing to technology.