The Life and Charity Of Dick DeVos

Born to Amway founder Richard DeVos Sr., Dick DeVos has been ensconced in the corporate world ever since childhood. When he finally joined the family business in 1974, he spent time working in almost every department so that by the time he became a vice president in 1984, he was an expert on every aspect of the company.

Dick DeVos chose this time to diversify his experience, purchasing and becoming CEO of the Orlando Magic, an NBA team based in Florida. He returned to Amway two years later when he was offered the position of President. He is also the main impetus behind the Windquest Group, an investment management group specializing in technology and clean energy solutions.

As impressive as his corporate resume is, it pales in comparison to the charitable works he and his wife, Betsy, have funded over the years. Since its establishment in 1990, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation has donated thousands of dollars to dozens of education initiatives and religious schools. He also opened the nation’s first charter school for aviation, as well as establishing several scholarships designed to help bright students from developing countries pursue higher education opportunities in management and business.

He and his wife are also avid supporters of the arts, donating over $22 million to the Kennedy Center Institute of Arts Management and supporting ArtPrize, a Grand Rapids art competition, since 2009.

Devos’ commitment to promoting strong character and moral fiber are best exemplified, however, by his best-selling book Rediscovering American Values, in which he collects and recounts inspiring stories of people achieving success in their personal and professional lives by being honest, compassionate, and hard working.

DeVos is currently spending his time focusing on the Windquest corporation, while still staying active on the boards of the Orlando Magic and several of the charitable associations he has founded. He spends his free time flying helicopters, sailing competitively, and enjoying the company of his seven children and their children.

 

Amway Co-Founder Dick DeVos Gives $1.2 Billion To Charity

Amway co-founder Rich DeVos is a billionaire. That not surprising when you understand that Amway products are sold and used by millions of people worldwide. What many people don’t know is the DeVos family has given over $1.2 billion to a wide variety of philanthropic causes and organizations. They donate about $90.9 million a year to charity. About half their donations go to education, just over a quarter goes to support health and community service, and churches, faith-based organizations, cultural and arts institutions split the rest evenly.

This information was revealed in a Forbes magazine article which ranked the DeVos family 20th on the list of the Top 50 philanthropists. Normally the DeVos family keeps its charitable activities secret. But they said they shared the information with Forbes in hopes it would encourage others to give to charitable organizations and causes as well. Their donations support local schools, a children’s hospital, a women’s shelter, a homeless shelter that helps people return to stable living, job support and other social services, as well as provides over 50,000 meals a year for the needy.

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1926, Richard M. DeVos, Sr. began his rise to fame and fortune when together with Jay Van Andel and co-founded Amway in 1959. The company stated in DeVos’ basement and grew to become a giant in the direct marketing industry. It made DeVos one of America’s 10 wealthiest people with a net worth of $5 billion. DeVos is also the owner of the highly successful NBA franchise the Orlando Magic. But no matter how much success he’s achieved, DeVos has remained steadfast in his commitment to support the people and institutions in Western Michigan where he was born and raised.

Educated at Calvin College, DeVos was a member of the U.S. Army Air Corp during World War II. After the success of Amway, Richard DeVos and Charles Paul Conn co-authored a book called believe that talked about the keys to success in life and in business. DeVos also wrote Hope From My Heart: Ten Lessons For Life and Compassionate Capitalism. Those works along with his history of generosity, charity, and philanthropy capture the true spirit of Richard DeVos.