In the Republican party, as well as in their home state of Michigan, Dick and Betsy Devos are known for their philanthropy. Both Devoses have family inheritances that have allowed them to become leaders and philanthropists in their home city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Recently, it was announced that they had donated over $139 million, mostly to politics and education.
Richard Devos, Dick’s father, is the founder and CEO of the international Amway Corp., which originated in Grand Rapids, but has become an extremely successful direct sales company worldwide. Amway is part of the family heritage of Dick Devos.
In fact, Dick was scheduled to take over the company from his father in 1991, but as destiny would have it, he began lobbying against a proposal that emerged to build a conference center and sports arena north of Grand Rapids. Dick was determined to stop its progress and lobbied against it so that it never took off. Instead, it created spectacular opportunities for Mr. Devos to found his own firm, The Windquest Group.
The Windquest Group came to be a successful holding company for three other Grand Rapids-based companies: the Stow Company, Coppercraft Distillery, and Boxed Water is Better. Dick is a strategic businessman like his father, and he is known in Michigan as a businessman who is willing to take action to change and improve the laws and statutes that stand in the way of progress. After this plan was publicly halted in 1993, Dick became president and CEO of the Amway Corporation until 2001. He was also establishing his new investment firm.
Mr. Devos was extremely busy during these years, yet he learned to fly and piloted small planes and helicopters. It was this hobby that led to Dick and his wife to found the West Michigan Aviation Academy. This is a charter school for high school students to learn aviation and is located on the airport property. This high school merged the education statutes that Betsy had been lobbying for during her career with Dick’s love of aviation. They formed a spectacular charter school for teens interested in flying.
Dick’s wife, Betsy, was appointed Secretary of the Board of Education in Washington D.C. when Trump because of the president. This was a position she had prepared for as she had been fighting for better education in Michigan for 40 years. Betsy and Dick both feel like have attained victory in the area of education in Michigan because they feel that a poor child has the same opportunities available in 2018 as her children were given. Since she is now has a strong influence in Washington in the education department, her goal is to improve education across the nation as she did in Michigan with vouchers and charter schools.
To learn more, visit http://dickdevos.com/news/.