It’s been known that Dick DeVos and his wife, Betsy has given a lot of money away to charity, but not until recently was it known just how much that was. Dick decided to clear the matter up recently by disclosing that they have donated about $139 million away over the last 40 years. In just 2015 they donated $11.6 million to various charities. The charities that they favor include those in education, arts and culture, churches, leadership. health and human services, and public policy.
Education is the area that Dick focuses the most on. In 2015 $3 million of what they gave away was for educational causes, which is about 25% of what they donated in total. The next largest area is arts and culture to which they donated another $2.4 million. One of the biggest charities they support is at the University of Maryland, the DeVos Institute of Arts Management. They seeded this institute with $22 million and have made regular donations ever since. This institute develops graduates who are ready to step into business leadership roles at art institutions across the United States.
Dick DeVos is the son of Richard DeVos, one of the co-founders of Amway. He first joined Amway himself in 1974. He served in a variety of positions such as manufacturing, research and development, marketing, finance, and sales. In 1984 he was assigned the role of Vice President and put in charge of the company’s international efforts. In 1984 international sales accounted for less than 5% of Amway’s revenue. Six years later, international sales had grown to 50% of annual revenue and were well on their way to eclipsing domestic sales. He was named as Amway’s Chief Executive Officer in 1993 and served in that role until 2002.
When Richard DeVos purchased an NBA franchise in 1991, the Orlando Magic, Dick was put in charge of the team. He served as the President and CEO of the team. Around this time Dick DeVos also co-founded The Windquest Group with his wife, Betsy. The Windquest Group is an investment firm that specializes in technology firms and manufacturing. One of the company’s biggest investments is in alternative sources of energy. Dick believes sustainability is a business concept as well as an environmental one. He has stated that businesses who are economically sound as well as environmentally sustainable are ones that are built to last and generate solid profits.
While he hasn’t won yet, Dick DeVos has twice run for elected office. In the 1990’s he ran for a spot on the Michigan Board Of Education, earning more votes than any other Republican running for a seat. He also ran for Governor of Michigan in 2006. While he ran a good, effective campaign he lost to Democrat Jennifer Granholm.