Category Archives: Philanthropy

Patriotism and Humility of Dick DeVos

Dick DeVos is not only renowned for being the nominated governor of Michigan State in 2006 but also for being a fundamental factor in the school-choice reformation in the United States for many years. He and his wife have both used their political and economic might in finding solutions to social problems affecting especially education since it was triggered by Milton Friedman’s writings on “The role of government in Education.”


When we closely look at the DeVos as presented in the interview with the Philanthropy Magazine, this couple has been involved in educational reforms even before it dawned on the general public that public schools were failing and the better options were to drop back to educational reforms which included, tax credit, education savings accounts, and vouchers. These reforms were earlier regarded as radical until when it was evidently seen to outdo public schools.


DeVos was born to be a successful businessman, which happens to be in his family lineage. Being born in Grand Rapids Michigan to Helen June and Richard DeVos- business people, he lived to become a successful entrepreneur. Beginning his business career at Amway, a family business, he was a breakthrough for the organization helping it to expand greatly. Besides his successful entrepreneurial journey, DeVos is one in among few rich people in the United States who are worth their respect for their social responsibility. This fact is evidently seen in his charity work across the United States and abroad.


There are lots of instances that show that people like DeVos are rare to find especially in the developed countries. With his wealth and success, DeVos decided to make the world a better place by helping poor families who were unable to raise funds to send their children to school. In 1993, DeVos and his wife were co-chairs of the Education Freedom Fund that provided scholarships to families with low income. The foundation saw 4,000 children get scholarships Apart from his contributions in the education, he also co-chaired the improvement of healthcare facilities around Grand Rapids. What was most memorable of the charity he did includes donations for refurbishment arena, convention center, heart hospital, medical school and a market all in the heartland of Michigan. These donations amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars.


There is so much to be said about DeVos in regards to his charity work. He is one kind of a person that put aside his titles and achievements and put the interests of his countrymen at heart. He has won the National Champion sailor title twice but that never gave him the audacity to look down upon the less privileged.


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Richard Devos Says He Could Run For Office Again

Richard “Dick” DeVos is a businessman and entrepreneur that hails from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the son of billionaire Richard Devos, the co-founder of the Amway Corporation. Dick is known for being a very shrewd yet savvy businessman, who cares about his employees and people in general.

Devos began working for his father’s company in 1974. He wanted to know every aspect of the business in anticipation of running it one day. After moving around to different departments, he rose to the position of vice-president. In 1993, he was officially appointed as CEO. His tenure lasted for nine years.

The family also owns the Orlando Magic basketball team. Devos also served as the CEO of the organization for 5 years. He decided to branch out on his own and create his own company, Windquest.

DeVos and his wife Betsy have a foundation that donates money to many educational causes. He has given millions of dollars to charter schools to help at risk and inner city youth. Devos also has an aviation charter school for children who are interested in science and engineering.

He is also a proponent of school choice and the voucher program. DeVos ran for a seat on the Michigan State Board of Education in 1998 and won. “I think the voucher programs are excellent in helping children receiving the proper education,” said Devos.

DeVos also dabbled in politics. In 2006, he ran as a Republican to unseat incumbent Democrat Governor Jennifer Granholm. His platform was school education and employment reform. Although the polls showed tightening toward election day, he ended up losing by 14 percentage points.

Devos says he used the loss as a learning tool. “I was a bit disappointed, but not devastated. He also says he won’t rule out running for office in the future.