Dick DeVos’ Active Involvement in Charity Work in the U.S.

Dick DeVos is a top businessman and the husband to Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Education Secretary. Dick owns a series of businesses and chairs the boards of various organizations. He is also among the leading philanthropists in the United States, and he has donated millions of dollars to various charities. In his lifetime, he is estimated to have given over $139 million to various charities across the globe.

 

DeVos donates to various charities through the Family Foundation, an organization he set up with his wife. In 2015, he gave about $11.6 million to help run the affairs of various charities. The news about the DeVos’ philanthropic involvement came about during the vetting of Betsy DeVos for the office of Secretary of Education. The Forbes Magazine lists this family as one of the world’s top philanthropists, with their lifetime giving amounting to $1.33 billion.

 

Areas of focus

 

Education

 

One of the causes that are close to DeVos’ heart is education. In 2015, he ensured that this docket was allocated more three million dollars. This amount is a quarter of the donation given in 2015. Additionally, DeVos issued about $357,000 to all local groups in favor of various educational reforms. According to DeVos, the motivation behind the support of education is the desire to provide children from low-income with better education. The Family Foundation operates under the management of DeVos who ensures that the company meets its philanthropic objectives. One of the organizations that they collaborate with is the Lansing-based Great Lakes Education Foundation. This facility is a situated in Michigan and operates an advocacy center. DeVos has on many occasion made it clear that his charitable donations are not politically motivated.

 

Arts and Culture

 

DeVos is a huge supporter of arts and culture, and he allocated about $2.4 million to fund local artists. He is the founder of the DeVos Institute of Arts that is headquartered at the University of Maryland. DeVos started this institute to help Michael Kaiser develop the art business. He began working with Kaiser while he was the chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

 

Other philanthropic involvement

 

Aside from education, arts, and culture, DeVos also supports other endeavors, such as leadership and development, civic and community projects, health and health services, and churches. DeVos does not dictate how the money he gives out is spent. DeVos has close ties with the church, and in 2013, he donated over $ 1million to fund a global religious summit. The conference hosted church leaders, government officials, and professionals. DeVos has been able to give back to the community due to the support and encouragement he gets from his wife and children. To the DeVos family, philanthropy is a tradition that is carried from one generation to the other.

 

Dick DeVos: Work History and $139M of Philanthropy

Dick DeVos is the eldest son of Richard DeVos who is the co-founder of Amway Corporation. He was born in the year of 1955. Amway Corporation is well-known for its sales network which distributes products through dealers. The products are related to health, household, and personal care. Dick DeVos joined his father’s business in 1974. In 1984, he was promoted to Vice President. His responsibilities included Amway’s operations in eighteen countries. He decided to found another company in 1989 which was named The Windquest Group. The company mainly marketed and manufactured storage and closet organizers. In 1991, the DeVos family decided to buy the franchise of Orlando Magic Basketball team. Dick was given the task to manage it. In 1993, he returned to Amway Corporation as its President. In 2000, he decided to restructure the company and formed Alticor Corporation which was an umbrella firm consisting of Amway Corporation, Quixtar Corporation, and Access Business Group. In 2002, he left Alticor and completely focus on Windquest Group.

 

Dick DeVos has a long track record of Philanthropy. During his lifetime, he and his wife have donated up to one-hundred-and-thirty-nine million dollars to different causes and institutions. The couple donates through their family foundation known as Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. In the year 2015, they donated more than eleven million dollars which were double than the amount used for Betsy’s political campaign during last five years. The family enjoys the twenty-fourth spot on Forbes list of “America’s Top Givers.” The family’s lifetime donations are more than one billion dollars which are one-fourth of their total fortune. The main priority of Dick DeVos for donations is education sector. He donated more than three million dollars to educational causes in 2015. The amount was a quarter of his total donations for that year.

 

He donated three-hundred-and-fifty-seven thousand dollars to various groups that work for reforms in education. It shows how much Dick DeVos cares about improving the education sector. While talking to MLive, Dick said that he believes the current education system is not fulfilling the badly needed American dream. It is increasing the problem of civil rights. Kids that grow up in different places of the country do not have access to the same level of education which is necessary for the American dream. The country has many wonderful teachers and great administrator who work very hard. However, a better system could help those educators to work more effectively which every child in the US needs. The beneficiaries of Dick DeVos’s donations include various educational institutions. Compass College of Cinematic Arts received fifty thousand dollars. Ferris State University received hundred thousand dollars. Detroit Charter School Company received twenty-five thousand dollars. Northwood University received two-hundred thousand dollars. Potter’s House received three-hundred thousand dollars, and many other institutions received thousands of dollars.

 

Dick DeVos Businessman, Philanthropist and Political Activist.

Richard Marvin “Dick” DeVos Jr., was born Oct 21, 1955 in Grands Rapids Michigan. His mother and father were Helene June (Van Wesep) and Richard Marvin DeVos. Dick DeVos is an Entrepreneur and Businessman who became involved in the family business as a young child with his brother when they were often designated by their father to greet guest and act as mini-host at Amway conventions. Even as a young child DeVos was being reared to become involved in the Amway business. DeVos attended Northwood University and received a bachelor’s in Business Administration.

 

He also attended Harvard Business School and the Wharton school’s Executive Study Programs. He received honorary doctorates from Grove City College, Central Michigan and Northwood University. Dick DeVos is married to Betsy DeVos who is the designee for secretary of education for President-elect Donald Trump and former chairperson of the Michigan Republican Party. In 1974 Dick DeVos began working for the Amway corporation, a company that he had been indoctrinated into by his father. While working there he held positions in research and development, sales, marketing, finance, and manufacturing.

 

He later became a vice president at Amway in 1984 assuming responsibility for operations in 18 countries. While serving as vice president he tripled foreign sales exceeding domestic sales for the first time in Amway’s history. DeVos also became vice president of foreign operations in 1986, significantly increasing annual sales outside the U.S., during the six years that he held the position. Dick DeVos became part owner of the National Basketball Association’s Orlando Magic in 2005, when his father decided to split ownership of the franchise he acquired in 1991 to his children.

 

DeVos succeeded his father as President at Amway leaving his position of President and CEO of Orlando Magic in January 1993. The firm was able to expand its operation to more than 50 countries and territories on six continents under the leadership of Dick DeVos. In 2000 parent company Alticor was created, a predecessor of Amway and other subsidiary companies. August 2002, DeVos retired as president of Alticor and later returned as President of The Windquest Group a privately held investment management firm. Dick DeVos has also been involved in politics being elected to the Michigan Board of Education in 1990 resigning 2 years into his 8 year term to return as CEO of Amway.

 

Dick DeVos was also appointed to the Grand Valley State University Board of Control by Governor John Engler in 1996. In 1993 DeVos and his wife became co-chairs of the Education Freedom Fund and in 2000 DeVos was co-chairman of the “Kids First! Yes!” campaign committee. Richard Marvin “Dick” DeVos Jr. would later run for Governor of Michigan against opponent Jennifer Granholm. The Dick and Betsy Foundation has supported a variety of causes donating thousands of dollars to various foundations and organizations.