Those of us who live and work in lower Michigan are well aware of the business and charitable accomplishments of the entire DeVos family. Dick DeVos, the son of Amway cofounder Richard DeVos, established the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation with his wife in 1990. In addition to serving key leadership positions at the Michigan-based international corporation, including president, and board member, Dick has been president and CEO of the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association. He’s currently president of the Windquest Group, a privately held investment management firm, and has been a board member of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Thunderbird School of International Management, among many other pursuits. But it’s his civic involvement and charitable accomplishments, particularly in his home state, that really stoke his inner fire.
Dick and Betsy’s passions include education, community, the arts, justice for the oppressed and leadership development. These interests are reflected in the organizations they’re proud to financially and morally support. Dick started the Education Freedom Fund to award more than 4,000 scholarships to underprivileged Michigan students, founded the West Michigan Aviation Academy and served on the state’s Board of Education. He’s chaired or co-chaired various Grand Rapids initiatives that have led to the revitalization of the downtown, construction of a $212 million convention center and a new cardiac hospital and the creation of a downtown market. The Dick & Betsy Family Foundation donates millions of dollars annually. Recipients through the years have included the Grand Rapids Symphony, Northwood University in Midland, Potter’s House, a Christian school serving urban students, ArtPrize Grand Rapids and the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, among countless other worthwhile services and organizations. Dick DeVos ran for governor of Michigan as a Republican in 2006.
Visit the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation website for more information about the foundation, its goals and how your favorite nonprofit might become a partner organization. You can also learn more about this noted Michigan philanthropist at DickDeVos.com. Addition biographical information can be found at Wikipedia and on Dick’s LinkedIn page.