Dick DeVos is better known as a philanthropist, than a billionaire or as the former Chief Executive Officer of Amway. He thinks of the ways to impact on others’ life than any political activism or investments. He looks at the society as a whole and working on improving its conditions by looking at the priorities of it. He is not focusing on any particular group or a section when he contributes. He has contributed almost $139 million to organizations for various causes. In 2015 alone, he spent at least $11.6 M in various charitable contributions. His commitment to the charity can be drawn from the fact that he only contributed $5.3 M for various political campaigns during the last five years.
Dick and his wife Betsy DeVos have set up a foundation to manage the contributions, called Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. His father and the founder of Amway, Rich DeVos is also an active contributor to various causes. Rich, his four sons including Dick, and other family members understand that rather than wearing branded clothes or driving luxury cars, contributing to various causes making them happy and satisfied. Their thought process is reflecting on their contributions. The family contributed $104 M in 2015 alone, and it stands at 24th in the biggest givers list prepared by Forbes in 2015. The DeVos family contributed $1.33 B until date, which is roughly around 25 percent of their wealth estimated at $5.2 B.
When it comes to Dick and Betsy, they contribute maximum for education as Dick feels that the children in isolated areas and disadvantaged sections are not getting enough education to follow the American dream. He thinks that the quality of education is not satisfactory and it is not sufficient to materialize the American dream. To improve the quality of education, he initiated many action plans including school of choice, school grading system, charter school system, school vouchers, etc. The next big part of the contribution goes to arts & culture, and it includes a contribution of $22 M to launch an arts management education institute called DeVos Institute of Arts Management set up at the University of Maryland. He also contributes to the community and civic, leadership development, health and human services, public policy, etc.
Dick completed his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Northwood University. After completing education, he joined Amway and became the Vice President with responsibilities for foreign operations in 1984. The years saw significant revenue and sales increase from worldwide operations. In 1991, the family acquired the NBA team Orlando Magic, and Dick took up the responsibility of the team as the President and CEO. In 1993, he returned to Amway as the President and led the company to a major restructure. Currently, he is the President of The Windquest Group, an investment management firm with a strong focus on technology and manufacturing.