Dick DeVos has become quite a respected individual both in his home state of Michigan, and around the US thanks to both his business contributions and philanthropy. He’s also been a great civic leader and author of the 1998 New York Times best-seller Rediscovering American Values. DeVos is currently the CEO of The Windquest Group, an alternative investment firm in Grand Rapids, MI with subsidiary companies in sectors such as energy, technology, and manufacturing. Recently, DeVos appointed Phil Dolci to be CEO of The Windquest Group subsidiary The Stow Company, a company that distributes home cabinets and closet space materials. DeVos also has plans to acquire a brewing company to the portfolio.
Prior to founding the Windquest, Dick DeVos worked at Amway Corporation, the company co-founded by his father Rich DeVos, and where his brother’s Daniel and Douglas also have served. Amway is a direct selling company and major distributor of household products and health and beauty products, and also allows others to start up their own business as a reseller. Dick got his business degree from Northwood University and started off as a lower level manager, but gradually moved up to company vice president. He took over as CEO in 1993 and served for 10 years, helping raise company profits and opening new offices overseas.
Dick married Betsy Prince, a woman who has shared much of his values and ideals. Both Dick and Betsy are passionate about education, and Dick even was elected to the Michigan State Board of Education in 1990. They also started up the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, through which they have helped donate to private schools and even setup scholarship funds for lower income families. They have also advocated school of choice laws and even started their own charter school, the West Michigan Aviation Academy.
Dick and Betsy also support many conservative organizations including Heritage Foundation, Hudson Institute, and American Education Reform Council. Betsy has been active in politics since her days in college, and at one point she was chair of the Michigan Republican Party. Dick decided to run for governor in 2006 in a heated race against Jennifer Granholm, though he lost by a close margin. He’s also sat on the board at Grand Action Committee, an organization that helped rebuild and revitalize downtown Grand Rapids, including building museums, theaters and sports complexes. Dick and Betsy also contributed to the Kennedy Center‘s DeVos Institute of Arts Management.