Dick DeVos is a Michigan entrepreneur and businessman. His was father was Richard DeVos, co-founder of Amway. Dick was always involved in the family business, even as a young child. After graduating from high school, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwood University in business administration. He has since received honorary doctorates from Central Michigan University, Northwood University, and Grove City College. He began his career working at Amway in 1974, where he worked in numerous divisions. In 1984, he had worked his way up the ladder to become the company’s Vice President, where he worked to triple foreign sales. He became President of the company in 1993, to take the place of his father. As President, he expanded the company’s operations to more than 50 countries.
Dick and his family acquired the NBA team, Orlando Magic in 1991, becoming its President and CEO. He left that position when he became the President of Amway. He retired as President of Alticor in 2002. Alticor was created by the corporate restructuring of Amway, making it a subsidiary of Alticor, in 2000. After leaving Alticor, he became the President of The Windquest Group, an investment management firm. This firm became well known for its venture, named “The Green Machine.” This venture converted waste heat into electricity. Produced by the ElectraTherm Company, The Green Machine would be a viable and competitive product, putting The Windquest Group.
Dick Devos has many ventures outside of his businesses. He was elected to the Michigan State Board of Education and was appointed to the Grand Valley State University Board of Control by Governor John Engler. Alongside his wife, Dick sat as a chair of the Education Freedom Fund, providing private scholarships to underprivileged families in Michigan. He was also the co-chairman of the “Kids First! Kids!” campaign, which sponsored the initiative to amend the state’s constitution which would allow vouchers for private education.
As an active philanthropist, Dick Devos is the President of the Dick and Betsy Devos Foundation, which donates money to charitable organizations to help artistic, religious, community, and educational programs. In 2010, he founded the West Michigan Aviation Academy, the very first aviation public charter high school in the country. He and his wife have donated millions of dollars to organizations like the Kennedy Center Institute of Arts Management, where it was renamed the Devos Institute of Arts Management. His foundation has also donated money to organizations that promote free-market economics. The Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, and the Grand Rapids-based Acton Institute have been among the many to receive contributions.