Philanthropy Plays A Major Role In The Life Of Dick DeVos

February 1st, 2017

I can think of few U.S. based business people who I believe have made such a lasting impact on both the business community and the lives of millions of people across the nation. I first became aware of Dick DeVos through the education reform work he has completed alongside his wife, Betsy DeVos, in the state of Florida, which prompted me to explore more of the life and work of this Grand Rapids, Michigan native; not only has Dick DeVos looked to develop school choice and voucher programs across the U.S., he has also played a key role in the development of the Kennedy Center for the Arts and sought to rebuild the economy of Grand Rapids by acting as the Chair of the Grand Action committee.


After looking back at the career of Dick DeVos I found myself increasingly impressed with the excellent career choices made by this Northwood University graduate who did not seek to enter the AmWay Group established by his father as an executive. I was shocked to discover Dick worked across the AmWay business from the 1970s through to 1986 when he made an unbelievable success of his first executive role as head of a previously under-performing international sales department. Throughout his career I have been impressed with the way Dick DeVos has been willing to take risks, such as his decision in 1991 to become the President of the Orlando Magic NBA franchise; this was another successful move by Dick that would allow him to further his career as a business leader.


In 1993, after proving himself as the head of the Orlando Magic NBA franchise, Dick DeVos was chosen by his father, Richard, to succeed him as the CEO and President of the AmWay Group. Even in this move that should have been the pinnacle of his career, I was pleased to see Dick was looking to the future and worked to restructure the AmWay Group to make sure it was fully prepared for the evolving demands of the 21st century. After Dick DeVos announced he was retiring from AmWay I feared he would live a quiet life away from his business and philanthropic activities, but I was pleased to discover he still looks to invest in new areas through The Windquest Group. Developing green energy options and businesses based in Grand Rapids, Michigan have been business moves that have impressed me immensely in recent years.


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