Billionaire entrepreneur Dick DeVos is a man who knows how to make a difference. The outspoken philanthropist and husband of newly-appointed Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos, has gone out his way to improve his state.
Both DeVos and his wife come from privileged backgrounds that have afforded them more than most. However, they never let that get in the way of helping others. In fact, it is a driving force behind their efforts to put the state of Michigan on par with other states who want to put education first.
DeVos, is also the son of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos Sr. As a child growing up with a family business, he was always taught the value of hard work. Learn more: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/09/amway_heir_dick_and_betsy_devo.html
After graduating from college, DeVos began to work for his father’s company. He started out at lower-level positions and moved his way up through the ranks. By 1991, he was a vice-president of the company. In 1993, he succeeded his father as president and CEO of Amway.
Under DeVoses leadership, the company catapulted into the upper echelon of multi-level marketing businesses. It also became a smashing success over seas with the opening of many new markets.
DeVos has also used a great deal of time furthering education in his state. He and his wife are huge proponents of the voucher program and school choice. It has always been his belief that all people, regardless of skin color or socioeconomic background, should have a chance at a superior education.
DeVos has helped open a number of charter schools within the state. He has also given generously to support many initiatives, gentrification, arts programs and the building of hospitals. Last year, he and his wife’s foundation gave over $1 million to the Kennedy Center for the Arts.
In 2010, he ran against incumbent Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D). He eventually lost by 8 percentage points. He says the experience gave him a newfound perspective on government and politics. He says it is not out of the realm of possibility that he may throw his hat into the ring in the future.
DeVos and his wife, Betsy, live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.