Dick Devos was born into a wealthy family that was the force behind the Amway Corporation. In spite of his privileged background, Dick Devos worked hard to make a difference for his family’s corporation and for his hometown.
Mr. Devos worked his way up in the family business, and he eventually became the CEO of Amway in 1993. Even before then, Mr. Devos was highly respected by the business and civic community in his hometown of Grand Rapids, MI.
In 1991, there was a proposal to build a new arena and convention center in the outskirts of Grand Rapids. Dick Devos feared that the same thing would happen to Grand Rapids’ downtown as occurred in Detroit. When Detroit built its major sports stadiums in the suburbs, downtown Detroit stagnated economically, and this contributed a great deal to the problems that Detroit continues to face today.
Dick Devos used his influence as a prominent businessman to get the convention center and arena to locate downtown. This led to a revitalization of that area, and it boosted the economy of Grand Rapids in a significant manner.
Dick and his wife Betsy have been actively involved in working for the betterment of the Grand Rapids area. Their foundation has donated over $130 million over the course of the last 20 years. The Devos family has helped to construct a new hospital wing, and they’ve given millions to religious and educational causes as well.
One area that is a particular interest to Dick Devos is the area of education. Mr. Devos recognized that the education status quo was leaving behind many students. Mr. Devos believes in school choice, and he believes that vouchers are a way to let families have access to the best educational choices.
Dick and Betsy Devos have worked tirelessly as school choice advocates. Almost half of the states in the United States have adopted some form of school choice. This is due in large part to Dick Devos’ efforts to reform education.
Dick Devos has also sought to alter the status quo when it comes to labor laws in his home state of Michigan. He believed that old labor laws hindered businesses from wanting to locate within Michigan. He believed that if right-to-work laws were implemented, it would improve the business investment climate within the state. Mr. Devos led a successful effort to implement right-to-work throughout the state of Michigan.
Recently, Dick Devos has started a new business venture, and he is actively involved in the school that he has founded. This school has an aviation theme, and many students throughout Grand Rapids desire to be part of this exciting educational opportunity.
Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/about to learn more.