Dick DeVos is one of Michigan’s most respected figures, a man who’s given much of his earnings back to his community. He’s the son of Richard DeVos, the current owner of the Orlando Magic NBA team, the brother of Daniel and Doug DeVos, and the husband of Betsy DeVos, the recent pick by President-Elect Donald Trump for Secretary of Education. Learn more about Dick DeVos: http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2016/04/devos_company_gets_new_ceo.html
Dick and Betsy have been longtime Republican Party activists, including a time that Betsy was chair of the Michigan Republican Party. They’ve spent much of their resources supporting school of choice legislation, supporting voucher programs, and are staunch advocates of right-to-work laws.
Dick DeVos grew up learning how to run a family-owned business. His father had co-founded Amway Corporation, a multilevel marketing company that sells household and health and beauty products directly to customers, and they can then resell them to their own customers. Read more: The Windquest Group – Contact
Dick got his bachelor’s from Northwood University, and spent much of his early career as a department manager, then company vice president while Amway was still under his father’s leadership. Dick briefly left the company in 1989 to pursue other interests, but returned to become CEO when his father retired. He held that position until 2002, and helped open new headquarters and established a parent company for Amway during that time.
Dick and Betsy are the parents of several children, and while raising them they saw how well they could afford private schools compared to other families who struggled to place their children in those schools. Dick decided to help reform education first by running for the State Board of Education in 1990, and then starting the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation in 1992.
The foundation helped start scholarship funds for lower income families, but Dick and Betsy still wanted to do more. They tried to pass voucher laws in the year 2000 but weren’t successful, so they started up the Great Lakes Project to help build more charter schools. They later started one of their own, the West Michigan Aviation Academy.
In 2006, Dick decided to run for governor against incumbent Jennifer Granholm, hoping to defeat her on a message about the state’s economy. He wasn’t able to do so, but he didn’t give up the fight for free market economics, and in 2012 he successfully led an effort to pass a right-to-work law. Dick is also the author of a 1998 New York Times best-seller on free market economics and other subjects called Rediscovering American Values.