Dick DeVos is the founder and CEO of The Windquest Group, an investment company that owns the majority of shares in alternative energy, health and wellness, home storage, and various retail companies. He is also the husband of Betsy DeVos, a woman who has recently made news as President-Elect Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education.
The DeVos’s have been working for years to make the state of Michigan’s laws friendly to private schools, and include school of choice in them. Over the years they’ve given to private school non-profit groups, and supported organizations such as the Heritage Foundation and Hudson Institute. Read more: Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation
Dick DeVos started out at Amway Corporation, a family company that his father Richard DeVos Sr. co-founded back in 1959. Richard DeVos Sr. is also the owner of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Amway has made billions in sales from household, and health and beauty products, but they’ve also helped others go into business by allowing them to resell those products.
Dick first started out managing various operations, but later became a vice president and eventually CEO. Dick and his brothers Daniel and Douglas helped expand the company from the early 1990s into the early 2000s, including opening offices in Asia and Australia.
Dick began his career in politics when he ran for the Michigan State Board of Education. He only held that office for 2 years, but continued to work with his wife Betsy to build scholarship programs through the family foundation. Through the Education Freedom Fund, Children First America and American Education Reform Council grants have been made for families enrolling children in private and charter schools.
The DeVos’s led an effort to start a voucher program, though it wasn’t successful. But later they did start the Great Lakes Education project to back charter schools, and also started their own West Michigan Aviation Academy in 2010.
Dick has also been a member of the Grand Action Committee which has helped build centers in downtown Grand Rapids such as sports arenas, hotels, convention centers and other entertainment venues. He ran for governor in 2006, attempting to oust incumbent Jennifer Granholm but was narrowly defeated.
He campaigned in 2012 to get right-to-work legislation passed, an effort that took rigorous debate and heavy fire from unions. He also has won the Spectrum Health Foundation’s Art of Giving Award, and is the author of the 1998 book Rediscovering American Values.
Learn more about Dick DeVos: http://dickdevos.com/biography/