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Dick DeVos: The Duke of Grand Rapids

Dick DeVos: The Duke of Grand Rapids

There’s a lot that I can say about this great man known as Dick DeVos. DeVos was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1955, he started his school life at Forest Hills public school. He later graduated from Northwood University with a bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

He is the son of Richard DeVos the co-founder of Amway and his resume speaks for itself in terms of success. In 2012, he was listed as the 67th richest person in the world by Forbes magazine.

In 2006 DeVos decided it was time to enter into the world of politics, he tried his luck by vying for governor in the state of Michigan on a Republican ticket.

Dick is considered one of Michigan’s most prominent and successful businessmen to vie for governor of Michigan. Unfortunately,  he lost the governorship to one Jennifer Granholm a Democrat by a margin of 14 points.

He married Elizabeth Prince, and together they have four children, named Andrea, Ryan, Ellissa, and Rick. I first encountered DeVos back in 1974 while he was working with Amway Corporation before he left to pursue his own business, the Windquest Group. While there he held different positions up until he became the company vice presidents in 1984.

Under his leadership, the corporation opened up various new markets with international sales tripling to surpass domestic transactions for the first time in the company’s history. Over the years I have personally come to know DeVos for his philanthropic work. He has a foundation recognized as the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation where he has been the president since its inception.

Since 1990, Dick and his foundation has donated thousands of dollars to various sectors including artistic, educational, religious, and civic, free-market organizations and community. Due to his love of flying and his wife’s passion for education, in 2010, they both agreed to open the nation first aviation charter high school the West Michigan Aviation Academy. Dick’s love of flight is obvious when he lands his helicopter in Grand Rapids in the video below.

The foundation has been very supportive in funding the arts. Since 2009 Dick DeVos Through his foundation has been supporting an art competition in Grand Rapids dubbed as ArtPrize.

In 2010, the organization also made a commitment of $22.5 million dollars to the Kennedy Institute of Arts and Management which later renamed to DeVos Institute of Arts and Management.

Lastly, Dick DeVos is known to be charitable is providing scholarships for scholars at the Thunderbird School of Management especially those from developing countries. The scholarships have been going on since 2008.

More about Dick can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_DeVos