Community Involvement, Philanthropy and Politics Drive Dick Devos

Dick Devos is part of a prominent family that is well-known for being the founders of the Amway Corporation. Dick Devos worked his way up in that company eventually becoming CEO of that organization.


As a respected businessman in his community of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mr. Devos’ opinions in regard to the city’s development are frequently sought out. In the early 1990s, Grand Rapids was facing a problem common to many cities. The downtown area was seeing a downturn in business and development due to suburban sprawl. When the city wanted to build a new convention center away from the city center, Dick Devos was opposed to the idea. He knew that a convention center and an arena were vital for the growth of the downtown.


Dick Devos’ ideas for the downtown area of Grand Rapids prevailed. Today, the city has a thriving downtown area that is a model of development for other communities.


In addition to his business endeavors and community development involvement, Mr. Devos is a committed philanthropist. Along with his wife Betsy, Dick Devos has donated millions of dollars to projects that will benefit the citizens of Grand Rapids and the state of Michigan. Mr. Devos and his wife donated substantial funds toward the building of the children’s wing of new hospital in Grand Rapids. The couple has also donated to charter and private schools that are providing a quality alternative to public education.


Dick and his wife Betsy have worked as advocates for school choice for many years. Through the couple’s efforts, charter schools have been established in areas such as Detroit were public schools rank far below the national average in educational outcomes. Dick Devos is also responsible for the founding of a charter school with an aviation theme at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.


Politics is an important part of Dick Devos’ life. Mr. Devos was instrumental in helping Michigan pass a right to work law. He also secured the Republican nomination for the governor’s race, but he was not able to defeat his Democratic Party opponent in the general election.


Dick Devos continues to be actively involved in helping his community. He is a respected civic leader, and his family’s foundation continues to provide financial help to worthy causes. Along with his wife who is the current United States Secretary of Education, Dick Devos still works for the adoption of school choice programs across the United States.


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