In the hardworking Midwest, your value as a person in society is not based on the money you have in the bank, the fanciness of the car you drive or the size of your house. Rather, people from states like Michigan value hard work and the ability to help a neighbor. This is why the Devos family, especially the patriarch Dick DeVos, is so revered up in the Spartan state. The family has given an estimated $1 billion to charity, and most of those charities are based in Michigan.
The Devos family has prospered, in large part due to the drive and determination of Dick Devos. At an early age, he learned the ins and outs of business from his father, who founded Amway. Dick remembers the early iterations of the company, where founding members of Amway setup offices in the basement of his childhood home in Michigan. Dick would escort visitors to the basement in his first role with the company.
Eventually, Dick was promoted; escorting visitors on a golf cart to certain events or serving as a valet for Amway meetings. Soon he would be demoing products and giving speeches to larger and larger crowds as the Amway company grew larger. Dick would take a place by his father’s side as Vice President of Amway and he would help lead international sales.
After a stint as President of the Orlando Magic basketball team, Dick would take his father’s place as President of Amway. He would oversee the international explosion of Amway, which would lead to a name change — Amway International. After conquering the business world, he turned his attention to philanthropy. Dick, his wife and his family have setup multiple foundations through which they pour millions toward different causes.
Dick and Betsy DeVos were born and raised with strong conservative values in the state of Michigan, and their philanthropy reflects their upbringing. A large portion of their charitable donations given through their family foundation go toward conservative leaning charities, benefiting education, health and community services, arts and culture, and faith-based charities. But the fact that the family pays forward their good fortune, driven by the hard work of Dick and Betsy, to the good people of their home state of Michigan gives their family clout within the hard working Midwest.
Betsy, in her own right, has risen within the Republican party of Michigan. She has chaired and led a handful of different conservative foundations.
Learn more about Dick by connecting with him on LinkedIn.