Dick DeVos, former Chief Executive Officer of Amway Corporation and a well-known educational activist, has no stop in terms of his philanthropic contributions. Per the latest reports, Dick and his wife Betsy DeVos have spent at least $139M for various charitable activities. I am still wondered how effectively he manages his contributions falling on the right heads and even finding time for his activism from his busy entrepreneurial life. There were few critics for his political contributions, and I can remind them that in the year 2015 alone, Dick has contributed $11.6 million that is almost double to his five-year political contributions which are standing at $5.3 million.
Even Dick’s father and the co-founder of Amway, Rick DeVos was a major contributor to various philanthropic causes, and the total contributions of the family stand at $1.33 billion which is a quarter of their total fortune worth $5.2 billion. The family has a strong sense of understanding that it is not about any costly dress they wear or any branded cars they drive, but it is about what they contribute to the society. In the year 2015, Forbes ranked the DeVos family as the #24 in the top charitable contributors in U.S. Dick and Betsy have set up a foundation to ensure the efficient contribution to various non-profit organizations called Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. Dick contributes in five areas, and that include education, arts, leadership, justice, and community.
A significant percent of his contribution goes to education, and in the year 2015, almost $3 million went to education and its improvements. Dick has strong apprehensions about the current education. I too share his feeling of the current education system in U.S. not sufficient to follow the American dream. Dick is very upset with the fact that people from wrong ZIP codes and disadvantaged backgrounds are not able to fulfill their optimum, due to inaccessibility to quality education. I admire for his educational activism as well and feel that his ideas such as the school of choice, charter school system, school vouchers, and school grading system are well crafted and can be an apt choice for improving the quality of education.
Dick started his career with Amway Corporation in the year 1974 and held various responsibilities including working as the Vice President of the firm with responsibilities of foreign operations. DeVos family bought NBA team, Orlando Magic in 1991, and Dick was appointed as the President of the team. In 1993, he returned to Amway as the CEO and helped the firm in a major restructure. Currently, Dick is the Chairman of The Windquest Group, a privately owned investment management firm. He is also on the advisory board of a number of foundations such as Kids Hope USA, Kennedy Center Institute of Arts Management, ArtPrize, and more.