Dick DeVos is usually seen somewhere in the center of business and politics, though not always at the front of it. But when his wife Betsy DeVos, a longtime Michigan school of choice and freedom of private school education advocate became chosen to run the US Department of Education, the light shone on the DeVos family once again. Dick DeVos has given the millions he’s made over the years to various non-profits and advocacy groups, but he’s always been one to keep the total amount secret. But in the days leading up to the Senate confirmation hearings for Betsy, the DeVos’s revealed that their lifetime giving amounted to over $139 million.

 

So how did Dick and Betsy DeVos come to giving away that much? For Dick DeVos it started as a young man and seeing how his father Richard DeVos Sr., a wealthy businessman in Grand Rapids, MI was always involved in the community and starting initiatives to benefit the less-fortunate. Dick also had a high business acumen just like his father and after graduating from Northwood University, he spent many years working in his father’s company Amway Corporation. He took the company on a large global expansion when he took over as CEO upon his father’s retirement, and in his last year alone in that position Amway brought in over $4.5 billion in revenue. Dick had also founded The Windquest Group several years before which became one of Michigan’s largest investors in clean energy as well as small business startups.

 

Part of Dick and Betsy DeVos’s generosity has been strengthening private schools to meet administrative needs and building operational expenses. But they also wanted to give low income students and families a chance to attend school and also pay their bills, so with the Education Freedom Fund that they started as part of the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation, many families started being able to afford schools. In 2010 they went beyond simply helping private schools to starting a charter school with a special curriculum that included piloting lessons, and it became known as the West Michigan Aviation Academy.

 

Dick and Betsy have also given to art foundations including ArtPrize and the Kennedy Center‘s Institute of Arts Management. They’ve also given to hospitals including Spectrum Health for which Dick was awarded the Art of Giving award in 2006. They also give to conservative action groups such as Heritage Foundation and Action Institute and also have supported various Republican political candidates. At one time Dick DeVos ran for governor when he felt it was time to bring change to Michigan, but he fell short in that effort. He did later offer support to Republican lawmakers to pass a right-to-work law in 2012.

 

Betsy DeVos took the time to sit down with Philanthropy Roundtable a short time ago to do an interview. The subject of the interview was education. With all the discussions that have been going on lately regarding education and the education system, interviews are conducted frequently concerning education. However, the interview between Betsy DeVos and Philanthropy Roundtable was different in the subject approach.

 

Betsy DeVos is an individual who is known for her stance on education. She believes that the education system has issues that need to be addressed, and Betsy DeVos is willing to stand out front to convey her thoughts and opinions on the subject of education. During her interview with Philanthropy Roundtable, Betsy DeVos addressed each question asked by Philanthropy Roundtable with very specific answers.

 

She made her thoughts on each question clear and left little room for misunderstanding her position on the questions asked during the interview. As a believer that money should not influence the quality of education received by children, Betsy DeVos pushed hard on interview questions related to school vouchers and charter schools.

 

I feel that overall the interview was good. Betsy DeVos did a good job of conveying her ideas about education and what she perceives as the problems with the education system. Her passion regarding the topic of education came across during the interview, and it only gave added weight to her answers.

 

Betsy DeVos is the wife of executive Dick DeVos. As a business executive, Dick DeVos has held major roles in several large companies. With every position that he has held during his professional career, Dick DeVos has produced great results. Mr. DeVos is a caring hard working man who holds family, friendship, and trust close to his heart. He has passion for business, and his passion comes through in every aspect of his professional life.

 

In addition to his success as a businessman, Dick DeVos has achieved a lot of attention for his generous contributions to worthwhile causes. Beyond just giving money, Dick DeVos gives of his time. He has helped in many situations by devoting his time to his own charities, other charities, and just individually helping people.

 

 

 Dick DeVos  is an executive who has produced great results in every position that he has held during his career. However, Dick DeVos uses many of the same business qualities that have helped him professionally to help others through his charitable giving.