30 Most Inspiring Facts About Dick DeVos You Probably Didn't Know Before


Dick DeVos, who served as the CEO of the Amway, multi-level marketing company from 1993 to 2002, is world renowned for his contributions to various philanthropic causes. He, along with his wife, are often listed as one of the most influential persons as well as one of the top givers in the United States. Listed below are some really aspiring facts about the American entrepreneur:

  1.  He was presented with the Art of Giving Award by the Spectrum Health Foundation at its annual celebration of philanthropy in September 2010.
  2.  He serves as the President of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, a Grand Rapids-area foundation, known to have donated millions to various organizations since its formations in the year 1990.
  3.  He, through their Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, has been supporting ArtPrize, since the year 2009. ArtPrize is an art competition in Grand Rapids.
  4.  He, along with his wife, committed $22.5 million to the Kennedy Center Institute of Arts Management in the year 2010, following which it was renamed as the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center.
  5.  The said gift, till date, stands as the largest private donation in the Kennedy Center's history. Part of the gift was planned to be spent on arts groups in Michigan hit hard by the recession.
  6.  He, through the Foundation, is known to have donated money to organizations that promote free-market economics, such as the Heritage Foundation; the Hudson Institute; and the Grand Rapids-based Acton Institute.
  7.  He authored the 1998 book "Rediscovering American Values," published by E.P. Dutton. The book, which was a New York Times best seller, reportedly contains a foreword by the former President Gerald R. Ford.
  8.  He and his wife established "The Dick & Betsy DeVos Scholarship" in the year 2008, in an effort to support the students entering MA, MS or MBA, at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, specifically the students from developing nations.
  9.  The DeVos family is known to have made donations - scholarships, buildings and uncountable financial donations, to the Northwood University in Midland, Michigan.
  10.  He and his wife have also established an annual scholarship - the Betsy and Dick DeVos Scholars for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Scholarship, awarded to students earning a BBA or combined BBA/MBA at Northwood University.
  11.  DeVos opened the West Michigan Aviation Academy, the nation's first aviation public charter high school in the fall of 2010.
  12.  He claimed in a March 2010 interview that the idea for the Aviation Academy was his wife Betsy DeVos's, as she was thinking about combining both their interest - her interest in education and DeVos's interest in flying.
  13.  In the same interview, he also explained that they made it a charter school as it's available to everyone, giving every student a possibility to attend the school at no cost.
  14.  He also claimed that this was the kind of school which he would have loved to have when he was a kid. The said academy is located on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
  15.  Dick DeVos is said to be an active civic leader, spearheading local interests that include Grand Action and the Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan.
  16.  He, with Betsy DeVos, contributed money to help fund a $500,000, 18-month private study of Lake Macatawa pollution sources in the year 2011.
  17.  He won the election to the Michigan State Board of Education in the year 1990, but resigned with just after two years into his eight-year term, citing his return as CEO to Amway as the reason.
  18.  He was appointed to the Grand Valley State University Board of Control, by the Governor John Engler in the year 1996.
  19.  In the year 1993, he and his wife became co-chairs of the Education Freedom Fundm, which provides private scholarships to low-income families in Michigan in an effort to fulfill their wishes to attend schools of their choice.
  20.  Their foundation reportedly covers all the administrative coists of the said fund. However, he later matched the grant of $7.5 million provided by the Children's Scholarship Fund.
  21.  He, through their foundation, has donated money to groups like the American Education Reform Council, Choices for Children, and Children First America, in addition to funding Christian schools in the West Michigan area.
  22.  Richard Marvin DeVos Jr. was born on October 21, 1955 to Richard Marvin DeVos and Helen June (Van Wesep).
  23.  His father was the co-founder of Amway, an American multi- level marketing company, in which he was involved even as a child. He claims that when he was growing up, it was in the basement of his house, and that he remembers himself and his brother being "tapped as mini hosts."
  24.  He is a graduate of the Forest Hills public school system. He then went on to received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Northwood University.
  25.  He got enrolled at the Harvard Business School and the Wharton School's Executive Study Programs, but did not complete it.
  26.  He has been awarded with honorary doctorates from Grove City College, Central Michigan University and Northwood University.
  27.  He ran for the office of the governor of Michigan, in the year 2005. Till date, he is considered to be the wealthiest man to run for statewide office in Michigan's history.
  28.  He is married to Betsy DeVos and has four children - Richard Marvin (Rick) III, Elisabeth (Elissa), Andrea, and Ryan. The couple also has eight grandchildren.
  29.  The duo owns houses in Grand Rapids and Ada, Michigan, along with three other houses in Windsor, Florida. They also have a vacation home in Holland, Michigan, on the shore of Lake Macatawa.
  30.  He sits on the boards of various organizations including The Stow Company of Michigan, RDV Corporation, Orlando Magic, Michigan State Chamber of Commerce, Spectrum Health System, Willow Creek Association, and the FAA Management Advisory Council.
  31.  Dick DeVos Net Worth: $5.5 Billion

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