Dick and Betsy DeVos, Creating Opportunities Through Investments

Dick and Betsy DeVos use their influence, business sense, and money to help make institutional improvements that create opportunities for others. Their motivation is a desire to see children from low-income families have the same opportunities as their children. To help make that goal a reality, they advocate for businesses and developments that have long-term benefits for the state of Michigan, promote school choice, and donate millions of dollars for healthcare.


Before he became CEO of the Amway Corporation, Dick DeVos was already working towards building a better Michigan. In 1991, he opposed a plan that was underway for the construction of a new sports and convention arena. The proposal was to build the sports arena north of downtown Grand Rapids. DeVos remembered the dangers of what could happen to a city if the teams ever relocated. When the Lions and Pistons left Detroit in the 1970s, it was devastating to the city of Detroit. DeVos campaigned against building the sports facility to keep the same thing from happening to the City of Grand Rapids.


A group of like-minded businessmen Joined Dick DeVos’s efforts to stop the construction of the sports arena. They formed an organization called the Grand Action that helped facilitate the development of several facilities. They included the DeVos Place Convention Center, the DeVos Performance Hall, the Van Andel Arena, the Grand Rapids City Market and Michigan State University’s Medical School.


Both Dick DeVos and Betsy DeVos use their influence to further their conservative and political causes. The couple shares a passion for education reform. Betsy DeVos has successfully campaigned for the expansion of charter schools, beginning in Michigan and then expanding to other parts of the country. Her efforts to change the education system drew the attention of President Donald Trump, who appointed her to the position of Secretary of Education. Dick DeVos created an aviation charter school, which encompasses his interest in flying and education.


In 2006, the couple donated over $125 million to help build a new children’s hospital named after Dick DeVos’ mother, Helen DeVos. His father was Richard DeVos, who founded the Amway Corporation.


Currently, Dick DeVos is the CEO of his own company, The Windquest Group, which is in Grand Rapids. It is a holding company consisting of for several businesses such as Neurocore, Boxed Water, Coppercraft Distillery, and other investments.


DeVos played a critical role in creating more business for the Gerald Ford Airport in Grand Rapids. He helped convince Southwest Airlines to offer flights out of Grand Rapids. The low fares and additional flights resulted in more passengers.


Recently, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao appointed Dick DeVos as a member of the Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) Management Advisory Council. Jim Gill, CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport spoke of what a tremendous asset DeVos will be for the Council. The experience that Dick DeVos has as an aviation pilot and his leadership skills make him an ideal candidate for the position.


Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/ to learn more.

Category: Philanthropy
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