It’s perhaps inevitable that Dick DeVos will always be associated with Amway, the multi-level marketing giant co-founded by his father. The younger DeVos later helmed the company as its president and CEO. It’s still common for media observers to refer to Dick DeVos as “the heir to the Amway fortune.”
However, a closer look at the remarkable career of Dick DeVos reveals a man of many and diverse accomplishments.
Today the main project of DeVos is The Windquest Group. It’s a privately held PE firm that invests in industrial technologies, especially sustainable and alternative energy systems. Dick DeVos said that sustainability is not “merely an environmental concept” but “an economic imperative.”
DeVos and his wife, Betsy DeVos, are widely known for their lifelong pursuit of political issues informed deeply by their conservative values. Both members of the Republican Party, Betsy DeVos served in the Cabinet of President Donald Trump as the U.S. Secretary of Education.
Dick DeVos is a former candidate for the governorship of Michigan. He headed the Michigan Republican Party ticket for that job in 2006, a race he lost to incumbent Governor Jennifer Granholm. His wife served as chairwoman for the Michigan Republican Party for several years.
Both Dick and Betsy are renowned for their passionate pursuit of education reform issues. They have donated tens of millions of dollars from their personal fortune to implement what they view as sorely needed changes in the way the U.S. educates its children. That includes backing charter schools and the school voucher program.
In 2010, Dick DeVos put up the funds to open an innovative new charter school in Grand Rapids. The West Michigan Aviation Academy is a tuition-free public school that currently enrolls more than 600 students. They receive one of the best secondary-level education in the United States. Students can earn a private pilot’s license by the time they graduate with a high school diploma.