Heard of the common adage, “A living is made from what we get while a life is made from what we give?” Well, it seems like the DeVos family realized this secret way back. For the longest time, decades actually, this prominent family has shown relentless commitment in contributing towards charity. Through generations, they have managed to give at least $ 200 million to key institutions of the Christian right and the Conservative Movement. This qualifies them without a doubt as one of the most paramount benefactors of the two institutions placing them among the likes of the Bradley, Koch and Coorse families. These philanthropic deeds have earned the DeVos Family a lot of respect and even some very coveted social positions including access to the Koch brothers invite only donor summit. They have contributed to a good number of charitable organizations. Be it David Koch’s Americans for prosperity, Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, The Arch Conservative Heritage foundation, name them. Clearly, the DeVos are a big-hearted family. But all that said about the family; let’s take a sneak peek into the life and charitable deeds of their favorite son, Dick DeVos.
Born in 1955, Richard DeVos Jr is the eldest son to Richard DeVos Sr, one of the co-founders of the Amway foundation. In 1974, this Northwood University alumni began work in their private firm holding various positions and has risen steadily to become the company’s president from 1993 to 2002. During his tenure, he successfully managed the company’s vast operations across 50 countries worldwide and even managed to report a sales record of a handsome $ 4.5 billion in his last fiscal year of service. Apart from that, he was appointed by his father as manager to Orlando Magic, a basketball franchise they acquired in 1991.
In the year 2000, the visionary leader decided to restructure the Amway Corporation and formed an umbrella firm they called the Alticor foundation. Under it was the Amway, Quixtar and the Access Business group. This new idea is what propelled the company to its great heights of expansion into over six continents and multiplying their general sales threefold, a record that has remained unmatched. After this noble work, he retired from the family business and devoted himself fully to his private venture the Windquest group. In 2006 we also see him trying the political scene as aspiring Governor for Michigan only to lose to Jennifer Granholm after a highly contested battle.
Dick DeVos is married with four lovely children to Elizabeth Prince, a union spanning over 35 years now. He still continues to uphold their family values of generosity and philanthropy. In 1989 they successfully founded the Dick and Betsy Family Foundation and have continued to use the foundation as a vehicle to foster their generosity. Richard Jr also pioneered Education Freedom Fund, a scholarship program that has awarded a record 4000 needy students in Michigan.
The accolades on this man are a dime a dozen if not a thousand. The list is endless. In the words of Albert Pike, “What we do for ourselves dies with us but what we do for others and the world at large is immortal.”
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