Dick Devos – article recap

If you have heard of Dick DeVos, you may have heard of him in any of many capacities. He is the son of Richard DeVos, who is the co-founder of Amway, but he is also an author, philanthropist, and activist. He was also the CEO of Amway between the years 1993 and 2002.


In 1991, he campaigned against the institution of a sports arena in Grand Rapids, as he felt that it would be bad for the city. This precipitated the beginning of a group of business leaders who called themselves Grand Action and played a major role in Grand Rapids construction thereafter. They have been responsible for the building of many projects that have had an influence on the skyline of the city.


Dick DeVos and his wife, Betsy, are both heirs to their own respective fortunes. They are both known for using their stations in life to institute change and exercise political influence. They have both been known to donate large amounts of money to the Republican Party in the name of instituting their changes of interest in laws that pertain to labor and education.


Dick DeVos was largely responsible for the law that made Michigan a right to work state in 2012; because of this law, workers no longer had to be a part of a union in order to obtain jobs. His wife campaigned for charter schools to expand, and she ended up being successful in this endeavor.


They are most known for their activism in changing laws, but they have also donated large sums of money to their causes of choice. Specifically, the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation donated 138.7 million dollars to religious institutions, leadership programs, different types of human services, health services, programs that foster leadership, and policy initiatives in the realm of education. They are known to have made a 12.5 million dollar donation to a children’s hospital that was being built in Grand Rapids in 2006.


The DeVos have raised contention in addition to money for their causes, however. Not everyone has been in full support of their political moves. For example, in 2000, a constitutional amendment that they were supporting to bring about vouchers for students to go to private schools (paid for by taxes) was rejected by voters. However, they did not take this as a reason to give up on their cause and simply modified their strategy. They ended up taking their campaign to other parts of the country and were ultimately successful, bringing tax-funded vouchers for private schooling to 24 states in addition to Washington DC. In fact, Donald Trump stated that Betsy DeVos’ activism in the area of education was one of the primary reasons that he appointed her as the Secretary of Education in the United States.


It is unknown what Dick DeVos or his wife are planning to do next, but it would not be surprising for either one of them to make a move that ends up having an influence on the entire nation. Learn more: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/09/dick_devos_tapped_for_faas_top.html

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