Dick DeVos strives to make a difference in business, philanthropy, and politics. The 2006 Republican Nominee, is a passionate crusader for the education reforms and private choice programs. Together with Betsy, the couple strives to find innovative solutions for the challenges in the education system. After visiting the potter house school and realizing the struggles families go through for kids to access education in secure and supportive environments the couple decided to act.
Dick and Betsy started small, supporting individual students and later on took on an activist role. The objective for the push for reforms was to level the playing field. Rather, the DeVos believed that parents should have the same freedoms when choosing schools instead of being limited by incomes or localities. Dick DeVos ran for the position of Michigan’s state Board of Education and assumed office in 1999. Dick also actively participated in the drafting and passing of Michigan’s pioneer charter school bill of 1993. Further, Dick and Betsy unsuccessfully tried to campaign for the passing of the proposed amendments to the Michigan state constitution to make room for tax credit scholarships.
As the co-founder of the All Children Matter and the American Federation for children, Dick pushed for further reforms in the education sector. Encourage by the charter school model; he opened the West Michigan Aviation Academy in Grand Rapids. The activism registered successes as 17 states embraced the private-choice and voucher programs also accessible to 250,000 students. The state of Florida has shown significant progress as the number of students in the programs increased over the years.
Growing up in Grand Rapids, Dick DeVos worked at Amway, the family business from a tender age. After serving in the marketing, manufacturing, finance and research and development departments over the years, Dick DeVos became president of the company in 1993. Dick DeVos, a Business Administration graduate from the Northwood University, is also a former president of Orlando Magic.
Dick also participates in various development activities in Grand Rapids and co-chairs the Grand Action an initiative that aims to transform downtown areas of the town. Through the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, the couple supports projects in arts, justice, leadership, culture, and education. The foundation has also made donations towards healthcare, social welfare and infrastructural development in downtown Grand Rapids. Dick also volunteers as a member of the board of Willow Creek Association, Project Clarity, the Grand Rapids Economic Club, Spectrum Health and Project clarity.
To learn more, visit http://dickdevos.com/.