Dick DeVos Establishes Himself As A Social Reformer

I first became aware of the business leader Dick DeVos through his impressive work at the AmWay Group, which was founded by his father and developed further by Dick during his time as President from 1993 to 2004; although I was shocked to discover Dick was standing down as AmWay President in 2004, I believed his motives for doing so were based on his need to become more active in the community. There is much for us all to admire in the business work of Dick DeVos, including the more than $5 billion personal fortune he has developed over the years and the fact he helped establish AmWay as one of the world’s best respected direct sales groups. For Dick DeVos the work he has completed in business seems to be important, but I believe his work in the community is just as important to both he and wife Betsy; the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation was established in 1989 and continues to do good works in the sectors of justice, the environment, and social issues. I was recently reading a Philanthropy Roundtable interview with Betsy DeVos that gave an insight into the work the couple has completed in the field of education reform since become interested in this area during the 1980s. One of the amazing factors in the life of Dick DeVos is how this Northwood University graduate and product of the Michigan public school system finds the time to complete all the jobs and tasks he undertakes on a regular basis; DeVos was elected to the Michigan Board of Education in 1990 after he and Betsy made trips to many schools in the state and discovered parents had little say in how their children were educated. It is easy for me to see how much affection Dick DeVos has for his home state of Michigan, but his work to reform education has taken him across the U.S. to help establish school vouchers and school choice programs across the country. Dick’s interests are reflected in the charter school he established with Betsy in Grand Rapids that specializes in aviation education that allows young people with an interest in all aspects of the aviation industry to follow these up and provide them with a better chance of achieving success in this industrial sector.


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