Philanthropic Initiatives Supported by Dick DeVos in Michigan

One of the most respected families when it comes to charitable donations in the United States is that of Dick and Betsy DeVos. The couple is believed to have contributed about $139 million since they began funding charitable causes in Michigan and other states. Dick DeVos is a member of a high-profile family dynasty recognized in the U.S. for funding Republican Party for many years. Dick’s father, Rich DeVos and his family donated slightly over $100 million to charities in 2015, making them appear on “America’s Top Givers” list generated by Forbes. According to information supplied by the larger DeVos family, their lifetime contributions are estimated to be $1.33 billion. For Dick DeVos’ family, large portion of their charitable donation gives priority to education, more so helping needy children to access the right education just like those from privileged families.

 

About Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation

 

According to Dick DeVos, the aim of establishing the foundation was to nurture leadership and speed up transformation process of the community. The foundation strives to make West Michigan a favorable place to reside through funding various community programs like health, education, arts and justice in order to improve the lives of people. The foundation was launched in 1989, and since then it has acted as a vehicle of delivering the couple’s charitable giving. Dick and his wife Betsy have for a long time been funding Potter’s House and Grand Rapids Christian Schools.

 

Launching of Aviation School

 

In 2012, Dick and Betsy launched West Michigan Aviation Academy which is located on Gerald R. Ford International Airport. It is the first of kind aviation charter school in the United States. The couple serves as patrons of the school and they donated the first training plane in 2013. Last year, 15 licensed pilots graduated from the school. The school has attracted students from seven neighboring counties.

 

Career Profile of Dick DeVos

 

Mr. DeVos has spent most of his professional career serving executive roles at different companies. Currently, he is an executive at The Windquest Group, a company he co-founded in 1989. Dick was the Chief Executive Officer and President of Orlando Magic, and VP and later President of Amway. At Amway, Dick was overseeing the operations of the firm in 50 countries around the world. Amway made sales of $4.5 billion during Dick’s final year at the company.

 

As an active philanthropist, Dick DeVos co-chairs Grand Action, a committee focusing on initiating development projects in downtown area of Grand Rapids. He also serves as a board member of several organizations such as Project Clarity, Willow Creek Association, Grand Rapids Economic Club among others. Dick created the Education Freedom Fund to provide scholarships to over 4,000 less privileged students in Michigan.

 

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