Dick DeVos and his wife, Betsy Devos, run the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to bring justice, education, leadership and art to the communities of Western Michigan.
Dick DeVos began his journey as an Amway Executive. He and his wife started their work as philanthropists as a way of giving back to the communities that gave them their start. DeVos left Amway in 1991 to become the owner of the Orlando Magic, and he left the Magic in 1993 to take over as president of the Amway corporation. While he served as president, he boosted the company’s sales to record levels.
The DeVos’s philanthropy focuses on helping religious, artistic and educational institutions bring about a greater sense of community in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas of Western Michigan. Its grantees include Kids Hope USA, the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, the Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan, ArtPrize Grand Rapids, Calvin College, Princeton University and many others.
Dick DeVos has long supported private school vouchers in order to give parents a choice between public and private schools. Public schools, especially in the inner cities, have failed their students for years. He believes that the way to solve this problem is to introduce competition.
More of his philosophy is detailed in his book: http://www.amazon.com/Rediscovering-American-Values-Foundations-Freedom/dp/0788198750
The book contains an introduction by Gerald Ford, a former president of the United States. Although he has not been active as an author lately, Dick DeVos remains politically active and serves as a member of many local government bodies.