The Windquest Group Owners, Dick & Betsy DeVos Are Also Education Reformers
Dick and Betsy DeVos have given away billions of dollars to organizations around Michigan, and most notably they’ve helped lower income families receive scholarships to private schools. According to Philanthropy Roundtable, education hit close to home with Betsy DeVos due to having sent her children to private schools and seeing how other families struggled to do so. Dick and Betsy started several scholarship programs through their foundation to assist students and private schools, and even worked to try and bring reform laws to pass. The DeVos’s staunchly believe in school of choice and have sponsored many education reform groups throughout the years.
Dick DeVos has spent most of his career as a businessman working for the major direct selling company Amway Corporation, and later starting up The Windquest Group. Amway was co-founded by Dick’s father Richard DeVos, an entrepreneur, philanthropist, longtime friend of former President Gerald R. Ford, and current owner of the NBA franchise Orlando Magic. Dick went to Northwood University where he got his business degree, and first served as vice president at Amway before later taking over as CEO. Amway experienced a lot of growth during Dick’s time as CEO, including generating over $4 billion in sales in his last year alone.
Dick DeVos first started education reform work back in 1990 when he won election to the Michigan State Board of Education. Soon, he and Betsy started scholarship programs, the Great Lakes Education Project, and even sponsored Education Freedom Fund. Later, they even started their own charter school, West Michigan Aviation Academy, the first of its kind that included aviation courses and mechanics at the Gerald R Ford Airport. In addition to education, Dick and Betsy have donated to museum and art projects, including the Kennedy Center’s art institute which was renamed in honor of their donation.
Dick has sat on the board at Grand Action Committee, an organization that’s helped revitalize areas of Grand Rapids that needed reconstruction. He also ran for governor in the 2006 gubernatorial race against Jennifer Granholm, only to come up just short of victory. He has been an advocate of right-to-work, finally passing legislation that was signed into law in late 2012. He’s the author of Rediscovering American Values, a 1998 book that made the New York Times bestselling list and explained how traditional American values are important to America’s success.
Read more: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/dick-devos