October 21, 1955|
Grand Rapids, Michigan
|Alma mater||Northwood University|
|Parents||Richard DeVos, father, Helen DeVos, mother|
|http://www.dickdevos.com , http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/ , http://www.windquest.com/|
Dick DeVos (born Richard Marvin DeVos, Jr., October 21, 1955) is an entrepreneur-businessman from Michigan. The son of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos, he served as CEO of the consumer goods distribution company from 1993–2002. In 2005, DeVos launched the most expensive gubernatorial campaign in the history of Michigan, totaling more than $41 million. Ultimately, DeVos lost on November 7, 2006, to Democratic incumbent Jennifer Granholm.
Family and early life 
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, DeVos is a graduate of the Forest Hills public school system and received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Northwood University. He later attended, but did not graduate from, the Harvard Business School and the Wharton School's Executive Study Programs. DeVos has received honorary doctorates from Grove City College, Central Michigan University and Northwood University, as well as distinguished alumni recognition from Northwood University.
His wife, Betsy DeVos, is the former chairperson of the Michigan Republican Party. DeVos and his wife have four children: Richard Marvin (Rick), III, Elisabeth (Elissa), Andrea and Ryan. Additionally, Dick and Betsy have one grandchild.
DeVos is an avid competitive sailor with two national titles and numerous regatta victories to his credit. He regularly competes in the Chicago-Mackinac race, the longest fresh water sailing race in the world and is a previous winner there, too.
Additionally, DeVos is an avid aviator. He is type rated in the Cessna Citation CJ4 and an EC 130 rated helicopter pilot.
Business activities 
DeVos began working with Amway Corporation in 1974, holding positions in various divisions, including research and development, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and finance. In 1984, he became one of Amway's vice presidents, with overall responsibility for the company's operations in 18 countries. Under his leadership, the company opened numerous new markets and tripled international sales to exceed domestic sales for the first time in company history.
In 1989, DeVos left Amway to start a new business venture, The Windquest Group. When the DeVos family acquired the National Basketball Association's Orlando Magic basketball franchise in 1991, DeVos became President and CEO of the team. He left both positions in January 1993 to rejoin Amway as its President, succeeding his father, Amway co-founder Rich DeVos. Under DeVos, Alticor expanded operations to more than 50 countries and territories on six continents.
In 2000, DeVos oversaw a significant corporate restructuring that created Alticor, the new parent company of predecessor Amway, as well as other subsidiary companies. In a 20-month span, Alticor cut over 1,300 jobs (primarily in Michigan) during this restructuring, with 400 of them being buyouts and early retirement. Job cuts were one of several cut backs made during the corporate restructuring of Amway in order to expedite the return to profitability and prevent further downsizing or the possible loss of the company.
DeVos retired as president of Alticor in August 2002. In that fiscal year, Alticor reported sales of $4.5 billion, primarily through its more than 3.5 million mostly part-time sales force and its complementary e-commerce channel. After retiring from Alticor, DeVos returned to become president of The Windquest Group.
He is the author of the 1998 book Rediscovering American Values.
Political activities prior to 2006 
In 1990, DeVos won election to the Michigan State Board of Education, and resigned two years into his eight-year term, citing his return to Amway as CEO as the reason. In 1996, DeVos was appointed by Governor John Engler to the Grand Valley State University Board of Control.
School vouchers 
DeVos and his wife became co-chairs of the Education Freedom Fund in 1993. The Fund provides private scholarships to low-income families in Michigan with wishes to attend schools of their choice. When the Children's Scholarship Fund provided $7.5 million to the Education Freedom Fund, the DeVos matched the grant, and their foundation covers all of the administrative costs of the organization. Pro school choice groups such as the Children's Scholarship Fund use charitable scholarship programs as part of their campaign to build support for publicly funded vouchers. In 2000, DeVos was the co-chairman of the "Kids First! Yes!" campaign committee, which sponsored a ballot-initiative that would have amended the Michigan constitution to allow vouchers and tuition tax credits for private K-12 education. The initiative lost, with 69% of voters opposing the measure.
The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation has also given money to groups like the American Education Reform Council, Choices for Children, and Children First America, in addition to funding Christian schools in the West Michigan area.
Foundation Activity 
Dick DeVos is President of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, a Grand Rapids area foundation that has donated thousands of dollars to civic, artistic, religious, community and free-market economic organizations since 1990. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation has provided funding for a variety of organizations that add vitality to arts and culture as well as providing needed supplemental services to at risk populations in the Greater Grand Rapids area, such as Kids Hope USA; the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital; the West Michigan Aviation Academy; the Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan; Mars Hill Bible Church; Potter’s House; Grand Rapids Christian Schools; the Thunderbird School of Global Management; Willow Creek Association; and ArtPrize Grand Rapids, among others..
Arts Funding 
In 2010, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation announced a $29 million gift to create and support the Kennedy Center for the Arts, Arts Management Institute. This is in addition to the Foundation's support of ArtPrize, an innovative art competition in Grand Rapids, which began in 2009.
Free-market economics 
The foundation has also given money to organizations that promote free-market economics, such as the Grand Rapids-based Acton Institute; the Heritage Foundation; and the Hudson Institute. Also the DeVos family has contributed much to Northwood University in Midland, Michigan. This includes various donations of scholarships, buildings and uncountable financial donations.
Civic Leadership 
DeVos is an active civic leader, spearheading local interests that include Grand Action and the Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan.
The AFL-CIO has claimed that DeVos has exported Michigan jobs in the past, supports trade agreements that encourage further outsourcing, and lobbied for tax breaks that benefit big businesses instead of workers. The AFL-CIO endorsed DeVos' opponent in the 2006 gubernatorial contest, then-incumbent Democratic governor Jennifer Granholm.
2006 gubernatorial candidacy 
On June 2, 2005, at Mackinac Island, DeVos announced his candidacy for governor of Michigan. He is still considered to be the wealthiest man to run for statewide office in Michigan's history. As of October 27, 2006, the DeVos campaign had spent $39 million, of which nearly $35 million was DeVos' own money.
On November 7, 2006, DeVos was defeated by Democratic incumbent Jennifer Granholm by a 14-point margin. He congratulated the re-elected Granholm via phone after the results were in. Granholm was quoted as saying she "admired his tenacity and his passion for Michigan".
Economic issues 
After announcing his candidacy, DeVos visited all 83 Michigan counties and conducted a week-long statewide bus tour that began on May 1, 2006. The campaign focused on the economy, as Michigan has had one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, largely attributed to a decline in the domestic automotive industry.
Social issues 
Abortion and embryonic stem cells 
On October 2, 2006, DeVos had his first debate against incumbent governor Jennifer Granholm. During the debate, he stated his personal opposition to both expanding embryonic stem cell research and abortion without exceptions. DeVos mentioned in an interview at a Catholic radio station that he favors overturning Roe vs. Wade. In a subsequent debate, he stated that current laws in Michigan are acceptable. On October 2008, DeVos donated $200,000 to the PAC opposing Michigan State Proposal - 08-2 (2008).
Current posts and board memberships 
- President, The Windquest Group
- Member, Board of Directors, Spectrum Health System, 2010 – present)
- Member, Board of Trustees, Health Care Foundation; 1990-2010 (Chairman, 1994-2010)
- Member, Board of Directors, Michigan State Chamber of Commerce, 2010 – present
- Founder and Chairman, West Michigan Aviation Academy (a charter high school), 2010 – present
- Chairman, Board of Directors, RDV Corporation
- Governing Board, Orlando Magic, 1994–present
- Member, Board of Trustees, Thunderbird School of Global Management, 2003–present
- Member, Board of Directors, Willow Creek Association, 1997–present
- Co-Chairman, Grand Action Committee, 1992–present (Chairman, Grand Vision Committee, 1991–1992)
- Founder and Chairman, Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan, 2010–present
- Topic Galleries – chicagotribune.com[dead link]
- "Elections 2006". CNN.com. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
- "2006 Official Michigan General Election Results – Governor 4 Year Term (1) Position". Miboecfr.nictusa.com. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
- "http://www.clickondetroit.com/politics/10219654/detail.html". Clickondetroit.com. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
- [dead link]
- Hornbeck, Mark (2006-06-23). "Who is Dick DeVos?". Detroit News. Retrieved 2006-09-10.[dead link]
- Christoff, Chris (2006-05-23). "DeVos calls for 'complete overhaul' of state government". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2006-09-10.[dead link]
- "Education prominent in elections". Michigan Education Report. Mackinac Center for Public Policy. 2001-01-10. Retrieved 2006-09-10.
- "Dick and Betsy DeVos Funding the Far Right through Foundation Grants". Media Mouse: Grand Rapids Independent Media. 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2006-10-12.
- "Grand Rapids Press".
- WOOD TV 8. "West Michigan Aviation Students Tour DC". Retrieved 06-13-2011.
- Crain's Detroit Business. http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=37840 "Kennedy Center in Washington gets $22.5 million gift from DeVos family". Retrieved 05-03-2010.
- "DeVos Claims to be Public Education Advocate; Granholm Supports Militarization of the US-Mexico Border at Second Gubernatorial Debate". Media Mouse—Grand Rapids Independent Media. 2006-10-12. Retrieved 2006-10-30.
- "Straight Facts About Our Candidates". 2006-10-24. Retrieved 2006-10-24.
- Bell, Dawson (2006-04-01). "In wealth, DeVos runs in 1st place". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on May 29, 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-10.
- Luke, Peter (2006-10-27). "Gubernatorial race likely to cost more than $65 million". Booth Newspapers. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2006-10-27.[dead link]
- [dead link]
- Crumm, Charles (2006-10-03). "First debate draws varied reactions". Oakland Press. Retrieved 2006-10-03.[dead link]
- Finley, Nolan (2006-10-03). "Gubernatorial debate sticks to script". Detroit News. Retrieved 2006-10-03.[dead link]
- Barks Hoffman, Kathy (2006-10-13). "DeVos says he'd be 'thrilled' if Roe v. Wade is overturned". Lansing State Journal (AP). Retrieved 2006-10-13.[dead link]
- "DeVos voices opinions on abortion". WOODTV.com (AP). 2006-10-13. Retrieved 2006-10-13.[dead link]
- Mike Connell, "Have you read a good ballot lately?[dead link]," Port Huron Times Herald
- "Spectrum Health".
- "West Michigan Aviation Academy".
- "Thunderbird Trustees".
- "Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan".