Dick DeVos’s Achievements With The Windquest Group And $139 Million In Charity

Dick DeVos began The Windquest Group back in 1989 and aside from buying up Michigan startups and promoting non-fossil fuel energy, it’s also been a company that has done a lot for Grand Rapids’ downtown development. It began back in 1991 when the city was planning a new arena to be built in the outskirts of its limits, but Dick DeVos wanted to change the plan to move the construction to the downtown in order to spur business there. After many heavy grassroots campaigns and support from councilmen, the area was moved to the downtown, and after forming the Grand Action committee, Dick and his wife Betsy began a series of developments that greatly impacted Michigan.

 

It was in the early part of 2017 not long after Betsy was chosen to become US Secretary of Education that Dick DeVos decided to release information on a long-held mystery. He revealed after many years of inquiries from local Grand Rapids media outlets just how much the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation had given to charity over the years. The figure released showed around $139 million in total lifetime giving from the two business leaders, only a fraction of the philanthropy totaled over $1 billion from the DeVos family at large.

 

Dick DeVos started out at Amway Corporation before he founded The Windquest Group. His full name is Richard Marvin DeVos Jr., the son of Richard DeVos Sr. who currently owns the Orlando Magic and was a big contributor to former President Gerald R. Ford’s 1976 campaign. Dick DeVos served 16 years at the company before leaving for 4 years to pursue other interests, but then returned to take over as CEO and head of foreign sales. He formed Alticor during this time and Amway’s multilevel marketing services grew into 50 different countries. He retired in 2002, but his charity work has made the biggest impact to date.

 

Driven by his wife Betsy, an education reform activist, Dick DeVos helped start scholarship funding for private schools back in the 1990s and at one time attempted to pass a ballot measure to make private school vouchers in the state’s constitution. He also has been active at historical and traditional American value organizations such as Heritage Foundation and Action Institute. In 2006 he donated over $20 million to complete the children’s hospital in Grand Rapids for which he received the Art of Giving Award.

 

Dick DeVos has not only given to many Republican candidates including Former President George W. Bush and 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, but he’s also run for office himself. He ran a highly contested governor’s race in 2006 against then Governor Jennifer Granholm but came up short. 6 years later though he won a hard-fought battle to pass a right-to-work law through Republican legislator support in Lansing. That same year he and Betsy made a donation to the University of Maryland to complete their art institute building which was renamed the Dick & Betsy DeVos Institute of Arts Management.

 

Betsy DeVos: The Woman Who Wants To Revolutionize The Education System

Betsy DeVos is a woman who cares immensely about the education system in America. She has worked extremely hard to give the children of America a strong educational background, as her way to help the society grow and develop. Currently, Betsy DeVos is the Education Minister of the country. She was elected to the position after a record-breaking vote had to be cast. Since DeVos and her opposition both received the same number of votes, a tie breaker vote had to be cast, which put DeVos in the position of Minister of Education. Since taking up the position, DeVos has attained a platform through which she can voice her opinions and make a difference. She is all set to put forth the plans that she has in mind, to improve the overall system of education in the country. Read more about their foundation at dbdvfoundation.org

DeVos started out working towards the development of education when she started working professionally and realized that she could make a difference. She was at the forefront of numerous movements which was catered to implement improvements in the system. She was an avid supporter of the charter school movement, which gained widespread recognition and support across the country. According to the movement, people wanted private owners to be able to have the power to start up their schools. DeVos was of the opinion that private owners would be able to give the children better infrastructure and facilities to offer them top tier education, which private schools otherwise cannot. In addition to this, Betsy DeVos also voiced her opinion numerous times on the importance of having a grading system for schools all over the country. Being a mother herself, she knew how difficult it was for parents all over to figure out which school is good for their children or not. By giving it a grading system like the one that they use for their students, parents can know what schools have good facilities and which one’s don’t.

Betsy’s love for helping the education system goes well beyond her job. She and her husband both share a love for helping people and making a difference and therefore decided to start up their organization to do so on a larger scale. The duo formed the DeVos Family Foundation, which was an organization that funded charities and people who needed help. One of the most important departments within the fund was the Education Fund. The Education Fund was mainly to provide scholarships to students who showed exemplary skill at their work in school, and outside that as well. These students are given these scholarships with the idea of sending them to private schools to get a better degree of education and improve their skills. Read more about her philanthropy at MLive.com.

Charitable Movements of George Soros

George Soros has given over $12 billion to date making him the foremost philanthropist. He was born in Hungary in 1930 where he participated in the Nazi occupation. Soros moved to England and enrolled in London School of Economics before fleeing to New York as a stock analyst and a trader.

Earlier Life

Soros experienced hard times as he witnessed the Nazi occupation of 1944 that led to murder of 500,000 Hungarian Jews. His family secured false identification documents and assisted others to obtain the papers for them to survive. In 1947, he left Budapest for London where he worked as a nightclub waiter and a railway porter to support his tuition at college. In 1956, Soros immigrated to the US and joined the investment and finance world.

Career life

As a philanthropist, he funded organizations and individuals across the universe fighting for transparency, freedom of expression, and accountable government. He empowers leaders who promote social justice and equality. The giving aims at protecting the discriminated groups like those representing the Roma people and sex workers or drug users.

In 1970, the investor launched a hedge fund called the Solos Fund Management that made him a successful developer in America. He spends his fortune to start the Open Society Foundations that is a network of movements, projects, and partners in over 100 nations. The organization reflects his thinking of philosophy of the great Karl Pooper who was an economist author. Read his profile at Forbes.

Philanthropy Work

Started his charity activities in 1979 when he gave scholarships to the black South Africans during the apartheid period. Soros provided photocopiers to promote the idea-exchanging program in Communist Eastern Bloc. After the falling of Berlin Wall, he founded the Central European University to foster learning and critical thinking. Reports show that Soros funded the cultural exchanges between the west and Eastern Europe.

After the cold war, he moved his philanthropy work to US, Asia, and Africa supporting functions that create more transparency, accountability, and democratic societies. He participated in criticizing the war on drugs and starting of America marijuana movement. To push through for an open society, he was a vocal backer activist of same-sex marriage.

Even in his 80s, he takes an active interest in Open Society Foundations by traveling and supporting its operations. It is clear that George Soros is a true legend as he has touched the heart of many people. The success in the equity market has given him independence that allows him to forge his path towards the numerous opportunities.

Political Involvement

He funded 527 groups in 2004 that were to defeat President George Bush. After the re-election of Bush, Soros joined with other donors and formed a political fundraising movement known as Democracy Alliance that demands for progressive infrastructure in US. From 2013, he has financed Hillary Clinton in her campaigns.

Read this story about George at Politico.com.

Dick DeVos Reveals Where Millions In Charity Have Gone Through His Foundation

Dick DeVos has gone way beyond the success of his business career to build charitable organizations for the Grand Rapids, MI community. While its been known that his gifts have been in the millions, it’s never been known just how much he and his wife Betsy have given in total since starting their foundation in 1992. But when Betsy was chosen to head the US Education Department by President Trump, the DeVos’s disclosed their charity amounts and totaled their lifetime giving to be about $139 million. They also made known where some of their giving went to.

 

Most of Dick and Betsy DeVos’s giving has supported education and private schools such as Grand Rapids Christian Academy and Potter’s House. They started the Education Freedom Fund along with Children First to provide grants to low-income students and were able to help financially-struggling private schools with special financing options. In 2003 they spearheaded the Great Lakes Education Project, a coalition of charter schools and organized curricula. They later founded the West Michigan Aviation Academy, a charter school based at the Gerald Ford Airport that specializes in aircraft mechanics and special flight curricula.

 

Dick DeVos’s business career began back in 1974 when he started working for the company his father cofounded, Amway Corporation. Dick’s father is Richard DeVos Sr., a former advisor and chief campaign donor to former President Gerald Ford and the current owner of the Orlando Magic. Amway Corporation is a direct selling company that allows independent business owners to resell products and generate their own profits as well as referring others to the company. Dick DeVos managed lower level operations of Amway for several years before becoming a vice president and heading the overseas marketing division. In 1989 Dick DeVos left Amway for a few years during which he founded his current company The Windquest Group, and then became CEO of the Orlando Magic. In 1993 he returned to Amway when his father stepped down and took over as CEO. He resigned from that position in 2002 and has spent his recent years building The Windquest Group’s portfolio.

 

Dick DeVos’s other philanthropies have included a $22 million gift to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and a contribution to Grand Rapids Children’s Hospitals. The Spectrum Health Foundation selected him as the winner of the Art of Giving award in 2006. That same year Dick DeVos decided to run for Governor as a voice for change in Michigan’s economic policies and a fighter for small businesses. In the end he wasn’t able to win on election day, but he did continue working his influence in Republican circles as an outside donor. In 2012 he joined the Heritage Foundation and several other groups to pass a right-to-work law. Dick DeVos has hobbies such as sailing and piloting planes for his spare time.

 

Dick DeVos Continues His Family’s Amazing Legacy of Giving Back

Dick DeVos is a person I admire for his passion for giving back to his community. He is the eldest child born to Rich and Helen DeVos. His parents set a wonderful example for Dick and his three siblings. As the co-founder of Amway, Dick’s father Rich DeVos has donated millions to various charities, and Dick has followed in his father’s footsteps.

 

Dick DeVos is enthusiastic about a variety of things which include school choice, supporting private Christian education, the arts, and aviation. He is a passionate advocate for all parents being able to choose the schools their children attend, regardless of their economic situation. Dick DeVos has advocated for school vouchers so parents can have the financial opportunity of school choice. Together he and his wife developed the Education Freedom Fund which has provided scholarships to approximately four thousand underprivileged children residing in Michigan. They donate regularly to a variety of Michigan-based Christian schools. Dick DeVos understands that children learn differently so should not all automatically be pigeon-holed into the same type of environment that public schools offer. While some may do well in a public school setting, others learn better in the smaller classrooms private schools offer, or at a school like the West Michigan Aviation Academy. A private school Dick DeVos founded, it emphasizes aeronautical engineering, robotics, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)education. Besides education, the DeVos Family Foundation, which was started by Dick Devos and his wife, regularly donates to the arts, health and human service organizations, leadership and development, and community and civic organizations. In 2015 alone, Dick DeVos and his wife donated more than three million dollars to causes related to education, and over two million to those related to arts and culture. Now that’s putting his money where his mouth is!

 

 

Dick DeVos was raised in Midland, Michigan and attended Northland University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He began working for Amway in 1974 and held various positions within the company until being made Vice President of Amway International in 1984. He held that position until 1993 at which time he became the President of Amway. Dick’s father acquired the Orlando Magic basketball team in 1991, and Dick served as CEO and President of Orlando Magic from 1991 till 1994. He remained the President of Amway until 2002 when he left to take on his present position as President of the Windquest Group which is an investment management group based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He wrote the book ” Rediscovering American Values” which was published in 1997. Dick is married to Betsy DeVos and they have four grown children who are all involved in the DeVos family’s legacy of giving.