The DeVos family may not be a name that hears about too often, but they’ve had quite a far reaching influence across the nation. They come from Grand Rapids, MI but have interests in many other cities. Richard DeVos Sr. is the owner of the NBA’s Orlando Magic as well as the co-founder of the family company, Amway Corporation. His sons Dick, Daniel and Douglas have all worked at Amway Corporation, as has his daughter Cheri. Douglas currently runs the company. Dick DeVos is most known for his other company, The Windquest Group which invests and buys shares in alternative energy companies as well as venture capital companies and others. He’s married to Betsy Prince DeVos who has been an education reform activist for quite some time.
Dick DeVos started working at Amway back in 1974, and at the same time completing his bachelor’s degree in business and economics at Northwood University. In 10 years he became a company Vice President, and he and his brothers started opening the doors for the company to grow overseas. He briefly stepped down from the company in 1989 and founded The Windquest Group along with his wife Betsy. His father purchased the Orlando Magic in 1991 and Dick joined him on the executive board there for a couple years. Dick returned to Amway in 1993 where he served as CEO till 2002, opening offices in 50 new countries and growing profits in the billions. He turned the running of Amway over to his brother Douglas upon stepping down, and today he simply runs The Windquest Group.
Dick and Betsy are most known for their state education reform efforts, particularly in support of private schools such as Potter’s House, Grand Rapids Christian School, but they also support Grand Rapids Public Schools. They helped start scholarships through the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation and established the Education Freedom Fund and Children First America. They’ve also donated to local museums and art organizations such as ArtPrize and Whitney Museum of American Art. They also started a local charter school called West Michigan Aviation Academy.
Dick is the author of the 1998 New York Times bestseller Rediscovering American Values, a book stating the importance of conservative and traditional American values. He and Betsy have been active in the Republican Party for a long time, including while Betsy was chair of the party and when Dick ran in the 2006 Michigan Gubernatorial race. Betsy was also recently chosen to be President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education.