If you’ve been following recent political news closely, you may have heard about President-Elect Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. Betsy DeVos is the wife of Dick DeVos, a Michigan entrepreneur, philanthropist and even former gubernatorial candidate.
Trump picked DeVos because she has strongly advocated school of choice and more freedom for private and charter schools. The DeVos family has given millions in charity to local charter school organizations, churches, social causes and other non-profit groups. They have also chaired rebuilding projects for the city of Grand Rapids. Dick DeVos and Betsy have quite a long history in business and public service.
Dick DeVos is the son of Richard DeVos, a business magnate in the Grand Rapids area. Dick DeVos started Amway Corporation, a multilevel marketing company that sells household products, health and beauty supplies, and other miscellaneous items. Read moe: Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation
But unlike other companies who distribute these products to big retail corporations, Amway distributes them directly to customers who can then start their own business and make a profit. After earning his business degree at Northwood University, Dick DeVos spent time working under his father at Amway, and he and his brothers Daniel and Douglas soon became executives. Dick was CEO of Amway for about 10 years and helped open new doors for the company.
Today, Dick and Betsy run the Windquest Group, an investment firm that owns several manufacturing and retail companies including The Stow Company, Neurocore, RPM Ventures, Electratherm, and Huron Ventures. They also started up the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation through which they’ve impacted their community through giving. Learn more about Dick DeVos: https://about.me/dick.devos
One of their biggest gifts towards education has been the Education Freedom Fund which has helped start scholarships for lower income children and their families. But they’ve also helped expand charter schools throughout the state through the Great Lakes Education Project, and even started their own charter school, West Michigan Aviation Academy.
Dick and Betsy have been active in the state Republican Party for many years, dating all the way back to when former President Gerald R. Ford ran for re-election in 1976. Betsy was the party chair some years ago, and Dick ran against former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm in the 2006 race, though he lost by a close margin.
He did however continue to push for conservative legislation in the following years, including a right-to-work law that passed in 2012. Dick and Betsy also donated to the Kennedy Center’s art institute not long ago, and it was renamed in their honor.