Dick and Betsy DeVos are two people who have built a big company, the Windquest Group in Grand Rapids, MI and have devoted a lot of time to reforming efforts in Michigan’s education system. In fact, President-elect Donald Trump even recently chose Betsy DeVos to become the new Secretary of Education. Learn more about Dick DeVos: http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/
The DeVos’s efforts have led to new charter schools opening in Michigan, and at one point they even tried to usher in voucher programs for private schools. But they’ve also been very generous to the Grand Rapids community, donating money through their foundation not only to education, but to fine arts, healthcare, local churches, and conservative activist groups.
Dick DeVos has a long history of running a business, a trademark of his family and particularly his father, Richard DeVos Sr. Richard DeVos is the co-founder of a multilevel marketing company, Amway Corporation. This company sells various health and nutrition products, including the acclaimed Nutrilite dietary supplement. Read more: (Dick) DeVos Jr. – New Netherland Institute
The products are sold directly to consumers, who can also become independent business owners and resell the products. Many people have been able to go into business for themselves thanks to the DeVos’s business, and Dick worked both for his father at Amway, and later took over as CEO for 10 years.
Today, Dick DeVos primarily runs the Windquest Group, though that also includes subsidiary companies such as ElectraTherm, LexTM3 and the Stow Company where Phil Dolci was recently hired as CEO. Dick first started his education reform endeavors when he won election to the Michigan State Board of Education in 1990.
After Dick DeVos and Betsy started the family foundation, they started up several scholarship programs including the Education Freedom Fund. Later, he even founded a charter school called the West Michigan Aviation Academy where young people learn about flying along with standard education.
In addition to running for the Board of Education, Dick also ran for governor in the 2006 race against Jennifer Granholm, but lost by a close margin. Betsy at one time was the chair of Michigan’s Republican Party. Dick also served on the board at Grand Action, a committee that helped usher in building projects to revitalize Grand Rapids.