Dick and Betsy DeVos are the founders of The Windquest Group, a Grand Rapids based technology investment firm, and local activists who founded the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation. This foundation has been responsible for effecting change primarily in Michigan’s education system, but has also been a part of healthcare, environment, and other business reforms at the local level. According to Philanthropy Roundtable, Betsy is a dedicated grassroots believer who has fought for local control of education, and opportunities for underprivileged children to have better quality education. Dick and Betsy have been longtime warriors for the Michigan Republican Party, and for conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation and Acton Institute.
Dick DeVos was raised in a family that worked hard on a family business, and gave back to the Grand Rapids community as well. His father, Richard DeVos founded Amway, one of the largest direct selling companies in the US, and would later purchase the NBA’s Orlando Magic whom he still owns to this day. Dick DeVos learned the family business very well and started managing various outlets of it at just 19, not long after becoming executive vice president along with his brothers Dan and Doug. He eventually became CEO when his father stepped down in 1993, and through his leadership Amway reached into a many new markets, and grew it’s profits near $5 billion. He retired from Amway in 2002 and became more involved in politics and charity work, along with his wife Betsy.
Dick DeVos wrote the book Rediscovering American Values in 1998, a best-seller that highlighted the importance of charity and moral virtue in addition to pursuing the American dream. He and Betsy helped start the Education Freedom Fund to bring more private and charter school vouchers to lower income families, and finance scholarships for students. They also started a first-of-its-kind aviation charter school that educates high school age young people in aircraft and piloting, as well as mechanics and skills that can be used in the workforce. The DeVos’s also gave a large donation to the Kennedy Center’s art institute, which was shortly renamed in their name.