There is no testing the waters when it comes to Dick DeVos’s endeavors; he dives right in. Growing up with daily involvement in his father’s business Amway, Dick was provided an opportunity that he has since shaped into a legacy. He began working in Amway in 1974, leaving it to develop The Windquest Group, an investment management company in his own neighborhood of Grand Rapids, Michigan that supports technology, manufacturing, and clean energy. Although he returned to become the president of Amway, he retired from that position in 2002 to dedicate his time to Windquest and a myriad of political and philanthropic pursuits.
Some of those pursuits include Dick and his wife Betsy’s co-chairing of the Education Freedom Fund, which offers private scholarships to low-income families in Michigan; Dick acting as board member of RDV Corporation, Willow Creek Association, Spectrum Health System, Thunderbird School of Global Management, and more; and creating the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation for local and global growth. Amazingly, these are only a handful of DeVos’s many achievements, done in tandem to being an active participant with his wife in Windquest’s investment in numerous technology, manufacturing, clean-tech, and non-profit organizations. Many of these organizations directly support the local community of Grand Rapids, as can be seen on Windquest’s portfolio. Likewise, the DeVos Foundation is devoted to bringing leadership, transformation, and support to the West Michigan area. One example of this devotion is ArtPrize, founded by Dick and Betsy’s son Rick; it is a stunning exhibition of globally-submitted artwork where the public votes on the winner for a $200,000 prize. More info can be found on other recipients of the foundation on their website.
In personally viewing Dick’s social media pages I was struck by his warmth and visionary scope. The genuine care he has for the suffering, the success, and the wellbeing of not only his neighbors but the world is truly inspirational. Opportunity and wealth have not alienated Dick from the rest of the world, but rather augmented his compassion and support of their advancement. It is here, in Dick DeVos, that we find the type of leader we’ve always hoped for and the hero we quietly dream to be.