Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy launched the first charter aviation-themed school at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport about 5 years ago. As the main supporters of West Michigan Aviation Academy, they have not only given to the school donations of $315,000 on annual checks in 2013 but also gifted the school its first plane. In addition, they participate in the school’s annual fundraising gala which draws in A-list speakers through the connections of the DeVoses like Apollo astronauts and retired President George Bush.
The next biggest drive for Mr. DeVos and his wife is Arts and Culture of which they donated at least $2.4 Million or 21% of the total givings to charity made in 2015. Dick and his wife have garnered a lot of attention for their charitable contributions amounting to almost $139 million over time, an amount that is pocket change if compared to Dick and Betsy’s outsized donations politically. The West Michigan based couple is unveiling the money funneled for philanthropic giving through the Family’s Foundation.
11.6 million dollars was given as charity contributions in 2016 according to a report by the DeVoses Family Foundation site. This is more than twice the $5.3 Million donations in campaign reported by Betsy DeVos to the federal government over the past five years as part of the vetting process to get a cabinet post. Mr. DeVos, in his capacity as President of John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, started an initiative to support the arts before it grew to a separate identity. Their decision to start the DeVos Institute of Arts Management with a donation of $20 Million to the University of Maryland was to support Michael Kaiser’s initiative to strengthen the organization from the business side.
Other contributions for philanthropic causes done by the Devos were split as follows: Development and Leadership $1.5 Million, Community, Civic and other $ 1.8 Million, Health and Human Services $618,000, Public Policy $1.5 Million, and Churches $488,250. The DeVoses always choose to donate to causes they hope will bring positive change and also give without dictating how the contributed funds should be spent.
Dick DeVos Personal and Work Background
Dick DeVos is a proud father of four children and grandfather of five. He works in Michigan and is the Chief Executive Officer and President of The Windquest Group. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the Northwood University.
Dick Devos was lucky to start off his career as Vice President of Amway International in 1984 where he worked for six years before moving to Orlando Magic where he was the CEO, President and a member of the Board. In 2002 he started working for the Windquest Group to date, and he is the President and CEO of the company.