Dick DeVos is one of the most notable Michigan entrepreneurs who has invested in and founded local startup companies. Recently he helped appoint a new CEO to a company in his portfolio, The Stow company. Taking over as CEO is Phil Dolci, a former executive at Crosman Corporation and Kraft Foods among other corporations. Dick DeVos chose Dolci because he shares the core philosophies that DeVos’s company embraces in business leadership, and is excited about the future of the company. The Windquest Group has also recently bought a Holland brewing and distillery company that has won numerous awards for best-tasting spirits.
Dick DeVos is from an entrepreneurial and philanthropic family who has helped many businesses and non-profit groups in Michigan throughout the years. Richard DeVos Sr. the patriarch is a friend of former President Gerald R. Ford, the founder of Amway Corporation and the owner of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Dick grew up watching the operations at Amway Corporation and after completing his bachelor’s degree at Northwood University started working as a manager and later executive at the company. Amway Corporation became one of the nation’s leading multilevel marketing companies under the leadership of Dick and his brothers Doug and Daniel. Dick was CEO of Amway from 1993 to 2002 and raised over $4 billion in profits during that time.
Dick and his wife Betsy have given millions over the years to non-profit groups, hospitals, churches, and especially private schools. They established the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation and through that helped start the Education Freedom Fund and Children First America to start scholarships for private schools. They also pushed for the expansion of charter schools through the Great Lakes Education Project some years later and helped start a charter school at the Gerald R Ford Airport, the West Michigan Aviation Academy. Dick DeVos also won the Spectrum Health Foundation’s Art of Giving award for his support of local children’s hospitals and also made a large donation to the Kennedy Center’s art center which was renamed in his honor just a couple years ago.
Dick and Betsy both have run for office numerous times in their career. Betsy was the Michigan Republican Party Chairperson for several years, and is also the current pick by President Donald Trump to be Secretary of Education. Dick ran for Governor of Michigan in the 2006 race but fell short to incumbent Jennifer Granholm.