When it comes to garnering attention and criticism, Dick Devos has become accustomed to this especially now that he is the husband to the secretary of education in the free world. Among the things that he is usually criticized for is outsized political contributions that go to the Republican Party. In total, his political contributions and charitable contributions can add up to $139 million. This includes the contributions that have been made by his wife, Betsy Devos. The couple lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and most of the donations go to the school choice program. The program is an initiative of Betsy Devos. Dick Devos manages his contributions through the Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation that was established years ago. In a report that was published on their website, it was revealed that Dick and Betsy Devos made a charitable donation worth $11.5 million I the year 2015. Compared to the political donations they made that year, the charitable donation was twice the political one. According to statistics from the federal government that was revealed during Betsy Devos’ vetting process, the couple had made a donation of $5.3 as campaign donations in the year 2015 alone. Some critics feel that they make large charitable donations to cover the political donations.
As part of the larger Devos family, they made donations of over $104 million to various causes in the year 2015. These donations earned the family a spot on the 24th most generous families and givers in the United States. The family recently published a report that revealed that they had made donations worth a quarter of their wealth in their entire life. According to the family report, the Devos family had donated over $1.33 billion of their wealth. With their wealth estimated at $5.2 billion, donations make a quarter of their wealth. His wife, Betsy Devos, comes from a family of givers also. His dad is the famous industrialist giver known as Edgar Prince who hailed from the Netherlands.
Of the donations they made in the year 2015, $3 million went to educational causes making it 26 percent of their donation. 3 percent went to institutions that sought educational reforms in the United States. According to experts, they say that looking at the way the family spends on education; it’s a clear indication of their priorities. According to Dick Devos, they chose to focus on the education system as they felt that the current system was falling short on helping students realize the American dream. Dick Devos says that his main aim is to help the talented educators who have dedicated their time to the system to achieve a common goal of success. According to tax reports from the IRS, Dick Devos funnels his funds to high schools, churches, universities and even colleges.
Billionaire business person Dick DeVos is known to have a passion for politics and has been a die-hard Republican for a very long time. His wife Betsy DeVos is also known to be a good Republican politician and has held various political in her life. The DeVos family is known to be a Republican stronghold in Michigan. As the general elections approach many political analysts anticipated that the DeVos family would make a move soon. Dick DeVos and his family recently announced that they will be supporting Marco Rubio during the oncoming Republican presidential primaries. This support is expected to go beyond the primaries if Marco Rubio wins. This is also not just a spoken endorsement by the DeVos family as it is also expected to come alongside financial support.
During an exclusive interview with Detroit News, Dick DeVos said that his family agreed on supporting Rubio. This was after the former Florida Governor Jeb Bush withdrew from the primaries. He also expressed his hopes that their public endorsement would help Marco Rubio get more Public Support. Dick DeVos went on to challenge Marco to go on and play his part in seeking public support. The DeVos family is one of richest families in Michigan, and this move will have some positive outcome for Marco’s campaign. The Rubio endorsement will come alongside a wave of public support for him. The family is also expected to make donations to Rubio’s campaign programs and also encourage other political funders to donate towards the same course. DeVos is also expected to help Marco Rubio come up with a super campaign committee that will help him in his campaigns.
Dick DeVos and Betsy have been Marco Rubio’s friends since he was the speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives from 2006 to 2008. During this time, DeVos and his wife were pushing for the revision of school choice laws in Sunshine State. Marco Rubio agreed to support their course, and they managed to bring positive changes to education Florida. DeVos says that the country needs a leader like Marco Rubio, who has the capability experience and perspective to bring changes. DeVos says that they will be using an endorsement to make Marco Rubio more solid in his campaigns to the public. DeVos say that their main focus currently is to see that Marco Rubio has won the primaries before they sift their focus to the General elections. He says that Rubio is a deserving candidate, and he hopes he will win.
Dick DeVos combined his passion for education and flying to establish West Michigan Aviation Academy in 2010. The public chartered school is positioned on the Gerald R Ford International Airport grounds. It offers free tuition to allow needy students to graduate from high school and proceed to pursue higher education.
The school started with just 80 students, but with a plan of expansion. By the end of 2013, the school had expanded from 25,000 sq. Ft. office to 42,500 sq. Ft. building and more than 240 students. The addition has played a significant role in bettering the curriculum, addition of new aviation programs, and improvement of student life. The new building allows the high school to educate over 500 students. The lessons offered by the Aviation Academy revolve around the topics of flying, plane maintenance, and operating an aviation business. Although four high schools offering aviation courses existed prior to the launch, West Michigan Aviation Academy stood as the first charter school.
Dick DeVos, a successful investor, and philanthropist
Dick DeVos is a self-established billionaire, an accomplished investor, and an active philanthropist. In 2006, He vied for Michigan governorship and lost narrowly to Jennifer Granholm. He previously served as the President of Amway Corp as well as Alticor Inc., the parent company. He champions education causes and financially supports needy students to achieve quality grades in their higher education and establish successful professional careers. Dick has actively participated in the privatization of several public schools.
DeVos started his career at Amway Corporation in 1974 and held several top positions such as research and development, finance, sales, and marketing. A decade later, he was appointed as the Vice President. His responsibility entailed overseeing the overall operations of the company in 19 countries. In 1989, DeVos established a private investment company called Windquest Group. The Michigan State Board of Education appointed DeVos as a member but served for two years before resigning to concentrate on family business. He served as president of Alticor Inc. for a decade before retiring in 2002. Currently, he specializes in privatizing public schools and managing foundations.