Dick DeVos is a very giving entrepreneur and philanthropist, extremely active in the Michigan and the national Republican party as a donor (and past Michigan governor aspirant), and successful businessman. His great interest in improving the infrastructure of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the state’s second largest city, has led to considerable new growth and revitalization along the city’s skyline while helping to prevent what could have turned out to be suburban sprawl. Worried that a sports facility was going to be built outside of the city’s central business district, Mr. DeVos took immediate and powerful action. With other area business leaders who were instrumental in the construction of some of the city’s most noteworthy and significant facilities (DeVos Place Convention Center, Van Andel Arena, DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids City Market, MSU’s medical school among others), the Grand Action group was formed.
Dick, who is the husband of Betsy DeVos, appointed the U.S. Secretary of Education by President Trump, is the heir to the DeVos family fortune, as is Betsy, heir to fortunes on her side of the family as well. What with all the financial success and prosperity they have enjoyed throughout their lives, though, they don’t sit still accruing more and more wealth. As GOP mega-donors, the DeVoses have used their considerable political influence in Michigan to implement greatly needed changes in state law affecting labor and education.
With a great interest in aviation (Mr. DeVos is a licensed pilot), Dick reached a pinnacle in this field on September 28, 2017, when he was one of seven new members appointed to the top civilian panel overseeing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
In addition to all the other activities that keep him in perpetual motion, Mr. DeVos and Betsy founded and oversee the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, a powerful Michigan philanthropy with many heartfelt interests. From 1989 to 2015, donations from the Foundation to groups in health and human services, leadership programs, arts and culture, churches, and policy initiatives focused on scholarships for private schools and education reform exceeded $138.7 million. Their donation of $12.5 million was greatly instrumental in the construction of a children’s hospital in the Spectrum Health System, a $103 million project.
Now in the national spotlight, the DeVoses interest in strategic advocacy for private school vouchers have spread from Michigan to other states across the country. Mrs. DeVos has stated that 24 states and Washington D.C. now have some sort of vouchers for private schools.
Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/about to learn more.