Category Archives: Philantropist

Dick DeVos: A Life of Making and Giving

I happen to be one of a few thousand or so lucky people who have first-hand knowledge of the giving spirit of the DeVos family. You see, I lived a mere two miles from Dick Devos in Lowell, MI. In fact, Amway, founded in part by Richard DeVos, Sr., stands only a short distance from my former home. The proximity offered up a “front-row seat” so to speak, to many of the happenings around the area sponsored by Amway. Amway is one of the best-managed companies I know. Many people in the area where I lived, worked at Amway and they can attest to the class and style of Dick DeVos. Dick is not the kind of person to flaunt. He is, however, proud of what his family accomplished in the years since Amway’s founding.

 

Amway remains a well managed and very profitable company. That said, everyone involved in the management of the enterprise does very well financially, and gladly donate to worthy causes, and in a big way. I doubt anyone questions the amount of money the DeVos’ give to be exorbitant or as a way of showing off their wealth. On the contrary, nothing about the family indicates they are anything but a regular family that happens to be wealthy. Of course, the notoriety of their philanthropy draws critics.

 

The Devos family, known for their Republican party affiliation and their campaign donations to the party, attract unfair scrutiny and criticism for their actions. However, their political contributions never amounted to much when compared to their charitable donations. Overall, their total giving of over $1.3 billion stands as testament to their generosity and willingness to help where help is needed.

 

Dick’s working life is as impressive as it is long. He is one to take action, using his business acumen to continue his business career outside of Amway. In 1988, Dick founded Windquest Group, a private equity firm in Grand Rapids, MI where, since 2002 he has been President. Before 2002, Dick was Vice President of Amway Corp. from 1984 to 1990, and President and CEO of the Orlando Magic pro basketball team, and the Amway Center. Dick is also the founder and Chairman of West Michigan Academy and Vice Chairman of Willow Creek Association.

 

 

The Budding Correlation Between The Fashion And Technology Industry.

Christopher Burch is a serial investor with over 40 years of expertise as a venture capitalist and investor. To date, he has a hand in the development and successful growth of over fifty companies.

 

He founded Burch Creative Capital; a company committed to developing powerful brands and the process of making such brands have a long term, positive, and direct impact on the lives of its consumers. Christopher serves as the current CEO of the company.

 

Christopher began his career while he was studying at Ithaca College in 1976. He co-founded Eagles Eye Apparel, and this brand grew to a net worth of $165 million before its sale.

 

Throughout his career, he has been combining his comprehension of consumer trends with his experience in excellent international sourcing systems. This has enabled him to consistently find the balance between implementation and innovation, and how to achieve success.

 

Burch Creative is a statement of the progressive success of his entrepreneurial skills and values. He has grown the organization by implementing his vision for new opportunities; build on existing ones, and effectively applying creativity and imagination to enhance overall brand growth and development.

 

Through Burch Creative Capital, Christopher has a highly diversified investment portfolio ranging from apparel, consumer products, hospitality, technology, and financial services.

 

His impressive portfolio boasts of large companies and developments such as BaubleBar, Chubbies, Jawbone, and Voss Water among others. Some of the recent thriving additions include Cocoon9, Nihiwatu, Poppin, and TRADEMARK.

 

According to Christopher Burch, the fashion and technology industries complement each other. From his point of view, as technology becomes more fashionable, fashion adopts a stylish technological demeanor.

 

These two industries are interconnected, and in most cases, each one depends on the other. This is because, through fashion events, people are exposed to the latest technological trends. Therefore, there are some concepts in technology that are likely to benefit from the fashion world.

 

Fashion and technology are connected because some fashion styles reflect future trends. For instance, some designers use recycled materials to create their designs. A good example is Emma Whiteside who created a gown from recycled radiator copper.

 

Christopher also forwards that technology grows in proportion to what is considered fashionable. This trend can be witnessed through the iPod which has replaced the big boom box that was popular in the 1970s. It is now easier to have portable music.

 

Evidently, the future of the technological industry will lead into the future of the fashion industry.

 

Christopher Burch is an active and ardent philanthropist. His commitment is evident in the impact made in the various charitable organizations that he supports. He has also sat on the board of the Rothman Institute Orthopedic Foundation.