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.



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