If you’re to check the guest list at events for charitable causes, you’re likely to find the names of recognizable names in business. This is likely the case regardless of venue or cause, so you won’t have to look hard to find a recognizable name.
One such name known to residents of Michigan, and tied to several charities, is Dick DeVos. Though the DeVos family has many ties to philanthropic channels, Richard seems to be the most active, controlling a network of $5 billion, making him one of the wealthiest people in the United States. Dick, along with his wife, Helen, use their finances and influence to run the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, which focuses on educational reforms in and out of their state of Michigan.
Religious groups seem to be a favorite for Dick, which includes parochial schools, youth groups with strong Christian ties and charities that work to promote faith to the people of Michigan. Focus on the Family is one of the better known recipients of their donations, while also solidifying a tie between Dick, the DeVos family and conservative politics. Those who know the DeVos’ likely know about Dick’s interest in politics, including money given to the Heritage Foundation, Freedom Works and the American Enterprise Institute, which are institutions known for promoting and influencing conservative policy. In the past, Dick has donated to Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaigns, and he even put his own interest in politics to the test in 2006 when he ran for governor of the state of Michigan.
For nine years, from 1993 to 2002, Dick DeVos was the President of Amway, where he managed business in over 50 countries, making the best use of more than $4.5 billion in assets, expanding the company’s ability to operate.
Dick’s personal life has been one filled with acts of advocacy, particularly in the area of educational reform, and has worked with organizations like the Education Freedom Fund to help make it possible to grant scholarships to thousands of students in Michigan. Dick even spent some time on Michigan’s State Board of Education.