Many people look at wealthy and successful men and women; and say to themselves: “That person has made it.” Many people that aren’t wealthy, think if they ever become wealthy they would do things like:
-Travel around the world,
-Gain fame or notoriety,
-Buy a fancy home in a glamorous place, or
-Hang out with glamorous people in glamorous places
Typically, when it comes to these, “what I would do,” lists; you rarely hear a whole lot about people wanting to share their wealth with their communities. Though you might hear people say they plan to buy their mothers a new home or a car; and maybe they plan to do some special things for the friends, family, organizations and schools they’re close too; usually the giving list is rather short. However, what’s incredibly striking about Dick DeVos, (and the entire DeVos family), is that they focus a lot of their giving to fund activities that make the state of Michigan a better place through their charitable family foundations.
Though not all of the generous DeVos family members live in Michigan, Dick and his wife Betsy do; and his list of charitable giving throughout his hometown is admirable. In fact, he graduated from the Forest Hills Public School District and went to Northwood University for business school, before traveling out of state to attend the Harvard and Wharton Executive Study Programs.
Dick then served as a business executive and CEO for Amway, the Orlando Magic Basketball team and the Windquest Group — all family holdings. However, throughout his professional career, Dick DeVos made it a point to invest in his community and make it a better place. In fact, Dick continues to dedicate the majority of his charitable giving to education programs and programs that make Michigan a better place to live. This seems to reflect Dick’s passion for helping others through philanthropy. He wants them to have a good quality of life, but to also understand it comes from hard work and dedicated study.
Some of Dick’s work to improve the quality of life for Michigan citizens includes:
-Serving as Co-Chair for Grand Action, (the organization that oversees the revitalization of Grand Rapids Michigan);
–Millions of dollars donated to the revitalization of Grand Rapids, Michigan’s downtown, convention center, medical facilities and downtown marketplace; and
-Board memberships at the RDV Corporation, the Willow Creek Association, Spectrum Health System, the Thunderbird School, the Regional Air Alliance, the State Board of Education and the West Michigan Aviation Academy