The Michigan-based entrepreneur and investor, Dick DeVos, is continuously coming up with new strategies for expanding his business empire. He has spent his entrepreneurial career working in several executive positions at the NBA’s Orlando Magic, Amway, and The Windquest Group. He has established himself as a powerful philanthropist and political donor.
DeVos developed a passion for business at a young age. He received unconditional support from his parents, who assigned him minor roles of operating the family business (Amway Corporation). DeVos and his brother graduated from showing the guests around during Amway’s convention to giving product demonstrations. Upon completing his high school studies, he joined Northwood University and earned a degree in business administration.
DeVos landed his first job at Amway Corporation in 1974 and held leadership positions in several divisions such as research and development, marketing, manufacturing, finance, and sales. In 1984, he was appointed as one of the company’s vice presidents in charge of Amway’s operations in 18 nations. He spearheaded the opening of several new markets and tripled global sales to surpass the national sales.
DeVos’ family purchased NBA’s Orlando Magic in 1991. The family named DeVos as the CEO and president of the basketball franchise. He held the role for three years and rejoined Amway as the President. Under his leadership, the company increased its presence in over 50 nations and regions on six continents. In 2000, DeVos directed a revolutionary capital restructuring, which formed Alticor (new parent firm) and other subsidiary companies. Within 20 months, Alticor cut more than 1,300 jobs in Michigan region. DeVos and Doug DeVos (his brother) have been instrumental in the growth of Alticor. They have set new standards in the market.
Apart from success in business and politics, DeVos has been a reliable leader in a broad range of community projects. He is the pioneer of Education Freedom Fund that awarded over 4,000 scholarships to needy kids in Michigan to pursue an aviation course at West Michigan Aviation Academy. He has been in charge of various healthcare improvement projects in the Grand Rapids Area.
Dick DeVos heads the Grand Rapids-based Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, which has contributed thousands of dollars to artistic, educational, religious, civic, free-market economic, and community-based organizations since 1990. Some of the local beneficiaries include Kids Hope USA, the West Michigan Aviation Academy, Mars Hill Bible Church, and so forth. Since 2009, the foundation has financed the ArtPrize, a popular art competition held in Grand Rapids.
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