My parents are Helen June and Richard Marvin DeVos. I was born Dick DeVos in October 1955. I graduated from Forest Hills public school in my home town of Grand Rapids, Micigans.I have a Bachelor’s Degree from Northwood University in business administration.
Later on Dick DeVos and I attended Harvard Business School. I am the recipient of honorary doctorates from Northwood University, Grove City College and Central Michigan University. I am also a distinguished alumni of Northwood University.
My interest in business was seen early in life as I was involved in the family business. The business then was still young and it operated from the basement of the house in which we grew up. My brother and I were assigned to receive attendees during annual conventions. We would clean the plates and do other chores to help during meetings and annual conventions. Later we were required to speak before guests and give product demonstrations.
Betsy DeVos is my wife and former chairperson of Michigan Republican Party. She is also the President-Elects choice for the Secretary of Education.
Work and Business
I started working in my dad’s company in 1974. I held positions in various divisions like research, manufacturing, sales, manufacturing and finance. After the wealth of experience I gained in all those areas, I was made one of Amway’s vice presidents in 1984.
I had the responsibility of company operations in 18 countries. The company grew since we opened many new markets tripling foreign sales. Now the foreign sales were much more than the local or domestic sales once in the history of the company.
When my family acquired Orlando Magic’s franchise, I was made president and CEO of the team. At the time people question my stamina, but agreed that I was amicable, honorable, intelligent and compassionate. In my defense I had told stakeholders that my style of leadership is not control based.
I told them I did not micro manage, but I expected results and meticulous management. My supporters had argued that I was smart in business operations and therefore qualified. Read more: About Me – Dick DeVos
After leaving Orlando in 1993, I went back to my family business as President. We expanded our operations to 50 countries. In 2000 the restructuring of the company saw the creation of Alticor. Together with my brother we took the company global before I retired in 2002. After my retirement, I joint Windquest Group as its president.
My wife and I run a foundation, The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, which largely supports art competitions since 2009 in Grand Rapids.