Dick DeVos, Jr.: Spreading the Wealth One School at a Time

Financial prosperity and material abundance are blessings that can be wasted, hoarded or shared. Many lottery winners fritter away their windfalls and the world certainly has no shortage of rich misers. Yet those who give away large portions of their wealth—especially when come by through old-fashioned, honest effort—not only alleviate suffering and bring hope to the needy, but also set an example for their fellow citizens. Such is the case with Dick DeVos, Jr.

 

The son of a founder of the network marketing giant, the Amway Corporation, DeVos was raised with a benevolent ethic. In fact, DeVos, Sr. and his children were listed among the top 25 charitable givers in the United States in 2015. With his wife Betsy (now U.S. Secretary of Education), DeVos, Jr. distributed $11.6 million in philanthropic gifts through his family foundation that very same year. Educational institutions rank significantly high among the recipients, demonstrating a passion and priority for the DeVoses. Both husband and wife are committed to education reform, including charter schools and vouchers to enhance parental choice. DeVos maintains that their gifts cut across socio-economic lines, and that the benefits are seen in positive student outcomes.

 

While most of the dollars earmarked for educational causes are targeted for institutions—public and private—in his home state of Michigan, including a science-intensive aviation high school, Christian schools and state colleges, DeVos does not neglect other areas of need. For example, his funds make possible a groundbreaking arts management program at the University of Maryland. Moreover, he gives to civic improvement causes, pediatric cancer tratments, public policy research, churches and religious organizations. Notably, these endowments dwarf the political contribution totals that were so controversial during Betsy DeVos’ confirmation process.

 

While a son of comfortable upbringing, Dick DeVos, Jr. is by no means a stranger to personal responsibility and hard work. Working his way up the ladder at Amway, he eventually supervised operations in 18 countries overseas. Eager to accomplish outside of the family business, he then founded The Windquest Group, a producer and distributor of closet organizers and storage compartments. Family obligations drew him back in 1991, when he assumed executive leadership of the NBA’s Orlando Magic franchise, a DeVos-owned enterprise. Since then, he served as president of Amway—restructuring the organization along the way—and ran for governor of Michigan in 2006 (he lost). He now concentrates on Windquest, charity and political causes.

 

Betsy DeVos partnered closely with Dick in advocating for educational reforms, a stance that earned her intense hostility from teachers unions and public school lobbies. After contentious debates, she was narrowly confirmed as Education Secretary (by one vote) in 2017. With Betsy, Dick DeVos, Jr. has four children.

 

George Soros’s Scarce Temperament

The United States is home to many businesspeople as well as investment experts. George Soros is one of such great icons in the US. He was born in Hungary and was raised there until he became of age to pursue higher education. This saw him join the London school of economics with an aim to acquire business skills. For the love and passion for academics, George took part-time jobs the same time he was studying. This was in a bid to continue with his studies. The part time jobs saw him work as a night club’s waiter as well as a railway porter. This is a clear indication that George Soros began working hard since he joined the high learning institution. This gave him a firm foundation in working hard as well as time management. Read more on NYTimes.com

On completing higher education studies, George relocated to New York abandoning the part-time jobs he was doing. After raising at least 12 million dollars, it was possible for him to start his own business in New York in 1969. This was because of his diligence as well as ability to lay down proper strategies; his business didn’t last long before gaining popularity. The rapid growth of his business gave him much confidence to run even bigger firms.

As his temperament, George could not withhold his philanthropic character, and this saw him give out at least 3 million dollars to district advocate races. The confirmed study shows that he distributed the money in 6 states targeting to support the financially disadvantaged candidates in the fight against discrimination. His philanthropic moves reached to the candidates fighting inequity and related vices in the judiciary system. His moves were devoted to bringing equality and fairness to how individuals should be treated. Individuals that were facing small drugs charges had a reason to smile because George’s work was aimed at giving them lighter charges. He pushed for an alternative punishment for such offenders in a way that they still get punished but in a different way rather than jailing them. George believed that the move would help the individuals to reform as they shape their lives at the same time. Read his profile at Washington Times.

George Soros is a world recognized billionaire, and it is believed that he uses much of his wealth in helping. He extends his support to individual people as well as organizations. His philanthropic work is a significant contribution to his astounding reputation all over the Globe. The amount of money George Soros has spent on his generous nature is believed to be more than 25 million dollars. In a bid to support Hillary Clinton’s election, George donated 7 billion dollars towards PAC. His philanthropy has overflow to attorney Candidates from very major US cities that include, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Mexico.

Know more: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/people/george-soros

Dick DeVos Life’s Work

Dick DeVos has held many positions throughout his life. However, the most relevant executive positions were and are at Amway, the NBA’s Orlando Magic basketball team, and currently as president of The Windquest Group.

 

At Amway, a business created by his father Richard M. DeVos, he got his first taste of entrepreneurship as a child. He remembers the business being set up in his parent’s basement where he and his brother were initially responsible for clearing plates. With age came more responsibility which included speaking and giving product demonstrations to large gatherings.

 

Then in 1974 he began his actual business career at Amway, touching almost every facet of the business. He held such positions as: finance, research and development, marketing, and manufacturing. In 1984 he became vice president with responsibility of operations in over 18 countries.

 

He left Amway in 1981 to head the basketball franchise Orlando Magic basketball team as President and CEO. When he started the position some questioned if he was capable of making touch decisions. But they soon learned he had no problem handling the position.

 

In 1993, he returned to Amway/Alticor to succeed his father Richard M. DeVos. When he rejoined Amway as President he was able to expand operations in over 50 countries and territories. In 2000, he oversaw the restructuring of the business from Amway to Alticor (new parent company).

 

In August of 2002 he retired from Altricor and became president of The Windquest Group, which is an investment management firm that has holdings in technology, manufacturing and other sectors.

 

At Windquest he bought on board a specialist in alternative energy. He knew that alternative energy was going to be an important part of the future of the world, but he also recognized the opportunity that alternative energy would be for The Windquest Group. That being said, his company was able to develop an alternative energy which “converts waste heat that is the byproduct of a manufacturing process, and converts it into electricity”.

 

The Green Machine, as it was called, is produced by TheElectraTherm Company and distributed by Windquest with assistance from ProServices. This, Dick DeVos terms as the three-stool approach. TheElectraTerm Company provides the product, ProServices provides the installation and Windquest provides the financing and high-business plant process.