The DeVos family is already well known to the people of Michigan for the wide range of philanthropic donations the family has been providing to local, national, and international groups since Richard DeVos founded the AmWay Group direct sales company close to his home in Grand Rapids. I myself became aware of the excellent works completed by the DeVos family during the 1990s when Dick DeVos made his way to the position of President and CEO of the AmWay Group after a long career with AmWay and in other areas of business; although I was sad to hear of the retirement of Dick DeVos from AmWay in the early 21st century I have been happy to see his philanthropic work has not fallen away over the years.
The last information available on the charitable donations of Dick DeVos and his Secretary of Education wife Betsy show the couple gave around $11.6 million to a range of groups and programs across the world; during the vetting process for her position with the Department of Education Betsy DeVos declared her philanthropic and political donations, which amazed me as the couple gave just over $5 million to support political campaigns, a figure that I am happy to see is around half of that given to charitable groups.
I first became aware of Dick DeVos in 1991 when he became a young President of the Orlando Magic NBA franchise and proved many of the doubters wrong who believed he was too young to make a success of his role; in fact, Dick proved such a success that Richard DeVos called him back to AmWay just two years later to take over as the President and CEO of AmWay. The success of AmWay has been protected by Dick DeVos through his decision to restructure the company with the Alticor parent group, which made sure AmWay was prepared for the demands of the 21st century in the direct sales industry. Following the completion of the corporate restructuring Dick retired, but I am pleased to say he has continued to invest in various business interests through his own investment company, The Windquest Group.
Looking at the DeVos family as a whole provides an even more amazing picture of the philanthropy undertaken by almost every member of this beloved Michigan family; I was shocked to read the philanthropic giving of the family reaches more than $100 million in 2015 alone as the entire family is estimated to have donated more than $1.3 billion to good causes over their lifetime. Dick and Betsy DeVos are reported to have provided more than $139 million to good causes in their lifetime and I am happy to report their major educational giving remains located in their home state of Michigan.