I have long felt that a persons true character and ethics can be seen in the things they do and not by what they say. Sometimes you must look very close to really see a persons actions, but in a capitalistic country like the United States you only have to see where a person spends their money. Dick DeVos’s true morals and ethics can be seen clearly in the sum of $139 million in charitable donations.
Many high profile wealthy families will provide donations to various organizations for basic publicity, but Devos has only recently become center stage in the public’s eye and has been contributing to the betterment of society for years. He and his wife also do not give money in an umbrella fashion but commit to the organizations that they personally feel will provide the greatest positive impact to American society.
Through the DeVos’s philanthropy, I can tell how important education is to the couple. In 2015 they had 26% of their funds go to educational causes, over $3 million, and another $357,000 to support education reform. Dick DeVos feels that the public school system has become an industry that views education in a flush one dimensional manner, rather than a three dimensional learning environment where all children can reach their own potential. He feels the system has failed the schools, both educators and children alike.
As I look at the combined segments of their monetary grants, a more vivid picture is painted of the personal character of Dick DeVos. A large financial amount, only second to education, is to Arts and Culture. The concern that he has for artistic expression and cultural knowledge being preserved and managed shows clearly with his $2.4 million donation. I also see leadership and development, health and human services, and community organizations all being represented in DeVos’s charitable spending.
Dick DeVos was brought up to be a business leader. He worked hard as Vice President of his fathers co-founded company Amway, being responsible for the operations in 18 countries other than North America. From 1993 to 2002, DeVos ran the company as President and helped triple international sales and, for the first time in the corporations history, exceeded their domestic sales. For three years he was the President and CEO of the Orlando Magic basketball franchise. He now serves as the President of the Windquest Group, a private equity investment firm.