Dick Devos: Businessman and Philanthropist

Dick Devos has a legacy that spans multiple cities and multiple fields. While he may be best known today as Betsy Devos’s husband, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, it was Dick who helped to put the family on the map with some of his work with Amway and the revitalization of the Grand Rapids downtown area. Together, he and Betsy make up one of the American power couples, changing policy for the better and making an impact on the issues and in the places where they have the most passion.


Dick Devos developed a passion for the Grand Rapids area after watching many urban planners flounder around with the area. He recognized that the city had tremendous potential. All it needed was a person to come along with a bit of vision to help bring this potential to light. With this in mind, he developed a strategic plan for bringing more culture and jobs to the area. With his significant investment, a booming downtown was born. All of a sudden, a new arena and performing arts center popped up. People began to spend their time at bars and restaurants in the surrounding areas. Where Grand Rapids had been a sleeping giant, Dick Devos’s investment in the city made sure that it came alive.


Devos was able to make this kind of investment because of the success he had at building his empire at Amway. The multi-level marketing giant allowed people to make money from home, selling products to their friends. Under the leadership of his family, the company became one of the most successful in the entire world. While some might have seen this experience as plenty to keep a man busy, this was not enough for Devos. He also wanted to develop a series of hobbies and other interests to ensure balance.


This is how ended up on a board advising the Federal Aviation Administration. Devos’s appointment there might have been a surprise to those who just knew him as a sales magnate. To the people who know him best, though, it should have come as no surprise when he found himself on this board. Always an avid flyer, Devos has taken an interest in making the FAA more efficient.


He has also dedicated his time to a host of philanthropic efforts. With his wife Betsy, Dick Devos has funneled significant amounts of money into efforts to improve the school system in Michigan and beyond. He has supported youth movements as well as the arts. All of these things combine to create the Dick Devos that the world has come to know. A man of tremendous accomplishment, Devos has made it his business to pile up the resume of a world changer.


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