Long House Studio

Dick DeVos: Shaping His City, State, and Country

Dick DeVos has used his many blessings to try to make the world a better place. He and his wife have been very active in their community, their state, and their country. Their activism and philanthropy has helped to shape their home town, Grand Rapids, Michigan.


One of Dick DeVos’ first causes was his opposition to a proposed plan that called for a sports and convention arena in downtown Grand Rapids. Dick DeVos, who at that time was working his way up the ladder in Amway, opposed this project because he saw the negative affects that the same type of project had on Detroit years earlier.


This turn of events lead DeVos to form Grand Action, which was a group of local business leaders who wanted to ensure a bright future for Grand Rapids. This group achieved their goal and is responsible for transforming the Grand Rapids skyline. Their achievements include the successful construction of Van Andel Arena, the DeVos Place Convention Center, DeVos Performance Hall, the Grand Rapids City Market and Michigan State University’s medical school.


The DeVos family has also played a big role in education reform in the United States, as well. Their interest in education reform began when Dick and Betsy DeVos’ children were in school. The DeVos family had the opportunity to choose where their children were educated. Both Dick and Betsy felt that every parent deserves the right to choose the best education option for their children. They believed that a family’s economic situation, or geographic location, should not dictate the quality of their children’s education.


In order to achieve this reform the DeVos’ have championed many choices for parents. They believe that charter schools, online learning, and a host of other options can combine to improve the quality of education throughout the United States.


The DeVos family has also used philanthropy to improve their community. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation works tirelessly to support the arts, health and human services, churches, and educational institutions. From 1989-2015 the foundation donated over $138 to charitable causes.


Dick DeVos has used his position to make positive changes in his community. His civic, professional, educational, and philanthropic activities have shaped his city, state, and country for the better.


Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.