Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy manage an investment firm called The Windquest Group based out of Grand Rapids. The Windquest Group has holdings in some local retail and alternative energy companies, as well as home storage product manufacturers like The Stow Company.
The Stow Company just recently got a new CEO to replace longtime leader Frank Newman who recently retired. The new leader is Phil Dolci, a man with a lot of business experience at companies like Kraft Foods, Sanford L.P., and most recently Crosman Corporation, a sporting goods company. Dick DeVos spoke highly of Dolci’s qualifications and is confident The Stow Company will thrive under his leadership.
Dick DeVos has run a business himself, serving as CEO of Amway Corporation prior to heading up The Windquest Group. Dick learned much about business from his father, Richard DeVos Sr. who helped found Amway Corporation and was co-CEO with Jay Van Andel for many years.
Amway Corporation helped many people become independent business owners through selling products directly to them, and allowing them to resell them for a profit. Dick got his business degree at Northwood University, and became a company executive at only 29. He became CEO when his father stepped down in 1993 and held that position until 2002, when he passed it down to his brother Doug.
Dick DeVos has been a longtime proponent of school of choice and the expansion of private schools, and he was elected in 1990 to the Michigan State Board of Education. He and Betsy decided they wanted to help underprivileged children afford private schools, so they helped start several scholarship programs and tried unsuccessfully to get state voucher legislation passed.
They later started the Great Lakes Education Project to help expand charter schools, and even founded one of their own with an aviation-based curriculum and flying lessons called the West Michigan Aviation Academy. Just recently Betsy DeVos was selected to head the US Department of Education by President-Elect Donald Trump. Read more: About – The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation
Dick joined the Grand Action committee in the early 1990s and throughout his time there has helped bring in businesses to downtown Grand Rapids. Dick also ran for governor in 2006, at one time even leading incumbent Jennifer Granholm in the polls.
He lost by a close margin, but it was the start of a broader effort he had to bring in new state laws. In 2012, he and a conservative coalition helped pass right-to-work legislation that overcame intense union leader opposition.
Learn more about Dick DeVos: http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/