Category Archives: Business Leaders

Businessman Billionaire Encouraging the Wealthy to Give by Example

Grand RAPIDS, MI — Several years back, a Grand Rapids entrepreneur was welcomed by Dick DeVos with a costly compliment.

“You resemble a million bucks,” the Amway fellow benefactor, Orlando Magic proprietor and Grand Rapids businessman as an extremely rich person says Leslie Tassell, the founder of Autoparts maker Lescoa. That was Tassell’s inspiration to give $1 million to a private cause DeVos was supporting. 

Though they have been private about the amounts they have donated to charity in the past, the DeVos family has stated publicly that its lifetime giving has reached the extraordinary amount of $1.2 billion. That is the type of information that the family establishments that has been provided to Forbes, which in October uncovered that lifetime all out and what the DeVoses gave DeVoses gave in 2014, $94 million. The revelation of this private information took many years of nudging from the magazine. The family said it trusts the rundown influence of knowledge of others’ liberality. “The Forbes magazine serves a benchmark for giving and supporting others in our group of the wealthy,” said John Truscott, a representative for the DeVos family. 

Among West Michigan’s well off, social clout doesn’t originate from the garments you wear or automobiles one drives. Social impact originates from the amount you give to others in need. That’s why DeVos, along with his wife created the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation to give their wealth to others rather than amassing it for themselves. Education is of great value to their family, so it was no surprise when they founded the aviation high school in West Michigan, where underpriviledged children can get an eduacation in flight. You can see his own passion for aeronautics in the video below of his helicopter landing in downtown Grand Rapids.

What’s more, the DeVos name is is one of the most well regarded in West Michigan, alongside other wealth holders rich and philanthropy-minded individuals such as Van Andel and Meijer. 

The family is very well known for its backing of traditionalist political candidates and issues. However, the numbers above released by Forbes do not include donations to politicians.

However to private sources, the DeVoses gave $90.9 million in 2013, with 48 percent of the money going to education, 27 percent to community wellbeing, 13 percent to places of worship or religious associations, and 12 percent to expressions and society. 

More information about Dick DeVos’ career  on his LinkedIn and a brief history of his life can be found at: