Dick DeVos laid it all out in the open this last January when his family once again returned to the spotlight. This time it was the nomination of his wife Betsy DeVos to US Secretary of Education that prompted him to release a long-held secret. It became known that Dick and Betsy DeVos had given $139 million to charity and activism over their entire lifetimes. Not only have the DeVos’s been very generous, the audience they have given to has been quite diverse and has gone far beyond political candidates.
Private and charter schools have been among the primary recipients of Dick and Betsy DeVos’s philanthropy, and it was their work in fighting for school of choice laws that prompted then President-elect Donald Trump to choose Betsy as Secretary of Education. Potter’s House and Grand Rapids Christian School have been two of the main recipients of the DeVos’s operational funds. They started up the DeVos Foundation and Education Freedom Fund to assist needy families in obtaining funds to cover tuition costs. In more recent years they’ve started supporting charter schools and also were the founding donors to the West Michigan Aviation Academy, the nation’s first aviation-based charter school.
ArtPrize, an arts competition in downtown Grand Rapids is another beneficiary of Dick DeVos’s gifts. He also contributed $22 million to help complete the Kennedy Center’s art institute, which was then renamed the Dick & Betsy DeVos Institute for Arts Management. He was also the inspiration behind Grand Action Committee, a commercial and entertainment complex development organization that helped Grand Rapids city leaders bring in more business and entertainment to the downtown area. Dick DeVos also contributes to health organizations, colleges, churches and Republican political action groups such as Hudson Institute and Heritage Foundation.
Dick DeVos began his business career at Amway Corporation, a direct selling company his father Richard DeVos Sr. founded, and Dick was vice president of sales and marketing for several years, and then later CEO for 10 years. He also served as President of the Orlando Magic for three years when his family bought the ownership stake in the NBA franchise. In 1989 Dick DeVos founded a business investment company that’s also partnered with Huron River Ventures known as The Windquest Group. Since leaving Amway Corporation, The Windquest Group has been his primary work. He also ran in the 2006 governor’s race though he lost, and also authored the 1998 book “Rediscovering American Values.”
Thor Halvorssen is a well-known human rights activist who was born in Venezuela. His father served as a Venezuelan Ambassador for anti-Narcotic Affairs and was a special overseas investigator of the Senate Commission. Thor Halvorssen graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with undergraduate and graduate degrees in History and Political Science.
When Thor Halvorssen was just a freshman, his father was arrested, tortured and beaten presumably for his investigation into the Medellin cartel. He was incarcerated for a total of 74 days, but went on to have a successful life afterwards. Thor Halvorssen led the campaign for the release of his father, enrolling the help of Amnesty International. This fight sparked his passion for human rights activism.
Since young adulthood, Thor Halvorssen has become extremely passionate and educated about human trafficking, slavery, dictatorships, and any threats to a democracy. He has lectured at places like the United Nations in New York, the American Enterprise Institute, and Harvard Law School.
In 1999, he founded a U.S. civil liberties organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. He became the foundation’s executive director and CEO, forming coalitions which brought together varying organizations like ACLU and the Heritage Foundation.
In 2005, Thor Halvorssen founded an international group with the aim of being the champion of human rights, focused on freedom and self-determination. The Human Rights Foundation’s headquarters was finally opened in New York City in 2006 and its International Council includes many well-known figures and activists like Vladimir Bukovsky, Elie Wiessel, and Mart Laar. Vaclav Havel sat as the council’s chairman until 2011.
Thor Halvorssen founded an international gather of human advocates in 2009, the Oslo Freedom Forum. Commonly referred to as the “Gathering of Heroes,” this yearly forum hosts a number of activists, survivors, and experts in an effort to combine forces to fight for freedom.
He is also a patron of the Children’s Peace Movement, On Own Feet. This “centipede movement” is a Czech-based organization that helps create relationships between children in Poland, Canada, Norway, and the Czech Republic with other children in war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Betsy DeVos is the wife of the famous businessman, Dick DeVos. She is also one of the most influential leaders in the United States. Betsy has been involved in politics and humanitarian activities for a long time, and this is one of the reasons why she is very influential. The successful businesswoman ventured into politics when she was still studying for her degree many years ago. Since then, Betsy has worked with several political parties and campaigns. Today, she is the chair lady of the Michigan Republican, and she has been operating in this position for more than six years.
Dick DeVos, Betsy’s husband, is the son of the successful businessman, Richard DeVos. Richard is a very famous individual in the country. Richard is also the founder and owner of the famous Amway, an independent and private corporation that has done well in the past. Amway specializes in health, household, and other personal care products. Amway is one of the most successful companies in the world, and it supplies its products and services through dealers and sales people.
Dick DeVos and his wife have always been in the limelight. In 1974, when Dick was still very young, he started working for his family business, and this prepared him for the great responsibilities he has today. Over the years, Dick DeVos has held various positions in Amway, and he is one of the individuals who have played a great role in the success of the company in the domestic and international platforms. DeVos become the vice president of Amway in the year 1984, and this opportunity helped him to expand the business to eighteen nations around the globe. He also acquired a lot of experience after getting this position.
Dick DeVos and his family are respected for their involvement in philanthropic activities. The family is very wealthy, and some of the money is used for charitable causes in the community. Most of the donations from the Dick DeVos family are given to the local communities especially in Michigan area. Apart from being recognized and respected as one of the wealthiest individuals in the country, the family is also known for its charitable donations.
Dick DeVos is the co-founder of a famous organization known as Educational Freedom. The charity was founded in order to help young people from low-income families acquire education. Dick DeVos and his family have always worked hard to raise funds for the charitable organization. The family has a special interest in education, and this is why most of the funds from the family are given to educational causes.