Betsy DeVos, husband of former Amway CEO Dick DeVos, has been involved in politics and business for a majority of her life. However, her most passionate role lies within her many philanthropic endeavors. Betsy DeVos and her husband established their own philanthropic organization called the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation through which they work with and support multiple different charitable groups. In an interview with the Philanthropy Roundtable, Mrs. DeVos discussed her involvement in education reform and more specifically her championing of the school-choice movement. After sending her own children to school, Mrs. DeVos became increasingly aware how critical it was for a parent to be able to choose where their children attended. She started an organization that raised money to help lower-income families afford to send their children to their desired school. She also became politically involved by joining the boards of both the American Education Reform Council and Children First America, which both are active in the school choice movement.
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Dick DeVos himself has also been involved in education reform as well. He was nominated to the Michigan State Board of Education in 1990 where he served for two years. DeVos also was active in the “Kids First! Yes!” committee as co-president. The group sought to have tuition tax credits and vouchers allowed by the Michigan constitution for private education. DeVos’ active political involvement eventually took him to run as the Republican nomination for the governor of his home state of Michigan in 2006.
DeVos is perhaps best known for his business endeavors. Being the son of Amway Distributors co-founder Richard DeVos, he got involved at the company at a very young age. Before holding an official position, Dick DeVos helped his father run the company when it was still running out of their own house. Eventually, DeVos went onto hold multiple positions within Amway ranging from manufacturing to finance until he was named as Vice President. The company saw their largest international growth under DeVos’ leadership. DeVos took a brief hiatus from Amway and became the CEO and president of the Orlando Magic basketball franchise from 1991 to 1993. Upon his return to Amway, DeVos became President and founded Alticor, which eventually became Amway’s parent company. Amway was also expanded to a total of 6 continents including over 50 countries with DeVos as president. Besides his political and business successes, DeVos has always been heavily involved philanthropically. Alongside his wife Betsy DeVos, the two founded the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation through which they conduct a majority of their charitable work.