Dick and Betsy Devos is a couple with a heart of giving. The two come from families that are well known for their philanthropy. Betsy Devos nomination as the US education minister put their finances in the spotlight leading to the lifting the veil on their donations. Their political and other contributions over the years add up to $139M. The family of Rich Devos has played a significant role in the Republican politics and the extended family has donated $1.33B through the years. Rich and his children gave a total of $104 in 2015 with Dick and Betsy giving $11.6M. The couple gives education a priority in their philanthropy. In 2015, the two through their foundation donated $357,000 to groups that support educational reform and $ 3M for educational causes.
Why are Dick and Betsy Devos so passionate about education? Dick insists that the current educational system marginalizes kids from some zip codes. He believes that educators and administrators should have a better system so that they can be more effective. They are patrons of West Michigan Aviation Academy, a school that they launched. A third of the students that attend the school are economically disadvantaged and almost 40 percent are minorities.
Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation also donate to Arts and Culture having given more than $ 2.4M in 2015 to such causes. They have launched the Devos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. Dick highlights that the donation’s purpose is to help people directly and are not political organizations meant to advance political agenda. Other donations in 2015 are $ 1.8M for civic and community, $1.5M for leadership and development, 1.3$M public policy, 618,000 for health and human services and 488,250 for churches.
Dick Devos draws his entrepreneurial skills from his father, Rick Devos. He grew up working at Amway but officially joined the company in 1974. His job was in departments such as finance, sales, marketing, manufacturing, research and development. In 1984 he became the vice president of the company’s international operations and was in charge of 18 countries. As the vice president, he opened new markets and foreign sales tripled. The family acquired Orlando Magic in 1991, and he became the CEO and the president. He served as the president of Amway from 1993 to 2002. As the president, he brought other subsidiary companies and oversaw the restructuring of the company to Alticor Corporation. The Northwood University alumnus is currently the president of Windquest Group, a company that he founded in 1989. The father of four has led many community initiatives and in 2006, he ran for Michigan gubernatorial seat though he did not succeed. He is an author of a book that is a “New York Times” bestseller, a qualified jet pilot and a national champion sailor.
Avi Weisfogel is a dentist by profession. He is the founder of Dental Sleep Masters. Avi started Old Bridge Dental Care in 1999 where he practices his work. Avi has become an expert on dental issues and has been designated as the Best Dentist. Avi Weisfogel explores the world of sleep and helps physicians and dentists on how they can assist patients suffering from sleep disorders. Dr. Avi started Healthy Heart Sleep in 2010. This was a company meant to work with physicians from all over the world and give them advice on how to manage and establish sleep labs.
Dr. Weisfogel founded Unlimited Sleep Patient in 2012 and started lecturing dentists on ways to serve sleep patients. Avi founded Dental Sleep Masters in 2014 to further assist dentists to understand the word sleep via the use of oral appliances in treating sleep disorders. Avi is committed to ensuring that his dental patients live healthy lives. He particularly deals with the complicated dental issues. Most of his patients are referrals from other dentists.
Avi is known all over the world for his outstanding work. Many dentists look up to him as a role model. He has a BA in Psychology and Biology which he earned from Rutgers University and a DDS which he got from New York University College of Dentistry. Avi understands the problems that Apnea patients face and is committed to helping fellow dentists to assist Apnea patients and give them the appropriate medicine. Avi says that Sleep Apnea can affect anyone no matter their age although the risk factors go up with age and excess weight.
Avi Weisfogel is a philanthropist and supports certain organizations. He offers help and guidance to upcoming dentists and physicians. Avi believes that it is possible to treat sleep disorders and uses his experience and resources to teach other dentists on the treatment for sleep disorders. Dental Sleep Masters has been able to help many sleep patients to resume back their normal lives. Avi is a reputable dentist who has been in practice for many years. He has contributed to transforming many lives.
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Richard “Dick” DeVos is the eldest son of Amway founder Richard DeVos. He served as CEO of Amway for 11 years and the family-owned Orlando Magic basketball team before striking out on his own with the Windquest Group.
DeVos and his wife Betsy are also heavily involved in educational reform in their home state of Michigan. They are huge proponents of the charter schools and voucher programs. School choice gives children locked in poverty a way of attaining a better education, according to the DeVoses.
DeVos also served as President of the Michigan State Board of Education in 1990.
DeVos learned at a young age the importance of giving back to the community. The Richard and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation has give millions of dollars to support a number of life-changing initiatives. “I have always believed that a good education is the key to success,” says DeVos.
The DeVoses are also involved in conservative politics. In 2006, DeVos ran unsuccessfully to unseat incumbent Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. He says that the loss hasn’t soured him on politics and a future run is not out of the question.
In the meantime, DeVos continues to concentrate on his business The Windquest Group. This privately held corporation is at the forefront of technology solutions for hospitals and manufacturing.
Two years ago, DeVos opened his West Michigan Aviation Academy. The children specifically helps underprivileged children who are interested in aviation and science.
DeVos is also chairing the downtown renovation of Grand Rapids. His foundation has given over $100 million towards upgrading the convention center, heart hospital and downtown market area.
In his leisure time, DeVos love to fly his twin-engine plane and his helicopter. He is also a two-time national sailing champion. He and his wife Betsy have been married for 35 years and have seven children. the currently live outside Grand Rapids.