A wealthy and by all means successful businessman, a former Amway CEO, a tremendous philanthropist (through his and his wife’s foundation, The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation), and a groundbreaker for several educational and workplace rights, Dick DeVos’s storied career, as it stands, is one that the vast majority of individuals in the world envy, and would accept without hesitation as their own.
However, if one thing is clear, it’s these numerous successes have hardly prompted Dick DeVos to retire from public life. On the contrary, the ultra-focused business professional is in a better position than ever before to mold and shape the country’s educational landscape.
After President Trump took office, Dick’s wife, Betsy, was sworn-in as Secretary of Education. From her position, Mrs. DeVos has enacted measures intended to fulfill goals her and her husband have long believed to be pertinent to the wellbeing of the educational sector, including charter options, tax credits for certain private schools, and much more. Given his experience with education reform in Michigan, Dick DeVos has played an especially valuable role in assuring the success of his wife’s policies; the two worked well together before heading to Washington, and now that they’re there, nothing seems to have changed in that regard.
It’s too early to predict what the result of Mrs. DeVos’s tenure as Secretary of Education will be; to be sure, it’s a widely held belief in Washington that Cabinet members don’t truly begin making strides in their work until their second year on the job. But, a brief look at Betsy and Dick DeVos’s commitment to common-sense conservatism, educational choice, the business interests of their fellow Michiganites, and the general wellbeing of others will paint a telling picture of what can likely be expected from Mrs. DeVos’s time in the federal government.
Because, if one thing is certain, it’s that Dick and Betsy DeVos are on the same page.
In 2012, Dick DeVos’s multiyear effort to make Michigan a right-to-work state, thereby assuring that employees wouldn’t be forced to join a union in order to be hired to a new job, paid off, and legislation barring the practice was passed. The results of Dick’s success were wide-ranging, as millions of individuals saved on union dues, and those who simply didn’t want to join a union (for any number of reasons) were able to opt out of doing so.
Contributions from the DeVos family to society hardly end there. From 1989 to 2015, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation awarded over $138.7 million dollars to commendable causes and charities. Dick and Betsy submitted the single largest donation to a Grand Rapids children’s hospital, which was ultimately named after Dick’s mother, Helen DeVos. Last but certainly not least, Dick DeVos founded a public school that focuses on aviation; the school, which initially attracted a modest number of students, is now attended by over 600 flight enthusiasts.
In conclusion, Dick DeVos is a fighter who’s long been committed to pursuing tremendous goals that also happen to benefit the public at large. And if their history is any indication, Dick and Betsy will likely leave the educational system in better shape than it’s ever been.
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