Dick DeVos Steps Away from Windquest After Building It from Ground Up
Dick DeVos announced recently that he is stepping down as president of the Windquest Group, a company he launched along with his wife, Betsy DeVos, in 1988.
Today the alternative energy firm employs more than 1,000 people and maintains operations in 17 states. Most of the good-paying jobs provided by Windquest are located in the DeVos home turf area of western Michigan.
Creating new companies or skillfully shepherding well-established operations have been hallmarks of the long career of Dick DeVos. Often referred to as the “heir to the Amway fortune,” the latter descriptor belies the hard work, competence and raw talent that DeVos has brought to every venture he has undertaken.
That includes serving as president and CEO of the multilevel marketing behemoth his father, Richard DeVos, co-founded in 1959. The younger DeVos started in an entry-level management position and worked in just about every significant department of Amway before rising up to lead the company.
Dick DeVos earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Northwood University. He has since received honorary doctorate degrees from Central Michigan University and Grove City College.
While in college, DeVos met Betsy Prince, the daughter of wealthy industrialist Edgar Prince. When the two married in 1979, two of Michigan’s richest families were joined. Together, Dick and Betsy DeVos have deployed their fortunes and passionate involvement with politics and social issues to become one of the most influential power couples in Michigan state history.
Ancillary to his business pursuits, Dick DeVos has been a driving force across a range of issues, especially where the city of Grand Rapids is concerned. His formation of the Grand Action group has played a key role in the urban development of Michigan’s second-largest city.
Dick DeVos is also credited with almost single-handedly revitalizing the Gerald R. Ford International Airport by making it a major destination favored by major carriers.