Dick DeVos: Leader and Businessman

Richard DeVos Jr. was born in 1955 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He passed through the Forest public school system before joining Northwood University. Richard graduated from Northwood with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration. He attended the Executive Study programs at Harvard Business School and the Wharton School after Northwood. Richard has since then been recognized with an honorary doctorate from Northwood University, Grove City, and Central Michigan University.

 

Richard is commonly known as Dick DeVos. He started his career at Amway Corporation which was cofounded by his father. He held various positions in sales, marketing, manufacturing, and finance between 1974 and 1984. He was promoted to vice president in 1984 and was in charge of overseeing operations in more than 15 countries. The company’s foreign sales surpassed domestic sales for the first time in the company’s history while he was in this position. Foreign sales accounted for 50% of the annual sales of the enterprise when he left the position after six months. He was also responsible for steering the company’s presence into new markets and expanding its operations all over the world.

 

The DeVos family acquired the Orlando Magic basketball team in 1991. Dick was appointed President and CEO. DeVos was admired as an intelligent, amicable, and honorable leader by the people. Most individuals saw him as the best fit for the head of the Orlando Magic franchise. Richard returned to Amway to succeed his father as President after two years at Orlando Magic.

 

Amway expanded to nearly 60 countries around the world when Richard was president. He was responsible for a corporate restructuring at the company which resulted in the creation of Alticor, a parent company to Amway. Dick is credited with taking Amway Global and ensuring that the firm does well in the markets that it entered.

 

Dick left Alticor in 2002 and became president of the Windquest group. This is a private investment management firm. Windquest invests in some sectors but focuses mainly on manufacturing and technology. The company is responsible for the development of a product called the Green Machine that converts waste heat into electricity.

Dick serves on the boards of some companies and organizations. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, the Chairman of the board of directors of RDV Corporation, and a member of the board of directors of the Michigan State Chamber of Commerce.