Dick DeVos Entrepreneurial and Leadership Journey

Richard Marvin DeVos, Jr, also called Dick DeVos, is a Michigan-born entrepreneur who is currently the CEO of the Windquest Group, an investment firm that specializes in manufacturing, non-profit, technology, and clean-tech solutions. Sustainability is one of the core visions of the Windquest Group under the leadership of DeVos. He is working to help the company invest in environmentally sound and economically sustainable technologies. Dick DeVos has been the President of the Windquest Group since 2002 and was the CEO of Amway before that.

Amway

1974 is when Dick DeVos started in Amway Corporation a company co-founded by his father, Richard DeVos Sr. He has held various positions at Amway in several departments including finance, marketing, research and development, sales, and manufacturing. Dick DeVos then rose to Vice President of Amway in 1984, a position that saw him lead the company to new markets, and drove international sales of the company to three times higher than the domestic ones, a first in history for Amway. In 1993, DeVos returned to Amway as its president, a position he held until 2002. His responsibility was to oversee the operations of the company in over 50 countries across six continents. While he was Amway’s president, he took the company on a corporate restructuring mission that resulted in a new parent company called Alticor. This process took 20 months, and also led to the formation of other subsidiary companies. DeVos saw the restructuring as necessary to return the company to profitability and prevent it from downsizing more than it already had; a feat he achieved with his brother Doug DeVos. In the fiscal year that DeVos retired as president, he saw the company rack in $4.5 billion in sales.

Other Achievements

In 1991, the DeVos family bought the NBA’s Orlando Magic, and Dick DeVos became its president until 1993. When he started out, some critics expressed doubts that he couldn’t manage an NBA franchise, but DeVos proved he could by using his business acumen to run the team. He went through the Forest Hills Public school system and then graduated from Northwood University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. DeVos attended Harvard business School but did not graduate, and he also went through the Executive Study Program at Wharton School. He has honorary doctorates from Northwood, Central Michigan University, and Grove City College. In 2006, DeVos ran for Governor of Michigan on a Republican ticket but lost. He got elected to the Michigan State Board of Education in 1990 but only served two years then left to run Amway.