Dick DeVos – A Living Inspiration to Everyone who Wants to Contribute to the Betterment of the Society

Recently, I got fascinated with West Michigan’s philanthropic patterns. Unlike other places where the wealthy status is established by the ostentatious display of wealth through clothes, jewelry or cars; the West Michigan social clout is defined by how much a family has given away. And leading the way, there is the DeVos family represented by Dick DeVos and his wife, Betsy DeVos.



I knew about the couple majorly as donors to Republican candidates. However what took me by surprise is their much larger donations to all other philanthropic activities. Their large contribution of $5.3 million to Republican candidates of the presidential elections paled in comparison to their $11.6 million charitable contributions in 2015 alone. What humbled me more was that fact that Dick admitted to his philanthropic streak being deeply embedded in him by his dad, Richard DeVos who is not only the co-founder of Amway Corporation but also a highly reputed and respected philanthropist. He had three other sons besides Dick; all are known to donate more than generously. It is only recently that the couple has started throwing light on their lifetime contribution legacy.



Dick joined his father’s business in 1974, and he quickly climbed to the position of vice president by 1984. By this time he was handling the Amway’s brand operation in eighteen countries. In 1989, he founded his own company, The Windquest Group which manufactured as well as marketed storage and closet organizers. He went through several experiments and change to finally again concentrate entirely on Windquest Group in 2002.



However, I think, more than his illustrious career, Dick and his wife Betsy will be known and remembered for their philanthropic activities. Recently, the couple humbly accepted of donating over 139 million dollars to various causes and institutions during their lifetime. Their entire family legacy of donation today crosses the one billion dollar mark which amounts to one-fourth of their total fortune. Dick personally is more inclined to donate in the education sector more than the others. His total donation in this sector stands at three-hundred-and-fifty-seven thousand dollars. His passion became evident to me when he stated in an interview that their present education system failed in fulfilling the American dream.



Another passion of his philanthropic streak is seen in his efforts to increase both knowledge and awareness about arts. Is it any wonder that this family ranks 24th in the Forbes list of “America’s Top Givers.”




Event Hosting Help


Planning a big event in NYC can be intimidating. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. There are event planners in NYC who can do the work for you or you can find many online resources if you want to “do it yourself.”


Recently HGTV ran an online article “Secrets from a Party Planner,” to help you plan the perfect event. In her article, Camille Styles takes us through her 10 stages of planning a big event with advice for each step:


  1. Getting organized- lists! Guest list, shopping list, to do list, etc.
  2. Creating a theme- set the tone.
  3. Sending out invites- online or by mail.
  4. Offering a self serve bar- let guests be their own mixologists.
  5. Creating a specialty concoction- have at least one specialty cocktail.
  6. Keeping appetizers simple- bite sized, finger friendly.
  7. Setting up a kid’s table- keep them busy with crayons, paper, and fun.
  8. Keeping settings simple- incorporate natural elements.
  9. Staying relaxed- give yourself time before the guests arrive.
  10. Not forgetting the favors- send them home with a reminder of the day.


Maybe the “do it yourself” option is still a bit daunting or your event needs to be more professional. There are good event planning companies in NYC, one of which is Twenty Three Layers. They are a New York based full service planning and design firm. They do everything from fun and whimsical to glitz and glamour, from small private events to corporate events. They have solid working foundations with several premier vendors and establishments which will ensure a momentous occasion. Because Twenty Three Layers’ services include photography, catering, entertainment, venues, floral design, and more, they are the premier corporate event planners in NYC. If you prefer more “hands on” party planning, they have workshops designed to make you the best host or hostess you can be and to impress every guest.


No matter what your event, or how involved you want to be in the planning and execution, you have the opportunity to shine and to wow your guests. Most importantly, enjoy yourself and the process, as the host or hostess always sets the tone.