Dick DeVos has worn several hats throughout his life. Some know him as the man who helped make Grand Rapids the cool and culturally Michigan town that it is today. He was able to accomplish that by fighting the construction of a sports arena in the town, which he was certain would hurt the town just as Detroit was hurt by its stadium. Beating the construction that was rumored back in 1991 was one of his first victories, but it was definitely not the only one. Some know Dick as the CEO of his family’s Amway company from 1993 to 2002.
There are others who know Dick for his political efforts, such as his driven goal to destroy the power of organized labor that, he believed, hurt business growth. Yes, Michigan is the state where organized labor was born, which was a badge the state wore proudly, but that did not matter to Dick. Mr. DeVos wanted the state to be known as the place where right-to-work was born.
It did not take long before he was able to turn his belief into law in 2012. A person no longer had to be part of a union in order to work. This gave people the ability to leave unions without giving up good job opportunities, but it also destroyed the power of the worker. Dick believes that employers will do right by their workers and will never mistreat them, making union protection unnecessary.
Some know Dick because of his wife, Betsy, who has become a bit of celebrity since Donald Trump chose her to be the Secretary of Education for the United States. Betsy made the headlines when she was chosen and interviewed. Many people across the United States watched her give nonsensical answers, which was ironic since she was being interviewed for a major job in education.
Betsy spoke about the live interview and took the entire moment as a learning experience. Most people who know Betsy know that she is devoted to the causes she believes in just like her husband. Learn more: http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/contributors/2016/12/01/michigan-parole-reform/94075318/
Dick is no stranger to defeat. Back in 2006, the man invested a fortune to a governor state run that he lost against a democrat. He truly believed that he was ready to run the state and hoped that the people of Michigan would see that. This turned out not to be the case, but that did not stop him from pursuing additional goals. There is no doubt that Dick sees a path forward, and he continues to use his passion and revenue to further his cause.