Dick and Betsy DeVos Charity Helps Fund John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts

Located on the banks of the Potomac River near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has been giving the public the best artistic and exciting plays, ballets, musicals and orchestral scores in our time. The Kennedy Center has greatly expanded since its opening in 1971 and is still expanding to this day thanks to charitable donations. In 2013, the Kennedy Center has started a fundraiser to expand the center and to open new programs for the arts. The fundraiser has sky rocketed past its goal for the expansion project but instead of ending the campaign, they are adding another $50 million to the project thanks in large part to generous individuals and charitable foundations. See the full article here for details http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2015/09/whos-giving-the-kennedy-center-millions.html

Dick DeVos, one of the Kennedy Center’s donators, has donated to the Kennedy Center $22.5 million in an effort to train arts and cultural leaders across the country.

DeVos was born October 21, 1955 and is a businessman-entrepreneur from Michigan. From 1993 to 2002 he was the CEO of the consumer goods distribution and is listed as the 67th richest person in the United States by Forbes magazine. He has held many career positions, ranging from research and development, marketing, manufacturing, financing and sales. He started working for the Amway Corporation in 1974 and became one of Amway’s vice presidents in 1984. While under his leadership, he opened new markets to the company and has tripled international sales compared to domestic sales for the first time in the companies history. He also became the President and CEO of the National Basketball Association’s Orlando Magic in 1991.

Dick, along with his wife, Betsy DeVos. has been very involved in donating to the center’s fundraiser. Betsy DeVos has also been a member for the Kennedy Center for 6 years and was impressed when the president of the Kennedy Center, Michael Kaiser, said “how we invest millions of dollars in the arts, and training artists, but how we invest very little in training the leaders who hire the artists and run the organizations. We want to help develop human capital and leverage that capital to the greatest extent possible.”

Because of Dick DeVos and his wife’s charitable donations to the Kennedy Center, Michael Kaiser will remain part of the center’s leadership and overlooking the center’s structure through 2017 and will be directing what will be named the DeVos Institute of Arts Management. 

Read more about DeVos by browsing his website http://dickdevos.com