Elizabeth “Betsy” DeVos was born in Holland, Michigan, her father Edgar Prince founded the Prince Foundation which supplies auto parts. She married Dick DeVos Amway Products founder. She attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and business administration.
Betsy DeVos, in 1992 to 1997 was a chairwoman for the Michigan Republican National Committee. From 1996 to 2000 she was chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party. She is known for her expertise for behind the scenes organizer and an excellent fund raiser, who believes in the core Republican issues
As for her fundraising abilities, in 2004 she worked on the Bush re-election campaign and through her efforts at fundraising she raised $150,000. During the Bush
Administration she was, for two years, a finance chairperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Since 1998 the DeVos family has donated more than $17 million to committees and candidates of the Republican Party.
In 2012, she and her husband Dick DeVos were the producers of the Broadway play Scandalous, which is based on the true story of the famous evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.
The DeVos family started a foundation in 1989 that is centered in the cultivation of leadership, leveraging support and accelerating transformation for education,the community,leadership,justice and the arts. There were 11.6 million in charitable contributions raised in 2015. This brought the couples lifetime charitable giving to $139 million. In 2015 Forbes listed them at #24 on the list of America’s top givers. Visit their family foundation here: http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/
In 2004 President Bush appointed Betsy DeVos to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts board of directors where she served until 2010. She and her husband funded a program to teach art managers and the boards of directors’ of cultural institutions how to manage their businesses and to successfully manage fundraising. In order to continue the program, the couple donated $22.5 million which they gave in the name of DeVos Institute of Arts Management.
After giving this gift to the Kennedy Center she explained she had talked with the Kennedy Centers officials and realized that millions of dollars had been invested in the training of artists and the arts themselves but not in the training of leaders who run these organizations and hire the artists. Their gift will also, in part, be spent on Michigan arts groups that have been hit by the recession. This donation to the Kennedy Center was the largest in the Centers history.
The DeVos family, in 2009 founded ArtPrize which is an international art competition that is held in Grand Rapids Michigan.
Betsy DeVos is a staunch activist for education and is affiliated with the Alliance for School Choice, and the American Federation for Children. She has previously been on the board of Children First America along with the American Education Reform Council. Follow Betsy on Twitter.