Lister Wilson

Dick DeVos Takes The Lauderdale Cup

There is just something majestic about watching sailboats. I have been fascinated by them since I was a kid. The idea of using some cloth to harness the wind to take you where you want to go seems almost magical. Even as an adult I’m still enthralled. I was a volunteer for several years with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and I was always eager to go out on patrols of Lake Michigan and watch the regattas. And it seems that the love of sailing appeals to men and women from many walks of life, as in the case of one of the richest men in America, billionaire Dick DeVos who along with his team Volpe recently won the Melges 32 Lauderdale Cup hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club on April 3rd, 2016.

Far more than just a competitive sailor, DeVos is a remarkably successful businessman and entrepreneur whose business ventures have included Dick’s time at Amway, owning the NBA franchise the Orlando Magic, and the investment management firm The Windquest Group. Dick DeVos has also been active in the political arena, having been elected to the Michigan State Board of Education, an appointment to the Grand Valley State University Board of Control, and even made a run in 2006 for the office of Governor of Michigan.

Dick DeVos also contributes greatly to the community. DeVos’s philanthropic works include work with the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation which raises money for a wide variety of charitable and civic organizations including children’s hospitals, artistic development programs, scholarships and grants to countless schools, colleges, and universities.

While I myself do not have a yacht or a beautiful sailboat of my own, I am still able to enjoy watching the races. In the distance I can watch the men and women pulling at the lines, trying their best to win their race. In the end, the sailors are people like everyone else, and occasionally you find out that behind the scenes are doing far more to help anyone than you’ll ever know. And frankly that fills me with great contentment.