The newest couple in the liquor business is Dick and Betsy DeVos. Dick DeVos, first, had a short political career, running for Governor, but losing to his opponent. He then went on to put to use, his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, which he earned from Northwood University. At one time, he attended Harvard Business School and Wharton’s School’s Executive Study Programs, but he did not graduate. His wife, Betsy, also holds a degree in Business Administration and Political Science.
Originally, the couple owned a holding company, Windquest Group, in Grand Rapids, but through that company they have purchased Coppercraft Distillery. While the final sale has not been confirmed, as of January 20th, a license transfer has been approved, which is the first step of the selling process. It could take up to six months for a liquor license to be approved by the state.
DeVos’ acquisition of the distillery will only add to number of business he has a hand in already. His first job was with Amway, a family business, in 1974, becoming vice president of the company just over ten years later. http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/09/amway_heir_dick_and_betsy_devo.html Another would be with the Orlando Magic Basketball franchise, where he became the CEO in January 1993. He is currently a part of the privately held, Windquest Group, which has recently dived into the area of alternative energy.
The distillery was first opened by William Catton III in late 2013 and it currently distributes to nearly 100 location across Michigan, Illinois and Colorado. Catton has not commented on any deal with the DeVos couple, but it is known that he was looking to expand his business. Catton currently has a small staff made up of eight full time and part time employees. These workers make a variety of spirits such as Vodka, Whiskey and Gin. The company has also moved into handcrafted beer, recently. While they wait for the transfer, if it does indeed take place, the distillery’s inventory is being built up in time for the Tulip Time Festival.
Dick decided to make the move into the liquor business after careful consideration of what it would do to boost the local economy and create jobs in his home-state of Michigan.
He is quite conscious of community matters and also puts a strong emphasis on education via philanthropy, even going so far as to create an aviation high school academy to support local students who want to learn more about aeronautics. Dick is a respected airplane and helicopter pilot himself, so the school is both a community service and speaks to his passion for flight.
To learn more about Dick’s philanthropic work, visit the following link: http://www.dbdvfoundation.org