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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-16-06 08:57 PM
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DeVos, a history of failure
MI-GOV: Dick DeVos (R-Amway), A Record of Failure
by DemWave
Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 01:05:01 PM PDT

Cross-posted at MichiganLiberal. and DailyKos

In tonight's third debate, look for Dick DeVos (R-Amway) to point to his self-proclaimed experience as a "successful businessman". This is the same Dick DeVos, who once described Amway as the "best business opportunity in the world, even as the average Amway distributor grossed very little-- just $115 per month, according to Amway's own promotional material. However, just a brief review of Amway Guy's record and experience reveals that Dick DeVos's rhetoric doesn't match with reality. In fact, Dick DeVos has a record of failure. Dick DeVos can't get the job done.

His record is, in a word, disappointing.

DemWave's diary :: ::
Let's review Dick's experience in business and government.

The Orlando Magic

Dick and his family own the Orlando Magic. In 1991, Dick's daddy asked him to be the President and CEO of the Florida NBA franchise. According to Mr. Dick's official biography from his campaign website, he served as President and CEO of the Orlando Magic from 1991 to 1993:

1991 - 1993: President and CEO, NBA's Orlando Magic
Mr. Dick's only qualification for this job was that his daddy owned the team. Not surprisingly, things did not go well for the Orlando Magic under Dick DeVos:

1991-1992. According to the NBA, in the 1991-1992 season, the Orlando Magic under President and CEO Dick DeVos finished last in their division, with a record of 21 wins and 61 losses. That was a winning percentage of only .256, and 30 games behind the division leader.

1992-1993. According to the NBA, in the 1992-1993 season, the Orlando Magic under President and CEO Dick DeVos can only be described as mediocre, at best. They finished the season at .500, with a 41-41 record, still 19 games behind the division leader.

Did Dick DeVos eventually lead the Orlando Magic on to victory? No. When the going got tough for the Orlando Magic, Dick DeVos got going. He quit his job as President and CEO of the Orlando Magic and moved back home to Ada.

Not surprising given that the Amway Guy was involved. A sports commentator for the Orlando Sentinel described management of the Orlando Magic by DeVos and his family earlier this year:

But mismanagement by the DeVos family broke up a championship team and created a never-ending string of failed overhauls -- one incredibly engineered by a minor-league hockey general manager with no NBA experience. That, not the building, is what alienated fans, emptied the arena and turned the Magic into money-losers.

Think of Orlando's potential with an owner like Mark Cuban. If Rich DeVos left, maybe we'd get one.

Dick DeVos as leader of the Orlando Magic--a record of mismanagement and losing money. A record of failure.

After quitting the Orlando Magic, according to Mr. Dick's official biography from his campaign website, he served as President of Amway Corporation (later Alticor Corporation) from 1993 to 2002:

1993 - 2002: President, Alticor, Inc. (formerly Amway Corp.)
When Dick DeVos became President of Amway, in 1993, the Detroit News reports that Amway reported estimated retail sales of $4.5 billion. By 2002, sales at Amway/Alticor under President Dick DeVos had mushroomed by $0.00 to stay flat at $4.5 billion. Adjusted for inflation, sales at Alticor/Amway while the company was led by Dick DeVos actually fell by 19%.

Perhaps that is why, in 2002, Dick DeVos "retired" as President of Alticor/Amway, at age 46. At the time of Amway Guy's "retirement," wrote:

DeVos has not stated what he will do after August 31. His departure certainly raises some questions. After touting Amway/Quixtar for years as "the greatest business opportunity in the world," it appears there is something better on DeVos' horizon. Sort of makes you wonder, doesn't it?
While he wasn't capable of increasing sales while President of Amway/Alticor, Dick DeVos, did manage to successfully change the name of the company from "Amway" to "Alticor"-- taking the "American Way" out of Amway. At the time of the name change, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:

Expanding its Internet and outsourcing businesses was confusing under the Amway name because people mainly associated it with such things as direct sales and soap, said Dick DeVos, Alticor's president.

Apparently, during the 10 years that Dick DeVos was President of Amway/Alticor, no one was blown away by his performance.
Pyxis Innovations

While President of Amway/Alticor, Dick DeVos launched a new venture known as "Pyxis Innovations" as part of the creation of Alticor Incorporated. According to Hoover's:

At the core of Alticor, there is Amway. Alticor was formed in 2000 as a holding company and operates five businesses: direct-selling giant Amway, Web-based sales firm Quixtar, Pyxis Innovations (corporate development for Alticor and affiliates), upscale cosmetics company Gurwitch Products, and Access Business Group (manufacturing, logistics services).
And reported:

In October, 2000, the company was further split. "Alticor" was formed to act as a parent company over existing Amway, and Quixtar, and two new companies were added. They were "Access Business Group" and "Pyxis Innovations." Access is a manufacturing and distribution company. In addition to manufacturing the core products for Amway and Quixtar, Access also sells to other businesses. Pyxis is the "think tank" for the group of companies.

As of the time of this posting, the Alticor website describing the "Alticor Family of Companies" contains no references to "Pyxis Innovations".
Six years later, there is no indication that Pyxis Innovations, Inc. has ever created any jobs in Michigan. In fact, Pyxis Innovations recently became the controlling shareholder of Waltham, Massachusetts-based, Interleukin Genetics, Inc. While that investment may help some people in Massachusetts, how's it working out for you, Michigan?

Pyxis Innovations--Not too innovative and just another chapter in Dick DeVos's record of failure.

Alterra--Troubled Nursing Home, Failed Investment

As matt notes in this diary, Dick DeVos and his family invested $170 million dollars in Alterra, a troubled nursing-home chain that went bankrupt amid allegations of patient sexual and physical abuse.

Despite the sizable investment, Dick DeVos claims that he was not aware of the abuse under the company's watch. Is that credible? A $170 million investment with no due diligence?

Regardless, DeVos lost the millions of dollars he invested in Alterra. Even DeVos himself admitted his bad investment decision:

"It was a tragic situation," he said Monday night. "It turned out to be a very bad investment."
Dick DeVos: Failed investment in a troubled, bankrupt nursing home chain-- just another item in the Dick DeVos record of failure.

VKW Hardwoods of Grand Rapids

As detailed in this diary, DeVos and his family holding company, RDV Corporation, was an owner of VKW Hardwoods in Grand Rapids. In late 2004, the company went bankrupt and closed its doors. 70 Michigan jobs were lost.

Another bankrupt company. All part of the Dick DeVos record of failure. If he can't effectively manage a few businesses, how can be trusted to manage the entire state?

State Board of Education

Dick DeVos has run for statewide elective office before. The net result: he abandoned the people and children of Michigan. In 1990, he was elected to an eight-year term on the State Board of Education. Two years after taking a constitutional oath to faithfully discharge the duties of a member of the elected State Board of Education to the best of his abilities, Dick DeVos quit. His hometown Grand Rapids Press described the situation as follows:

DeVos ran for public office once before, a successful bid for a seat on the State Board of Education. He left two years into an eight-year term when he had missed about a fifth of the meetings and responsibilities at Amway demanded his attention.
Dick DeVos can point to no accomplishments during his prior tenure in a state wide elective office. Mr. Dick gets an F, for failure.

Grand Valley State University Board of Control

Mr. Dick also aborted his second try at public service. In 1996, Republican Governor John Engler

appointed DeVos to serve as a member of the Grand Valley State University Board of Control. Again, the Grand Rapids Press:

In 1996, Gov. John Engler appointed DeVos to the Grand Valley State University Board of Control. DeVos resigned four years later after missing 16 of 27 meetings. Business and his 2000 school voucher campaign were keeping him away.
Dick DeVos's official biography from his campaign website never mentions his aborted tenure as member of both the State Board of Education and the Grand Valley State University Board of Control. Trying to hide something?

Apparently Dick DeVos just can't cut it in a job that isn't handed to him by his father. Dick DeVos's record of public service-- a record of failure.

Failed Voucher Campaign to Destroy Public Schools

In 2000, Dick DeVos led an effort to amend Michigan's Constitution and allow public funds to be used to pay for private school educations, taking limited tax dollars away from public schools.

Dick spent $5 million on the effort. It failed. Miserably. Michigan voters overwhemingly rejected Dick DeVos and his voucher proposal by a margin of 69% to 31%. The Big Dick was a Big Loser.

Dick DeVos on public schools-- a miserable failure.


Check the record. Dick DeVos is a failure.

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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-16-06 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. Sounds like he's more like Bush than we thought
They have similar histories of failure. Scary thought, isn't it?
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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-17-06 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. If it looks like a bush and sounds like a bush..
its a bush. Sure looks like a bush twin to me.
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-17-06 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Better the truth you know than the lie you don't
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