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The Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation: The DeVos Family operative you may not have heard about

April 24, 2019

The Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation is not a very large foundation, with just under $3 million in contributions since the foundation began.

Jerry and his wife Marcia primarily contribute funds to christian organizations and private christian schools. Some of the organizations they contribute to are: the Acton Institute, Chico Daniels Ministries, Mel Trotter Ministries, the Pregnancy Resource Center and Right to Life Michigan.

The private christian schools that receive money from the Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation are: Calvin College, Church Planter’s Training International, Cornerstone University, Northpointe Christian Schools and Potters House.

Almost all of these groups are based in West Michigan, but there are a few entities that are not based in the area that receive the largest sums from this foundation. For the most recent 990 documents between 2014 – 2016, the Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation gave Cure International over $1 million per year. Not surprising, Jerry Tubergen sits on the board of Cure International, which is a christian ministry that provides health services for people living in countries in the Global South. The other non-local entity that receives a larger sum of funds from the Tubergen Foundation is the Museum of the Bible Inc, which receives about $100,000 annually. 

There is nothing terribly unusual for the Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation’s contribution to mostly christian entities. After all, Jerry Tubergen is the CEO of one of the largest components of the DeVos empire, the RDV Corporation.

In addition to being the CEO of RDV Corporation, Jerry Tubergen is listed as a trustee for every DeVos family foundation, according to the 990 reports. Thus Jerry Tubergen is a trustee of the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation, the Doug & Maria DeVos Foundation, the Dan & Pamela DeVos Foundation and the Richard & Helen DeVos Foundation.

There isn’t a great deal of information about Jerry Tubergen online, but it is interesting that he is a trustee for every DeVos family foundation, along with being the CEO of RDV Corporation. In addition, all of the DeVos family foundations and RDV Corporation have the same address, which is 126 Ottawa Ave. NW, in downtown Grand Rapids.

In 2015, the DeVos Family created their own investment firm, which is called Ottawa Private Capital LLC, also run by Jerry Tubergen and is located at 126 Ottawa Avenue NW, in downtown Grand Rapids.

In early 2017, after Betsy DeVos was in the process of becoming the US Secretary of Education, she had to disclose documents of every group she was involved with and a listing of all the businesses she had investments in. This was a rare look into the details of the investments that the DeVos family has and it are these investments that Jerry Tubergen manages on behalf of the DeVos family in his role as head of Ottawa Private Capital LLC. You can read the pages and pages of investments the DeVos family has, based on the documents that Betsy DeVos was forced to submit before becoming the US Secretary of Education. 

Jerry Tubergen is a name we rarely see, yet he is one of the most trusted confidants of the most powerful family in West Michigan, the DeVos family. It’s time we start to pay more attention to this man and what role he plays in the Grand Rapids Power Structure.

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