Most people don’t realize this but Dick Devos is also working in Washington. While his wife, the US Education Secretary Betsy Devos has been taking on education reform across the country, he has been working with the Federal Aviation Administration. He joined the Management Advisory Council in September 2017 after being appointed with 12 other members. While many of the other members are from transportation authority and airline executive backgrounds, most people still know Devos from his days as the President and CEO of Amway.
However, Devos has been incredibly busy in the past two decades. He has worked alongside some of the biggest names in the airline industry, as well as business leaders in his home state of Michigan. He has helped the airport overcome a variety of issues and even expand in the past year. The new airport will unveil the $45 million in renovations later in 2018. The renovations were paid for by the airlines, which is another negotiation that has made it easier for the airport to expand and bring in new travelers.
Despite the airline industry going up and down for most of the past decade, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport has made significant gains by targeting international business travelers. It has become the airport to go through by way of Canada and Mexico, because there are so many different destinations available. With the expansion, the hope is that the airport will do even better in business than before.
Devos has no doubt that it will. He has been helping the airport grow since the 1990s when he began to look at his hometown for inspiration. So far, Grand Rapids has become one of the fastest growing cities in the country, and part of that is due to the Devos family. The family’s foundation has donated over $134 million in charity. Most of the donations have gone to education centers and performing arts interests, like the Devos Performing Arts Center located in downtown Grand Rapids.
However, there is a lot more to Devos than just his business acumen. He has been a pilot since he was young, holding licenses for jets and helicopters. He also co-founded the West Michigan Aviation Academy, which has been enrolling students who want to become pilots. The campus is located on the Gerald R. Ford International Airport grounds.
To learn more, visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/.