Dick Devos: Businessman and Philanthropist

Most people don’t realize that Dick Devos has just recently joined the Federal Aviation Administration. That makes a powerhouse Devos political couple with Betsy Devos as the US Education Secretary. While it’s unclear if the couple will continue to join new political circles and move up in Washington, they are doing a great job of supporting the country and finding new ways to affect growth.

 

While Betsy is well known for her struggles with education reform, Devos is mostly known for his time at Amway, where he was the CEO and president. He has been working with other companies through his holdings firm The Windquest Group, as well as partnerships with Grand Action, which is a group of business leaders in his hometown of Grand Rapids. It was here that Devos earned his legendary status in the aviation world.

 

Part of the issue with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in the late 1990s was that it didn’t have any sales. There were lots of airlines at the airport, but the flights weren’t ideal for travelers in the area who wanted to go to places like Orlando, Vegas, Denver, and St. Louis. Devos saw some potential for growth right away. After all, he had worked in Orlando before and knew that it was a prime international airport that could be connected to Grand Rapids.

 

Just by talking to his friend, the CEO of Air Tran Airways, Devos brought in new sales for the airport. Air Tran agreed to open new terminals because of one phone call with Devos, and the airport has continuously grown ever since. In fact, the airport recently expanded in a $45 million renovation that will now include a new business traveler’s center, food court area, and new digital upgrades in terminals.

 

The FAA’s decision to appoint Dick Devos was quite praised from those who had worked with him in the past, including the CEO of Southwest. Devos has been a great business leader and educational mentor in aviation as well. He helped start the West Michigan Aviation Academy with his wife. He not only has the ability to work with the FAA on business insights, but he can also help address education and salary issues affecting many airlines today.

 

To learn more, visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/.

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