Dick Devos: Businessman and Philanthropist

There has been a lot of news around Dick Devos and his family as of late. For one, Devos has moved into Capitol Hill, joining his wife the 11th US Education Secretary, Betsy Devos. For many years, Devos has been working in aviation, while also working as the President and CEO of Amway, then eventually leaving to run his own private equity firm called The Windquest Group.

 

Dick Devos is a successful entrepreneur, but his work in politics has remained in Michigan until now. While he ran for governor in 2006, he was unsuccessful in his bid. Now he goes to Washington to work with others on the FAA’s Management Advisory Council. The council is comprised of 13 members, ranging from transportation authorities to former airline executives. While his appointment was in September 2017, many of the members had already been selected before. The FAA started the council to gain insight as they look to make changes to policies and regulations.

 

This comes after President Trump challenged the FAA during his presidential bid in 2016. He wanted to see America’s aviation industry return to its previous success. Trump stated that aviation had fallen behind foreign markets, especially the airports.

 

That’s something that Devos has experience with. He has worked for over two decades with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in his hometown of Grand Rapids. In the 1990s, he worked with other business leaders to build up downtown’s business district. Through the Devos Family Foundation, he worked with the Grand Action committee to build the Devos Performing Arts Center as well as a convention center.

 

Devos saw that Grand Rapids could become a business travel destination for conferences. He wanted to work with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport to expand and open the terminals to other areas where there were a lot of conferences. This would include Vegas, Orlando, St. Louis, and Denver. The expansion brought considerable new traffic and ticket sales to the airport.

 

It was this event that changed the airport’s fate. Where it had been struggling, it now had several new destinations and a few airlines that were going to expand the airport even more. It was in 2016 that the airport would receive a $45 million renovation fund. Finally, the airport had achieved incredible success. After all, it had been open since the early 1900s.

 

Dick Devos meets with the FAA’s Management Advisory Council every quarter. He has already been contributing to the FAA’s new policies and regulations, which have been released throughout 2018 and will continue to be released throughout 2019 and 2020.

 

Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.

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