Dick Devos is one of the best businessmen in America. He is known for his ability to set up relationships, and he led Amway to recordbreaking sales throughout his term as President and CEO. Now he is one of the most respected in aviation as well due to his relationship with the CEO of Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
For many years, Devos has wanted to get into politics. After his wife Betsy Devos became the 11th US Education Secretary, it was clear that he wanted to work in Washington, too. He had previously run for governor in 2006, so when he was offered a position on the Management Advisory Council in September 2017, he saw an opportunity to help with something he was very passionate about.
Most people don’t realize that Devos is an avid pilot or that he has worked with airlines and airports for over 20 years. He began working with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in 1999 after the airport re-launched. While it had been around since the early 1900s, the airport had been lacking in growth for many years. It was a small executive-style airport that barely offered flights to some of the best destinations. Devos saw that he was going to change it.
He started with a phone call to the CEO of Air Tran Airways who agreed to open up new terminals and flights to Las Vegas, Denver, Orlando, and St. Louis. The new flights brought in tremendous growth for the airport as travelers had never been able to get commercial flights cheaply to these destinations from Grand Rapids. In addition, Devos saw that there were opportunities to make Grand Rapids into a business traveler’s destination. That was one of the reasons why he built a convention center downtown, as well as the Devos Performing Arts Center.
Devos is also one of the top people to talk to for educational advice in aviation. There have been many changes to the way that pilots are trained, but Devos is a pilot and has also co-founded his own aviation academy in Michigan. The academy trains students to become pilots.
Devos will continue to meet with the FAA throughout the next year. The council deliberates once quarterly to discuss budgets, policies, regulations, and future plans for growth.
Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.