For many years, Dick DeVos has been in the spotlight as a business leader. While he has led global business trades for Amway in the past, he is now the CEO and founder of Windquest Group, as well as the newest member of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council.
The new Management Advisory Council has 13 members who are from different backgrounds in transportation policy, aviation industry, and business. DeVos has spent most of his life working in business while also having a passion for aviation. His work with the Gerald R. Ford Airport in Grand Rapids made him a prime candidate for the new council.
Since the late 1990s, DeVos has helped Gerald R. Ford Airport expand and grow more commercially over the past decade. He brought in more airlines for the airport as well, expanding flights to areas like Denver, Orlando, Vegas, and St. Louis. His work with the Gerald R. Ford Airport makes him one of the most business savvy in terms of the aviation industry among the council.
However, that’s not all that Dick is known for. In the early 1990s, he started to work with other business leaders to form Grand Action, a committee designed to work on the economic interests of Grand Rapids. It came about after plans for sports complex and convention center were floated far away from the city’s center. DeVos did not want to place that much attention to an area so far from the business district. He saw opportunities within the central business district that could be much more beneficial for commerce and jobs.
In addition to that, he wanted to work with the airport to expand what it offers for education. At the time, there was no school that helped students to become pilots. Betsy and Dick DeVos co-founded an aviation charter school on the Gerald R. Ford grounds. This has helped students learn how to be pilots and what it takes to work in the aviation industry.
Over the years, DeVos has worked closely with the airport to bring in new business and maintain terminals. Recently, he has worked to secure a $45 million renovation contract that will update the airport’s terminals, food court, and business center. The idea is to get business travelers moving through the Grand Rapids airport.
The appointment is a great moment for Dick DeVos who has been working alongside the political arena for some time. He ran for Michigan governor in 2006, and previous to that, he worked with his wife on several education initiatives. His new work with the FAA began in 2017. The council meets once every quarter to discuss policies, budgets, regulations, and future growth for the industry.
Dick DeVos now joins his wife in Washington where he will be working with others to advise the FAA. IT will be interesting to see how his career changes after being in Washington.
To learn more, visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/.