Dick DeVos Article Recap

June 11, 2018

When people think of DeVos, they mostly think about US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, but they don’t realize that her husband is just as popular in the business world. Dick DeVos, the former head of Amway, and one of the prominent business leaders in this country was recently appointed to the Management Advisory Council for the Federal Aviation Administration. The new council has 13 members, all from transportation and airline executive backgrounds. The group is a civilian board, and while they will not be making any policies, they have the ability to influence the FAA towards certain regulations, budgets, policies, and future growth plans.


Many wonder what DeVos is doing on an aviation board. Well, you’d have to know that DeVos has spent much of his life as a pilot. He frequently pilots jets and helicopters, and he is the co-founder of a pilot school. The campus of the school is located at Gerald R. Ford Airport. Much of the airport’s growth is due to DeVos in some way. He has worked with the airport consistently over the past 10 years, finding new ways to expand and add on new terminals.


The new terminals were additions that DeVos helped to incorporate with one phone call. Int he early 2000s, just after the airport re-launched, the CEO of Gerald R. Ford Airport told DeVos that he needed some help bringing in new flights and expanding the offerings for destinations. DeVos worked with the CEO of Air Tran Airways, and after a phone call, he agreed to open up flights and new terminals to Orlando, St. Louis, Denver, and Las Vegas.


Eventually DeVos was tested again when Southwest threatened to undo all of the work he had done with Air Tran Airways. Southwest had recently taken over the company and wanted to remove most of the terminals in other airports. Grand Rapids was not going to be one of them. DeVos worked with the CEO of Southwest to ensure that he was able to get new terminals and keep them.


The CEO of Southwest recently commended DeVos for his appointment. DeVos will now sit on the council with the others in office and provide recommendations that will help the FAA make better decisions when it comes to the future growth of the industry. Currently the aviation industry has been having some issues with price stabilization and hook up telephone marketing.


DeVos has been looking at a number of ways to help the area of Grand Rapids since the 1990s. He has been working with other business leaders through Grand Action to build new buildings in downtown and help the city’s economy, while he has also been supporting jobs through several new public works projects.


DeVos will be meeting with the council every three months and providing his recommendations based on his experiences.


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