Dick Devos: Businessman and Philanthropist

Most people have heard of the Devos family. Through their political leanings and philanthropy, they have garnered a lot of attention in the past few years. However, now that both Devos’ are in Washington, it’s time to take a closer look at the pair of philanthropists and education reformers. How did Dick Devos get into the FAA?

 

For one, Dick Devos has been affiliated with aviation business for many years. He has worked with several airlines and the CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. His experience and business acumen has led him to partner up with many businesses, especially those affiliated with Amway. He was the CEO of the company in the last 1990s.

 

At this time, he also struck up a partnership with the CEO of his local airport. At the time, the airport had hit a rough patch. Sales were down. There wasn’t a lot of traffic. As the airport re-launched in 1999 to become the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Devos had some ideas to change the airport’s business strategy.

 

The new idea was to bring in business travelers who were on the convention circuit. Grand Rapids had just gotten its own convention center and performance hall, so it was time to bring in some business minds to help the city flourish. Devos spoke with the CEO of AirTran Airways to achieve this.

 

AirTran had multiple terminals at Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Currently the airport wasn’t offering a whole lot of destinations that were popular, besides New York City. So, Devos asked AirTran to open up new destinations to four locations, including Orlando, St. Louis, Vegas, and Denver.

 

The new destinations were a hit. Soon there were many business travelers at the airport. They were going to the new destinations, and they were also taking interest in Grand Rapids. It was these types of strategies that the FAA was looking for to help with policies, regulations, future growth, and budgets in the next two years.

 

President Trump challenged the FAA during his presidential election. He stated that airports and aviation technology had fallen behind, and it was time to restore America’s industries back to where they started. Ever since then, the FAA has been making policy changes and updates.

 

As the FAA makes these updates, Devos has been there through it all, providing insights into his own thoughts of aviation business, airports, and pilot education.

 

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