Dick DeVos and the FAA

Most people don’t realize it but Dick and Betsy DeVos are now working in Washington, albeit not in education. While the US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been working on her educational choice campaign across America, Dick DeVos has been working with The Windquest Group, his new company. He is the CEO and founder. Previously, he worked as the President and CEO of Amway, nad he was the leader in global sales for the company since the 1970s. However, all of that has changed since DeVos has begun working with the FAA.


The Federal Aviation Administration started the Management Advisory Council last year and began announcing new members. DeVos joined the Council in 2017. He joins 12 other members who come from transportation, security, policy, and airline backgrounds. There are also former airline executives on the council. The move was praised by the CEO of Southwest Airlines who said that DeVos has a lot of experience working in aviation and knows how the business runs.


He certainly has been helping the airport in Grand Rapids. Ever since the 1990s, DeVos has been doing his part to help Grand Rapids grow its economy. The city has been rapidly rising in the past 20 years, and part of that is due to the philanthropy by the DeVos Family Foundation. Dick and Betsy DeVos created the foundation in order to help communities and education. The foundation has been working in Michigan for many years, and it has led to the former of the aviation charter school on the Gerald R. Ford airport grounds.


However, most don’t realize that DeVos has been working with the airlines towards a $45 million renovation project that will be completed in 2018. The new Gerald R. Ford International Airport will have a business traveler’s center, new food court area, and technology in the terminals. The airport has been changing rapidly since the expansion of the terminals in the early 2000s. DeVos had a hand in that as well.


At the time of the official re-launch, the airport was slowly bringing in customers, DeVos helped by working with the CEO of Air Tran Airways to expand new destinations and offerings, including destinations like Orlando, Vegas, St. Louis, and Denver. The new destinations allowed for business travelers to get more connections through Grand Rapids, building up the customer base.


DeVos has always helped business leaders in Grand Rapids. He even helped form a city planning committee in the early 1990s called Grand Action. This committee brought all of the business leaders together to create new opportunities for growth. There were a lot of ideas that had been floated, but DeVos wanted to avoid anything that would take away from the downtown business district. He felt that this was the best way to bring back commerce and industry to the area, as well as through the Grand Rapids Airport.


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