Dick Devos: Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Most people don’t realize that Dick Devos is a pilot. The major business mogul and former Amway CEO has recently come out of retirement to work with politicians in Washington as well. That’s not hard to do seeing as his wife is the new US Education Secretary. Betsy Devos was appointed in 2016, and her husband has now followed suit, joining up with the FAA.


The Federal Aviation Administration has been working hard to improve the aviation markets in America. With new regulations and policies, as well as new considerations for technology, the air industry is finally moving forward in America. However, that comes after months of the FAA meeting with its Management Advisory Council. Set up in 2017, the FAA has been working with members like Dick Devos to resolve policies, regulations, budgets, and future ideas for growth.


Devos has been in aviation for quite some time before this moment, but you probably never knew. He has worked with the CEO of Southwest, as well as the CEO of Gerald R. Ford International Airport. He has always been a business leader in his hometown of Grand Rapids. His work with the airport came after months of working with the CEO, trying to help the airport expand into new markets.


It started in 2000 when he called up the Air Tran Airways CEO and asked if he would open up new terminals at the Grand Rapids airport. Air Tran agreed, and pretty soon, all new terminals became available for travel in early 2010s. The new flights brought in increased sales and led to bigger ideas about expanding the airport even further.


Southwest CEO worked with Devos during the takeover of Air Tran Airways as well. Devos convinced the CEO to keep the remaining terminals at the new locations as he was afraid that the airline would close the terminals as they had in other cities. However, the CEO kept the locations open at Grand Rapids, allowing for even more growth in international business travel.


The Grand Rapids airport is now well known for its international travel offers. You can also expect to see a new business traveler center, food court area, and new digital technology in terminals thanks to efforts from Devos to raise $45 million for the renovation of the airport.


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

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