Have you seen the news from Devos’ camp in Washington? The US Education Secretary isn’t the only one that’s been doing some work on Capitol Hill. Her husband has also joined in the fight as he begins his political career from the FAA. The Federal Aviation Administration appointed Dick Devos in September 2017 to the Management Advisory Council. This council is comprised of 13 members, who come from business, transportation, and airline industry backgrounds. Devos is one of the few who have a blended experience that doesn’t really fit into any typical box of tricks.
Devos is a highly intelligent businessman who has been working in airline industry for the past several years. However, you may not have noticed since he is quite busy, and he was also the President and CEO of Amway at one point. Devos maintains his own investment firm The Windquest Group as well as co-founding an aviation school.
The school is on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, which has been one of Devos’ projects for the past decade. In fact, his work has just led to a $45 million renovation campaign for the Grand Rapids airport. Much of this has to do with the work that Devos has put into expanding the airport since the 1990s.
It was at this time that Devos had just finished his work with Amway, and he wanted a new project. He started to look at ways that he could help out his hometown. While part of that was building up downtown and supporting the Grand Action committee, he also saw opportunities to expand upon the airport and even build a new brand around business travel.
Devos got to work by talking to his friend, the CEO of Air Tran Airway. At the time, Air Tran had just a few terminals at the Grand Rapids location, but Devos convinced the CEO that if he opened new terminals there would be additional success. The plan worked, and four new terminals were opened bringing in new business and flights to Orlando, St. Louis, Denver, and Vegas.
The new flights were just the beginning. Over the past decade, the airport has grown exponentially, and it’s probably one of the biggest reasons why Devos was invited to the council.
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