Dick DeVos has been one of the primary businessman at Amway, but now he changes his focus. In his recent years, he’s turned to entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and aviation. In his most recent work, he’s joined the Management Advisory Council for the Federal Aviation Administration. In his new role, he joins 12 other members who will help the FAA with new policies, regulations, budgets, and future growth.
Since most of the council comes from transportation authority and airline executive backgrounds, it may be strange to see DeVos in the mist. While he is from a business background, his work with airport businesses and airlines has only recently come to the surface. He has been working with the airport in his hometown for the past thirty years, however.
Gerald R. Ford International Airport has been named America’s number one business airport. With its most recent $45 million renovation, the airport has now been expanded with a large business traveler section, as well as a food court section and multiple technological upgrades. The airport is now undergoing phase two of the Gateway Transformation project that will increase technology and speed up the process from roadside drop-off to in-flight entertainment.
Much of this is thanks to something that DeVos did almost three decades ago, when he first started working with business leaders in Grand Rapids. He wanted to help his city become a bustling metropolis. So he worked with business owners in downtown to produce high-quality entertainment and cultural centers, as well as business development. With the help of the DeVos Family Foundation, Grand Rapids received a much-needed face-lift that would include a new sports arena, performance hall, and convention center.
With the convention center in play, DeVos wanted to take his plan to the next level, which meant talking to the CEO of the airport. He wanted to see if by adding new flights in other business conference destination cities, he could bring those business travelers to Grand Rapids. He made one phone call to the AirTran Airways CEO in early 2000s, and he got four new flights added. This included St. Louis, Vegas, Orlando, and Denver.
These changes would create new opportunities and a large influx of ticket sales that has continued to increase every year. In fact, the airport just surpassed 3.26 million passengers in 2018. This number wasn’t even projected to be reached until 2020. However, none of this would have been possible if it hadn’t been for DeVos. His skills in business are renown, and it’s one of the reasons that the FAA received so much praise for adding the business leader to the roster of its Management Advisory Council.
DeVos will be meeting with the FAA multiple times next year, as he also works to help the airport continue its growth.
Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/about to learn more.