Most people don’t realize how integral Dick Devos has been to the aviation industry in Michigan. His wife, the US Education Secretary, Betsy Devos has also helped build the education aspect of aviation as well. Through co-founding the West Michigan Aviation Academy, they have given many opportunities to students who want to become pilots. The aviation academy helps students by teaching them about different flight operations, jets, and training them to become fully licensed pilots.
The campus is located on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, just outside of Grand Rapids. The airport has long been known as the stopping point between Canada and US destinations, but it was recently expanded, thanks to a $45 million renovation project. Devos has been working with the CEO of the airport for many years, even when he was still with Amway as the President and CEO.
He challenged airlines at the airport to help see the vision and expand what they were offering. There were so many opportunities to reach new travelers who were going to some of the most popular destinations through other airports. He convinced Air Tran Airways to expand its destinations, as well as Southwest. Eventually the entire airport would be renovated, which would lead to new destinations to St. Louis, Denver, Orlando, and Vegas.
All of this has been building up to some exciting news for Dick Devos. He will now be joining his wife US Education Secretary Betsy Devos in Washington as part of the Management Advisory Council under the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA has sought out 13 members to join its council, which will advise the FAA on budgets, regulations, protocol, policies, and future growth. Devos has plenty of experience there.
He has been working alongside the CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport for many years, in addition to his time at Amway, where he led in global sales for many years. His work in Grand Rapids is legendary as well. Through Grand Action, he has been able to set up a variety of buildings in the downtown area, including the Devos performing arts center. Have you experienced it in Grand Rapids?
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