Most people have heard of Betsy Devos by now. She is the 11th US Education Secretary, and one of the most polarizing figures in education reform. However, her husband Dick Devos is the son of famous Amway co-founder Richard Devos. Richard Devos Sr. passed away in September 2018. He was 92 years old.
His son Dick Devos has been consistently working in politics for the past 20 years. He is also an entrepreneur and owns his own private equity firm called the Windquest Group. He has co-founded a pilot training school in West Michigan with his wife, the 11th US Education Secretary Betsy Devos.
Of course, many people know the Devos family because of their contributions to charities and political organizations. As Republican Party members, they have consistently worked in Michigan to help with education reform and healthcare organizations. However, it’s Dick Devos who is credited with helping Grand Rapids become a metropolis in the past two decades.
In the 1990s, Devos stepped away from his Vice President role at Amway to work with business developers in Grand Rapids. He wanted to help the city become a better place for business growth and bring back jobs to the city. He started to work with business leaders under the Grand Action committee. This committee was responsible for many buildings in the 1990s, including the Devos Performance Hall, Andel Arena, and Devos Place Convention Center.
Devos said that his motivation for helping with city development was to avoid the same problems facing most of Michigan at the time, particularly in Detroit. He had seen what had happened to the SilverDome arena when the teams left. The city never really recovered. Devos was adamant that the city grow around the central business district, and that’s why so many plans placed these new buildings in the epicenter of town.
However, there was one other thing that Devos wanted to complete the transformation. He got the airport on board with the growth and worked with the airline executives to rebuild the airport. Now, a once stagnant, small airport, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport has changed so much that it saw 3.26 million passengers in 2018. Most of this growth was due to one phone call that Devos made to the CEO of AirTran Airways in the early 2000s.
That phone call opened up new flights and brought in ticket sales. That growth continued to multiply over the years, and soon, the airport received $45 million in funding to expand and renovate its grounds.
That kind of growth is what the FAA wants to see for all of its airports, which is why Devos has been nominated to its council. The advisory council will continue to meet with the FAA through 2020.
Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.