Everyone has seen the news in Washington. The Devos family has a new member on Capitol Hill. While Betsy Devos campaigns across the United States for education reform, her husband and multi-faceted businessman Dick Devos has joined the ranks with other advisers helping the FAA with new policies and regulations. The agency has been dealing with an unstable aviation industry in America for many years, and now that some of the problems have been resolved, it’s time to work out how the aviation industry can grow in America to be more competitive.
Devos is just the guy to talk to. From his work as the CEO and President at Amway to his current work with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Devos is a seasoned businessman who has overcome some significant challenges in every business he has worked with. He also helped to transform Grand Rapids, his hometown, into a rapidly growing city as well.
Much of the 1990s for Devos were filled with projects in Grand Rapids. He started the Grand Action committee as a way to bring business leaders together in the area who wanted to contribute to a greater economy, more jobs, and build up the city around his hometown. At the time, he was also considering political aspirations. His wife had been working in educational reform for some time.
As the later 1990s rolled around, he started to work with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport as a way to build up international travel and jobs in the area. He started by working with his associate, the CEO of Air Tran Airways. Together, the two of them expanded the destination services at Gerald R. Ford International Airport, allowing for new travelers to purchase tickets for Denver, Orlando, St. Louis, and Vegas.
The new ticket sales boosted extreme growth at the airport, which began to double in ticket sales by the mid-2000s. However, there were issues with Southwest Airlines, in which Devos stepped in again to help broker a deal that would keep the airline at the airport, even as it shuddered many other terminals in other locations around the US.
As for now, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport will complete a $45 million renovation by the end of 2018. The changes will include a new business traveler center, food court area, and additional technology upgrades throughout the airport.
Devos will be working alongside other transportation authorities and aviation executives to advise the FAA on what to do next.
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