Entrepreneur Dick Devos
Many people have wondered who the next presidential couple will be. With so many couples in Washington, it’s becoming clear that the couples who work together in Washington have more to gain. The Devos family is one such that people have been keeping an eye on since Betsy Devos came to office in 2016. She was appointed by President Trump to the US Education Secretary office. Since then she has become an incredible force in education reform, but she has had help. Her husband Dick Devos has been a long-time supporter of education reform as well. It was possibly one of the reasons that he did not win his bid for governor in 2006 in the Michigan race. Nonetheless, he continued his entrepreneurial aspirations, first with his own business The Windquest Group, which is a private equity firm.
His company helps businesses that want to better the world, which works for companies like Boxed Water. In addition to his entrepreneurial side, Devos also has always been passionate about aviation. He has worked within his hometown to improve the business and commerce in the downtown district, but he also worked hard alongside the CEO of the local airport in Grand Rapids.
His experience working with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport is one of the reasons that got him appointed to the Management Advisory Council by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2017. Last September, his appointment was praised by the CEO of Southwest and the CEO of Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Both of the aviation leaders thought that Devos was one of the top picks for his business acumen and aviation experience.
So how did he get this clout in the aviation industry? Devos started working with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in the late 1990s. He had been working alongside many of the businessmen in his hometown. They had formed Grand Action and begun changing the face of downtown by adding new cultural and business centers, such as the Devos Performing Arts building and a new convention center.
Devos saw that the airport could be a haven for business travelers. With his help, the airport took off in sales growth in such a short time. He worked with Air Tran Airways CEO to make sure that the airport had new travelers by working with the airline to open up new terminals and flights to popular business and entertainment destinations like Vegas, St. Louis, Denver, and Orlando.
Devos saw an opportunity to connect the world to Grand Rapids with a better airport. That led to a $45 million renovation that will be completed in 2018. This project was a deciding factor in why Devos was nominated to the council. He can provide incredible advice to the FAA on future growth ideas that have already worked in practice. This opportunity is not lost on Devos who has been working hard the past year and meeting with the council every quarter. He will continue to do so for another year.
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