Dick DeVos is one of the most quintessential businessmen in America. Known for being the son of Rich DeVos, the co-founder of Amway, DeVos has started his own company, the private equity firm known as Windquest Group. His company is stationed in his hometown of Grand Rapids, where he has been working with other business leaders, and the DeVos Family Foundation. Since the 1990s, DeVos has been working to improve the economy of Grand Rapids. It’s well known that he was able to put the Grand Rapids airport on the map as well.
The Gerald R. Ford International Airport has been incredibly popular since the early 2000s. It was at this time that Dick DeVos started working towards building the new business phase for the community and airport. He worked with the CEO of the airport as well as several airlines to increase traffic and bring in new revenue. By 2018, the changes and new flights had done so well that passengers surged to 3.26 million. The airport hadn’t expected to even reach 3 million by 2020.
This work has helped DeVos gain better knowledge of how airports work and how to raise funding for necessary airport upgrades, which have become a new challenge for the FAA. Many airports are in need of technological advances and more security options as the need for faster airport service grows. President Trump even issued a challenge to the FAA and airports, comparing US airports poorly to foreign air travel.
DeVos has been meeting with the FAA’s Management Advisory Council since 2017, and he will continue to meet with the council throughout 2019. The goal is to improve airports across the nation, while also looking for ways to improve the industry overall. While the board is just made of 13 members, they come from all types of backgrounds, including transportation authorities and airline executives.
DeVos has worked with many airlines during his partnership with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. In fact, his appointment to the council was praised by the CEO of Southwest, who also worked with DeVos when the company took over AirTran Airways in the 2000s. The Southwest CEO praised the decision, stating that DeVos had a lot of experience in improving airport funding and technology.
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