Dick DeVos is the quintessential businessman in America. He’s worked as the President and CEO of Amway for many years, but he recently switched over to entrepreneurship and philanthropy. He started the Windquest Group, a private equity firm that helps companies that want to make the world a better place. Since September 2017, DeVos has been working the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as part of their new Management Advisory Council.
The Management Advisory Council is comprised of 13 members. DeVos was the last one nominated to the council. The civilian board includes former transportation officials and former airline executives. However, DeVos fits neither of these categories. He is a good businessman and has helped several businesses overcome poor sales and investments. His work with the Grand Rapids airport is also what makes him a great candidate for the FAA.
Since the 1990s DeVos has been working with business leaders in his hometown of Grand Rapids. He wanted to work with the airport after he helped city leaders plan and design the perfect downtown base for more business travelers. With the right business travelers coming in for conferences and other activities, Grand Rapids would become a fun business destination. This strategy helped DeVos convinced the CEO of Air Tran Airways to open up new terminals and destinations at the Grand Rapids location in the early 2000s.
That move alone drove ticket prices sky-high for the high. Bringing in business travelers became a strategy, and after 10 years, it’s also what happened the airport expand. A $45 million renovation was completed on the airport in 2018. Ever since the changes with the new destinations, business travelers have compared Grand Rapids to another convention destination, just like Orlando or Las Vegas.
DeVos may be credited with putting Grand Rapids on the map, but he has done a lot of other things for businesses that make him one of the best for business strategy. He will be working with the FAA to ensure that the agency can make changes to polices, regulations, budgets, and future growth ideas with the best advice possible. DeVos has been working with the airport continuously in his hometown, so he has ideas on how to train pilots, improve revenue, and bring in new audiences. This is exactly what the aviation industry needs as the FAA has been working to upgrade technology in airports since President Trump’s challenge in 2016.
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