Dick Devos Recap
Dick DeVos joins a 13-member Management Advisory Council for the Federal Aviation Administration. The new council will oversee changes to regulations, policies, budgets, and long-term planning with other aviation leaders. Devos’ path to aviation in Washington began awhile ago when he helped co-found a charter school with a campus on Gerald R. Ford airport.
The school is called West Michigan Aviation Academy. This public high school was started in 2010 by Dick and his wife Betsy DeVos. The non-profit school grew from 80 students to over 600 students by 2017. The expansion of the school is not without the help of the DeVos family.
Gerald R. Ford Airport was recently upgraded with a $45 million makeover. The new terminals and construction brought jobs back to the city and created more opportunities for aviation to come to Grand Rapids. This is exactly what Dick DeVos envisioned for his hometown when he began a new direction in the early 1990s.
Before he became the CEO of Amway, Dick DeVos saw opportunities for the city that were beyond building a sports multipurpose center. He saw the plans to build such a building outside of downtown, which he felt would cripple businesses at the heart of the city. That meant he had to do something different. He worked with business leaders to change the direction of the plans and form a group called Grand Action.
Grand Action became the driving force behind growing downtown, including building the DeVos Performance Center and the DeVos Convention Center. The donations made by the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation have totaled over $135 million. A large portion of these donations goes to education reform and schools. The couple has remained in the political spotlight since DeVos ran for governor.
While he did not make governor, he has continued to work with business leaders and Congress to make changes to different regulations in aviation. As its one of his passions, it only makes sense that he would join a council to help build a better aviation industry. He is a passionate pilot and will be able to speak on policies that would affect other pilots and aviation businesses as he works directly with the Southwest CEO.
In fact, the CEO of Southwest said that the appointment was great to see as DeVos had been quintessential in a few deals with Southwest bringing new traffic to the Gerald R. Ford Airport.
Even as DeVos moves towards aviation, he remains an education leader with his wife. Together, they have also founded the Great Lakes Education Project, which is a school-choice advocacy organization that has been integral in political action. The aviation school is tuition-free just like other Michigan charter schools. The student allowance is given from the state which is about $7,500.
With his knowledge of education and aviation, there is no question that he will make a great leader at the Federal Aviation Administration. Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/DickDeVosII