Positive change begins at home. This fact has always been at the heart of everything Dick DeVos has done throughout his life. While many people are more familiar with his family’s legacy and his wife, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Mr. Devos isn’t worried about name recognition. He has been helping Grand Rapids and his fellow citizens for many years.
DeVos, Self-Described as an Aviation Geek, Took on the Task of Bringing an Airline to West Michigan
Several years ago Mr. DeVos called AirTran Airways’ CEO to convince him to help improve the Grand Rapids airport. That simple cold call did more for West Michigan than Mr. DeVos had planned. It greatly improved air travel in the region. Later, AirTran Airways was purchased by Southwest. Mr. DeVos continued to convince the airline to add more travel destinations to the region.
Many people may know that Mr. DeVos has a passion for aviation. He has always described himself as an aviation geek and pilot. That is not why he did it. He wanted to help the region grow and prosper in as many ways possible. Besides, engineering this success, he has also merged his love of aviation and his love of helping children into another successful venture. He, along with the help of his wife, Betsy, began a charter school called West Michigan Aviation Academy. The school was launched in 2010.
DeVos Isn’t Conceited, He Just Knows How to Get Things Done
Mr. DeVos was asked to bring the airlines to West Michigan. He accepted the challenge with one condition. He would do it his way. For Mr. DeVos, his way way to take a business approach. It also meant carrying out his plan to woo the airline without the knowledge of the public or media. It wasn’t done for the shock value. Mr. DeVos doesn’t work like that. It was important to complete the deal without public knowledge to get things done right and quickly.
With Mr. DeVos doing things his way, it did mean he wasn’t willing to bring other people in to help secure the deal For instance, He tapped Dan Wiersma as his wingman for the project. He knew that Wiersma, a businessman he’d known for more than 20 years, could strengthen the plan to bring the airline to West Michigan.
Michigan’s Proud Son Tapped for a Washington, D.C. Aviation Position
Mr. DeVos is familiar with getting things done in Michigan. Although the airport deal is his finest, it is not his only accomplishment. There are too many to include. His hard work has caught the attention of Washington, D.C. In 2017, Mr. DeVos was appointed to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the top civilian panel. He is now one of 13 members on the Management Advisory Council who advises the FFA’s senior management about a variety of things. These things include long-range planning, policy and regulatory issues. Do not worry. Mr. DeVos has not forgot about Michigan. He is as committed to making the state better as he was when he first began making the state great.
Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.