Dick DeVos is a billionaire, the former CEO of Amway, and a business leader in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. DeVos was recently picked out to be a part of a leading civilian panel that oversees the Federal Aviation Administration. The United States Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao made the announcement that there would be seven new members joining the council and that DeVos was one of them. His job will be to advise the senior management of the FAA on matters related to long-term planning, regulation, spending, and policy and will be serving in this capacity for 3 years.
Dick DeVos is a pilot, himself, and is also the chief executive officer of the Windquest Group, which is a holding company for a spread of businesses in the Grand Rapids area. He was also responsible for making the Gerald R. Ford International Airport what it is today and worked behind the scenes with many different business leaders to ensure that Southwest would continue to offer flights out of Grand Rapids. He managed to do so during a time when the airline was reducing flights out of many other cities. Not only did he convince Southwest to continue to serve Grand Rapids, but he also convinced the company to increase the number of flights it offered.
These aren’t the only instances where Dick DeVos has had a positive influence on the city of Grand Rapids. Back in the early 1990’s, he had caught wind of a plan that was being introduced to the public that would see a multi-purpose sports and convention arena constructed near the downtown area of the city. While others waited to see what would happen, he immediately got to work lobbying against the idea. The reason for his concern was related to an incident that occurred in the 1970s when the Detroit Lions and Pistons had vacated Detroit after the city had invested in the Pontiac Silverdome and Palace of Auburn Hills for the sports teams. This move had not been good for Detroit, and he wasn’t going to standby and let Grand Rapids fall prey to the same thing. His lobbying efforts also led to the creation of Grand Action, which is a group that is comprised of business leaders who have been responsible for many of the important buildings that now grace the city. Dick DeVos has already been a gift to Grand Rapids and plans on continuing to do great things for the city he loves.
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