Dick Devos is one of the quintessential businessmen from America. His work with Amway as President and CEO for many years led the company to immense success, particularly in global sales. It’s no wonder that Devos turned his attention to a political career early in 2000s, and while he was not successful in his bid for governor of Michigan, he has now joined his wife, the US Education Secretary Betsy Devos, on Capitol Hill.
Devos was appointed to the Management Advisory Council by the Federal Aviation Administration in September 2017. Since that time, Devos has met with the Council to providing advice on budgets, policies, regulations, and future growth ideas. All of this change comes on the heels of President Trump challenging the aviation industry in America to be better. Devos knows more about the aviation business world than most due to his extensive experience with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.
For many years, Devos worked in Grand Rapids to improve his hometown and make it one of the rapidly growing cities of America. He started with the downtown businesses, but then he turned his sights to the airport nearby. While the airport hd been around since the early 1900s, the airport had fallen off in terms of services and flights, so it wasn’t doing as well as it should have when it re-launched in 1999 as Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
At that time, the CEO called in a favor from Dick Devos who knew the CEO of Air Tran Airways. With one phone call, Devos asked Air Tran Airways to open up new flights at the Gerald R. Ford International AIrport. The phone call worked and four new flights were opened to Denver, St. Louis, Orlando, and Vegas.
That one move allowed the airport to garner new business, bring in travelers looking to go to new destinations, and transformed the airport into a multimillion dollar business traveler airport. After recent renovations, the airport has opened a new business traveler center, as well as a new area in the food court and new technology in terminals.
This experience has defined Devos’ aviation business career and given him a lot of insight into how airlines and airports can work together to improve. That information is invaluable as the FAA looks to change multiple policies and regulations.
Devos will continue to meet with the council throughout the next two years, hopefully contributing to a number of changes that will transform aviation until it is as competitive as other markets, as Trump suggested.
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