Dick Devos is one of the top businessmen in the country. Known for his incredible sales acumen, he has helped a variety of different businesses through his company The Windquest Group. As the founder of a private equity firm, he helps companies who want to make a difference in the world, including organizations like Boxed Water.
Last year, Devos made a surprising move when he joined the FAA’s Management Advisory Council and started to meet with the 13 members of the civilian board each quarter. As part of the advisory council, Devos will work with other transportation authorities and former airline executives to advise the FAA on policies, regulations, budgets, and future plans.
Planning for change has been on the FAA’s agenda since President Trump challenged the agency on the state of America’s aviation industry. He believed that other foreign markets were far more competitive, and that airports in America lacked technology available in other countries. This move prompted the FAA to make sweeping changes to certain policies, which the agency has released throughout 2018.
How does Devos fit into all of this?
In the early 1990s, Devos began working closely with business leaders in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is hometown. He had just left Amway as Vice President, where he had led record-breaking sales in international markets for the company. The business leaders in his hometown wanted to make a great difference in the city. Devos had seen what had happened to Detroit after the Pontiac Silverdome went bust and the sports teams left the city. He saw that city planning required a strategy, and he looked for a way to bring more people to the city while improving the commerce traffic to downtown.
He started with Grand Action, a collective group of business leaders who wanted to build up the business district of downtown. This led to the creation of the Devos Performing Arts Center and a convention center. Devos then looked for another way to bring more jobs and activity through the city, and he focused on the airport nearby.
Now called the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, the little airport had a relaunch in 1999. Even still, the airport struggled to find travelers. Devos came in with a plan to attract business travelers. He wanted to add new destinations to some of the biggest convention centers and set up a business traveler’s center at the airport as well.
Ultimately, this led to the greatest transformation for the airport and a $45 million influx of funding. Devos is now working with the FAA because of his ability to make partnerships and help other businesses with smart strategies.
Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.