Dick DeVos Joins his Wife, US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, in Washington

Posted on March 3, 2019

Most people recognize the DeVos name from Amway arenas. The sports arena brand has been in the news before for its trade deals with Shaquille O’Neal as well as new construction around certain cities. However, the name has also been associated with the Republican Party. Dick DeVos once ran for governor in Michigan in 2006, but he wasn’t able to secure the office.

 

His wife Betsy DeVos was appointed to the US Education Secretary office in 2017 by President Trump. His climb politically has always been with his wife. They have co-founded several organizations and donated together to start other charities. In fact, they even co-founded a pilot training school in Grand Rapids. It’s located on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

 

Dick DeVos has always wanted to work with the airlines and airports. His strategies have helped put Grand Rapids on the map. Whereas the town was losing funding throughout the 1990s, DeVos worked hard to help the city and make improvements to its developments downtown. In fact with the help of a committee called Grand Action, DeVos was able to build up several areas of downtown all at once.

 

This included such areas around the new DeVos Place Convention Center and DeVos Performance Hall. DeVos was also involved in the building of Andel Arena. These were all central to the plan of turning Grand Rapids into a metropolis. The city development was the first step in getting more businesses to go in downtown, but it was also the first step towards him working with the nearby airport as well.

 

DeVos wanted to work with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport because he had an idea for how to make the airport more successful. The airport had sustained minimal growth throughout the 1990s and by early 2001, it was looking to make a change. While this was a difficult time for airports all over, DeVos managed to work with the CEO of the airport and the executives of AirTran Airways to build a better international location.

 

It started by the addition of new flights. DeVos wanted to see flights like Denver, Orlando, Vegas, and St. Louis added to the Grand Rapids location. These were going to bring in more travelers, but it would also spark interest for business travelers. Grand Rapids had a new convention center, and DeVos saw that it was essential that business travelers started holding conventions in the city.

 

Now that DeVos is working with the FAA, he will be able to help the agency with plans to optimize airports across America. This was how DeVos was able to work with the airport in his hometown and re-build it to where Grand Rapids now brings in 3.26 million passengers.

 

Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.

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