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Businessman Dick Devos

Most people wonder how Dick Devos is doing in Washington with his wife Betsy Devos, as the US Education Secretary. The truth is that he has been campaigning for her since day one, but it’s also clear that he is still in pursuit of some political career. Why else would he accept a position on the Management Advisory Council for the FAA? Well, he is an avid pilot, aviation enthusiast, and pilot mentor to the West Michigan aviation academy in Grand Rapids.


Most people don’t know the man that Devos is today. They frequently are reminded of the businessman who worked with the Shaquille O’Neal trade back in the 1990s. However, Devos has moved on from his Amway days. He now works as the founder and strategist behind The Windquest Group, which he formed with his wife Betsy Devos. He is also involved in several projects with the Devos Family Foundation. For example, that school is just one of many that the Devos’ have helped in the past.


Devos has been helping the airport in Grand Rapids as well. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport has been around since the early 1900s, but it went through a re-launch in 1999. The re-launch didn’t bring in much traffic, and so the CEO asked Devos if he would be able to help knowing that Devos had some previous relationships with certain airline executives.


One of the most notable is the Air Tran Airways conversation. This was a brief phone call in the early 2000s that Devos made to the CEO of Air Tran Airways. He wanted to talk to him about expanding at the airport. After the call was concluded, the Air Tran Airways CEO was able to open up new flights and terminals at the location, bringing in a large influx of business travelers.


There were some difficult times when Dick Devos had to call up the Southwest CEO to prevent the airline from closing some of its terminals at Grand Rapids location. However, Devos convinced the CEO not to do that as it would be a detriment to the success of the airline. The truth was that the Gerald R. Ford International Airport needed a big boost to expand the airport’s offerings. That came in 2015 when it was announced that the airport would be receiving a $45 million renovation.


It’s these acts and future growth that can help the FAA see a brighter place for air travelers in 2018. Devos will be meeting with the council once every months.


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