A new civilian board has been developing under the Federal Aviation Administration. The Management Advisory Council also has a familiar face. Dick DeVos, husband of US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, now joins 12 other government officials and aviation leaders to advise the FAA on aviation matters.
The council meets once every quarter and contains some of the brightest minds in aviation and transportation policymaking. Together, the group will advise on budgets, regulations, policies, and future planning. This comes at a time when the aviation industry has been doing jumping jacks on the market as airlines try to compete over air fare and compelling business travel packages.
Business travelers are a strong suit of Dick DeVos, who has been working hard over the past 10 years to re-build the Gerald R. Ford airport. He is attributed greatly to the success of the airport’s turnaround, culminating in a $45 million makeover that will add new terminals, food court, and business center.
Most people think that Dick DeVos is just the former president of Amway, a company founded by his father Rick DeVos. However, Dick has always been a savvy businessman. His skills started to develop in the early 1990s when he saw plans floated to change the face of Grand Rapids’ downtown area. There were many businesses who would be affected by plans to build a sports multiplex and convention center away from the downtown center.
Instead, DeVos worked with business leaders to change the city in their own way through a group called Grand Action. The group was committed to doing things that would support and build the current business district, including adding several new centers and organizations through the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation. The foundation has now contributed over $134 million to projects and cultural centers across the city.
DeVos is an avid pilot and has always been interested in aviation. His work at the West Michigan Aviation Academy also shows his commitment to the aviation industry. By creating an aviation charter school, he allows students to learn and become pilots so that they have options when they get out of school. DeVos is licensed to fly single engine jets, planes, and helicopters as well.
While DeVos has been working towards this moment for many years, he has been very successful with his own firm The Windquest Group, which is a holdings company that founded Boxed Water.
DeVos will bring his expertise in aviation and business to the table to help policymakers create new opportunities for the aviation industry. Already his appointment is being praised by the CEO of Southwest and Jim Gill, CEO of the Gerald R. Ford airport.
DeVos joins the council with Phillip Trenary, former CEO of Pinnacle Airlines and William Ris, former senior vice president of government affairs for American Airlines.
To learn more, visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/.