Dick DeVos gives back in more ways than his family company Amway can. Few know that DeVos is a pilot. This is also true of how he uses his power to help his hometown of Grand Rapids. His wife Betsy is more well known in the marriage, but DeVos has people ask him for his expertise. The CEO of Amway’s first foray into public issues is with the Grand Rapids convention center. He is also known for aeronautical issues that have gotten him a seat at an FAA top board. That shows the knowledge DeVos has.
Most people believe a convention center is good for a city. Grand Rapids was wanting to combine one with a sports area. DeVos and the group Grand Action was to see the direction change for the better. They never got the problems other cities got in from teams leaving. The next project for DeVos was to make sure Grand Rapids airport is necessary to more than a single city. That gave the DeVos family a chance to show how education can be a change for good. The airport and school on the premises show that aviation can spur the imagination.
Dick DeVos works hard to get airlines to see the profit at Grand Rapids. He does this while other airports are closing or shrinking. He was a driving force in getting Southwest and AirTran to have flights at the Michigan city. This brought in millions in revenue and upgrades. Jobs were also an effect of the work DeVos saw as necessary. He then built a charter school that has a focus on aviation. The school draws in students from more than Michigan. These students can learn to fly or repair airplanes. Some students do not even attend aviation courses.
The DeVos family has shown that they have an interest in more than their fortunes. Grand Rapids has grown with the work of DeVos. This comes with more than business interests. The education that the kids are getting has them able to fly. It also allows them to other prospects after they graduate. That allows DeVos to show how education and business can modernize the world. This is what he brings to the FAA. His wife brings this to the Department of Education.