Dick DeVos is one of the top men in aviation business these days. The son of Rich DeVos, the Amway co-founder, has been making a name for himself politically. He started out in Michigan. His work with Grand Rapids and the nearby airport has made him famous in the aviation business world. The airport that used to have very little traffic throughout the 1990s now sees over 3.26 million passengers per year.
Since the 1990s, DeVos has been working with businesses in Grand Rapids. He wanted to bring economy back to his town after a slump that lasted from the 1980s until 2000. It was around this time that many projects started to come together in downtown Grand Rapids. This was mostly thanks to Grand Action, a committee formed by DeVos and other business leaders in the area.
Now Grand Rapids is a bustling metropolis with several new buildings downtown, like the DeVos Place Convention Center, DeVos Performance Hall, and Andel Arena. There have been a variety of new developments at the airport as well.
In 1999, the nearby airport changed its name to Gerald R. Ford International Airport and began taking more international flights. The idea was that more people would use the small airport for these smaller, yet longer flights. However, the plan wasn’t working. Many people wanted other destinations that weren’t being added to the flight list.
DeVos jumped in and talked to the CEO of AirTran Airways. The airline owned many terminals at the small airport, and DeVos asked if the airline would open up new flights to more popular destinations, such as Orlando, Vegas, St. Louis, and Denver. These locations had another significance. Business travelers were more likely to travel to these spots due to conferences and conventions.
With the new flights added, the traffic at the airport took off. Now there were new flights to Orlando and Vegas, which allowed people to travel from nearby neighborhoods as well as bring in business travelers looking to connect.
It wasn’t before too long that DeVos converted these business travelers to using the DeVos Place Convention Center as their next business stop.
Now the airport is completing the second phase of the Gateway Transformation Project, which will add more curbside services to the airport’s facilities. DeVos has been working with the FAA as part of the new Management Advisory Council as well.
Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.