Dick DeVos is one of the top businessman in America. He has helped bring record-breaking sales to Amway for many years, and now he is an entrepreneur helping businesses that want to make the world a better place as well as his position on the FAA’s new Management Advisory Council. The Federal Aviation Administration has recognized other areas where DeVos has been successful, including the economic boom in his hometown.
In the early 1990s, Grand Rapids was stagnant in growth. There had been businesses in downtown before, but now they were closing. There were many business leaders complaining about the lack of city planning and opportunities for economic boom. Dick DeVos had the opportunity to look at plans for a sports arena and convention center, but he saw that it would lead to the same problems as Detroit faced with the Pontiac SilverDome.
DeVos stepped in and started working with business leaders to make changes to downtown business districts.He brought in more buildings and cultural arts, such as the DeVos Performance Hall, and he built the DeVos Place Convention Center. The Andel Arena would follow. All of these new buildings were going to help in the next phase of the plan, but DeVos would need to work with the CEO of the nearby airport to succeed.
The CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport had needed help as well. The airport hadn’t seen much growth in the 1990s, even after it had re-launched in 1999. The airport had been open since the early 1900s, but as DeVos began helping the airport, he saw that there were greater opportunities, such as bringing in new business travelers and destination travelers who wanted to go to more entertaining places.
He spoke to the CEO of AirTran Airways about adding new destinations. This would be the beginning of skyrocketing success for the airport. The CEO agreed to add on the new destinations, which would include Denver, Las Vegas, St. Louis, and Orlando. Not only would these destinations help bring in more travelers, in general, but DeVos also saw that he could bring in more business conference and convention travelers.
He wanted to get on the same circuit as Orlando and Vegas, which is why the convention center was so important to the plan. Over the past two decades, DeVos has helped the city grow into a rapidly bustling metropolis with an economic boom that has created tons of jobs. It’s this kind of growth that is legendary in business circles, and it’s one of the reasons why he was appointed to the FAA’s new council.
DeVos will continue to work with the FAA’s Management Advisory Council throughout 2019 and 2020.
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