Most people don’t realize that Betsy Devos is actually the wife of Dick Devos, the former president and CEO of Amway. The company is one of the largest in the world when it comes to international sales. However, it’s his new focus on aviation that have people talking about the political aspirations of the husband and wife duo now. The pair have rarely been apart in their marriage. They even have campaigned together for 10 years. Devos ran for governor in Michigan in 2006, and his wife recently became the US Education Secretary.
Devos is now working with the FAA on the Management Advisory Council. The new council is made up of 13 members who hail from all different type of aviation and transportation backgrounds. Some are former airline executives while a few transportation authorities are also in the mix. However, the real difference is that Devos is one of the members who has more business acumen in other areas, as well as a passion for aviation. He is an avid pilot after all and has founded his own pilot training school.
Devos started working with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in the 1990s. He wanted the airport to grow in size as it was in his hometown and he saw great opportunity for more jobs and economy at scale. This meant working with the CEO as well as the airlines to come up ideas for expansion, new business, sales, and growth. These are some of the same topics that he will be advising on with the FAA as well.
The transformation of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport can be seen over the past decade. It went from a small, old airport to a much larger, multi-faceted international air travel destination with its own business traveler center. In fact, $45 million in renovations was spent to bring the airport up to par and included a new business traveler center with all kinds of technology upgrades for those travelers who are the go.
It’s been a great transformation to watch as Grand Rapids has also become one of the fastest growing cities in America. Part of this is due to Devos’ business acumen, while another part of it is his willingness to collaborate and work with other business leaders to build something greater for a common good.
Devos will be meeting with the FAA each quarter to discuss new plans for business growth in the aviation industry.
Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/about to learn more.