The latest news out of Washington is the appointment of Dick DeVos to the Federaal Aviation Administration. He is one of 13 members on the Management Advisory Council that works with FAA senior management to develop budgets, long-term plans, regulatory issues, and policies. This comes after DeVos has made a name for himself as being an aviation businessman.

 

The notoriety comes from his work while he was the CEO of Amway and wanted to work with AirTran to develop a much better airport for Grand Rapids. His idea to grow the city was all about aviation, one of his passions. Personally, Diok DeVos has been devoted in more than one way to promoting aviation, both as business and hobby.

 

Dick and Betsy DeVos are the co-founders of an aviation academy, a charter school started in 2010 for students who have aspirations to work in aviation as engineers, mechanics, pilots, and so forth. The school was founded right within the airport in Grand Rapids and prepares students for jobs in aviation. DeVos is licensed to fly single engine planes, jets and helicopters. As you can see, his love for aviation runs deep. However, his love for Grand Rapids shows more than that.

 

In the early 1990s, there were plans floated to create a sports multiplex and convention center in Grand Rapids, but DeVos saw a number of issues with the plan and blocked it. He recalled how Detroit had suffered from the construction of the Pontiac SilverDome after the Lions and Pistons left the city in the 1970s. He did not want to see that happen to Grand Rapids.

 

DeVos showed a lot of promise as a business leader. He even helped to create a committee of business leaders called Grand Action that would help promote the economic interests of Grand Rapids and projects that would better the community as a whole. It was part of the reason that he co-founded the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation. Together, the foundation raised over $184 million to donate to charities for the arts, culture, education, community programs, and health services.

 

Now DeVos heads to Washington as a newly appointed official on a civilian panel, overseeing policies and planning for the entire aviation industry. As a volunteer, he will have a 3-year term and can retain public and private sector positions by doing so. He will meet with the other members of the Council each quarter. The last time that the council met was on October 25th, 2017.

 

 

As the former president of Amway, DeVos has a lot of work ahead to do for the aviation industry as a whole and will focus on making policy changes that are beneficial to the success of airlines in the upcoming future. As technology and regulations have changed, he will need to know more about projections and data related to aviation models as well to create policies that are safe for everyone.

 

DeVos joins his wife Betsy who is the US Secretary of Education. As an education policy rebel, she has been making waves with her stance on education. Time will tell how Dick DeVos fairs in Washington as well. Learn more: http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/topic/excellence_in_philanthropy/interview_with_betsy_devos