Dick DeVos didn’t waste a minute in 1991 when he caught news of a plan to build an arena and convention center near downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was working with Amway at the time and on his way to becoming the company’s chief executive officer, and he knew that the plan was a bad idea. The reason for his concern had to do with a previous similar incident that had taken place in Detroit. That city had built the Pontiac Silverdome and Palace of Auburn Hills right before its own sports teams had left the city.
During the process of campaigning against the arena and convention center, Dick DeVos worked with different business leaders in Grand Rapids. This led to the creation of Grand Action, which has continued to be a helpful group for the city. The group has been responsible for the construction of the medical school at Michigan State University, Van Andel Arena, and many other buildings that have made the city a desirable location.
During his life, Dick DeVos has given a lot of his own money away to charitable organizations and other nonprofit causes he believes in. He is also known as a large donor to the GOP and is a conservative when it comes to political matters. He was mainly responsible for a law that changed Michigan from a state where workers were required to be a part of a union to work to a state where anyone can get a job.
Dick DeVos helped to found the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation and has donated millions of dollars to churches, the arts and culture, basic human services, and educational causes. He also started up the West Michigan Aviation Academy, which is a public high school that now serves hundreds of students. The school exists on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, which is very exciting for students who hope to become pilots someday.
Dick DeVos recently became a member of the 13-member Management Advisory Council, which oversees the Federal Aviation Administration. He will serve a 3 -year term and will continue to serve as a business leader during this time. DeVos is a pilot, himself, and has always had a love for the aviation industry. He is also the man responsible for the success of the airport in Grand Rapids because it was him who negotiated a deal with Southwest to run nonstop flights out of it.
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