All about Dick Devos
Dick Devos and His Aviation and Other Accomplishments
Dick DeVos, a long-time pilot, is licensed to fly single engine planes, helicopters, and jets. He is also the son of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos, was the former president of Amway, and is currently the CEO of his own Windquest Group, a holding company for a number of businesses. Dick was appointed as one of seven new members of the Management Advisory Council’s 13 members. The civilian panel oversees the Federal Aviation Administration and advises the senior management on spending, policy, long-range planning, regulatory matters, and charts the agency’s strategic course.
Contributions to Aviation Projects
Dick is a great contributor to many varied projects along with his wife Betsy and their Family Foundation, and they have been extremely dedicated to making their community better. Betsy DeVos is also the U.S. Education Secretary.
Dick and Betsy co-founded the West Michigan Aviation Academy, a unique public high school and nonprofit charter school that was started in 2010 to prepare students for careers in the aviation industry. It has grown from 80 students originally housed in rundown office space at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport to having its own building. Each spring, a public lottery is held if the applications exceed the available 600 openings for students from seven counties. The school is tuition-free and operates with a per-student state allowance of approximately $7,500. However, the DeVos Family Foundation gave the school over $7 million through 2014.
Dick DeVos has played a major role in turning around the Gerald R. Ford International Airport as the head of a group of business leaders who convinced Southwest to offer routes out of the airport, spurred passenger growth and lowered air fares.
Some of Their Additional Contributions
The couple made a donation of $12.5 million toward the construction in 2006 of a $103 million Spectrum Health System children’s hospital which was named for Dick’s mother, Helen DeVos. This hospital allows families to remain at home and not require parents to take time off work to drive to the Mayo Clinic or Ann Arbor or Chicago for the children to receive care. Dick DeVos chairs Spectrum’s corporate board.
Between 1989 and 2015, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation gave away $138.7 million to health services, arts and culture, leadership programs, churches, education reform and private school scholarships. As mega-donors of the GOP, their political influence has brought about major changes in state laws affecting labor and education.
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