Entrepreneur Dick Devos

Dick Devos is one of the top businessmen in the world. Whether you like him for his business acumen or know of his history with Grand Rapids, he is one of the smartest business leaders in America. For many years, he worked with Amway, and now he owns his own private equity firm, The Windquest Group. As the founder, he has helped companies like Boxed Water with their goals to make the world a better place.


Part of that was likely the reason he was appointed to the new Management Advisory Council by the Federal Aviation Administration. However, the other part is the way that he called up AirTran Airways several years ago and asked if the airline would help the Grand Rapids airport. At the time, the airport was doing poorly, but with Devos’ one phone call to the CEO, he was able to get several new destinations opened up.


DeVos got through to the CEO faster than most would, and it was this phone call that helped the airport thrive in the past two decades. Now it will be undergoing a $45 million renovation. The new destinations have brought in more business travelers, but it is the new airport facilities that have made Grand Rapids a wonderful destination.


For one, Devos knew that the airport was going to help with the overall strategy of bringing up Grand Rapids’ rapid growth. It started in the 1990s, and Devos worked with the CEO in order to build new ideas. He wanted to help other business leaders in the area get back what they put into the city through bigger commerce projects downtown and an all new convention center that would drive more growth.


It was these same strategies that attracted the FAA to the business leader. They saw that he was able to update the airport and breathe life into the business even after it had gone stagnant in the 1990s. It is through Devos’ continuous support of his hometown that he was able to help others through his own pride in his town.


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