Philanthropist Dick DeVos was appointed to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) civilian oversight panel on September 28, 2017. The 13-member Management Advisory Council advises FAA executives on long-range planning, spending, and policies. The position is a three-year voluntary commitment in addition to Dick’s private sector positions. DeVos led the $45M revitalization of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and he’ll be an “asset to the FAA Management Advisory Council.”
Gerald R. Ford International Airport
DeVos brought AirTran Airways into the Grand Rapids’ airport which led to nonstop flights to and from the West Michigan airport. A few months later, Southwest Airlines began service to and from the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids. DeVos contributed $1 million to the airport’s expansion, and the airlines lowered air fares and increased the number of passengers traveling through Grand Rapids.
America’s Top Givers
Dick and Betsy DeVos contributed $138.7 million to the DeVos Children’s Hospital, the DeVos Place Convention Center, DeVos Performance Hall, the DeVos Communication Center at Calvin College, and the DeVos Center for the Arts and Worship. Dick and Betsy DeVos were 24th on the Forbes Magazine America’s Top Givers list in 2015. They contributed $1.33 billion in their lifetime. Dick and Betsy DeVos devoted their lives to changing institutions and policies.
Great Lakes Education Project
President Trump appointed Betsy DeVos Secretary of the United States Department of Education. Betsy DeVos advocates for parent and student choices in public school education. She achieved vouchers for children from poor families to enroll in private schools in 24 states and the District of Columbia, but not in her home state, Michigan.
West Michigan Aviation Academy
In 2010, Dick DeVos opened the nonprofit charter school, West Michigan Aviation Academy, with his wife Betsy on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Beginning with just 80 students, the aviation school evolved into a fully accredited science technology engineering and mathematics public secondary school. Learn more: http://www.newnetherlandinstitute.org/history-and-heritage/dutch_americans/richard-dick-devos-jr/