Have you seen the latest news about Dick DeVos? His company is in the news. Neurocore is a Michigan-based neurofeedback training center that uses data and technology to train the human brain. In addition, DeVos has been working with other companies as part of the Windquest Group, his private equity firm based on Grand Rapids.
For many years, DeVos has helped the city of Grand Rapids. In fact, some people say that he’s the one who put the city on the map. This comes after his work with other business leaders for the downtown area. DeVos built the DeVos Place Convention Center and DeVos Performance Hall, changing the skyline of the area forever.
That wasn’t his final contribution, however. For DeVos, the economy of Grand Rapids truly matters. He saw that businesses were abandoning downtown area, and then he looked at the airport. It was just a small executive airport before DeVos came along. He started talking to airline executives in the early 2000s in hopes that he could persuade them to add more destinations.
With one phone call, DeVos was able to change the course of history for Grand Rapids and the airport. In 1999, the Grand Rapids airport changed to Gerald R. Ford International Airport. With the re-launch, there was an expectation of new activity. However, that wouldn’t come until DeVos talked to the CEO of AirTran Airways.
The airline added four new destinations based on this one phone call. The new flights to Vegas, Orlando, St. Louis, and Denver created a frenzy to fly out of the West Michigan airport. The traffic built over time, and eventually, the airport soared to 3.26 million passengers in 2018.
In addition, the airport had been updating different parts to be more advanced. As DeVos entered 2018, he had just joined the FAA’s Management Advisory Council. Based on his efforts with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, he was able to provide insights into ways that airports around the US could improve their technology.
President Trump challenged the aviation industry in America in his presidential address, stating that many of the airports in America paled in comparison to foreign airport security and technology. Throughout 2018 and 2019, Gerald R. Ford International Airport received $45 million in funding to update its own technology, adding a business traveler center and a food court area as part of the Gateway Transformation Project. The rest of the project will be completed in 2019.
Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/about to learn more.