In the early 1990’s, Dick DeVos became aware of a plan to construct a sports and convention arena north of Grand Rapids, Michigan downtown area. DeVos, who had been working in the state of Michigan for years to help improve it was already familiar with this type of scenario. You see, back in the 1970’s, in the city of Detroit, a similar plan had come to fruition, and it had been devastating to the city. The reason it had been such a detrimental idea was because it was mainly built for the city’s sports teams, the Detroit Pistons and Lions. That arena was the Pontiac Silverdome and Palace of Auburn Hills, and when the teams left the city, they left behind that arena.
Dick DeVos knew that not everyone at the time would remember that lesson, and so he took it upon himself to begin an effort to thwart the city’s plans. It was his work that eventually led to the founding of Grand Action, where business leaders get together to help improve the city of Grand Rapids. The work of the group has led to the building of the DeVos Place Convention Center, Van Andel Arena, Michigan State University’s medical school, and the Grand Rapids City Market. All of these buildings have had an extremely positive effect on the city.
Dick DeVos is the son of the founder of Amway, and he served as the CEO of Amway from 1993 to 2002. He also ran for governor of Michigan as a Republican but lost to the incumbent. DeVos received his bachelor’s degree in business administration while studying at Northwood University. He was also honored with honorary doctorates from Central Michigan University, Grove City College, and Northwood University. He also become partial owner of the Orlando Magic basketball team when his family purchased the team. DeVos has always had ties to Michigan and Florida and has made both states a better place to live in.
Dick DeVos has also been a pilot for many years and started up an aviation charter school right on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford airport. He was recently tapped to serve on the top civilian panel that oversees the Federal Aviation Administration. He will now serve the 13-member group, which works to advise the senior management of the FAA on matters related to regulation, planning for the future, policy, and how it spends its money. He will serve with the group for 3 years and will continue to run his own business affairs while doing so.
To learn more, visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/.