Dick DeVos has been a very important figure in the business world of Grand Rapids, Michigan for a long time. He has seen, both, good ideas and bad ideas being presented to the public in the city and was part of an important effort to strike down a very bad idea in the early 1990s before it could harm Grand Rapids. This idea had to do with a multi-purpose sports and convention arena that was being proposed to the people, and he jumped on the phone to begin a lobbying effort against it as soon as he heard about it.
Dick DeVos had seen this kind of thing before, and he was concerned that it would turn out bad like it had for Detroit in the 1970s. Back then, the city of Detroit had decided to construct the Pontiac Silverdome and Palace of Auburn Hills for the Detroit Lions and the Pistons. The problem was that the two teams vacated the city soon after it was built. Instead of letting that happen to Grand Rapids, he decided to form Grand Action, which is a group of leaders who serve in the business sector in the city. Grand Action was eventually responsible for the building of the DeVos Place Convention Center, Van Andel Arena, the Grand Rapids City Market, and a lot more.
Dick DeVos has been a part of many other important happenings in Grand Rapids and the state of Michigan. He ran to serve as the state’s governor but lost to the incumbent. He was responsible for Southwest Airlines choice to run non-stop flights out of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in the city and has also fought to make the state of Michigan a state where workers can get a job without joining a union. DeVos has also donated millions of dollars of his own money towards charities and other educational organizations who work to better the city.
Dick DeVos is the co-founder of the West Michigan Aviation Academy, which is located on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Airport. The public high school serves students who hope to work in the field of aviation. Today, the nonprofit charter school serves more than 600 students who come from seven different counties. As a pilot and aviation enthusiast, himself, Dick DeVos has been more than happy to fulfill the dreams of so many students who have hoped to get a birds-eye view into the field of their dreams.
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