Not many individuals are able to look at their footprints in the sand and claim a lasting legacy. Philanthropist Dick Devos is someone who is building his legacy, especially at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids. What has Pilot Dick Devos meant to the Grand Rapids Airport in Michigan?
Grand Rapids Airport History
“Great minds think alike.” When great transportation innovators, such as the Wright Brothers and Henry Ford advanced their technology, they saw key synergies with each other. This might have been most evident at the Grand Rapids Airport. The Grand Rapids Airport construction started up in November 1919.
The Wright brothers had graced the area with their presence, eight years previously at the Comstock Park State Fairgrounds. Eventually, the Ford brand worked with the Wright brand to create the first scheduled air service between Grand Rapids and Detroit. This was a first for the United States of America.
Of course, Michigan was a key industrial center and now with the miracle of flight, it would be connected to the world through its new airports. Man had replaced horses with automobiles. Now, man could replace cars with airplanes.
Those who lead the transportation industry must use the latest technology. Henry Ford had to nod to the Wright Brothers. The torch had been passed.
Key Airport for Transportation
When Grand Rapids Airport wanted to attract some of the lower cost airlines, who helped it achieve this goal? It did not have the glittering popularity or volume of other hubs. But, due to his personal connections, Dick Devos was able to make a couple of phone calls and get the ear of Southwest Airlines executives.
They understood the importance of the Devos name. His family had built up a reputation for business success. His support of Michigan charter schools was a key issue in upgrading the state’s floundering educational system.
Michigan Flying Charter School
Dick Devos and his wife, Betsy have paved the way for a brighter future with their establishment of the charter flight academy, located at the Grand Rapids Airport. Understanding the rich history of the Grand Rapids Airport has enabled Mr. Devos to add to its legacy and his own. He has attached his own wagon to the airport.
In many ways, the Grand Rapids Airport has become a second home or headquarters for Mr. Devos. It is the starting point for his journeys around the world. It is the location of his charter school.
The Grand Rapids Airport is Dick Devos’ legacy. As the State of Michigan continues to change, Dick Devos has done his utmost to give it a real future. He has helped with the addition of airline service and charter schools. The Grand Rapids Airport is part of the Dick Devos legacy.
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