Dick DeVos established the West Michigan Aviation Academy following encouragement from his wife, Betsy. According to DeVos, the establishment of the public charter high school was a strategy for combining his passion for both aviation and education. The school is located at the property of Gerald R. Ford International Airport Property.
When the school was officially launched, it offered lessons that covered topics on flying and plane maintenance and establishing and managing an aviation business. Today, students can develop successful career in the field of science, engineering, math, technology. The tuition-free school upholds important character values such respect, responsibility, and trust. The school creates a favorable environment for students to establish professional careers and achieve their life goals. Additionally, the school had a 42,500 square feet building that could host more than 500 students.
About Dick DeVos
Dick DeVos is the elder son of Richard DeVos Sr., who Co-founded the privately held Amway Corporation. Amway Corporation is a sales firm that distributes its personal care and health products through dealers to the consumers. Amway Corporation employed DeVos in 1974; he held several managerial positions before becoming the company’s vice president in 1984. As a Vice President, DeVos oversaw overall investment strategy and daily operations of the company in 18 countries. He briefly left the company in 1989 to venture into private business. DeVos founded Windquest Group, a firm that specialized in the manufacturing and marketing of storage as well as closet organizers.
DeVos succeeded his father and became the CEO and President of Amway Corporation in 1993. During his tenure, DeVos restructured the company and established a parent company known as the Alticor Corporation. The umbrella firm consisted of Amway Corporation, access business group, and Quixtar Corporation. Under the new umbrella company, Amway Corporation availed its products to over 50 countries and other territories distributed on six continents. Dick retired as Alticor president in 2002 and entered Michigan’s gubernatorial race in 2006 on the Republican Ticket, but lost to Jennifer Granholm.