Dick DeVos Article Recap

Have you seen the news in Washington? There’s a new DeVos working in the political arena. As US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos sweeps the country, her husband will now join the Management Advisory Council for the Federal Aviation Administration. DeVos has been working in the aviation industry for some time. However, most of his work has gone overshadowed by his leadership at Amway and The Windquest Group. Nevertheless, DeVos has played a major role in the expansion of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport for many years.

 

In the 1990s, DeVos was just starting to bring businesses together in his hometown of Grand Rapids. He helped to form the committee Grand Action, which was responsible for a number of buildings in the early growth of the city. There were also plans that came across DeVos’ desk that he would not follow through with, including a sports complex and convention center. The issue was that the plans placed the two buildings far away from the city’s business center in downtown. It wasn’t going to help with jobs or rapidly expanding the city, like DeVos had hoped.

 

The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation was formed to help with projects that would bring about better opportunities for Grand Rapids residents and contribute to the commerce in downtown. There were also plans to build an airport. In the late 1990s, the new airport had launched. However, it was not exactly booming with passengers. There were some changes that needed to be made and more flights that needed to be added for it to truly be an international airport.

 

DeVos worked with Air Tran Airways’ CEO in order to get in new traffic. He started by talking to the CEO about terminals and expanding the current offerings to get in more passengers. The plan worked. New flights were added to St. Louis, Vegas, Denver, and Orlando. Over time, those terminals were challenged by the takeover of Southwest in the early 2000s. DeVos talked to the CEO of Southwest at the time to see if a deal could be made to keep certain terminals. The airline was shuttering multiple terminals in other airports. However, the airline never shuttered any of the terminals or flights at the Grand Rapids location.

 

DeVos is just one of the people on the council with previous aviation experience. There are also transportation and airline executives who will be joining him in advising the council on what to do. With his business acumen, he has been able to help the Gerald R. Ford Airport receive $45 million in funding for new renovations. These insights into the airport’s expansion and working with airlines will prove vital to the policies and regulations that the FAA is looking to update in the next year.

 

To learn more, visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/.

Louis Chenevert, an Icon of Excellent Leadership

Louis Chenevert is a Quebec born leader with a Bachelor degree in production management from HEC Montréal associated with the University of Montreal. Prior to His work at United Technologies Corporation, he worked for General Motors and Pratt & Whitney. Pratt & Whitney is a unit of the UTC where he worked for six years before becoming its president in 1996 a position he held for seven years before he was elected Chief Executive Officer of UTC.

From the times when Chenevert became part of the UTC family, his contributions have been resourceful in improving the corporation’s steady growth. One cannot fail to note that when he took over in 2006, there was a global recession but Chenevert was able to make sure UTC attained its objectives despite the economic hardships back then. Under his leadership, UTC has gained a lot. One of the instances is when he negotiated the acquisition of Goodrich which cost the corporation $ 18.4 billion.

As the CEO of UTC, Chenevert made it his goal to invest in the people who work for the corporation since they form a good source of input. This is through the corporation’s Employee Scholar Program that nurtures all employees’ development by enabling them to advance their knowledge and skills by covering their educational costs. Over 40,000 employees globally have been beneficiaries of the program.

Chenevert’s forward-thinking mentality led to UTC progressive growth, by looking at projects that will advance the corporation’s vision while at the same time motivating its workers towards attaining set goals. This is enhanced through rich investment in advanced technological innovations that will give UTC a competitive advantage over other competitors.

While Chenevert was the CEO of UTC, he was able to broker a deal with the US government, when there were hitches in Rolls-Royce decline to manufacture the F-35 engine for the US Air Force. Through Pratt & Whitney, Chenevert lobbied for the deal, making Pratt & Whitney the only supplier of the F-35 engine. Chenevert‘s 10-years effort under Pratt &Whitney led to the development of the Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine. Furthermore, UTC’s Sikorsky section dominated the manufacturing market of US helicopters.