Category: Education

Dick DeVos Has Been A Major Influence In Grand Rapids And Beyond

Dick DeVos is one of the top businessmen in the country. His father Rich DeVos was as well. Now that Dick DeVos has joined the FAA and co-founded his own business, he has come into his own. He now is the owner of a private equity firm called The Windquest Group, which helps organizations who want to make the world a better place, including businesses like Boxed Water. In addition, DeVos is committed to philanthropy work. However, what has he done that qualifies him to work with the Federal Aviation Administration?


Well, in a word, everything. He has done everything possible to help his airport in his hometown, and because of his commitment, the airport has skyrocketed in growth, leading to record-breaking sales and passengers in 2018. The growth has continued for a number of years, following a single phone call that DeVos made to the CEO of AirTran Airways in early 2000s.


The call was made on behalf of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Once the call was made, the airport was bound to be successful. DeVos had a connection with the CEO and was able to bring in new destinations. These new flights would cause a frenzy with ticket sales, and soon, those sales boomed. The economic boom taking place in Grand Rapids was finally on a rising trend after years of stagnant economic prospects.


Devos continued to help the airport through major changes and upgrades. Southwest came to the airport, and there were rumors that it would shut down terminals belonging to AirTran Airways. However, DeVos made another phone call and helped the airport once more. His partnership has placed the airport on the map and led to such a huge increase in sales that there were 3.26 million passengers in the airport in 2018.


DeVos has been working with the FAA’s council now for over a year. His insights into the business aspect of airports has helped tremendously to prepare new budgets, policies, and future growth opportunities. Last year, the FAA made considerable changes to certain policies and budgets, including a new renovation announced for the GSO Tower that would cost $40 million.


While the council only meets once every quarter, DeVos is one of the key members of the council to have experience in what the FAA is looking to do across America with every airport. President Trump challenged the aviation industry in one of his first addresses, stating that America’s airports had fallen behind. Ever since then, there has been a lot of emphasis on upgrading airports and making them a better place to fly from.


Gerald R. Ford International Airport used to be small but now it’s a bustling travel space with a new business traveler’s area and food court. He will continue to help the airport as well as its pilot training school. DeVos co-founded the school with his wife Betsy DeVos, who is the 11th US Education Secretary.


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Academy of Art University’s Future Designers

Academy of Arts University Annual Spring Show

On April 26, 2018, the graduating students of Academy of Arts University experienced what it is like to be professional clothing designers. At this year’s annual Spring Show in San Francisco, the students took part in the spectacle of a fashion show when they presented their creations to an audience of professionals in the fashion design industry. The Spring Show afforded these students real-life experiences that included the thrill of success when their designs drew admiring examination from the audience. The students’ designs were later displayed from May 18 through June 9 in the university’s annual Spring Show and Student Showcase.

One Runway Success

Among the success stories of seniors who have presented their designs in the annual Academy of Arts University Spring Shows is that of 2016 alumnus Brandon Kee, who appeared on the television series “Project Runway.” While on the show, Brandon exhibited confidence, vision, and consistency, all of which are attributes emphasized at Academy of Arts University. He was also recognized for his creative abilities that afforded him the distinct identity of being chosen as one of the four finalists. In speaking of his experience on “Project Runway,” Brian mentioned that his having competed with other designers was a “true test” of his creative abilities.

The History of Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University, a privately owned art school in San Francisco, California, was founded in 1929 by Richard S. Stephens, a magazine director. Stephens held that students with artistic talent who are willing to work hard could learn the skills that they need from professionals. Because of his conviction that those with artistic talent need only be taught, Stephens also believed that students should be admitted without art portfolios. Furthermore, Stephens was sure that professional artists, who possessed expertise and experience, should be the ones to provide the students with art education.