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Dick Devos Recap Article

In the early 1990s, Dick DeVos was looking at plans for a multi-purpose sports and convention area that would be located north of downtown in Grand Rapids. The DeVos family has been influential in their hometown of Grand Rapids but also in the state of Michigan. DeVos found issues with funding and economic development with the building plans and wanted to take Grand Rapids in a different direction.


He saw opportunity to build Grand Rapids in other ways and avoid disasters that had previously happened in Detroit from building large sports multiplexes. DeVos was worried that a new convention center would also create issues financially for Grand Rapids. As the CEO of Amway, DeVos said that he had learned a great lesson from the failure of the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit.


The formation of Grand Action came from DeVos working together with business leaders to better economic opportunities. The group became the driving force behind the Van Andel Arena, the DeVos Place Convention Center, Grand Rapids City Market, the DeVis Performance Hall, and the medical school of the Michigan State University.


The position of the new sports complex was the major issue. Downtown was a central business district that the group wanted to build up. In addition, DeVos saw ways to bring commerce through the Gerald R. Ford international airport. The airport had been stagnant in development for many years. As the CEO of Amway, access was given to many business leaders, including the CEO of Air Tran Airways.


Air Tran eventually added several new terminals to the Grand Rapids airport just from that one conversation with Dick DeVos. In addition, as Southwest took over  Air Tran in early 2000, DeVos worked with the new CEO to keep the terminals and work on a place to expand the airport as well.


All of this puts DeVos’ experience into perspective as he takes on a new position in a civilian panel appointed to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Business Advisory council. This new council meets once a quarter and provides oversight on new regulations, policy changes, budgets, long-term planning, and other issues facing the aviation industry.


The CEO of Southwest said that DeVos’ appointment is a great choice for aviation, and that he was excited to see what DeVos would bring to the table with his appointment. DeVos joins 12 other members to create policies that will affect the aviation industry and hopefully accomplish some of the same successes that DeVos experienced in Grand Rapids.


Additionally, DeVos has co-founded a number of charities with his wife Betsy. In fact, the two started an aviation academy that was located on the Gerald R. Ford airport. The campus welcomes students who want to become engineers and pilots working in the aviation industry. Learn more:


American Institute of Architects Thrives Under New Leadership

The American Institute of Architects was started in 1857 in New York; its initial name was New York Society of Architects. The group was started to feel the gap that was in the architectural industry that gave room to anybody to declare themselves as architects. The corporation that began with only 13 members has grown to 300 chapters with different membership levels and had approximately 200 employees.

Members of the Institute get services using advocacy, community, and information. AIA membership includes architect members, associate members, allied members, emirate members, and international associate members. AIA membership consists of all levels of architects starting from students to veterans.

American Institute of Architects offers the following services to its members.

Provide young architect professionals with plenty of web-based resources to help them kick-start their career.

Facilitate education programs for architects to maintain their license.

They award high achievers to promote excellence and professionalism at work.

They are the advocates in the architectural world.

They do a market research to establish the path that architectural business is taking.

They work with other organizations to make the public belief in architects.

American Institute of Architects organizes conferences to equip architects by exposing them to new development in the architectural world.

About Robert Ivy

Robert is the current chief executive officer and executive vice president of America Institute of Architects. He is leading a team of 90,000 architects and professionals to make the architectural environment better and offer clients quality services. Robert has been tasked to maintain the rich legacy of AIA and to make it more proactive and influential body in the construction industry.

One of his most significant objectives is to create public awareness on the relevance and importance of architects in their construction needs. Robert has for the last six years been committed to equipping the leadership of AIA and coming up a digital technology infrastructure to make AIA a first-class technology backed industry.

Robert Ivy is a corporate executive and former magazine editor. He holds bachelor’s degree in architecture from Sewanee University, another BA, English degree from the University of the South and a master’s degree in Architecture from Tulane University.

Robert has been fortunate in his career. Architectural Record Magazine received numerous honors and journalism awards during his tenure as the chief editor. Alpha Rho Chi awarded Robert for his outstanding performance in communicating the values of architecture and design. Robert joined America Institute of Architects in 2011, and his spirit of excellence has been going up since then.