While most Americans would know Dick Devos a successful CEO based in Michigan, his philanthropy and passion projects had taken him in a completely different direction. After having opened his first public charter school in 2010 he has remained a staunch Advocate and philanthropist supporting education efforts around the country.
He and his wife have been strong supporters of public charter schools and vouchers for education. It is his belief that smaller schools can provide personalized learning and unique opportunities. He sought to prove this fact by opening the West Michigan Aviation Academy, the country’s first completely for tuition-free aviation school.
While many critics accuse Dick Devos of using personal funds to bolster a false success, public finance documents for the school tell a completely different story. It is a priority for him to only use public songs that would only be available to any school of the same attendance, it wouldn’t be nearly as much to see success with outside funding.
Thanks to the same documents we can see just how fiscally responsible the school is. Not only the school run officially like a business, it is operated with the top down guidance of someone with years CEO level experience.
Most notably, the school hires a large number of staff members who specialize in each and every field at the school teaches. Successful businesses do not run entirely on the thoughts of a single person; every CEO has a board of directors at various levels of management below him.
Much like our business has department managers, this school has separate deans, one for student life, one for aviation, and one for academic and student services. This approach with multiple managers difference from a standard school that only has one principal. With multiple people of equivalent authority on staff, only the best ideas are promoted; you never ever a circumstance where a principal has a personal belief in something that trumps all the conventional wisdom brought forth by his subordinates. This level of management is important even though there are only 500 students in the school, it is simply worth the expense to hire them for their management expertise.
This is just one way that Dick Devos has used his business management expertise to bring the country its first completely public, tuition-free aviation school. He understands the value of management and is well aware of his limitations as a manager. Because he surrounds himself with other brilliant people with great ideas his school is able to a greater degree of success than the average public school, all while offering a unique curriculum.
Visit http://dickdevos.com to learn more.