Dick Devos: Businessman and Philanthropist

Have you been watching the news in Washington? While there have been many changes since President Trump took office, one appointment has been very eye-opening in the past year. Dick Devos is now on the Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council. The new council is mainly concerned with policies, regulations, future growth, and budgets to carry through the next few years as well as spark new changes for the aviation industry in America. This comes after President Trump made a point during his presidential election run to state that aviation had fallen behind in America compared to foreign markets and airlines like Emirates.

 

The changes have already been taking place for the past year. Devos was appointed in September 2017 and has been working with the FAA for the past year. His knowledge in aviation business and education is legendary, as he was able to turn around a failing airport in less than a decade to become one of the biggest international airports for business travelers. The airport is one in his hometown of Grand Rapids.

 

It was in the 1990s that Devos first started to take notice of the businesses in Grand Rapids. He began working with the leaders to help them bring more commerce and industry to the downtown areas. That included passing on some plans that would have moved the center of downtown to other areas. Devos had seen what sports arenas and convention centers could do when not placed properly. After all, he had seen what had happened to Detroit.

 

He wanted to create real change and see that Grand Rapids became a rapidly growing city. He worked first with the business leaders, and then he looked to the airport. He saw an opportunity to change the airport into something much bigger than the small executive-style airport that it had become. He worked with the CEO and the airlines at the airports to expand, eventually leading to a $45 million renovation.

 

The renovation is just one part of Devos’ plans to increase the volume of traffic and ticket sales at the airport. It will bring in a new business traveler center, which is one of the main reasons that so many travelers are coming to Grand Rapids.

 

Devos will be working with the FAA for another year, meeting once every quarter to discuss new plans.

 

Read http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.

ClassDojo and the Future of the Edtech Business

ClassDojo is changing the way teacher, and students communicate one classroom at a time. It was created by an education tech team looking to make a difference, and they have been succeeding.

Even though the business of education technology is firmly on the rise, few app and tech companies manage to achieve a successful first step in creating ed tech, and that is to listen to what teachers and students have to say about what they need. The collaborative founder of ClassDojo Sam Chaudhary started up the project by talking to students, teachers, and parents and continued the communication while the app was in development.

The ClassDojo is currently used in 90 percent of the K-8 districts in the United States of America. It allows for teachers and parents to communicate at all times and relate the progress of the students or collaborate on projects.

There are a few things that make education tech products successful. The first thing is to satisfy a need which exactly what the ClassDojo did. Another factor for the success of allowing the products to be tested so they can prove themselves to the audience. While in the past it was enough to just make it available, now such products are abundant, and users are overwhelmed. Finding the right audience though accelerators are one of the ways to overcome that hurdle.

In addition to all that, companies need to have a plan for the way the product would be implemented and understand how a teacher or a student would use their creation. That has a lot to do with communicating with the target audience beforehand. It is no longer enough to create a messaging app, for example, and brand it as a piece of education tech as the market is more prominent and it is growing consistently.

Once the application is launched, companies working in education technology need to continue to show their support for their target audience instead of move on to the next project. Communication and getting feedback is important and can often determine the future of the next project. The education tech business is growing, and companies have to evolve with it.