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One of the challenge points on the Better World Books 2017 Reading […]
Hardworking. Determined. Courageous.
Peter Veldman, founder of Tire Rack, overcame many challenges to create a successful business. Veldman passed away in 2014. In his memory, his family and Tire Rack seek to honor his legacy and share his story with the publication of this book. He was an impactful person in the South Bend, Indiana community, where Better World Books also began. As friends of the Veldman family, Better World Books, is pleased to showcase this account of Peter Veldman’s life, entrepreneurship and commitment to giving back to his community. True to Veldman’s desire to give back, a portion of the funds from each sale of the book will go to The Folds of Honor Foundation, an organization providing educational support to spouses and children of America's fallen and wounded soldiers.
PETER VELDMAN: DUTCH IMMIGRANT, AMERICAN ENTREPRENEUR
by Andrea Midgett
Peter Veldman, founder of Tire Rack, always stood up to challenges. He was the 14-year-old eldest son of a farmer in eastern Holland when Germany invaded. As recounted in Veldman’s own words—the words of a master storyteller—his teenage years were filled with near escapes, efforts to outwit the occupiers, the tedium of isolation—and hope. Hope for life, for liberation, for meaningful work.
After World War II ended, we learn in "Peter Veldman: Dutch Immigrant, American Entrepreneur," that Veldman’s determination and love of risk pushed him to the United States—alone at first—and eventual entrepreneurial success. He worked as a migrant laborer, then was drafted and sent to Korea. Not speaking much English, not yet an American citizen, he answered the summons to serve his new country, even though it meant three years before he could return to Holland and marry the woman he loved. Next came factory work, dairy farming, service stations—each experience a lesson in American life.
Unpretentious, outgoing, optimistic, a keen observer of people and events, a devout Catholic, Veldman never stopped seeking the next big opportunity. He created work for himself and his family, plus many of his 11 siblings and their families as they followed him to the United States. Today, what Veldman began in automotive service in South Bend, IN, has become Tire Rack, a very successful online tire distribution business that employs over 650 people—and remains a family affair.
This account of Pete Veldman's life will inspire readers interested in history, entrepreneurship or simply a good story.
"Peter Veldman was a gift to America from the Netherlands. His inspirational story is all about hard work, love, family, dreams, belief in God, trust, and integrity. This should be required reading in all high schools and business schools in America."
Bruce T. Halle
Founder and Chairman, Discount Tire
"With great admiration I read the life story of Peter Veldman, a man who came to America with a dream. Hard work and imagination made him successful, but through it all he remained a simple, humble Dutchman."
Two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500
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