Coolidge Foundation & NAF-Biz NY: Book Presentation by Dutch-American Billionaire Hank Meijer

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Date(s) - 01/22/2018
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Harold Pratt House


The Netherland-America Foundation is proud to co-host with The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation:

Hendrik Meijer Book Event

Hendrik Meijer, Author, Co-chairman & CEO of the US supermarket chain Meijer and 2014 NAF Ambassador Award Honoree, will join us for a discussion of his recent book Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle of the American CenturyThe idea that a Senator—Republican or Democrat—would put the greater good of the country ahead of party seems nearly impossible to imagine in our current climate of gridlock and divisiveness. But this hasn’t always been the case. Arthur H. Vandenberg (1884–1951), Republican from Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the model of a consensus builder, and the coalitions he spearheaded continue to form the foundation of American foreign and domestic policy today.

“An engaging and thorough account. . . . A first-rate chronicle.”
Michael Barone of Wall Street Journal

“Meijer has produced an affecting human portrait of a public servant who came to symbolize the bipartisan pursuit of the national interest and a more peaceful world.”
Henry A. Kissinger


The event includes an introduction by Amity Shlaes and an interview with the author, moderated by nationally-syndicated radio host John Batchelor.

Date and Time
Monday, January 22, 2018
Reception at 6:00 PM
Interview at 6:45 PM

Harold Pratt House
58 East 68th Street
New York City


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About Hendrik ‘Hank’ Meijer
Hank Meijer is the son of Frederik Meijer, and grandson of Hendrik Meijer, who founded the US supermarket chain Meijer in 1934.

Hank Meijer’s grandfather, Hendrik, was born on December 28, 1883 in Hengelo, The Netherlands. He immigrated to the U.S. with his father and sister in 1907. They settled in eastern Michigan where he worked in a variety of jobs and eventually operated his own barber job. His fiancée, Gezina, joined him in 1912. In 1934 he opened his first food store with the help of his wife, his son Fred and his daughter Johanna. Their store became successful and in 1942 they opened the second store, followed by four more stores in the 1950s. In the early 1960s Hendrick, with his family’s help, had been able to grow the business to 14 stores, all in the Grand Rapids area of Michigan. The first hypermarket in the U.S. was started by the Meijer family. The Meijers called their hypermarket a super center store, a name that still conveys the concept now commonly used by Walmart and other national retail chains. In 1964, the year Hendrick Meijer died, the Meijer family had three super center stores in operation. Hendrick’s son, Frederick, born in 1919, the son who had worked with his father since the first store opened in 1934, took over and under his leadership Meijer became a retailing giant. It is currently the ninth largest privately held company in the U.S. with over 200 super center stores in operation.

In 1973 Hank Meijer graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in literature. From 1973 to 1979, Meijer was a journalist. In 1979, he joined Meijer, rising to co-chairman and CEO. In 2014 Hank and and his brother Doug Meijer were presented with the Ambassador J. William Middendorf II Award at the NAF Ambassadors’ Awards Dinner, held annually in Washington, DC. (sources: wikipedia and The New Netherlands Institute)

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