Fred Meijer: Stories of His Life

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
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Retailing pioneer Fred Meijer comes alive in the pages of this intimate biography, told in part by the people in Fred's life from store cashiers to American presidents. Astute businessman, visionary arts patron, homespun philosopher Fred is a man of many parts. His story weaves a chronicle of how to succeed in business, how to shape one's life, how to leave the world a better place, and how to have fun along the way. / "Fred, in his unpretentious way, has always been a leader. . . . He is able, he is dedicated, and he's fun." Gerald R. Ford / "I have always admired Fred Meijer as the great visionary who first recognized the potential of the supercenter in the United States. As we developed our Wal-Mart model, we learned a great deal by watching what he did." Don Soderquist - former Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Wal-Mart / "Fred Meijer's life story is a supersize grocery cart, full to the brim with values that we should live by honesty, fairness, and respect for others." Mike Lloyd - Grand Rapids Press
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About the author

Bill Smith worked for the Meijer Corporation for over four decades, with a special emphasis in marketing and advertising for fifteen years, before his retirement in 201.

Larry ten Harmsel is historian for the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park and former dean of the Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University.

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Additional Information

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
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Published on
Mar 9, 2009
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Biography & Autobiography / Business
Biography & Autobiography / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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Bill Smith
This book, like the sermons that compose it, is intended to heighten our remembrance and appreciation for our nation's holidays and Christian holy days. In one sense, this book is a call to prayer-to get beyond the many words we use to celebrate these days to the one that truly matters-the word that tugs at our heart and opens our eyes to see, like Moses, the ground upon which we walk is holy and we too are called to help create a new world-one where strangers are welcomed, not feared; where love involves patience and kindness, not simply instant gratification; and where each holiday and holy day not only reenacts our family traditions and church rituals, but truly enriches and renews us.
Although our holidays and holy days may indeed restore us for work, they play a much more important role in our lives when they allow us to reflect upon who we are and what meaning our lives have, not only for ourselves, but for our world. If any of our holidays and holy days are to be transformed into a time of genuine renewal, perhaps they need to allow for us to reflect upon our lives so we see a bigger picture-one that not only celebrates special days but sees them as opportunities to create a different, more loving and hopeful kind of world. It is my hope that in reading this book, we may hear a word may, however faintly, that calls us to see this bigger picture.
Bill grew up in Kansas, graduated from the University of Kansas, and taught social studies to seventh graders before obtaining his seminary degree from Yale Divinity School. During seminary, Bill studied one year at Cambridge University in England and interned another year as youth pastor at the Union Church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
After serving as a campus minister at Indiana University in the late sixties, he and his wife, Patricia, moved to Washington where he spent thirty-three years ministering to five different churches in the Seattle area. A one-year pulpit exchange in Auckland, New Zealand, and a sabbatical year teaching high school English in Romania provided two enjoyable years abroad.
Since retiring from the active ministry, Bill and Patricia have traveled widely and now live on the Washington coast where Bill enjoys gardening, playing tennis, listening to jazz, cheering on his beloved Kansas Jayhawks, and spending time with his son, Mark, daughter, Jennifer, and five grandchildren. Bill previously published a collection of his sermons, Sunday Mornings: Reflections on Life's Meanings.
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