Hank Meijer was the oldest son of Frederik G. H. Meijer [1919-2011] and the grandson of Hendrik Meijer [1883-1964], the original founder of the Meijer super center retailing chain. Since most of the growth of the Meijer super center retailing chain occurred during the period following Hendrik, Sr.’s death, the credit for the Meijer growth to the present supercenter retailing chain should probably go to Hendrik’s son, Frederik.
The junior Hendrik Meijer, now generally known as Hank Meijer, graduated from the University of Michigan in 1973, with a degree in literature. His passion in the years following his graduation was in doing historical research and in writing. One of the major projects he became involved in was a biography of Arthur Vandenberg, the United States Senator, representing Michigan during the momentous World War II years. Along the way he also wrote a biography of his grandfather and namesake, Hendrik Meijer, Sr., entitled, “Thrifty Years: The Life of Hendrik Meijer”. The book was published in 1984 by Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is still available through Amazon.com.
Little is known about how much time Hank Meijer devoted to the family business during those early years of the growth of the Meijer super center retailing chain. His father Frederik Meijer was in charge, and it appears that Frederik’s children, Hank, Douglas and Mark Meijer were either allowed to do their own thing or to work in the family business. Around the turn of the century, Frederik turned 80 years of age, and the younger generation was called in to participate in the management of the family business.
Hank Meijer apparently became the chief executive officer [CEO] of the Meijer super center chain in 2001, just prior to his 50th birthday. One must suspects that he had worked for quite a while in management positions within the Meijer retailing business prior to that time. Hank served as the sole CEO for about two years following which he became Co-CEO and also the Co-Chairman of the firm. The other co-chairman appointed at that time was Hank’s younger brother, Douglas [Doug] Meijer. Doug had been working in the retailing firm for a number of years in various management capacities.
As of the writing of this biographical profile, the two brothers apparently still served in the same capacities. Although their father, Frederik, had retired in 2001, he continued to serve as Chairman Emeritus until his death in 2012. Forbes Magazine in their October 2013 issue estimated the wealth of the two brothers to amount to $ 8.3 billion.
Hank Meijer, "Thrifty Years: The Life of Hendrik Meijer", Eerdmans, 1984
"Michigan Today", http://www.umich.edu/o3/Sum03/meijer.ht
Larry Ten Harmsel and Bill Smith, "Fred Meijer: Stories of his Life", Eerdmans, 2009
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