Chairman, The Bouma Corporation – Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Bouma Corporation, celebrating its 60th Anniversary, has grown and diversified to include all areas of commercial, architectural finishing. With contracts exceeding $100 million annually, the corporation’s principles remain rooted in a work ethic based on Christian faith, respect, integrity, humility and determination. In 1950, John Bouma, Sr. and his older brother founded Bouma Tile Company with a $1000 loan from their parents. The brothers built the corporation’s reputation, while rapidly creating the preferred tile company for untold numbers of commercial customers. With their handshake contract, and their word their bond, the two grew the business to include a wide range of architectural finishes by working long hours, and hiring competent and trustworthy employees. As the son of Dutch immigrants who believed and instilled in their family that faith and hard work were important factors in life, Bouma’s first job was working with his father as a janitor cleaning the pews at a local church, and loves to relay that he started working on his knees both in the tile business and in prayer. “While giving God the honor and glory in both my business and personal life, I find that the balance of family and work has fallen into place,” he said. Now at age 82 after 60 years in business, Bouma has helped those in need through involvement in a variety of non-profit and charitable organizations.