Van De Velde: ‘Many years of business’ experience
My name is Robert Van De Velde. My family and I have been residents of Sterling for more than 44 years. My wife, Rita, and I have four children, a daughter and three sons. My family farmed in the Tampico area.
In October 1943, at the age of 18, I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. I was assigned to a B-29 air crew training to fly bomber missions over Japan. Upon completing 30 missions from the island of Tinian in the South Pacific, I returned to the U.S. and entered Illinois State University. I later entered the business world.
I was employed by Hardware Products Co., a distribution company in Sterling, as a sales representative, and rose through sales and management to become president and partial owner. During my 30 years of employment, company sales rose from $2.5 million to $125.6 million.
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