Bill Smith, Howard City Resident, Author Fred Meijer stories of his life episode 73

Bill Smith was born at Central Lake Michigan and moved to Howard City when he was in the fifth grade, graduating from Howard City in 1958. His parents owned a grocery store in Howard City called ‘Smith’s IGA’ where he learned to store trade and became a butcher. He worked for the Meijer Corporation for over four decades, with a special emphasis in marketing and advertising for fifteen years, before his retirement in 2001.
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Bill Smith authored the book

Bill co wrote, “Fred Meijer: Stories of His Life Paperback ” along with Larry ten Harmsel. According to the Amazon statement about the book: “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”  Can purchase the book at

Just Call Me Fred

Bill also wrote the book: ‘Just call me Fred’, which is a collection of 101 quotes from Fred Meijer.
Fred Meijer was an American businessman and philanthropist, best known as the founder of Meijer, a regional supermarket and hypermarket chain in the United States. Born on December 7, 1919, in Greenville, Michigan, Fred Meijer played a pivotal role in the expansion and success of the retail company.

Founded in 1934 by Hendrik Meijer, Fred’s father, the Meijer chain initially started as a local grocery store. However, under Fred Meijer’s leadership, the company underwent significant growth and evolved into a supercenter format, combining grocery and general merchandise under one roof.

Fred Meijer was known for his commitment to customer service, innovation in retail, and community involvement. Beyond his contributions to the business world, he was a dedicated philanthropist, supporting various charitable causes and organizations in West Michigan. His legacy extends not only through the Meijer retail empire but also through the positive impact he made on his community through his philanthropic efforts.

Fred Meijer passed away on November 25, 2011, leaving behind a lasting legacy in the retail industry and a strong tradition of community engagement associated with the Meijer brand.
Bill Smith loves living in Howard City due to the small town flavor and slower pace. Howard City is a small town located in Montcalm County, Michigan, USA. Situated in the western part of the state, Howard City has a modest population and is known for its rural charm. The town is surrounded by scenic landscapes and is part of the larger agricultural and wooded areas typical of Michigan.

Growing Up in Howard City

Howard City serves as a local center for residents in the surrounding areas, offering essential services, small businesses, and community facilities. While it may not be a major urban center, Howard City provides a quieter, close-knit community atmosphere for its residents. The town’s economy often reflects its connection to agriculture and local businesses.

Overall, Howard City represents a quintessential small town in the Midwest, emphasizing a simpler way of life and a strong sense of community.

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Discover Montcalm Podcast is produced by Duane Weed.  He started DW Video & Multimedia in 1984. Today he runs the business and teaches Digital Arts at the Montcalm Area Career Center. Connect with Discover Montcalm to tell and share your story. Call 231-250-9624 to learn more and schedule an appointment. Check out all our past episodes

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Bill Smith, Howard City Resident, Author of the book: Fred Meijer stories of his life episode 73

by Discover Montcalm Podcast

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Discover Montcalm Podcast
Discover Montcalm Podcast

Welcome to the Discover Montcalm Podcast where we are going to take a look at the communities, the businesses, the attractions and the people that make up Montcalm County. If it happens in Montcalm County, we are here to tell and share the story. Contact Duane at 231-250-9624.

Feature Your Business on Discover Montcalm

Learn about upcoming shows, how you can be a guest on the show and maybe even a sponsor. Contact Duane for more information.   Call Duane 231-250-9624

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