R. B. (Bob) Lacey

R. B. (Bob) Lacey. The realization of an ambition for the management of which the proprietor fitted himself through hard and conscientious work in allied fields, is the automobile supply company of which Bob B. Lacey is the owner and manager. His father removed from Angola, Indiana, where he had conducted a photograph studio, to Holland, Michigan in 1906, where he now operates a studio. He married Jennie Derthrick and to this union were born three children, of whom Bob B. Lacey is the oldest. Bob Lacey was born in Angola, Indiana, and received a graded and high school education in that city. The money with which he financed his education at Olivet college, Michigan, he earned in one summer as a piano salesman, borrowing the money with which to buy his first piano. After his graduation from college, he went on the stage and was as puts it, a howling success with the audience doing the howling. For three years he continued in theatricals, three years he considers well spent. He then became a salesman with a Chicago firm and at the end of a year was made sales manager for that company, continuing in that position for two years. His next business venture was with an automobile body company of Chicago, a concern in which he had a part interest. He sold his interest in the company in 1915 and for a year thereafter was sales manager with the Staver Motor Company of that city. Since 1911 Mr. Lacey had been conducting his business career with a view to entering the automobile supply business, and every position which he accepted was taken with the idea that in it he would find experience which would be invaluable to him when he finally went into business for himself. To acquire a knowledge of the fundamentals of advertising, he worked one year with a large advertising company. He spent one year in South Dakota as branch manager of the Clear-O-Scope Company and then returned to Chicago where for two years he filled the office of general manager of that concern. By 1919 Mr. Lacey felt that his experience in the automobile supply business and allied lines was sufficient to enable him to make a success of his own company. Casting about for a suitable city in which to locate, he chose Grand Rapids, and though the field seem crowded to the saturation point, he came to that city. His capital was small, but establishing credit, he soon was able to rent an office in the Murray building. Embarked as head of his own company, Mr. Lacey’s past experience in business told heavily in his favor and from the outset the company enjoyed success. By May, 1920, the business had already grown to such proportions that incorporation was necessary, and when the articles had been ratified, the establishment was removed to larger quarters at No. 3 Fountain street. Under the new arrangement, the company grew so rapidly that to seek larger quarters it was forced to move to No. 45 Pearl street. In 1924, the final move was made to the present quarters at 41-43 Cherry street, S. W. As president of his own automobile supply company, Mr. Lacey has become an outstanding figure in the commercial life. The entire state of Michigan and Northern Indiana is the territory which his firm supplies through the medium of seven traveling salesmen. The development of the company is little short of phenomenal when it is considered that in Grand Rapids alone there are more concerns engaged in the same field of work than in Detroit, and that Mr. Lacey has risen within a few years to the head of a company which is one of the largest of its kind in such a crowded field, marks him as a man possessed of exceptional business and executive ability. For his achievement, he is respected and admired by his business associates, who know him for a man of great strength of character, integrity and fairness in his business dealings, and extraordinary managerial abilities. His company in the commercial life of the city occupies a substantial position that has won it recognition as one of the representative enterprises of the city, a name that has been won solely through the tireless energy and close application to duty on the part of Mr. Lacey. He married Vera Hauver, the daughter of Henry Hauver.


Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 21 February 2005
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/white1924/personal/laceyrb.html