Q&A: Rachael Veldkamp


Rachael Veldkamp. Courtesy RE/MAX of Grand Rapids

Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.

Rachael Veldkamp is a real estate broker and the co-owner of RE/MAX of Grand Rapids.

The brokerage has locations in Grand Rapids, Wyoming and Standale. 

The firm helps clients buy or sell residential or commercial property.

Biggest career break?

Purchasing RE/MAX of Grand Rapids from the previous owners in 2015

Proudest moment?

I am the most proud when I see my agents’ hard work payoff. When I see them accomplish their goals or create a better life for their families or make an impact that contributes to the greater good, I know I have done my job well.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

To be more generous during difficult times. Whenever I feel discouraged or frustrated, I try and find more ways to serve others and everything comes into perspective. 

How did you make your first dollar?

Packaging hinges for my parents hardware store, Modern Hardware

Most-treasured possession?

Family photos and memorabilia and my book collection

Dream job?

I have my dream job. I love people. I love helping them grow and build better lives. I suppose if I were doing this in another industry, I would love that too, but I would miss the real estate industry.

If you were president for a day, you would … ?

Be on my hands and knees alongside of the weakest, most-vulnerable outcasts in our society, and I would listen to what they had to say, so I could be their voice before making any decisions about policies.

Last book you read?

Humilitas,” by John Dickson, and I am currently finishing up Katherine Graham’s autobiography.

Last search term you googled?

Brick and Porter Grand Rapids. I am headed there for dinner this evening and wanted to check out the menu.

Your worst habit?

Forgetting to smile. I am usually thinking about something and don’t realize how serious I look.

To unwind, you like to … ?

I am content with a book — sitting on a warm beach anytime but during the winter in Grand Rapids. I would prefer it to be in front of a fireplace with a blanket.

Dream vacation?

I would love to visit Santorini, Greece

Favorite food?

Pizza. A good chicken Caesar salad is a close second.

Person you most admire?

Eleanor Roosevelt

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