It’s not very often that an employee stays with a company for 49 years, so when they do, we want to make it very special.
Sales associate Walt Grimes has been with the VanDevere Bunch since 1970! VanDevere sales was his first real job. Walt was friends with general manager’s son which got his foot in the door. During his tenure at VanDevere, Walt has seen the group sell several new makes, including, Buicks, Subarus, Jeeps, Pontiacs, Kias and his favorite, Oldsmobiles. He told us that he was Very sad when Olds went away. (He stated very sad with a capital V).
When we sat down with Walt it was before a great celebration that was held at our Buick store. You can watch the video of the event on Facebook.
Now on to the questions!
VDV: What is the best thing about your job?
Walt: The people that I have met here over the years.
VDV: What is the best thing about VanDevere?
Walt: I like that it is a family-owned company and you can go talk to the owners about anything.
VDV: What 3 words would you use to describe VanDevere?
Walt: Longevity, family-owned and community minded
VDV: What do you do when not at work?
Walt: I like to go out on my boat and go fishing!
VDV: We assume as soon as you retire you will be doing a lot more fishing! What is your
favorite fishing spot?
Walt: I like to go to Portage Lakes.
VDV: Do you live near there?
Walt: Yes, my wife Denise and I live in New Franklin with our 1 ½ year old Golden Retriever,
VDV: Awe, your dog must keep you busy! How long have you been married?
Walt: It will be 45 years this August. I met her at a bar. The funny part is that I went out to a bar
in Portage Lakes with a good friend of mine. That night we both met our wives that we have
been with since then!
VDV: Wow, that is amazing! Congrats! Do you and Denise have any favorite restaurants in the
Walt: Yes, we enjoy The Ramp, Angie’s in Barberton and the Ido Café.
VDV: Sounds like you have all the meals covered. Since you sell cars, what is your favorite car?
Walt: My favorite car is the Oldsmobile Intrigue that came out in the late 90s.
VDV: What makes it your favorite?
Walt: It was just a great sporty 4-door car!
VDV: And last question, what advice do you have for new sales associates?
Walt: I saw this quote one time and cut it out and keep it with me. “Your beliefs don’t make you a
better person, your behavior does!”
VDV: That is a great quote, I think we can all take something from that. Walt, thank you for
your time today and sharing your story. We hope you enjoy retirement! Thank you for your
time here at VanDevere! We appreciate you!