Jacob Gelt Dekker
Born in Oterleek, North Holland, Dekker attended school between 1961 and 1967 in Alkmaar and later studied dentistry in Amsterdam. He received an Executive MBA from Erasmus University of Rotterdam and the University of Rochester.
Following his education, Dekker created a series of entrepreneurial inventions, including the Splash Healthclubs in 1985 and One Hour Super Photo service, which Kodak later purchased. In 1981, he took over Budget Rent a Car in the Netherlands for 200,000 Dutch guilders, which he expanded from 20 cars to over 25,000 cars and sold in 1996 for 600 million NLG. In 2006 Decker was #90 on the list of 500 richest Dutch citizens.
In 1998, the Island Government of Curaçao granted Dekker permission to renovate a derelict quarter of the historic neighbourhood of Otrobanda into a hotel and casino, which subsequently filed for bankruptcy in 2013. On the same premises, Dekker founded the Kura Hulanda Museum, with 10 collections describing the slave trade.
In later years, Dekker involved himself in politics and philanthropy. In 2006, the Governor of the Netherlands Antilles awarded Dekker the prestigious rank of Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau. Dekker was a cofounder of the Kura Hulanda Foundation, the Dekker-Padget Dutch2USA Internship Program, and Givingback Nederlands.
Dekker died after a long battle with cancer at his home in Key West, Florida in the United States on 1 September 2019 at the age of 71.
- Profile of Gelt Dekker at Curacao Chronicle Retrieved December 27, 2017
- Theo Robert left Splash Amsterdam to us Retrieved December 27, 2017
- Still Looking for the Fight Retrieved December 27, 2017
- Sandton disappointed with bankruptcy Kura Hulanda Retrieved December 27, 2017
- Freedom at last, after centuries of Dutch rule by Adrian Mourby, The Independent 17 October 2010
- Netherlands American Foundation Archived 2019-08-20 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved December 27, 2017
- Death Curacao Chronicle, 01-28-2016. Retrieved 31 December 2017
- Gelt Dekker 2010 tedX Talk
- Kura Hulanda Museum website
- Stichting Giving Back website
- Amsterdam Publishers website
- Dekker, Jacob Gelt. Bajanala, a stranger in Africa S.N., 1998. ISBN 9789990403312
- Dekker, Jacob Gelt. The Caribbean. Oegstgeest, Amsterdam Publishers, 2018. ISBN 9789492371744
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