John Volken

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John Volken
Born 1941 (age 74–75)
Nationality Canadian
Ethnicity German-Canadian
Citizenship Canada
Occupation Businessman, Philanthropist
Organization The John Volken Foundation

John Volken (born 1941)[1] is a German-Canadian businessman and philanthropist. He was the former CEO of United Furniture Warehouse and current founder The John Volken Foundation, which funds several nonprofit enterprises, including Welcome Home Addiction Recovery Academy, PricePro, and Lift The Children. In 1995, Volken received the Canada's Pacific Region Entrepreneur of the year award for his achievements with United Furniture Warehouse[2]

Early life[edit]

John Volken was born in Germany in 1941. When John was 3, he lost his father in World War II. John lived for some time in an orphanage. At 14, he worked during the day and attended school in the evenings. In 1960, John Volken emigrated to Canada. He was 18 and had very little money to his name.[3] Volken worked many different jobs in several cities over the next 2 decades, until he finally bought a used furniture store named United Buy & Sell.[1]

United Furniture Warehouse[edit]

After buying the used furniture store, John Volken decided he wanted to sell strictly new furniture and changed the name to United Furniture Warehouse. He built the chain up to 148 locations across North America, the annual sales of which exceeded $200 million.[4] For this, John Volken was awarded the Canada's Pacific Region Entrepreneur of the year awarding 1995.[2] In 2004, John sold his United Furniture Warehouse stores to The Brick and founded the John Volken Foundation.[1]

The John Volken Foundation[edit]

John Volken started The John Volken Foundation with $100 Million.[5] The foundation funds the Welcome Home Addiction Recovery Academy in Surrey, BC and Seattle, Washington as well as Lift The Children, a nonprofit whose primary function is to support needy orphanages in Africa.


  1. ^ a b c Rose, Emily (Feb 6, 2012). "Giving back to the community". Canadian Immigrant. 
  2. ^ a b "Who's Who; A Decade of Winners" (PDF). BC Business. Oct 2003. 
  3. ^ "John Volken built a furniture empire from nothing". Canadian Immigrant. Retrieved 20 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Lang Jones, Jeanne (5 January 2003). "Canadian furniture retailer plans widespread pullout from U.S". Retrieved 20 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Smith, Charlie (12 May 2011). "Millionaire John Volken offers treatment to addicts". Georgia Straight. Retrieved 20 February 2012. 

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