Waid Robert Vanderpoel (May 19, 1922 – August 25, 2003) was an American financier and conservationist born in the Chicago neighborhood of Norwood Park Illinois. With a degree in Finance, Vanderpoel was a notable financier throughout his career. He died in Barrington, Illinois.
Personal Life and Education
Waid Vanderpoel was born and raised in Norwood Park, a northwest Chicago neighborhood, to Helen and Robert Vanderpoel. His father, Robert, was a well-respected financial journalist for the Chicago Sun-Times who coined the phrase "the most successful businessman is the man who holds onto the old just as long as it is good, and grabs the new just as soon as it is better". Vanderpoel was also the nephew of noted painter John Vanderpoel. Waid attended Schurz High School, graduating near the top of his class in 1939. Upon graduation, he attended Grinnell College, from which he graduated in 1943 with a degree in finance. After school, Vanderpoel was drafted into the Army, serving from 1943 to 1945 as a Corporal in World War II in France and central Europe. He met Ruth Silbermann in 1947 and they married later that year. Over the next decade, they had five sons- John, Tom, William, James, and Mark.
In 1946 Vanderpoel joined the First National Bank of Chicago (now a part of JPMorgan Chase) as an investment portfolio manager, eventually working his way to Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer. During his tenure as an executive, he was instrumental in helping First National Bank of Chicago grow domestically and abroad, as offices were added in London, Tokyo, and Beijing. He also gained notoriety as an international expert on the effects of inflation in the global economy. He quickly became one of the preeminent voices in finance, widely quoted in national periodicals, resulting in an award from the Financial Analyst Society for his work with Governor George Romney on tax relief for stock dividends.
After retirement from the bank, Vanderpoel devoted much of his time to land conservation and prairie restoration. He volunteered time with Citizens for Conservation, a Chicago-area organization with a mission of saving living space for living things. Eventually becoming a two-time president of Citizens for Conservation, Vanderpoel helped the organization acquire over 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) of land for preservation and restoration, and helped saved numerous plant and animal species from extirpation. He received national attention for directing his organization's successful efforts and his ability to leverage his business savvy to lead successful negotiations and bridge the gap between business and environmental factions.
Vanderpoel was also a widely recognized rock gardener, dedicating much of his 5-acre (20,000 m2) Barrington, IL property to the craft. He was a member of the North American Rock Garden Society, and co-authored a 1996 book entitled Handbook on Troughs.
Awards and honors
- Financial Analyst of the Year award from the Financial Analyst Society for his work with George Romney for developing legislation concerning tax relief for stock dividends.
- Recipient of the Barrington, IL citizen of the year award, 1993 
- Honored by the Illinois General Assembly with Senate Resolution SR0299.
- Handbook on Troughs, Waid Vanderpoel, Gwen Kelaidis, et al., North American Rock Garden Society, 1996, ISBN 0-9675093-0-0
- Illinois General Assembly Senate Resolution SR0299 online
- History of Bank One (FundingUniverse.com)
- Inflation Tops Americans' Worry Lists Boca Raton News - Oct 8, 1972
- Proposal Spurs Mixed Views from Economists The Day - Aug 17,1971
- Idaho Power Rate Boost Called Vital The Spokesman Review - Oct 23, 1969
- Citizens for Conservation Official Website
- Chicago Wilderness Magazine - Fall 2001
- Lawrence Journal-World
- Chicago Wilderness Magazine - Spring 1999
- Seattle Times
- USA Weekend - Jun 15, 2003
- St. Petersburg Times
- Citizens for Conservation Newsletter - Fall 2003
- Tom and Waid Vanderpoel both named Barrington, IL Citizen of the Year
- Illinois General Assembly - SR0299
- Illinois General Assembly Senate Resolution SR0299
- USA Today's Weekend Magazine - June 2003
- St. Petersburg Times - Aug 3, 1992; Sears Moves from Vertical to Horizontal
- Waid Vanderpoel helps save 1000 acres of forest
- Nature, Commerce Achieve Balance At New Sears Park
- Chicago Wilderness Magazine - Fall 2001; Waid and Tom Vanderpoel: Restorers of Lost Lands
- Chicago Wilderness Magazine - Spring 1999; Citizens and Sandhills
- Lawrence Journal-World - Jun 15, 2003; The People Who Save Precious Wildflowers
- Citizens for Conservation Official Website
- North American Rock Garden Society Official Website