Monday, May 29, 2017

Tulip City Air Service, Inc. now under new ownership

Fifty years later, and for the first time in a long time, Tulip City Air Service, Inc. is now under new ownership. Terry Boer has acquired the company from Ludema and assumed ownership on May, 5, 2017.


After owning Tulip City Air Service Inc for the last 50 years, Ron Ludema (left) is now retiring and Terry Boer has assumed ownership.


For most 20-year-olds, daily struggles include finding a balance between friends, family and education.

For Ron Ludema, the question he had to consider at that age was what to do after his boss decided to step down from his position.

It was 1967, and for Ludema, the choice was to either move away from Holland to find a job or take a giant leap to own a business.

Ludema chose to stay in Holland, and after his dad co-signed on his loan, Ludema owned and operated Tulip City Air Service, Inc.

“The most difficult thing about starting so young was starting from scratch and paying the bills,” Ludema said. “That was always the biggest struggle. Starting from scratch and to try to get enough business because you are doing all of it yourself.”

At the time, his mother was his bookkeeper and all there was at the airport service was a 2,300 foot paved runway, a trailer Ludema called home and an old barn that was converted into a hangar.

Fifty years later, and for the first time in a long time, Tulip City Air Service, Inc. is now under new ownership.

Terry Boer has acquired the company from Ludema and assumed ownership on May, 5, 2017.

Boer, who also owns Executive Air Transport in Muskegon, Michigan, brings with him a bachelor’s degree in Aviation from Purdue University and over 7,000 flight hours and 36 years of aviation experience.

“Ron has built an outstanding business and it ties in perfectly with our operation in Muskegon,” Boer said. “With this acquisition, we will be able to provide our customers with an even greater range of services.”

Although making the decision to move on after 50 years was not easy, Ludema said selling to Boer made the transition easier, as Boer had worked for him from 1984 through 1988 as a charter pilot.

“You like to have someone take over that is in the community and is accepted by the community, who knows the business and that you are familiar with,” Ludema said. “The experience Terry had working for us was good and following him through his later years, we could see he was gaining a lot of experience in the industry and it just looked like it would be a really good fit.”



The air service company now provides aircraft charter flights, aircraft management, aircraft sales, maintenance, hangar storage, fueling services and flight school. It is a far cry from what it was in 1967.

“We started out with a single engine airplane flying charter flights and then went to an airplane and then we got an airplane for flight training, so we were doing charter flights and flight training,” Ludema explained. “We now have seven airplanes on the certificate and will pretty soon have eight plus two trainers.”

Boer’s plan moving forward is to integrate his Muskegon company with the Holland business to allow them to run more efficiently and to continue to build the business moving forward.

“It is an honor to take over for Ron,” Boer said. “He did an outstanding job and my goal is to continue what he has been doing for the last 50 years and to build on it. I’m looking forward to working with all the people in Holland and current and future clients.”

As for Ron and his wife Linda, they plan to enjoy retirement and to catch up on things that have been put on the back burner over the last 50 years, including spending additional time at the family cottage.

“The Holland area has been the greatest people to work with,” Ludema said. “That is one thing we have always said in this business is that there have been great people to work with... We want to express our deep gratitude to our customers and all of our employees, past and present for their dedication and contribution to the growth of Tulip City Air Service, Inc. over the years.”

“We wish you all God’s blessing in the years to come.”

For more information about Tulip City Air Service, Inc., visit its website at tulipcityair.com.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.hollandsentinel.com

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