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Icebreaker: David Overbeeke On Giving

From supporting global issues such as hurricane recovery efforts, to local youth sports teams, philanthropy has been woven into the fabric of BPI’s corporate culture, according to David Overbeeke, president and CEO of Brake Parts Inc.

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AMN Editor Amy Antenora has been reporting daily on the automotive aftermarket since 2002. She also is editor of AMN Global and serves as managing editor of Counterman magazine, AMN’s sister publication for the parts distribution segment. Prior to joining Babcox Media, Amy began her career as a newspaper reporter and went on to work in public relations for two state universities. She is a graduate of Kent State University and in 2009 earned the Automotive Aftermarket Professional (AAP) designation from Northwood University’s University of the Aftermarket.

During his 11 years as leader of BPI, David Overbeeke has instilled his own personal passion for giving into the BPI culture, making a lasting impact not only on the company he leads, but also the community where he and his employees live and work. 

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From supporting global issues such as hurricane recovery efforts, to local youth sports teams, philanthropy has been woven into the fabric of BPI’s corporate culture, Overbeeke says. “There are a lot of aspects to creating an environment that make people feel they want to be a part of the company,” says Overbeeke. “The company is an extension of them. It’s not like charitable giving is THE No. 1 nut that everyone looks at and says, ‘I like working for BPI because of that.’ It’s just one of the building blocks that fills out the quilt of attributes that are important to people who work at BPI. Community is important, support is important, reputation is important, inclusiveness. It’s a patchwork of things.”

Overbeeke, left, planting a tree at BPI’s McHenry, Illinois, headquarters for Earth Day, with Tom Sheppard, BPI’s chief information officer.

 While the company has a Charitable Committee through which employees look to support a variety of organizations, the United Way receives the majority of the company’s financial support. BPI started out giving roughly $20,000 to United Way of Greater McHenry County in its first year holding a company fundraising campaign. Since that time, BPI has become the largest contributor to the United Way of Greater McHenry County for several years running and has received major donor awards a total of six times. With its $273,000 donation this year, the company hit a new record, exceeding the $200,000 level, and was honored with the prestigious Benchmark Award from United Way.

Overbeeke and the Brake Parts Inc team celebrate his recognition by United Way of Greater McHenry County with the inaugural Trailblazer Award.

For his role in inspiring his company and community to give back, Overbeeke personally was honored by the United Way of Greater McHenry County, with the inaugural Trailblazer Award in 2018. In 2017, the company was honored by the McHenry County Economic Development Corp. as 2017 McHenry County Business Champion in the category of companies with 300 employees or more. 

When asked why philanthropy is important to him as a leader, Overbeeke is humble and inspired in his goals to help raise the tide for his entire community. “The most important thing is there’s a huge need,” says Overbeeke. “The objective of the exercise is, we will win together. We’ve got to get more businesses to jump in and find this as important. … So when we get there, and I don’t know if we ever will, then I think we’ll have reached THE goal, which is to have everyone trying to be successful in their business life and realize we can be supportive of the community so that, as a whole, it is a good place for our employees and citizens to live. That’s the goal.” AMN

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