Tinkham Veale II

“Whenever and wherever possible, we will promote the old fashion capitalistic free enterprise system, the system that made this country the greatest country in the world.”

Tinkham Veale II, May 1971 (Photo By Bill Johnson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Tinkham “Tink” Veale II was a businessman whose success can be attributed to his lifelong commitment to the entrepreneurial spirit. Whether founding a business, providing capital and expertise, or investing alongside partners, Veale believed in and championed the fundamentals of the free enterprise system.

“I believe that privately owned business is the backbone of this country.”

Born in 1914 in Topeka, Kansas, Veale moved to Cleveland as a young child when his engineer father joined the Eaton Corporation. He attended Cleveland Heights High School and Case Institute of Technology, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Veale worked for several corporations including General Motors. In 1941, he married Harriet Ernst, a member of the Ernst and Young accounting family.

In the 1960s, Veale and his associates formed the Alco Standard Corporation, which successfully bought small companies and helped them succeed by contributing capital and strategic direction. Veale’s new organizational approach known as “Corporate Partnership,” kept founding entrepreneurs and management in place to do their own thing. By the mid-1980s, Alco Standard would have ranked among the top 150 public companies listed on the Fortune 500, had it not been private. Veale was the chairman of Alco Standard until 1986.

“I’m interested in helping people out. I give to everything you can think of in this whole area [of greater Cleveland], and I am so happy to do that.”

Alco Corporate Partnership logo, trademarked in 1971
At the 2011 commencement, Case Western Reserve University students thank Veale for his generosity
Throughout his life, Veale was a top-notch businessman and a philanthropist. He was active in community organizations and served as a councilman in Gates Mills, Ohio. He contributed generously to institutions in Ohio, most notably his alma mater, Case Western Reserve University. The Veale Foundation was established in 1964 and continues today.