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Meet the Author

Born in the Netherlands during World War II, Mr. VanDerZalm and his immediate family immigrated to the United States in 1957.  The family initially settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended High School and graduated in 1961.

            He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves in 1962.  After completing his Army training he moved to Chicago, where he married, raised five children and completed his college education, majoring in accounting. 

While his children were growing up, Mr. VanDerZalm’s hobbies included coaching and officiating youth soccer games.  After his children were grown, he turned his attention to flying.   Mr. VanDerZalm joined the Civil Air Patrol and participated in numerous search and rescue missions as a mission pilot, achieving the rank of Captain.

In 1969 he joined the firm of Price Waterhouse & Co. as a staff accountant in the small business audit division.  After his promotion to senior auditor and handling several special audits, including fraud investigations and bankruptcies, he started his own public accounting practice in the Chicago area in 1973, which he operated for the next twenty years.  During this period he handled several special projects as well as testifying as an expert witness in the Illinois as well as U.S. District Court.  He prides himself on never having lost a tax case.

In 1993 he accepted a five week financial consulting assignment in the Middle East.  Mr. VanDerZalm was unjustly imprisoned where he learned specific details regarding planned terrorist activities to be directed against U.S. targets.  After relaying this information to the local U.S. Consulate, he suddenly found himself in perpetual detainment.  Five years later, through a twist of fate, he was temporarily released from prison and escaped the country by shipping himself in a crate to Amsterdam.