Joel VanderHoek

President of Borderview International

Lynden, Washington

Class of 2009, Business Administration major (Entrepreneurship emphasis)


VanderHoek runs the company he founded five years ago, Borderview International, working alongside his wife, Lindsey. Their mission statement reads, “Borderview provides innovative solutions that transform complex firearms logistics into surprisingly simple systems for our customers, by operating with utmost integrity, in strict compliance, and always focused on efficiency.” VanderHoek says they help move sporting firearms legally and ethically across international borders. He also works on a strategic advisory basis for his family’s long-time retail sporting goods store, Dave’s Sports Shop.

How does your time at SPU connect to what you’re doing today?

My involvement with student government (ASSP) and other extracurricular activities at SPU provided a great foundation to be a small-business owner and active community member. My learning in the business classroom, especially Jeff VanDuzer‘s ethics class (“another way of doing business”) laid an important foundation for the highly regulated work we do at Borderview.

Which SPU faculty or staff member made a difference in your education?

Faculty member Dr. Herb Kierfulff (recently retired) was my mentor and independent study advisor. Only after beginning class did I learn that Herb Kierulff, who founded the entrepreneurship program at University of Southern California, was at SPU. I enjoyed many meetings with Dr. Kierulff off-campus near his home and was blessed by his mentorship during my time as a student and in the years since. I was also impacted by Dr. Phil Eaton as he and I shared regular one-on-one meetings while I served as ASSP president. Dr. Eaton invested in me personally and has remained a dear friend in the years since graduation as we’ve visited him and Sharon in their Seattle and California homes.

What advice would you give to current SPU students?

Plug in with clubs and extracurricular activities — and be sure to explore a variety and perhaps you’ll find a passion you didn’t know you had.