There Must Be A Better Way, the story of Al Thieme and Amigo Mobility

The Amigo Book

There Must Be a Better Way

The story of how Al Thieme invented the Amigo and helped mobilize people with disabilities

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Al’s story

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” so the saying goes, and it could not be more appropriate in the story of Al Thieme, the inventor of the Amigo.

When a family member began to lose her mobility due to multiple sclerosis in the 1960’s, there were limited options for personal mobility devices. At the time, Al Thieme was working as a plumbing and heating contractor in Bridgeport, Michigan.

Witnessing this loss of independence, he knew there must be a better way. After countless evenings spent working in his garage, Thieme went on to invent the first ever power-operated vehicle/scooter – the Amigo. Amigo Mobility International, Inc. was founded on November 12, 1968 and an entire industry was born.

Thieme’s story of entrepreneurship is both heartwarming and dramatic. But through sheer determination, a little bit of luck, and several “angels,” as he calls the people who believed in him and came to his rescue, Amigo Mobility not only survived but thrived. This family owned, Michigan based business is now over fifty years old.

Few biographies or business histories go into the detail of what it takes to build a successful business as “There Must Be a Better Way.”

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About the Author

Henry Dominguez is the author of nine previous works of narrative non-fiction, including The Last Days of Henry Ford; Edsel Ford & E.T. Gregorie; and The Cellini of Chrome; the last two of which won the prestigious Cugnot Award presented by the Society of Automotive Historians. He has also written numerous articles for TIME, The V-8 Times, and Automobile Quarterly, and has appeared on The History Channel and FOX Nation. Born and raised in Ogden, Utah, he moved to Michigan to work in the automotive industry, and eventually went to work for Amigo Mobility. He lives in Utah with his wife, Pat DeHerrera.

“I have known Al Thieme for over forty years and worked for him between 1979 and 1987. For this book, Al provided me with anything and everything I asked for, from personal anecdotes and company financial information to access to his personal journals—more than fifty years of daily happenings in his personal and business life. I also interviewed over fifty other people—friends, family members and employees,” Henry said.

“Al’s story is not only interesting and quite extraordinary, but it also exemplifies American ingenuity and entrepreneurship.”

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