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Vermeer Appoints Family Members as New Managers

Thu November 08, 2007 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Two members of the Vermeer family’s third generation have recently joined the company.

Jason Andringa, son of co-CEO Mary Vermeer-Andringa, joined the company in 2005 as an environmental solutions segment manager and Allison Van Wyngarden, daughter of co-CEO Bob Vermeer, joined the company in 2007 as an industrial distribution manager.

Prior to joining Vermeer, Andringa was a key staff engineer for Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a federally funded research and development facility managed by the California Institute of Technology. There, he worked on facets of many NASA Mars missions that will occur in the next five to 15 years.

Van Wyngarden joins Vermeer after five years at Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa. During this time, she worked as an investment analyst for Principal Real Estate Investors for two years and as senior market analyst in the Principal Health segment.

“Vermeer principles — a willingness to invest in the business for the long term, being family-owned, and having roots in Iowa — all mean a lot to me,” said Van Wyngarden. “Vermeer feels like the right place for me.”

Andringa, Van Wyngarden, and their other Vermeer family members, were introduced to the value system that goes along with a family-owned business.

“We were always proactive with discussions about family in business. That gave us a great foundation, so that now I can walk into it with my eyes wide open,” Andringa said.

Nearly 20 years ago, Vermeer began working with third-party consultants on a succession plan for the business. As Gary Vermeer’s grandchildren became old enough to start preparing for their own careers, the Vermeer family developed a formalized Family Council, Family Creed, and a Family Employment Policy.

The Vermeer Family Creed states certain binding principles and practices for the purpose of maintaining family harmony and a successful future for Vermeer Manufacturing Company. The creed recognizes Vermeer’s growth potential, its loyal employees, and its public responsibility.

Evolving from this Creed, the Vermeer Family Council Charter establishes a representative group of all families involved. Among its responsibilities are to participate in the Family Employment Advisory Committee which plays an active role in the hiring process.

The Family Employment Policy defines the procedures for determining how family members and their spouses enter the company as career employees. This document was developed to help maintain healthy family relations and a successful company. For a family member to be an employee in this company, there must be a legitimate job and the skills to match.

The Family Employment Policy also defined other specific qualifications, such as recommending family members have a Masters of Business Administration degree, and approval from the Vermeer Family Employment Advisory Council, which consists of board members and non-family senior management members.

While rigorous, the policy is a responsible option for maintaining the family and the success of the business, while also retaining the philosophy and solid foundation that have directed the decisions that have made Vermeer successful.

Nearly 90 percent of businesses in North America are classified as family owned. Only 11 percent of those businesses retain employee-family members to the third generation.

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