Vermeer’s Mary Andringa named to AEM Hall of Fame

Mary Andringa at the Vermeer family home where she grew up, now the Founders House.

Mary Andringa, Vermeer board chair, has been inducted to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ Hall of Fame.

Andringa is recognized for several achievements at Vermeer, a company founded by her father Gary Vermeer in 1948. Working alongside her brother Bob Vermeer as a co-CEO, she lead Vermeer’s lean manufacturing approach and became a leading advocate of lean practices, earning the Lean Champion Award by the Iowa Lean Consortium.

This lean approach lead to several manufacturing successes at Vermeer, including reducing the time it took to manufacture a 12-inch in-feed brush chipper from 52 days down to two.

Andringa, the first female chair of the National Association of Manufacturers, also served on the President’s Export Council and the Ex-Im Bank Advisory Committee. She was named to the Iowa Business Hall of Fame in 2011 and was the first female inducted into the IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame.

While leading Vermeer, Andringa helped define and promote Vermeer’s 4P Philosophy: principles, people, product and profit. She supported the start of an onsite primary care clinic and pharmacy for employees and their families, giving them basic medical care either at no cost or a reduced fee.

During Andringa’s tenure as CEO of Vermeer, the company established volunteer time-off, giving employees eight hours of paid time-off to volunteer time in local charities and causes. Yellow Iron Academy, an on-campus early learning center with a STEM-focused curriculum, was opened in 2014. Andringa also helped foster the company’s Friends of Vermeer program, where retirees work part time or as needed in their previous job and participate in quarterly updates and have access to Vermeer University classes and retirement investment counseling.

AEM says its Hall of Fame recognizes “individuals whose innovations, ideas and leadership have advanced the off-road equipment manufacturing industry and contributed to its success in the past and into tomorrow.”