In 1948, Gary Vermeer, a farmer in the central-Iowa town Pella settled by Dutch immigrants, developed a mechanical wagon hoist to ease the exhaustive job of unloading grain wagons. Upon encouragement from fellow farmers, Vermeer founded what is now Vermeer Corporation.
Once a one-man shop, Vermeer Corporation now employs over 3,500 people and provides equipment and services in over 80 countries. Over the past 70 years, the mission has remained unchanged – “make a real impact on the way important work gets done through the design, manufacture and support of high-quality industrial and agricultural equipment.” The second and third generations of the Vermeer family have continued the legacy of the innovative equipment Vermeer is known for.
Growing up, grandson and now President and CEO, Jason Andringa, recalls how much pride his grandfather had in Vermeer and his “strong sense of personal integrity.” He believes that this guiding principle is what has continued through the now seven decades of the business.
The President Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa
Andringa was appointed to the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) for the 2019 – 2021 term. PAC-DBIA informs and advises the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on ways to advance engagement between the U.S. and Africa. PAC-DBIA also supports Prosper Africa, the US government’s whole-of-government initiative which brings together services and resources from across agencies to empower businesses with market insights, financing opportunities, and deal support.
Upon being appointed to PAC-DBIA, Andringa stated that, “Africa is expected to grow at a much faster rate for both population and economic activity than any other continent in the world over the next few decades. Africa has a massive need for new and improved infrastructure to support that growth. I am excited that Vermeer can be part of the solution in a variety of markets to help support that growth and make people’s lives better.” By working through the PAC-DBIA, Vermeer has been able to collaborate with the US Government and other US companies to further relationships between the US and Africa, and improve the landscape for trade and investment.