Mary Andringa Archives - Shopfloor

Manufacturers Deliver a United Call to Invest in Infrastructure Now

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Republicans and Democrats unified today to advance an infrastructure agenda in the 115th Congress. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) began the hearing “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America” by referencing a letter to President Donald Trump from nearly 400 manufacturing, labor, business, construction and policy groups urging for a broad infrastructure bill that addresses all types of infrastructure and includes a solution to make the Highway Trust Fund solvent. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) worked with a broad business coalition to secure support for the effort from national organizations as well as local and state groups from every state in the country.

Committee members heard a united message about the immediate need to upgrade transportation and infrastructure systems to ensure U.S. global competitiveness. Testimony came from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and four NAM members:

  • Frederick Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx Corporation
  • David MacLennan, chairman and CEO of Cargill, Incorporated
  • Ludwig Willisch, president and CEO of BMW of North America
  • Mary Andringa, chair of the board of Vermeer Corporation

Andringa shared Vermeer’s Lean journey and the steps taken to reduce waste and increase efficiency in the manufacturing process.

“If ports are clogged, trucks are delayed, power is down or the internet has a lapse, productivity and customer service are impacted,” said Andringa. This is not just my story. Across the manufacturing sector, transportation logistics matter, and congestion—whether at a port or on a crowded highway—is waste that drives the consumer’s cost up like a hidden tax.”

To read more of Andringa’s testimony, click here. To watch the hearing, click here.

The NAM will continue to educate new members of the 115th Congress about the central role infrastructure plays on the shop floor and will continue to lead advocacy efforts supporting a 21st-century infrastructure system. In Building to Win, the NAM described the immediate need to update our roads, bridges, transit systems, ports, inland waterways, broadband and telecommunications networks, airports and runways, pipelines, energy infrastructure, drinking water and wastewater systems and railways. The blueprint includes solutions, such as possible funding and financing mechanisms, as well as good governance policy reforms, such as streamlining permitting.

While manufacturers were encouraged by President Trump’s campaign promise to rebuild American infrastructure and make it “second to none,” accomplishing this will require continued advocacy and education efforts to gather the bipartisan support to encourage a significant change from the status quo.









Vermeer Hosts Commerce Secretary for Business Roundtable

By | General | No Comments

This year marks a big anniversary for Vermeer – 65 years in operation and counting! Family owned and operated since the beginning, Vermeer is a model of manufacturing in the U.S. Today, Vermeer’s CEO and former Board Chair of the NAM Mary Andringa, hosted a roundtable discussion with 15 business leaders to talk over challenges and policy priorities.  So it was perfect timing to have the new Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzer and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) drop by for a tour and listening session.

Ms. Andringa blogged earlier today that, “When you look back at the origins of the Department of Commerce, you’ll see that the National Association of Manufacturers was at the center of support for its development. It’s fitting that the relationship between Commerce and the manufacturing community dates back before the Department’s official conception. The two share similar visions of progress – both strive to create jobs, promote economic growth and encourage sustainable development in communities big and small.”

While the conversation touched on a number of topics, Ms. Andringa, zeroed in on the importance of growing exports and the jobs and economic growth that follow. Vermeer, and in particular Ms. Andringa, has been an invaluable manufacturing advocate and today was no different. Vermeer clearly sees the big picture and Secretary Pritzker couldn’t have picked a better stop to make as she spends time with business across the country.

The Manufacturing Renaissance on NBC Rock Center with Brian Williams

By | General | No Comments

Manufacturers are the pride of this country and they continue to produce the innovations that are integral to each of our lives and the economic security of our country. Last night, NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams reported on the manufacturing renaissance that is happening all across the country and highlighted the efforts of Mary Andringa, NAM Chair and CEO of Vermeer Corporation, a manufacturer of agricultural, environmental and construction equipment in Pella, Iowa.

As the story reports, it is evident that manufacturing has changed, transforming its operations and products to be high tech, clean and efficient. Manufacturing also remains a bright spot in our economic recovery, fighting against unprecedented headwinds to hire skilled workers and invest in high tech facilities.

The Vermeer Corporation is a perfect example of the manufacturing legacy and the future of the industry. Vermeer has for decades supported their local and state economy and is a key player in the global manufacturing economy selling their products in over 70 countries around the world. Andringa also drives Vermeer to live by the company’s founding principle, ‘in search of a better way’, by constantly improving their products and operations to exceed the demands of their customers.

Andringa remarks in the story, “I think successful manufacturers take charge of the opportunities that are out there. They’re innovative in their approaches and they’re also pretty tenacious. They have to stay after better products, better costs and understand what their customers really want and what they’ll pay for.”

The manufacturing renaissance is happening and it’s bringing with it new opportunities for our country, the global economy, and future generations.

NAM Board Chair Mary Andringa of Vermeer on the Cover of Industry Week

By | General | No Comments

Shopfloor was delighted to see NAM Board Chair Mary Andringa on the June cover of Industry Week out today.  In addition to leading the NAM’s advocacy efforts, Mary is president and CEO of Vermeer Corporation in Pella, Iowa.  Vermeer’s leadership in lean manufacturing – eliminating waste and improving efficiencies in every aspect of the business to boost competitiveness – is the focus of Industry Week’s cover story.

Mary spoke about Vermeer’s best practices in lean manufacturing in her opening keynote speech, “Let Us Lead: Overcoming the Challenges of Manufacturing in the U.S.,” at Industry Week’s 2012 Best Plants Conference.

Dispatch from the Front: The Week of January 3, 2011

By | Dispatch from the Front, General | No Comments

The first week of 2011 is a busy and ceremonial one in Washington. President Obama returns from his Hawaii vacation to the White House on Tuesday afternoon. The U.S. Senate and House convene at noon Wednesday for the opening of the 112th Congress.

In the House, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) will be elected Speaker of the House on Wednesday. On Thursday, the House floor session features a reading of the U.S. Constitution. Speculation builds about a House vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health care law, and extension of the debt ceiling.

In the Senate, the session begins Wednesday with a presentation of the certificates of election and the swearing in of elected members. Morning business follows.

With the arrival of 2011, the National Association of Manufacturers now has a new chairman of the board of directors, Mary Andringa, president and CEO of the Iowa-based Vermeer. She began her two-year term as chairman on Jan. 1, 2011, succeeding Mike Campbell. Doug Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar, is the NAM’s new vice chairman.

Executive Branch: The White House and Executive Branch agencies have yet to release public schedules for the week, so we dig for this: The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future on Thursday tours the Savannah River site for storage of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, and on Friday the Commission holds a public hearing in Augusta, Ga. (Details and news coverage.)

Economic Reports: The Institute for Supply Management today releases its manufacturing report. On Tuesday, the Commerce Department reports on factory orders in November. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announces the employment situation and unemployment rate for December. For more, see The Los Angeles Times, “Slew of economic data due could sway Wall Street.” You know, you can write that same headline nearly every week.

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) starts Thursday in Las Vegas, with manufacturers front and center. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer delivers the pre-show keynote address Wednesday. Other speakers during the week: Verizon’s CEO, Ivan Seidenberg; Robert Stadler, chairman of the board of Audi AG; Boo-Keun Yoon, president of Samsung; Cisco CEO John Chambers; GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt:  Xerox Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns; and Alan Mullaly, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company.

Congratulations to the new governors already sworn into office: Andrew Cuomo of New York, Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Rick Snyder of Michigan. Snyder enjoyed an auspicious beginning:  The Detroit Lions beat the Vikings. Today, Governor Jerry Brown retakes office in California, and Brian Sandoval is sworn in as governor of Nevada. In all, there will be 29 new governors in 2011.

Andringa Named to Iowa Business Hall of Fame

By | Miscellaneous | One Comment

Congratulations to Mary Andringa, who will serve as chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Manufacturers in 2011-12, on her being chosen for induction in the Iowa Business Hall of Fame. From the Knoxville-Pella radio stations, KNIA and KRLS, “Local CEO Elected to Iowa Business Hall of Fame“:

A President and CEO of a local company will be inducted into the Iowa Business Hall of Fame in December. Mary Vermeer Andringa of Vermeer Corporation will be inducted at the Greater Des Moines Commitee’s annual Black Tie dinner on December 9th. Andringa was selected for her outstanding leadership and business and community development in Iowa. Andringa became part of the Board of Directors of Vermeer Manufacturing in 1976 and was named CEO in 2009. During her time with Vermeer Corporation she helped create Vermeer University which is devoted to employee and equipment dealer development. Earlier this year, Andringa was named to the President’s Export Council by Barrack Obama.

Previously inducted into the Iowa Business Hall of Fame are two other former chairmen of the NAM: Daniel Krumm of Maytag Corp. in 1980 and Richard Kautz of Grain Processing Corp. of Muscatine in 1976.

Iowa’s Mary Andriga to Chair National Association of Manufacturers

By | General | No Comments

The Des Moines Register notes last week’s news from the National Association of Manufacturers, “Vermeer chief Mary Andringa named to lead manufacturers”:

Vermeer Corp. chief Mary Vermeer Andringa is the first woman and the third Iowan to be elected to chair of the National Association of Manufacturers.

The association’s board of directors selected her last week for a two-year term that begins Jan. 1.

Andringa, 60, is completing a two-year term as association vice chairwoman. She will be replaced by Caterpillar chief Douglas R. Oberhelman when she takes over as chairwoman in January.

The top leadership position at the nation’s largest manufacturers association typically goes to the head of a large corporation. Andringa is the third executive from a small or medium-sized manufacturing company to lead the association, the group said.

Other Iowans who have led the group were Daniel Krumm of Maytag Corp. in 1980 and Richard Kautz of Grain Processing Corp. of Muscatine in 1976.

NAM releases …

President Again Endorses Exports

By | Trade | One Comment

From the White House, “Remarks by the President Announcing the President’s Export Council“:

To meet this goal, we launched the National Export Initiative -– an ambitious effort to team up with America’s businesses, large and small, and help them unleash their energy and innovation, grow their markets, support new jobs selling their goods and services all across the globe. And we’re bringing to bear the full resources of the United States government.

One of the first things we did was establish an Export Promotion Cabinet made up of Cabinet members and senior administration officials whose work affects exports. Yesterday, I assembled this cabinet for an update on our efforts so far. We’re going to hold these meetings every few months -– and I’ve asked for a progress report at our next meeting in September.

But this is about more than what government can do; this is about what our businesses can do. And that’s why we are re-launching the President’s Export Council, a group that includes business and labor leaders who will offer their unfiltered advice and expertise on how best to promote exports. We’ve also included congressional leaders and senior representatives of my administration.

White House background and list of Export Council members.

Des Moines Register, “Obama names Andringa to export council“: “Mary Andringa, the president and CEO of Vermeer Corp., is one of 18 business executives and labor leaders named to President Obama’s export advisory council today.” Andringa is vice chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Dow Corning news release, “President Obama Appoints Dow Corning CEO Dr. Stephanie A. Burns to President’s Export Council“: “I am proud that Dow Corning is viewed by government officials and the business community as an innovative leader in global business,” said Dr. Burns, whose term lasts until November 2011. “Collaborating with this diverse, experienced and respected group of individuals will be an honor, but more importantly, will help guide the United States for sustainable economic strength.”

From AP, “Obama’s export goals face hurdles here and abroad“:

Obama’s goal of doubling exports by 2015 “is challenging. It’s going to require a very broad set of initiatives,” said Pat Mears, director of international commercial affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers. The group strongly supports Obama’s export goals.

The president’s showcasing of his newly energized trade agenda appeared aimed, in part, at quieting increasing vocal criticism from the business community of his decisions on taxes, trade and financial regulation.

Report from Denver: Hillary Clinton and Glass Ceilings

By | General | One Comment

(Note: NAM’s Executive Vice President Jay Timmons is blogging from the National Democratic Convention in Denver this week.)

No doubt the Democratic convention will make history when the party officially nominates the first African-American presidential candidate.

But another historic moment will come this week when Hillary Clinton receives more delegate votes than any female candidate for President ever has.

It’s hard to believe that in this magnificent country, women only achieved the right to vote 88 years ago. It is unreal that my own grandmother – who worked the polls nearly every year – didn’t have that cherished right when she was born.

But how times have changed. I proudly watched my own mother shatter the glass ceiling as one of the first female CEOs in southern Ohio.

I have the privilege of working with outstanding female legislators in the House and Senate, as well as Governors, on both sides of the aisle. 

And women are moving into CEO suites in more and more manufacturing companies every day.

Mary Andringa, CEO of Vermeer Manufacturing and the Chair of the NAM’s small and medium manufacturers, is one example of the present and future leadership of manufacturing.

And now Hillary. There will be more. And the door will stay open in both parties.

Senator Clinton’s speech in the Pepsi Center in Denver hit all the right chords for the Democratic faithful. She brought the crowd to their feet and tears to their eyes on more than one occasion.

The Senator called on her supporters to get behind Barack Obama and work for his election. “Whether you voted for me or for Barack, the time is now to unite,” she extolled.

Recent polls indicate that over one in four Hillary backers aren’t yet sold on Barack Obama. If Sen. Clinton matches her supportive words for the Obama-Biden ticket with active deeds, perhaps her faithful will come home for the nominee in November.

In the meantime, Senator Clinton will continue to serve in the Senate for at least four more years. Now that her campaign for President has ended, manufacturing workers look forward to working with her to support pro-manufacturing policies and help her increase her NAM support index from its current bleak 16 percent.