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Advance Iowa takes family business succession planning to Vermeer

March 20, 2019 - 10:52am
UNIBusiness Editor
Family business forum participants

What a better way to learn about family business planning than from one of the most successful family businesses in the state?

The Family Business Forum series, launched by Advance Iowa, a UNI-based business consulting program, will do just that with an all-day event on Tuesday, April 30 at the Vermeer Corp. campus in Pella, Iowa. The forum will run from 10 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., featuring breakout sessions, tours and speeches from the Vermeer family about family business succession planning, strategy and development. Tickets are $45 or free with an admission purchase of Advance Iowa’s Fall Breakfast Series.

Vermeer, a manufacturer of industrial and agricultural equipment, was founded in 1943 by Gary Vermeer. Since then, three generations of the family have operated the business, including Gary’s son Bob, daughter Mary Andringa and grandson Jason Andringa.

The company has been tremendously successful and sells equipment all over the world.

“The Vermeer family is an iconic beacon of how to blend family and business in a successful way,” said Dan Beenken, the director of the Family Business Forum. “They have a global presence and currently impact progress in more than 60 countries around the world. The Vermeer family leadership has been passed down throughout the years and is currently led by their third generation.”

The seminar is one part of Advance Iowa’s Family Business Forum series, which strives to educate family-owned businesses around the state about business governance, continuity, strategic planning and leadership transition. The series is in its second season after a successful launch in 2018, which included three separate sessions in the Des Moines area.

“Family-owned companies are vital to Iowa’s economy and UNI is focused on making sure these families survive and thrive to future generations,” Beenken said. “The Vermeer family has a long-established record of success, so we are very excited to partner with them for this event.”

If you are interested in this event or next generational family business planning and succession planning, register at


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