PELLA, Iowa (Oct. 24, 2013) — Over the past several months, Vermeer Corporation has made numerous strategic moves to be well positioned for the future of the global forage market. These moves include Vermeer family succession and leadership planning along with an expanded biomass and dairy market focus. In addition, Vermeer has restructured the Forage Solutions sales territories and developed a new training department to further support these opportunities moving forward.

Vermeer Family Succession

As part of its ongoing family succession planning and leadership development, third generation Vermeer family member Jason Andringa has transitioned to the role of President, which took effect on January 1, 2013. In his new role as President, Andringa has responsibility over the Forage and Environmental Solutions groups, reporting to Mary Andringa in her continuing role as CEO. He is working to sustain the growth and drive future investment for the company. Another priority is to accelerate Vermeer’s momentum in the developing global biomass industry.  

“I have always had a strong personal affinity for this company, particularly the forage side of the business, and I look forward to building on the growth already in place,” said Andringa. “Some of my earliest Vermeer product memories are of my grandfather (founder Gary Vermeer) taking me out to the field to make hay with Vermeer round balers. Now, as a third generation family member, I’m ready to help advance the legacy he started and which the Vermeer family has worked so diligently to strengthen and protect.”

Andringa has been with the company since June 2005, most recently as Vice President with responsibility for distribution and global accounts. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI), a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the University of Southern California. 

Biomass and Dairy Market Emphasis

In an effort to increase emphasis on the biomass and dairy markets, Vermeer has made some key new hires in the Forage Solutions group. 

Building on the momentum of the biomass industry, Vermeer has hired Scott Weishaar as Biomass Product Manager to support the company’s biomass efforts around the world. After several years in product development and marketing, Weishaar most recently led the business development group for POET, LLC, holding responsibility for new technology and product introduction as well as the biomass collection and logistics model for Project Liberty. At Vermeer, Weishaar will focus on a blend of forage and environmental solutions including the collection, transportation, handling and processing of various biomass materials for power generation and/or production of second generation biofuels. 

Vermeer also continues to introduce new products tailored to the needs of the dairy market; several organizational moves have been made to support these efforts. Josh Vrieze has joined Vermeer as Product Manager and will be focused on the Vermeer effort to help dairy farmers produce the highest quality feed with greater efficiency. Vrieze comes to Vermeer with several years of dairy industry experience in both product design and account management, among others, holding various roles at BouMatic and ABS Global. In addition, Morgan Lambert has been hired as a Regional Sales Manager overseeing a restructured Eastern sales region focused on the dairy regions surrounding the Great Lakes area.  Lambert also brings many years of dairy industry experience to Vermeer, serving in various sales management positions at BouMatic, DVO and AgroChem, among others. 

Reorganized Forage Solutions Sales Department

The 16 North American forage sales territories have been organized into 4 regions – Northwest, Southwest, Southeast and East.  Each region will be led by a recently promoted Regional Sales Manager; Ken Tyo – Northwest, Todd Branson – Southwest, Bryan Setzer – Southeast and Morgan Lambert – East. As part of their new roles, the Regional Sales Managers will assist Distribution Development in strategic initiatives and will also supervise teams of Forage Field Sales Specialists that will be working directly with Vermeer forage dealers.  

The Regional Sales Managers will report to Bret Julian who has been promoted to the position of Sales Director for the Forage Solutions Segment. Julian, who has been with the company for seven years, will focus on beef and dairy markets in North America, and help Vermeer continue to pursue the emerging biomass market. 

“The culture at Vermeer revolves around developing proven, practical innovations, and delivering high quality equipment to operators throughout North America and across the globe,” said Julian. “This sales restructure will allow us to focus on specific areas of our industry in targeted regions giving us the opportunity to better align our efforts at a local level.”

New Forage Solutions Training Department

To facilitate improved training to Vermeer Forage Solutions Dealers, Kert Thielen joined the company earlier this year as the Forage Solutions Training Manager. With 20 years experience in the training and development arena, sales, factory automation, technical service training and the aviation industry, Thielen believes the most successful training programs are those designed to be applicable to business operations and accessible to personnel. 

Thielen is committed to making these training resources more applicable and accessible to dealers and staff. Alongside Thielen, Amantha Jackson and Bob Peterson, newly hired Senior Training Development Specialists, will work directly with dealers to execute dealer training programs.