Robert L. Vermeer
Chair Emeritus / Vermeer Corporation / 1944 / Inducted 2016
With an intense focus on the well-being of his team, Robert “Bob” Vermeer continued the legacy of bringing innovative processes to Vermeer Corporation that were integral in expanding the business to where it is today.
Under Bob’s leadership, sales at Vermeer grew nearly 13 times. He initiated a program to evaluate and coach dealers to higher levels of performance through improved customer relationships. He oversaw key advancements in finance that improved equipment availability and allowed dealers to stock inventory globally, ultimately growing business domestically and outside the United States. Bob also challenged his team members to expedite processes which resulted in huge productivity improvements.
A shining example of compassion and service, Bob spearheaded numerous employee and community service programs including the Vermeer Chaplain Program, the Vermeer Charitable Foundation Scholarship Program and the Vermeer Spirit of Caring Award. To stay connected to the pulse of the Vermeer people, Bob emphasized an open-door policy expectation of his leadership. You will often find him walking the production floor with a sincere interest in every person he meets.
Active within the industry and community, Bob has served as Chair of both the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and the Iowa Business Council. In addition, Bob has been a member of, and served as an officer for, several boards, including Central College Board of Trustees, Dordt College Board, Calvin Theological Seminary Board of Trustees and the Pella Chamber of Commerce.
Bob started his career at Vermeer in 1974, later assumed CEO responsibilities, and served as Chairman of the Vermeer Board of Directors beginning in 1989. He has been involved in all aspects of the business and strategy in support of the long-term health and growth of Vermeer, and continues to devotedly serve his team, industry and community.