Industry mourns passing of Bob Vermeer
By Mike Brezonick22 August 2022
The industry is mourning the passing of longtime Vermeer Corp. chief executive officer Robert Lee “Bob” Vermeer, who died Aug. 17 at the age of 78.
He joined Vermeer in 1974 and held multiple roles that drove the business strategy and long-term growth of Vermeer, including CEO beginning in 1989 and later Co-CEO – with his sister Mary – in 2003. He also served as board chair from 1989 through 2014.
During his tenure, Vermeer’s business grew to more than 60 countries on six continents with hundreds of dealers around the world. On the family side, Bob Vermeer was a leader in promoting succession planning to transition the business to future generations of the Vermeer family.
He was also committed to a great number of philanthropic endeavors as president of the Vermeer Charitable Foundation, which worked to improve the lives of people throughout local communities, the state of Iowa and worldwide. In 2007, the Bob Vermeer Spirit of Caring award began as a recognition of the important company culture Bob helped build. The award celebrates team members who demonstrated that culture both at work and beyond.
Bob Vermeer also served as chair of the Equipment Manufacturers Institute (EMI) in 2001, prior to it joining with the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association (CIMA) to form AEM. His longtime support and numerous contributions to the association led to him being named to the AEM Hall of Fame in 2016.
“Bob will always be remembered for his support of AEM, his contributions to our equipment manufacturing and his efforts to spur the growth, development and success of Vermeer into the industry-leading company it is today,” said AEM President Megan Tanel. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”
Bob Vermeer is survived by his wife, Lois, three children and their spouses and nine grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings Stan and Alma Vermeer and Mary and Dale Andringa. To see a remembrance of Bob Vermeer, click here.