Recently, the the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) announced the naming of a meeting room as a tribute to a very special board member. This will honor all of the advocacy work that she has done for the company.
According to the company:
NAM has named a meeting room in honor of Mary Andringa, former NAM Board chair and chair emerita of Vermeer Corporation. The Mary Andringa Room is one of many conference rooms named after luminaries of manufacturing, including Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Jonas Salk, and Marie Curie.
Andringa, who served as NAM Board chair from 2011 to 2013 and has been an active participant on the NAM Board since the early 2000s, expressed her gratitude saying, "I was absolutely overwhelmed, humbled, and honored."
During her time as NAM Board chair, Andringa worked closely with NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. She found the experience meaningful, as she could share best practices with Jay and help in areas that needed more cooperation, like NAM’s partnerships with state associations.
Andringa was also a voice for manufacturing, advocating against compliance regulations that created needless hardship for manufacturers or for removing trade barriers impeding U.S. exports by making her case to policymakers on both sides of the aisle. She felt that policymakers listened to her and took her opinions seriously, recognizing that her privately held, medium-sized company was "what America is all about."
Andringa has been a strong advocate for workforce development and education throughout her career as a manufacturer. She is impressed with the Manufacturing Institute’s (MI) outreach, which includes webinars that help manufacturers recruit workers from populations they might not be familiar with, such as people with criminal records. Andringa started out at Vermeer in human resources, then moved to the advertising department and became deeply involved in manufacturing operations. She championed lean manufacturing, which the company has now practiced for 25 years, and worked with her family members to create a solid governance structure to avoid the difficult leadership transitions family firms often face.