When Mary Andringa arrived at NAM headquarters on Wednesday, she expected a tour of the renovated office. Instead, the former NAM Board chair was surprised by an applauding crowd who gathered for the ribbon-cutting for one of the NAM’s meeting rooms, now named the Mary Andringa Room in commemoration of her decades-long service to manufacturers in the U.S. The NAM’s conference rooms are named for many luminaries of manufacturing, including Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Jonas Salk and Marie Curie.
“I was absolutely overwhelmed, humbled and honored,” Andringa said.
A longtime supporter: Now chair emeritus of Vermeer Corporation—a family-owned, midsized manufacturer of industrial and agricultural machines in Pella, Iowa—Andringa served as NAM Board chair from 2011 to 2013 and has been an active participant on the NAM Board since the early 2000s.
- Andringa found her experience as NAM Board chair deeply meaningful, remarking on the close relationship she developed with NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons, who was also newly appointed in 2011.
- “It was a really great experience because I had a few years under my belt as CEO [of Vermeer],” Andringa said, “and I could share best practices with Jay. It was great to see how he took initiative and dug into some areas that needed more cooperation, like the NAM’s partnerships with state associations.”
Visiting the Hill: Andringa said she “enjoyed being a voice for manufacturing” in meetings on the Hill and with several administrations.
- Whether advocating against compliance regulations that created needless hardship for manufacturers, or for removing trade barriers impeding U.S. exports, Andringa stressed that she always made her case to policymakers on both sides of the aisle.
- “The NAM tries to be the voice of reason. … It has done a good job connecting with both parties and whoever is in the White House,” she said.
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