WATERLOO, Iowa – VGM Group, Inc. CEO and Founder Van G. Miller died Sunday, Oct. 18, at his home, of an apparent heart attack.
Miller, 67, was an icon in the home care industry, and the recipient of numerous awards for business achievement. He was also a generous philanthropist who focused his giving on local agencies and projects.
The father of three sons, his youngest, Christopher, was married Saturday. He also leaves behind Vance, Dax and five grandchildren, and Christine Livingston, his significant other of 24 years.
In recent years, Miller had set in place accommodations for his succession. In 2008, Miller and minority shareholders James E. Walsh Jr., and John Deery Jr., sold 100 percent of the stock of the company to its employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP.
Jim Walsh, has been named chairman of the board. Walsh will also serve as interim CEO until the full board of directors has the chance to meet in person next month. Jim has been a long-time business partner of Van and most recently was both president and general counsel of VGM Group, Inc.
Miller founded VGM and Associates on Sept. 3, 1986, with the belief that quality home health care is best delivered by community-based, independent providers. The original buying group for independent home medical equipment providers grew to be a diverse company of business units. VGM is still best known for its leadership in the home medical equipment industry, where it provides services that include group purchasing, insurance, education, marketing, insurance contracting, advocacy and analysis.
VGM also has a significant business presence in management of post-acute health care, golf, restaurants, orthotics and prosthetics and physical therapy. VGM employs 850 people, the majority of whom work at its headquarters in Waterloo, Iowa, but with significant offices in Dade City, Florida, Atlanta, Kansas City, Phoenix and Toronto.
He’s twice headed companies that made Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest growing U.S. companies, was named one of the HME industry’s Ten Most Influential Individuals by HME News, and received HomeCare Magazine’s HomeCaring Award. The American Association for Home Care recognized him as a Champion of Home Care.
In 2009, he was inducted into the Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa Hall of Fame. In 2014, he was named one of the Upper Midwest EY (Ernst and Young) Entrepreneurs of the Year. This year, the Des Moines Register named VGM the Top Workplace in Iowa among large companies.
Services are pending.
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