Forest City Moving Equipment Business Earns Iowa Farm Bureau's Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur of Month Award
Whether it’s moving massive structures such as wind turbine equipment, hauling out water vessels in Alaska or engineering a unique system to plant trees at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, HMR Supplies prides itself on solving literally the nation’s biggest moving and transportation challenges. The Forest City company’s commitment to innovation has helped it earn the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s (IFBF) Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur of the Month award.
HMR Supplies is an original equipment manufacturer that provides products for the heavy transport industry, including structural movers, large construction equipment moving or transportation of oil eld, cement, marine and wind industry products.
The company started when founder Ron Holland of Forest City needed to raise his home to put in a basement. Holland ended up buying the house-moving business he used in 1977 and from there, began manufacturing Holland Dollies for resale. In 1999, Ron’s son, Chris, brought new skills to the company that he learned while studying electrical engineering at Iowa State University. Chris and his wife, Natalie Hammer, helped turn the small manufacturing company into a global industry powerhouse, which still operates out of Forest City.
In addition to creating innovative products that move large loads, the company is hiring. Natalie said the company currently employs 18 people and hopes to grow to 50 in the next five years. “We’re helping bring people back to Iowa to work and raise their families,” said Natalie. “It’s part of the rural brain gain.”
Winnebago County Farm Bureau member Randi Benson said companies like HRM are vital to the rural area. “Without agriculture and businesses like this, there wouldn’t be a Main Street in Forest City,” said Benson. “It keeps the community going.”
Renew Rural Iowa (RRI) is an IFBF initiative supporting new and existing businesses through education, mentoring and financial resources. The next Renew Rural Iowa Business Success Seminar takes place February 15th at the Muse-Norris Conference Center in Mason City. For more information, go to www.renewruraliowa.com.