Van G. Miller, founder and chief executive officer of VGM Group Inc., died Sunday, Oct. 18, at his home in Waterloo, Iowa, of an apparent heart attack. Miller was 67.
Van G. Miller
VGM Group Inc. is the parent company of the Orthotic and Prosthetic Group of America (OPGA).
According to a notice posted on the VGM Group Inc. site, Miller was known for his contributions to the home care industry. He received many awards for business achievements and was a generous philanthropist who supported many local agencies and projects.
Miller is survived by his three sons, Vance, Dax and Christopher; five grandchildren; and Christine Livingston, his significant other of 24 years.
In recent years, Miller had planned for his succession. In 2008, Miller — along with minority shareholders James E. Walsh Jr. and John Deery Jr. — sold 100% of company stock to its employees through an Employee Stock Option Plan. Walsh, a longtime business partner of Miller and former president and general counsel for VGM Group Inc., has been named board chairman and will serve as interim chief executive officer (CEO) until the board selects a new CEO.
According to information on the company site, Miller founded VGM and Associates on Sept. 3, 1986. His goal was to deliver quality home health care through community-based, independent providers. VGM grew to a diverse company of business units, but is best known in the home medical equipment (HME) industry. The company also works in the management of post-acute health care, golf, restaurants, O&P and physical therapy.
VMG has 850 employees. In additional to its headquarters in Waterloo, Iowa, the company operates offices in Dade City, Fla.; Atlanta; Kansas City; Phoenix; and Toronto.
Miller was named one of the HME industry’s “Ten Most Influential Individuals” by HME News and received HomeCare Magazine’s HomeCaring Award. He was recognized as a “Champion of Home Care by the American Association” for Home Care.
Miller was inducted into the Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa Hall of Fame in 2009 and was named one of the Upper Midwest EY (Ernst and Young) Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2014.
“Van was a true leader, entrepreneur and great friend,” Dennis Clark, CPO, LPO, president of OPGA, told O&P News. “His belief in the value of the work provided by independent orthotic and prosthetic companies led him to create OPGA, to serve independent providers and help them compete and succeed in the always changing market place. Van invested in all of us 22 years ago, and his vision and mission will last for years to come.”