A capacity crowd filled the room, captivated by the story of a man who asked Glen Taylor for one million dollars.
“Within 10 months, I had lost the million dollars Glen invested in me, and then some,” explains Andrew Herr. “So I had to go ask him again.”
That gumption, combined with hard work, patience and perseverance, led Herr on his journey from intern to executive with Taylor Holdings. Glen saw that Andrew had learned from his mistakes with the initial investment and, indeed, did invest in him again. The second time it paid off.
During his internship, Andrew wrote a business plan for creating a pet food ingredient company. The thesis was simple: baby boomers will become empty nesters, and the most logical addition to the family will be a pet. Andrew and a few team members founded Rembrandt Petcare in January 2007. From 2007 to 2013, the company launched several innovative products that changed how branding, marketing, innovation and R&D teams thought about formulating and designing pet food products. In 2014, Rembrandt Petcare merged with American Dehydrated Foods to form IsoNova.
IsoNova changed the size and scale of the Rembrandt Petcare startup. Sales were now in excess of $100M, and the company expanded to 13 locations. For the next five years, Andrew and his team integrated International Dehydrated Foods, a food ingredient technology company, and a few other business partners. In 2019, Glen sold the company to Symrise A.G. Andrew stepped away and now works with Glen to find future opportunities for investment for Taylor Holdings. Glen is teaching Andrew how to transition from CEO to entrepreneurial investor. Andrew leads a small team focused on expanding Glen’s portfolio into new private markets.
This is the story Andrew shared at the second event in the Behind the Success series in mid-January. It did not disappoint. Here are a few takeaways from those in attendance:
“Andrew has a very impressive entrepreneurial story to share, and he told it in such a way that you could see his passion. I think anyone listening to his story came away with an appreciation for that passion and an understanding that starting any business takes incredible passion. What a great event the SBDC has going with this Behind the Success series,” says Doug Fahrforth, Blue Star Power Systems.
“I learned how innovative Andrew was at the age of 22,” says Kim Lingbeck of Kim Lingbeck Homes. “He left his school/home to move to Iowa to work for an internship. As a young man, he took the initiative to write up a marketing report and hand it in to his superior. I truly believe Mr. Taylor saw a little of himself in Andrew and decided to give him a chance to grow and move forward with him and the Corporation.”
“Recognizing an unused resource and having the gumption to acknowledge it can at the very least start a conversation about entrepreneurship opportunity,” says Ace Wessermann, Taylor Corp. “Hard work does pay off, but it has to make sense. Perseverance is how you accomplish it.”