What I Did On My Summer Vacation - From the Chairman
Construction Equipment Distribution magazine is published by the Associated Equipment Distributors, a nonprofit trade association founded in 1919, whose membership is primarily comprised of the leading equipment dealerships and rental companies in the U.S. and Canada. AED membership also includes equipment manufacturers and industry-service firms. CED magazine has been published continuously since 1920. Associated Equipment Distributors
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SECTION: From the Chairman

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What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Written By: Walter Berry

Article Date: 01-02-2006
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

Thank you for the experience.

I know others have said this before, but it really is hard to believe that it has already been a year since I started my role as Chairman of AED. It didn't go fast because I was working so hard, but the truth is I didn't do very much heavy lifting. There were a few extra trips, a few more conference calls, and several more e-mails, but the real work was performed by an outstanding AED staff. In my opinion, our AED staff is as good today as it has ever been. The key roles are filled by very capable people, yet there is still an attitude to constantly improve.

The association is also led by a very strong board that will add four new directors and a new vice president in 2006. Both the existing and the new participants are committed to and have a heart for this industry.

Our industry is cyclical, and we've had a few challenging years lately, but 2005 was a great year for this Association and 2006 looks to be even better. 2006 will also be the year we renew AED's five-year strategic planning process. You should hear more about this process because a key component is input from our members as to what trends you see in our industry. We use this input to mold and shape the strategic plan. The success of our association is directly related to this planning process.

As I look back on this year, I am reminded of what a great industry I work in. It is true that I have not worked in very many industries, and therefore, I do not have any real perspective. Nonetheless, this is a great industry in which to spend a career. It comes down to one major reason: the people.

This industry is full of quality people.

What I mean by quality people are people who:

• Want to do the right thing
• Have a strong work ethic
• Have a desire to solve problems
• Want to treat other people fairly
• Have a long-term approach
• See a bigger picture.

Of course there are exceptions, but I've found the great majority of people in this industry to be quality people. I have found this to be true of suppliers, fellow distributors, and the contractors we serve.

I had the opportunity this fall to attend the Association of Equipment Manufacturers annual convention in Tucson, and during the meeting, I was reminded repeatedly that there are even quality people working for the manufacturers with wich my company competes.

One event this year that highlights the quality of this industry is our response to Hurricane Katrina. The distributor side of the industry contributed almost $250,000 directly to relief agencies and this only includes contributions that were funneled through AED. Manufacturers and contractors also made huge financial contributions to the relief efforts. I know there are many of you who supported the relief activities in a multitude of other ways, as well. It sure feels good when we give something back to those less fortunate than ourselves.

This is a great industry! Thank you AED for giving me the opportunity to serve this year as your Chairman. I am grateful to have worked with the AED staff, to have gained a more complete perspective of what goes on in our industry, and to have made some great friends.

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