Leadership in Action - 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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Leadership in Action

Written By: Les L. Bebchick

Article Date: 08-01-2007
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

There are many opportunities to become engaged in this industry.

By the time this article is printed, your Officers and Board Members will have participated in our annual Summer Board Meeting, this year on the island of Bermuda. What a perfect setting to accomplish the objectives I set out to achieve during my 2007 year as Chairman.

First and foremost, my highest priority for the year was - or, more specifically, still is - membership, both recruitment and retention.

If you have read my monthly articles and listened to my speech in Las Vegas, you'll already know that this is the "Year of the Member." And the year of the member means to me simply engaging members more deeply into AED and its value proposition. Engagement is giving of your mind to help and improve your industry, to immerse yourself with your peers who share the same day-to-day issues, no matter what size company they come from, to network, to gain in personal and professional development, and ultimately to bond with your industry associates and their families.

This is our industry. It is where we earn a living, good or bad. It is where your colleagues, competitors, rivals, etc., gather. AED is not a replacement for community, family, religion or your livelihood, but it has been a place where I and scores of others before me and scores after me will make life-long relationships/friendships that germinated professionally but blossomed personally. I have not met any present or past Board Member or Officer who would not share this feeling.

We go to a summer spot - in this case Bermuda - to work, and believe me, we work. We also play, we eat and laugh, and over a short few days absorb the very best of what each Officer and Board member has to offer. This year, we spent all our time in Board member and Officer development. It was motivating, exciting, and interactive to the extent that everyone participated fully, but more importantly, everyone learned, and AED will be better for it.

Our governance team will go into 2008 blazing, motivated, and understanding their roles and responsibilities. It was never about how much time we spend in our volunteer governance role; it was about the quality time, getting the most out of the experience, appreciating and understanding the AED value proposition and thereby being a walking AED advocate. It was about being a "leader," no matter what role, what place.

In my short years with AED, I have seen the best and the brightest our industry has to offer: individuals from small companies and large, from all regions of the country, representing all facets of our industry - all co-existing and appreciating what each brings to the table.

So why am I continuing to push this message? Simply because I want to engage you in AED with what's left of 2007 and the future.

Each fall, the Nominating Committee, headed by our most recent Past Chairman, Dale Leppo, work tirelessly to seek out new candidates for vacating Board and Officer positions, committee chairmanships, and the like. We Want You! Step up and be counted - engage yourself!

My current Vice Chairman, 2008's in-coming Chairman, Paul Campbell, is already distinguishing himself as a dedicated, thoughtful and committed leader. Paul brings with him a youthful and engaging vitality and intelligence that will continue to drive AED to new heights in the future. Do not miss out on the opportunities AED offers you; just make that first step. Call or e-mail me or any other Officer or Board Member. Our staff, whether it be our President, Toby Mack, our Executive VP and COO, Matt Di Iorio, or our Director of Membership, Mike Fotty, are all ready to assist you in any way.

Have a great end to the summer, and get ready for both the Executive Forum in early September and,
just months away, our upcoming Annual Meeting in Chicago, which, as a reminder, is always a sell-out so plan early. From a scheduling point of view, don't forget to sign up for CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2008 in Las Vegas, and for the more adventurous, CONEXPO Asia in China, Dec. 4-7, 2007.

Above all, be engaged in our dynamic industry - I assure you that you'll have no regrets.

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