Collective Power - 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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Contact Kim Phelan at (800) 388-0650 ext. 340.

Collective Power

Written By: Les L. Bebchick

Article Date: 10-01-2007
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

A major membership value in AED's Value Proposition

I refer once again back to my inaugural speech where I spoke about how membership in AED offers huge value for one's own personal and professional development but also about the collective power of our association to do great things for our member companies, our industry, and for America.

I have been in the volunteer governance of AED for quite some time and know pretty much what we do, how we do it, what we offer, and how we use our resources. However it continually amazes me just what a powerful organization we really have, and how our professional staff has accomplished and exceeded the goals derived from our constantly monitored strategic plan. As your representative and Chairman, I am so proud to see the fruits of this labor on an up-close and personal basis. Let me explain further by offering at least one major example.

AED, as you all know, has had a very effective Washington office for a long time. We invest a fair bit of money into our public policy agenda annually. Segments of our membership are deeply involved in both state and national public policy issues because legislation has a very direct bearing on their businesses. Other members feel that public policy, as it relates to spending legislation, has less of a direct impact and therefore its value is lower on their priority list. Regardless of what appears to be the direct or indirect value to your membership, each and every member is deriving benefits from our Washington investment.

Value comes to every one of us with good highway, road, water, and infrastructure legislation, but the Washington value also comes in forms associated with tax and accounting matters, legal issues of all sorts, estate planning matters, etc. AED is recognized by the Washington political establishment as a key go-to trade association. This is due, in large part, to the consistent and reliable efforts of our team in the Washington office led by Christian Klein. Comparing our size to the many other associations with similar interests from both the construction and manufacturing segment, AED is viewed with the highest regard and reputation, and treated as partners in an effort to accomplish meaningful results for America. Our voices are heard, our views are solicited, and our support is sought after. After all, AED is a trade organization of some 750 distributor member companies accounting for over $41 billion in annual sales of construction equipment, supplies and services and employing more than 200,000 workers throughout the U.S.

AED Supports Major Bridge Reconstruction Initiative

Christian Klein recently informed Toby Mack and I that the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, James Oberstar (D-MN), was seeking AED support for his recently announced $25 billion National Highway System Bridge Reconstruction Trust Fund, particularly in light of the bridge tragedy that occurred last month in his home state.

Oberstar clearly recognizes and appreciates our prominence in Washington and is aware of the well respected efforts we have put forth for such causes, hence our support was welcome and encouraged.

After some review and consideration, AED not only sent a letter of support to Mr. Oberstar but also copied all members of the House and Senate, and President Bush. In our letter of support, we stated that "...we cannot wait any longer to start addressing the $ 1 trillion, ten-year infrastructure investment gap recently projected by the U.S. Chamber foundation."

AED stands ready to work with Oberstar and his staff toward a positive outcome and together we will ensure that this initiative is successful. To play a part in such historic and important matters that affect each and every one of us should be "value" enough and reason to acknowledge and be proud of your membership in AED, regardless of your specific interests in public policy. Collective power works!

As always, I am interested in what you have to say, so please do not hesitate to call me on my cell phone at (508) 509-8412 or e-mail me anytime at

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