Reflections on a Purpose-Filled Year - 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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Reflections on a Purpose-Filled Year

By Paul Campbell

Article Date: 01-01-2009
Copyright(C) 2009 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

The value here will continue for members - here's the what and the why.

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since we met in Chicago at the AED Annual Meeting. While it seems like only yesterday, a lot of water has flowed under the proverbial bridge in the past 12 months. Looking back over the year, some memorable events stand out. Following is a brief recap of what has transpired and the impact on our association.

At the Annual Meeting in Chicago, I spoke about delivering the value of AED to members and connecting individuals to all this great association has to offer – nationally, within your local community, and individually. To that end, AED conducted an extensive member survey, that identifed areas in which we excel along with areas where we have room for improvement. The areas identified as most important to members (i.e. public policy advocacy, workforce development and professional education and training) were specifically addressed at a special task force meeting and again at the summer Board of Directors meeting where improvements were identified and action plans developed to enhance AED’s value to members. Several other areas identified in the survey as important to you were addressed, and tactical plans were put in place to provide enhanced value as well.

At the Spring Government Affairs Conference held in Washington D.C., we met with several key members of Congress, individually and as a group, to discuss infrastructure needs along with clean water and air issues, how to address economic stimulus, LIFO repeal and its potential effect on AED members, ending the death tax and several other key issues facing our industry and us as business owners and managers. My thanks to Christian Klein and his staff in Washington for their tremendous efforts on our behalf as members of AED.

In June I had the opportunity to attend the CAED annual meeting in Quebec. While smaller in numbers, the CAED members are strong and a vital part of the AED membership. I’m grateful for the hospitality shown and friendships generated in Canada.

In September we met in Chicago for the AED Executive Forum. As an individual, I particularly enjoyed this event, as I do every year, as a chance to learn from industry experts, visit with others and take the time to learn new ways of doing things from other successful dealers across the country. This truly is an event not to be missed.

In November, we met as an Executive Committee to review what’s ahead. As we all know, 2009 will prove to be a particularly challenging economic environment across the nation. Your association leaders and staff are working hard to ensure not only the short-term viability of AED, but also the long-term sustainability of the benefits provided to us as members by this great organization.

Along the way, we had some personnel changes among the staff in Oak Brook. Of particular note is the passing of Marcia Arger. Marcia was an institution and an integral part of AED. Her devotion, warm smile and gracious demeanor will be greatly missed.

It is the work of our dedicated staff members that truly makes AED an association recognized throughout the U.S. and Canada as a leader in advocating business and promoting the well-being of our industry. I personally owe a debt of gratitude to Toby Mack and all the staff members in Oak Brook for their help and support throughout the year. Whether it’s been difficult economic times, a flooded building or the loss of a dear friend, they have persevered with conviction, optimism and always keeping us as members foremost in their minds. Without them, AED would not be where it is today.

I would also like to thank the officers, board members and volunteers who served this year in so many different capacities. It’s an honor to be associated with people so willing to give of their time, money, and talents to help others and promote our industry so selflessly. As Bennett Closner, our new AED Chairman, takes the reins, I’m confident he will lead our association to new and greater heights.

Finally, thanks to each of you for your support, friendship and trust. I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many of you and learn about your businesses. I also greatly appreciate the cards, letters, and e-mails sent with well wishes and suggestions on how to make AED a better association. It is your involvement that provides the foundation of this organization. Ultimately, it is you who determines the value of AED.
Thank you and best wishes.

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