Take a Look, and Take Your PickBy Bennett Closner
Article Date: 03-01-2009
Copyright(C) 2009 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
Dozens of dealer-specific professional products and programs are yours for the choosing from AED and The AED Foundation.
Over the past 90 years, our association has grown and changed with the times yet has always recognized that each dealer is unique. A large multibranch dealer often has needs and interests that are different from a smaller dealer with one location.
In light of the fact that we’ll all soon be paying our AED membership dues, I thought it would be a good time to review how much benefit we derive from belonging to our dealer association and the AED Foundation. The two are funded independently and can be generally defined as follows:
In short, AED is governed by dealers and focuses on issues that are closely associated with near-term dealer profitability and performance. AED provides:
AED has a paid staff of 23 employees in Oak Brook, Ill. It is funded through annual membership dues, participation in events and the purchase of products and publications.
- Networking events among dealers, manufacturers and industry service providers
- Knowledge transfer about ongoing trends in our industry
- Financial analysis and tools to improve dealer operations
- Public policy changes that are favorable to dealers
The next major event is the Executive Forum, set for Sept. 10 and 11, 2009 in Chicago. AED’s next Annual Meeting is Jan. 21-23, 2010 in San Antonio.
AED’s “public policy advocacy” is based in Washington, D.C. Led by AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs Christian Klein, the AED Washington staff is partially compensated out of the AED general fund. However, in an effort to increase coverage and fine tune member interests, the public policy funding is supplemented in three ways:
In addition to the powerful lobbying presence AED maintains in the nation’s capital, another key benefit is the annual spring Government Affairs Conference, a free, two-day event to which dealer principals are invited to hear firsthand status on key industry issues and to meet directly with their own elected representatives and senators. Please plan to attend April 29 and 30.
- AED PAC – The Political Action Committee raises funds from individuals and makes contributions to candidates for Congress who support the association’s objectives.
- AED WEF – The Washington Education Fund accepts corporate monies to underwrite projects, broad topic campaigns, industry coalition support, and travel to local dealer group events.
- AED’s HIT - The new Highway Infrastructure Taskforce is comprised of equipment distributors from around the country whose companies are directly affected by federal and state highway investment. HIT members have committed to make substantial ($5,000 to $20,000) annual contributions to AED to sustain a central role in Congress’ upcoming reauthorization decision.
The AED Foundation
Created in 1991, The AED Foundation is located at AED headquarters and employs a staff of four, plus two field reps. Its board of directors is comprised of an equal number of manufacturers and dealers. The Foundation’s mission is to encourage continuous learning and improve the quality and availability of future employees, which can only be achieved with the help of manufacturers, AEM, and other industry service providers.
Throughout the year The Foundation schedules many high-quality professional education seminars in sales, rental, product support, and HR management. I urge you take advantage of as many as you can, especially now when every tool and improvement must be leveraged.
The Foundation’s workforce development initiatives include industry-collaborative Web sites for students and former members of the military seeking employment, as well as its community-based school-to-work program that is forging partnerships with technical colleges around the country to feed into AED member companies. For these programs, The Foundation solicits funding from dealers, manufacturers and industry service providers, all separately from AED activities. If you are not yet an AED Foundation investor, please consider participating as a contributor at one of the various levels offered.
We realize you may feel bombarded by a constant flow of information from us. Our intent however, is to allow you to pick and choose from our very wide offering of programs. We urge you to participate in those that will be beneficial, but above all, please participate! (Visit www.aednet.org and www.aedfoundation.org or simply pick up the phone and call us.)
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