Inside AEDCED Magazine, January 2010
Article Date: 01-01-2010
Copyright(C) 2010 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Into Politics
Mark your calendar for the AED Government Affairs Conference, April 14-15
Sometimes it takes a monumental event to get us to move out of our comfort zone. For many dealers the equipment recession of 2009 was enough to do it. In the past few months, AED members joined the association’s grassroots effort in record numbers to call attention to the industry’s plight and to promote solutions to elected representatives.
"In the context of our Start Us Up USA! campaign, we have seen an unprecedented member participation in AED’s program at the grassroots level," said Christian Klein, vice president of government affairs for AED. The action has been forceful on numerous fronts: Thousands of phone calls, e-mails and letters to elected officials; convoys of idle equipment in Las Vegas, Chicago, Washington and this month in San Antonio; as well as the poignant display of 5,500 orange flags in front of the Capitol, representing the more-than 550,000 jobs lost in our industry.
The AED Government Affairs Conference, held April 14-15, 2010, in Washington, D.C., provides dealers with the opportunity to take their industry activism to the next level.
"The Government Affairs Conference is the fusion of our direct lobbying and grass roots efforts," said Klein. "AED members from around the country gather into Washington D.C., to participate personally in the political process and educate members of Congress on the issues that affect our industry." Klein believes it’s the best way for members to continue to build industry visibility on Capitol Hill.
Rick Dahl, president of Metrolift, Inc., based in Sugar Grove, Ill., attended the conference for the first time last year, with a group of dealers from Illinois. "We definitely felt like we made an impact, "said Dahl.
Dahl admits that lobbying was out of his comfort zone, but said AED did a great job of educating attendees. "We were well prepared to be able to share our knowledge with our legislators," said Dahl. An Illinois delegation comprising four equipment distributorships together held meetings with their elected officials.
AED’s Washington staff can pair first-time GAC attendees with AED "mentors" who have previously parti-cipated in the event, to help more members feel comfortable with the process of meeting with members of Congress and sharing the legislative priorities that matter more to them.
About the Conference
On the first day of the program dealers are brought up to date on the current issues. Attendees are briefed by AED staff, members of Congress and representatives from our association allies such as AGC and ARTBA on topics including tax policy, transportation, and infrastructure.
Past speakers have included House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA); House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY); and Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
The second day of the conference features a breakfast with a legislative speaker, AED’s Government Affairs Committee meeting and a luncheon with members of Congress.
"In addition to shaping what is happening on Capitol Hill, the meeting also provides a real opportunity to shape AED’s Government Affairs program," said Klein.
On the afternoon of the second day, attendees set off to meet individually with members of Congress and congressional staff. "It is fun and purposeful when you are representing an association like AED and have an opportunity to share with your representative something you believe in," said Dahl.
The program, as well as a reception, two lunches and two dinners, is complimentary for all AED member dealer executives. Executives pay their own travel and lodging expenses. Overnight accommodations are provided at the Army Navy Club and the Club Quarters on 17th Street N.W. in the heart of the capital. Reservations can be made by contacting Sandy Brassel at 800-388-0650, ext. 332.
"There is a sense of empowerment that comes from participating in this meeting," said Klein. "A senior executive or the owner of a company can come to Washington and have a fairly substantial impact on the way his senator or Congressman thinks about an issue."
Sponsors Add Tremendous Value to AED Summit in San Antonio
Because of the contributions of our valued sponsors, AED Summit will offer dealers high quality programming and first-class networking events. We appreciate the commitment these sponsors have shown to the construction equipment industry, particularly in these challenging times. From the opening golf outing to Friday’s TGIF Party, you won’t want to miss any of the activities and amenities.
Wednesday, Jan. 20
Kick off your convention networking with a round of golf at The Quarry Golf Club, designed by nationally recognized designer Keith Foster. The golf outing is sponsored by Sentry Insurance. Tee offs begin at 8 a.m.
On Wednesday, be sure to stop by the registration desk from 3 to 6 p.m. to pick up your registration packet, complete with your IronPlanet tote bag. You can also pick up two handy references, the Hospitality Suite locator sponsored by Trinity Vendor Finance and a Schedule at a Glance pocket guide sponsored by Doosan Infracore America. Hotel keys are sponsored by GE Capital.
Thursday, Jan. 21
Welcome to the redesigned and reimagined Summit. Start your day energized with a complimentary continental breakfast, courtesy of e-Emphasys Technologies. The breakfast begins at 7:15 a.m., and is conveniently located right outside Ballroom C where the OEM Symposium is held at 8 a.m.
Michael Marks, host of this year’s Summit, moderates the OEM Symposium. Marks’ participation at Summit is made possible by the support of Terex Corp.
Immediately following Thursday’s business programs, head into CONDEX to see all of the new products and services specifically geared toward the construction equipment industry. Enjoy a great buffet lunch, compliments of Hyundai Construction Equipment U.S.A., Inc.
Looking for reliable forecasting for 2010? All executives are invited to hear economist Alan Beaulieu, principal for the Institute of Trend Research, as he delivers instructions on how to apply economic data to the daily business of operating a dealership. Beaulieu’s presentation is sponsored by Liebherr Construction Equipment Co.
When the first full day of the AED Summit is complete, unwind at the Welcome Party, co-sponsored by your traditional host, along with Accruit and EPG Insurance. The Welcome Party will be held at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio from 5 to 7 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 22
Start your day with a workout – participate in the 1st Source Bank Fun Run/Walk from 6 to 7 a.m. at the Marriott Rivercenter Lobby.
Don’t miss the Chairman’s Inaugural Breakfast, taking place from 8-9:45 a.m. at the Convention Center. We’ll welcome AED’s 2010 Chairman, Dennis Vander Molen, president of Vermeer MidSouth Inc. Keynoting the event will be John Hoffecker, managing director of AlixPartners, who will present the company’s 2010 Heavy Equipment Industry Study – Where Heavy Needs to Get Slim, sponsored by Vermeer.
On Friday morning, Mike Marks emcees the Inaugural Breakfast and then presents a business workshop titled "Creating Competitive Advantage in the New Normal," beginning at 10 a.m., sponsored by Terex Corp. Later Friday afternoon he facilitates a panel discussion on critical dealer issues and opportunities pertaining to emissions regulations.
Visit CONDEX and enjoy lunch compliments of SummitTruck Equipment. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out The Hub, where you can meet and mingle with your peers as well as some of our speakers.
The AED TGIF party kicks off at 6 p.m. It’s an opportunity to network like never before. Mingle with friends and enjoy cocktails, compliments of your reception host, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. Don’t forget to check out the Third Annual AED Foundation/Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Live Auction to benefit the AED Foundation’s professional education and workforce development programs. A fabulous array of desserts is sponsored by MTU.
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