Reflections on Remembering: Let's Write Our Stories Well - 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 Remembering: Let's Write Our Stories Well

By Dennis Vander Molen

Article Date: 12-01-2010
Copyright(C) 2010 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

As the year closes, we can be thankful for much, but much work still lies ahead.

Do you remember? Do you ever think of our lives as being a story? Do you think we are all unique and are writing our story each and every day? One of the incredible features of us humans is the fact that we have the capacity to reason and remember – even though we, (especially I) forget most of what we have learned. Nevertheless, our story is being played out.

Oftentimes, the stories that we remember are the ones in which there has been struggle involved. Unless we were there, we don't remember who won the World Series or the Super Bowl, even just a couple of years ago. Even in our businesses do we remember who was there, who made the big sale or even who made the high grade with what was being measured? Then, do we remember who finished second? It would be safe to say that the last two to three years, with all its challenges, will be a story that will go on for a long time. All the things that we took for granted, all the people who we hired, all the investments that were made may be challenged differently in the months and years ahead. Or are we going to forget?

The month of November had its own story. Republicans and Democrats have all been living out their story. Good or bad, they bring all the paragraphs and chapters to Election Day. What brought them to the victory this year will challenge them in the next. How soon they forget! We all do. These people who serve our country need to do it for the right reasons. AED is doing its part to make sure our voice is heard in Washington.

Our value message needs to be heard loud and strong as we work to rebuild over the last couple of years. I bet some of the leaders whom we elect wish they could rewrite their story. I would like to advise them how a little more humility and modesty during their term in office would benefit them in their relationship with their voters. They need to be reminded. Republicans can get the same medicine they handed out in a short two or four years from now. They will forget again. AED will continue to remind them, as we have new listeners and a stronger voice in Washington. We are excited about our opportunities to make a difference.

Thanksgiving, just past, is a great time to remember. It is a great time to tell the stories of the year. Growing up on the farm, this was a great time to reflect in the planting, caring, and harvest stories. We can do the same thing in our businesses. We have all made lots of adjustments to our business models, but there is still much to be thankful for. We all receive much more than we give.

If we were to be able to look back and read our own story, what is there that we would like to rewrite? Authors, when writing books, can take their story whichever way they want to take it. We can do much the same, with the exception of outside situations that meddle with our thinking and our reaction. Think about our children and our communities. How will they read our story?

AED Summit is coming quickly. It is time to prepare and plan your stay in Orlando this coming January. There will plenty of stories to tell. There will be successes, failures, and challenges to talk about. There will be opportunities to learn more about our industry and meet people who make those opportunities happen. Yes, there are people there who will want to help you make it happen in your business. It is important for you to know them as you write your story. Will you be in the next chapter of AED and your industry?

Hope to see you there.

Dennis Vander Molen ( is President of Vermeer MidSouth, Inc., headquartered in Jackson, Miss.
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