Our Legacy Will Tell How We Reacted to Obstacles - 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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Our Legacy Will Tell How We Reacted to Obstacles

By Dennis Vander Molen

Article Date: 01-01-2011
Copyright(C) 2011 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

Challenges and opportunities will lie ahead, but AED members will persevere proudly.

What is our legacy? Thinking about legacy typically involves those that have come and gone before us. Even though we don't think about leaving a legacy every day, it is right to think about how we press forward and make a difference in the lives of those around us. Are we going to use the talents and skills which we possess to feed our own appetites or to serve others?

In looking back at our experiences, can we challenge the way we press forward toward the greater good of others? I believe we are all here for a purpose and a calling that goes beyond ourselves. Our life's work must have joy and purpose or it becomes drudgery and void.

We can complain about our economy, but where would we be without challenges along with our victories? No matter what stage of life we are in or the cycle of our business, we can be assured that there is more. We are so blessed to be able to work with the machines and those that serve our industry. If we commit the use of our minds, hands, and heart to the work, even the hard work, we can invest all the creativity with which we have been endowed. Construction and our equipment will build our communities, while our businesses will be most instrumental in providing for families. Enterprise, not government, works best in eliminating poverty.

Over the last few years, our industry has taken a lot of hits. We have seen sales volumes decline, margins drop, bottom lines fade, and employment in our business drop to levels not seen in years. With all that, we will have more challenges and more opportunities. AED has made many adjustments to align its business model with the resources that it has been given. AED, along with all its members, is used to the hard work that is handed to them each and every day. Our industry deserves a strong networking association. AED will continue to respond to the needs of its members. So we need you - the members - to become actively engaged in the process. The processes of its public policy, the Foundation, and its networking for learning are places for you to do that. Remember that there is more to do. Thank you to all the staff at AED and the Foundation for staying the course, knowing your purpose, and using your gifts to serve our members.

When this issue goes to press we will soon be at our 2011 annual Summit. We look forward to seeing you there and speaking with you to see how you are doing and how AED can serve you more. If your plans do not include the Summit this year, you will miss a great opportunity to network and expand your contribution in your vocation and purpose.

January brings a new adventure in Washington, D.C., for AED. We have some really hard work ahead of us with all the changes there after the election. There are lots of new faces and personalities with whom to communicate the value proposition of AED and our industry.

It would be safe to say that many of you have trimmed back on training your people over the last year or so. Now is a good time to think how we are going to equip them for the future - AEDF is ready to help.

It has been very rewarding to serve as your chairman this year. Tough yes, but we learn with our challenges, dust off our hands, and get right back to work. AED is a hard working organization, and we can feel confident it will embrace whatever comes its way. May God bless you, your families, your businesses and your communities.

Dennis Vander Molen (denny@vermeermidsouth.com) is President of Vermeer MidSouth, Inc., headquartered in Jackson, Miss.
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