Former AED Chairman Michael Quirk Shares His Experiences in the Industry and with AED

I’ve worked in the construction equipment industry since 1975. My path to the industry began when I worked as a sales rep at a Chevrolet/Cadillac dealership in my hometown of Racine, Wis. It was there that I established relationships with executive management at tractor manufacturing company J. I. Case, which led to a job offer as a machine salesman at Case Power & Equipment in Denver.

Even though I didn’t know a backhoe loader from a refrigerator, I took the position. After many successful years, in 1993 Case sold their retail operations and I moved to Wagner Equipment Co. – the Colorado Caterpillar dealer – as the general manager of their rapidly expanding equipment rental operations. This led to steadily increasing responsibility and ultimately into executive management in 2005.

In the early 1980s, while still at Case Power & Equipment, I began attending meetings of the Colorado Equipment Distributors Association, which is the local Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) group. My involvement with that group included being their chairman in 1995, and it was during this time that I became an active member in AED.

After being involved with AED for many years, the Association’s leadership asked me to represent the Rocky Mountain region on the AED Board of Directors – that was around 2005. When I’d finished serving my term, former AED Chairman Paul Campbell asked me to become an officer. Like virtually everyone that I know that has been asked to serve, I was honored to accept.

I have always been thankful and proud of the roles that I have enjoyed in the heavy equipment business. It is an honorable profession of community leaders serving the quality customers that buy our products and services.

AED is the premier association and the pinnacle of the equipment distribution business. It is a tremendous honor to have served as the chairman of this great organization, and having the opportunity to work so closely with such wonderful people was one of my favorite things about my role as chairman, and one of the things I miss most about it. I miss the camaraderie of working closely with the members of the AED leadership team. They became great friends, and my respect for all those I have served with will always be special – regardless of the manufacturers they work with, the size of their companies or the regions they serve.

Both the construction equipment industry and Wagner Equipment Co. are a great career fit for me. Wagner Equipment Co. is a family-owned business that is long established in the industry. Hard work and high integrity are the hallmarks of the Wagner family and its employees. We are a relationship-driven, innovative and competitive company that operates in Colorado, New Mexico and far west Texas. Our local people are committed to their customers, their communities and their families, which is pretty cool, particularly in today’s culture. This kind of customer-, community- and family-oriented workplace culture has worked for Wagner Equipment Co. since 1954.

Involvement with AED has helped Wagner Equipment Co. in a number of ways. For example, AED has allowed us to learn from the best in the industry from across all of North America. It provides a forum for the industry that is brand-agnostic, and creates opportunities that expose us to new ideas and processes as well as time-tested metrics and strategies. In the public policy arena, AED has given us the information, opportunity and confidence to get in front of our elected officials to champion the causes of our business, our industry and our customers. AED has also made us stronger and more influential as an industry, with a voice that should be listened to.

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