Don't Miss the 2018 Annual AED/EDA Washington Fly-In

Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) and the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA) will host the 2018 AED/EDA Washington Fly-In March 20–22 in the nation’s capital. Heavy equipment distributors, manufacturers and service providers are invited to attend the industry’s premier public policy event to find out more about current legislative issues, hear from lawmakers and learn strategies to make their advocacy efforts more effective.

“For better or for worse, what happens in Washington has a direct impact on construction equipment dealers,” said AED Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel Fisher. “The Fly-In gives dealers the opportunity to hear firsthand from key policymakers about what to expect in Washington, which allows companies to better prepare for the future.”


Nearly 100 equipment dealers attended last year’s Fly-In. With an infrastructure bill on the legislative horizon, and business-friendly audiences on Capitol Hill and in the Trump administration, Fisher anticipates an even greater turnout this year – and infrastructure investment, energy development, regulatory reform and workforce development are expected to be hot topics.

“It’s an important time for all of us to be active in Washington,” said Diane Benck, vice president of operations at West Side Tractor Sales Co. and vice chairman of the AED board of directors.


“There are a lot of issues that are not resolved, including transportation funding, tax reform and regulations that affect our businesses.”

As in previous years, attendees can expect to gain valuable political knowledge, as well as insight into the legislative process.

“AED does a great job of educating us on the issues and suggested policy changes so that you can feel confident to address them with your representatives,” Benck said. “The best part of the Fly-In is, after we’ve been educated on the issues and use that knowledge in our meetings with our individual members of Congress, occasionally you can see the ‘light bulb’ turn on in their faces and you realize that the time away from our dealerships is well worth the effort.”

Brent Abrahm, CEO, cofounder and director of financial services provider Accruit, agreed: “As professional associations go, I think AED is one of the top ones out there when it comes to engaging their members and helping them get involved in the advocacy process,” he said. “They have done a tremendous job of making sure that members understand issues that are specific to the heavy equipment industry and showing them that people in Congress are approachable and usually want to understand the needs of your business.”

Also, for the second consecutive year, AED will schedule attendees’ meetings with their members of Congress. With AED taking care of the logistics, all attendees have to do is show up.

“AED made it really easy for me to meet with my members of Congress and their staffers,” said Michael Lalonde, founder and owner of Westrax Machinery Inc., who attended his first AED/EDA Washington Fly-In in 2017. “I was surprised to learn that legislators know very little about our industry and what matters to us. I talked to people on both sides of the aisle and found that we have a lot in common – especially on issues like workforce development and infrastructure.”

Registration, which runs through Sunday, March 4, is $500 for members and $1,000 for non-members. Late registration begins Monday, March 5, and costs $550 for members and $1,100 for non-members.

“If you’ve never been to AED/EDA’s Washington Fly-In before, give it a shot,” said Fisher. “You won’t regret it and you can make a difference. Lawmakers are very responsive to business owners and executives in their home states. With infrastructure investment on the agenda next year, you can’t sit back. There’s too much at stake. Let your voice be heard and help push policies important to the industry and your company.”

For more information on the 2018 AED/EDA Washington Fly-In, or to register to attend, call 630-574-0650, email or visit AED is also on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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