The old proverb says, “may you live in interesting times.”
Well, these are certainly interesting times. The elephant in the room is
COVID-19, and for a lot of us, it hit home when we traveled to CONEXPO. The day
after The AED Foundation’s successful press conference announcing the
Caterpillar Foundation’s generous $300,000 grant for AEDF high school student
scholarships, it was announced that CONEXPO was shutting down early due to the
virus. Our lives changed markedly that day.
Travel was curtailed for AED staff, as I’m sure it was for
most of our members. Since then, we’ve been working virtually, but that has not
stopped us from providing services and information to members. The Foundation
dropped the paywall for many online seminars and webinars. We ramped up
almost-daily webinars on relevant information about events and legislation
happening in our country. The response from members was overwhelming, so much
so that one of the webinars had to close as we hit the 500-viewer cap!
AED and the Foundation grew during this time, and we all
learned a lot. One thing to note is that COVID-19 has not affected the
association as far as the membership is concerned. We continue to maintain our
solid membership base, and we thank you for that. As we emerge from the
pandemic, at least as far as business and travel are concerned, we are in an
even better position to serve you. So what does that mean for you?
Here are just three highlights of your AED membership
experience that we are looking forward to in the second half of 2020:
How have leaders in your business navigated the challenges
of uncertainty and crisis? “Leading Through Change” is the theme of this year’s
must-attend leadership development opportunity for employees up and down the
organizational chart. Join us at the AED Leadership Conference, August 18-20 at
the Disney Yacht and Beach Club Resort in Orlando, Florida.
What will the future hold for pro-growth policies that
affect our industry? AED’s government affairs program’s top priority for the remainder
of 2020 is to ensure equipment distributors, manufacturers and their customers
emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic fallout as strong
as ever. To that end, AED will work with Congress and the administration on
pro-growth policies that include robust, long-term infrastructure investments,
lower tax and regulatory burdens, and economic certainty for equipment dealers.
Looking toward the pivotal 2020 election, AED and the AED PAC will facilitate
AED member political engagement and support candidates from both political
parties that champion the association’s legislative agenda.
Are you performing at the same levels as your industry
peers? Keep an eye out for the latest edition of the AED Employee Compensation
Study and the upcoming edition of the AED Cost of Doing Business Report to see
how you compare to those around you.
As we look further out, still on tap are the Women in
Equipment Distribution Roundtable September 3 in Chicago, the Executive
Conclave September 16-18 in Chicago, the Financial/HR Symposium November 2-4 in
Napa Valley, the Small Dealer Conference November 15-16 in Chicago, and, of
course, Summit and CONDEX 2021 at the Mirage in Las Vegas from January 12 to
As you can see, it’s all about you, as AED is not stalling
in its mission to provide resources to meet the challenges of today and help
members prepare for the future. The value you receive from your AED membership
increases with your level of involvement. The more you and your employees tap
into the AED programs and services your membership supports, the greater your
investment and the better your business will be.