Southcentral Regional Report

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 15.

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.

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