It’s been a great pleasure to work with the wonderful AED members in the Great Lakes and Northern Plains over the past year. I’ve enjoyed getting to know those of you in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and my home state of Wisconsin. I had hoped to make the rounds and visit many of your dealerships this summer, but COVID put a screeching halt to travel plans right after CONEXPO. I was able to make the drive over to Fargo for the AED 20 Group meeting in late July. It was nice to be on the road for even a few days.
Many of you know that I have assumed different roles at AED over the past six years. For the last two years, I’ve been managing new dealer recruitment along with a small region. I’m now cycling off the sales team and focusing the vast majority of my efforts on the regional manager role. In addition to the six states mentioned above, I now have responsibility for Washington, Idaho, Michigan, Pennsylvania (with the exception of the greater Pittsburgh area), New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey. I’ve already spoken with many of you in the new territory and I appreciate the warm welcome I’ve received. Please consider me your one-stop shop for all things AED. I’m here to help you achieve your goals to make your business successful. I plan to schedule dealer visits as soon as things settle down but would love to meet via Zoom in the meantime.
There are a lot of great things going on in this new “super-region.” We continue to make progress with accrediting colleges and recognizing high schools for The AED Foundation, though things have slowed a bit since we haven’t been able to do on-site visits. A critical component of getting students into the diesel tech career pathway is getting to them at an early age. To that end, The AED Foundation was very fortunate to receive a $300,000 grant from the Caterpillar Foundation for high school students committed to entering a college diesel tech program. Please reach out to me if you know of any good candidates for this $2,000 scholarship.
We have three great events coming up that you will not want to miss. Keep checking aednet.org for the latest details:
First is the Financial/HR Symposium, November 2-4 at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa, where you can learn from industry experts on both the finance and HR sides about the most pressing topics impacting equipment distributors. You’ll bring back tools and solutions for the issues that affect your dealership. In addition to hearing new ideas, learning about best practices, and receiving regulatory and legal updates, you’ll have several opportunities to brainstorm and network with like-minded dealership professionals. The Financial/HR Symposium is an ideal event for all finance and HR professionals, whether new or seasoned. Currently, the plan is to offer both live and virtual versions of this program.
Second, the dates and format for the Small Dealer Conference have changed. The conference will be
held on November 18 and 19, and we will have three sessions each day, all virtual. Dick Stewart will present on the rental report in the context of the small business. There will be a sales session, an outlook on aftermarket/product support markets, succession planning, and a session by James Waite on dealer protection laws and other legal issues.
Lastly, mark your calendar for AED Summit & CONDEX, March 29-31, 2021, at the Mirage Las Vegas.
Thanks for your continued commitment to AED. Please let me know how I can be of assistance.