At AED's 2021 Summit, history was made as Craig Drury of Vermeer Canada became the first Canadian chair of the united organization. On Tuesday, May 25, Drury was sworn into office as the 102nd chairman at Summit. He presented his inaugural speech the following evening before AED's "Dinner and a Conversation with Paul Ryan." In his remarks, Drury touched on a few vital industry matters that he hopes to address during his tenure as chairman.
Drury's Chairmanship marks an exciting time for the North American heavy equipment industry, as this year will undoubtedly have a greater focus on Canadian and American industries working together to achieve common goals. When referring to the dollar amount of goods that were both imported and exported between the United States and Canada, Drury stated, "These are big numbers, and there are some important themes. The numbers between the U.S. and Canada are big, reciprocal, fair, and they indicate a strong relationship." He stressed the importance of the United States and Canada continuing complementary efforts to assist and benefit each other in terms of trade and has cited strengthening of the cross-border relationship as one of his primary goals during his time as chairman.
Drury went on to discuss the challenges of COVID-19 and the hardships the past several months brought to both countries, and he encouraged the audience to take advantage of the resources that the Association provides. He cited examples of AED's efforts to support members, from the online training offered by the Foundation to the Driving for Dealers excursions that AED's executive team embarked on over the past year. "AED exists to make us all better, stronger, more successful so we can provide for our families," he stated. AED puts continuous effort into both new and established resources that are offered to benefit members. The Association is grateful to the members who have stuck by its side or even joined during the COVID-19 pandemic. As things begin to open up this year, AED looks forward to providing more in-person networking and educational opportunities and developing new resources.
Drury's speech concluded on the topic of an evolving industry and world, specifically relating to environmental policy. He cited industry changes that are likely to come from both the U.S. and Canada looking to decrease carbon emissions, eventually eliminating them over the next several decades. Drury referred to the Association, both Washington and Ottawa, as a resource for the industry as it navigates these changes over the coming years: "The communication strength of AED can promote sharing ideas to effectively streamline emissions reductions in engines, electrification, and managing our business resources including buildings, trucks and travel."
AED eagerly looks forward to the renewed emphasis on collaboration between U.S. and Canadian industries. In addition, the Association is greatly appreciative of Drury's initiative to fight for the industry where it will make a lasting difference – at the political level. We extend well-deserved congratulations to Drury and anticipate seeing his efforts in action over the next several months.