Association of Equipment Manufacturers

11/26/2012
Advisor Newsletters - AEM Advisor

Chair’s Final Report for 2012: Progress is Real, More Work Ahead

As I began my term as your Chair for 2012, I recognized our Association was entering a pivotal year in its continued development as an organization.

We had just approved a new Strategic Plan that set an ambitious course for our future direction. The challenge as we entered 2012 and I began my term as AEM Chair was to successfully implement the Key Result Areas (KRAs) of that Strategic Plan.

One year isn’t enough time to announce success or declare victory in that implementation. However, looking back at where we started and where we are today, it has been a fulfilling year of both progress and accomplishments.

This is my final Chair’s Report, and I want to highlight our accomplishments and set the stage for the next step in the implementation of the Strategic Plan KRA initiatives in 2013.

Accomplishing the Chair’s Priorities

From the beginning of my term, I have focused on four priorities to support the goals of the Strategic Plan. These are:

  1. Advocacy & Engagement
  2. New Governance Structure
  3. Strategic Plan Implementation Success
  4. United Industry Voice

As we review our progress and accomplishments for 2012, the focus on these four priorities is quite evident based on the new directions driven by the objectives of the Strategic Plan.

Progress and Accomplishments

It has clearly been a year of change and new directions as we implemented the first initiatives of the Strategic Plan.

There have been many reports presented at the AEM Annual Conference and in the AEM Advisor, but I want to focus my comments here on the progress and accomplishments that I felt were essential this year to begin to move us in the direction needed for AEM to continue to be a relevant and much-valued organization for our members and the industry in the future. These crucial accomplishments are:

  • Completion of the transition to the new governance structure to reposition the AEM Board so it focuses its energy to set the strategic direction of our Association.
  • First successful steps to empower the AG and CE Sector Boards to take leadership roles to guide and manage the programs and activities of our core services.
  • Increased engagement by members who are joining our leadership positions for the first time, leading the revitalization of the Associate Member Group and the expanding activities of our Small Enterprise Committee.
  • Advocacy leadership with the implementation of our ambitious two-year advocacy plan, the positive impact of the “I Make America” campaign, initial steps in Ag advocacy activities, several key legislative successes, and the dramatic increase in involvement by members making Hill visits, hosting Congressional factory tours and meetings with policy makers.
  • Investment in the long-term strategic planning to determine the future direction for continued success of AEM exhibitions, including CONEXPO-CON/AGG, AG CONNECT, ICUEE and our Latin America show strategy.
  • Building the foundation for success for AG CONNECT through the active support, engagement and increased marketing by our members.
  • Establishing a sustainable and more balanced new financial model to reduce our dependence on exhibition revenue and achieve the financial stability that will enable us to provide the high level of services needed by our members.
  • An increasing global vision to better serve our members, which featured standards development work, new statistics programs, trade missions and collaboration with such groups as Agrievolution for agriculture and the International Associations Committee for construction.
  • Implementation of the Strategic Plan with a focus on the KRA goals most critical to the success of AEM with the first three initiatives of the new financial model, the two-year advocacy plan and an action plan to respond to the member survey results.
  • Investing in our people by improving their knowledge and capabilities with intensive training and industry knowledge programs for our Association staff, so they can better serve our members and the industry.

While we are just beginning the journey to implement our Strategic Plan, these are impressive first steps in the growth, success and continued relevancy of the Association.

Completion of My Term as Your AEM Chair

As I complete my term as AEM Chair, what I feel most enthusiastic about for our future success as an organization is the dramatic increase in active participation by an ever-expanding number of members. I see it in the livelier and healthy debates on key issues by our Sector Boards, the support for our AEMPAC events, the large number of companies supporting I Make America and the growing list of members stepping forward to contribute by serving on our leadership Boards and committees.

There’s a lot to be proud of, but there’s no time to be content. These strategic plan programs have been implemented and are achieving early success, but much has to be done.

I am confident under the leadership of Stu Levenick as our 2013 Chair, and our officers of Rick Patek, Mike Haberman, Rob Kolb and John Patterson, plus the engagement and commitment of our AEM and Sector Board Directors, we will build on our initial successes to achieve new heights in 2013. I look forward to doing my part next year to contribute to that success.

I want to thank each of you for your support throughout the year and for the opportunity to serve as your Chair.

Thank you.

Rusty Fowler

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