Group Resources

Group Roster

Group Leadership

Ben Smith
Kubota Tractor Corporation

Vice Chair
Bob Wold
Trimble Inc.

AEM Staff Contact

Al Cervero
Sr. Vice President, Technology & Business Development | 414-298-4125


  • The Futures Council is AEM’s leading source of information on disruption. Using the expertise of members, futurists and professionals in applied technology, they seek to develop the most pertinent and engaging information to inform members about changes that could impact what they manufacture and how AEM could adapt to thrive in that change. The objectives of the Futures Council are to: 

    • Serve as an early alert system to AEM and its members through reviewing and discussing disruptions on the horizon (out three to seven years or presently experiencing exponential growth) that have potential to impact off-highway equipment manufacturers and/or AEM from the association’s perspective. 

    • Consider if the disruptions will impact AEM’s service offerings and/or if AEM should begin dialoguing with its members on the topics through its Boards, committees and content.  


  • Identify a prioritized list of disruption topics that AEM should bring to its membership through content, committees or Sector Boards: disruptions within its trades of construction, agriculture, utility, forestry or mining, or disruptions in its operations of channel to market, manufacturing or supply channel. 

  • Deliver to the AEM education and content team, membership or boards, ideas or changes in suggested approach to support membership. In addition, add to a “watch list” of items likely to disrupt the association’s service and financial model.  

  • Establish a regular cadence of disruption outlook content delivered to members.  


  • The council will gather in person a minimum of one time per year and up to two more by phone to discuss such topics in order to provide an early alert system to AEM and members.  A common in-person gathering might be at a Thinking Forward event, or Board meeting timeframe, or as a prelude or follow-up to the AEM Annual Conference. 

  • Via the Future Vision teams deliver a Future of Food and Future of Building white paper with actionable recommendations. 

  • It will also serve as a content contributor to AEM Communications on the topics deemed of value to the membership by the council.  


  • Select leaders from 15 to 20 AEM members with a possible addition of outside SME’s from time to time. Terms would be two-year terms with ability to be reelected. 

  • Preferably from a leadership, product marketing, innovation, digitization, or research and development position. 

  • Identified by the member as a potential future leader of their organization. 

  • The committee may be comprised of up to three non-members with a background in futures studies, app/technology, digital expertise, new process development or similar.  

  • Oversight of Future Vision Teams, think tanks that include members, non-members or SME, as needed: 

    • Future of Food 

    • Future of Building 

  • Oversight of Peer Groups that are pay-to-participate and include members in focused work areas to build a network of influential peers. 


  • The Futures Council meets about 6 times annually, bimonthly, as needed.
  • The Future Vision Teams meet 6-8 times annually.
  • At least 75% attendance is required to participate any of these groups.