The AEM Board of Directors met Nov. 12 at AEM's Annual Conference to review and approve the association's proposed 2022 goals related to its Strategic Plan implementation, as well as approve the proposed 2022 AEM budget as recommended by the Finance Committee.

AEM's goals for the upcoming year are categorized under four larger Strategic Plan goals and the association’s Operations goals. The four larger goals are:

  • Build positive perception of our industry
  • Accelerate industry growth
  • Support and empower member company decision-making
  • Facilitate members’ customer-facing efforts.

“We are committed to building upon past accomplishments and executing a Strategic Plan that will ensure the long-term future of AEM,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. “Our ability to achieve what we want to accomplish will come down to how successful we are at being a voice for our industry, how well we spread the message of equipment manufacturing’s role in making the equipment that builds our communities and feeds our world, and how effectively we communicate the industry’s contributions to the overall economic well-being of our country.”

Additional information regarding 2022 goals and priorities will be shared with members early next year.

Meanwhile, AEM budget details for 2022 include:

  • Net operating income comes in at $146,000 on operating revenues of $37 million and operating expenses of $36.8 million.
  • Operating revenues include a 5% rate increase for membership dues, a 50-75 cent per manual increase for safety materials, and a reduction in Strategic Plan funds from reserves to $1.5 million.
  • Operating expenses include a reduction in staff headcount by two, and an overall reduction in General & Administrative expenses due to the anticipated slow ramp up of travel and meetings that were significantly reduced in 2020-2021 due to the pandemic.

The Board also heard the Treasurer’s Report, which included the following points:

  • Forecasted a 2021 budget net operating surplus of $700,000 as compared to a budgeted surplus of $206,000. The successful implementation of “hold back” budget measures to reduce expenses and the surprisingly strong financial results of Utility Expo 2021 and CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 space sales contributed to the increased surplus.
  • Long-term financial outlook is positive with a cumulative net operating surplus forecasted for 2021 through 2024.

During their meeting, the Board also recognized and thanked Slater for his years of leadership since the formation of AEM as he prepares to retire after 39-plus years with the association, of which 20 he served as AEM President.

The Board also thanked 2021 AEM Chair Steve Berglund for leading the association through a challenging year, including the successful transition from Slater to new President Megan Tanel.

In other action, the Board:

  • Elected its 2021 leadership
  • Directed staff to research and provide best practices of other industry organizations and manufacturers to respond to the vaccine mandate. The direction was given following a lengthy discussion of the challenges faced by companies, including how some of their employees are blaming the companies for the mandate as they determine how to comply
  • Received and supported the activities and actions reported by AEM's Ag Sector Board and the activities and actions reported by AEM's CE Sector Board from their respective Nov. 11 meetings
  • Received and supported the Government & Public Policy Committee (GPAC) activities and actions from its Nov. 10 meeting, which are:
    • Received the results from Ballast Research on their quantitative policy brand insights for AEM advocacy activities
    • Explained the current efforts to pass comprehensive right-to-repair legislation in Canada and what to expect in 2022 as AEM continues to fight these efforts
    • For grassroots advocacy, explained the 2022 objectives for a new strategy to reintroduce the I Made America campaign to members and their employees to rejuvenate support ahead of the 2022 midterm elections and the Equipped to Vote initiative
    • Discussed the need to take steps to raise awareness of the importance of AEMPAC to AEM advocacy efforts in order to increase support at all levels of its volunteer leaders
  • Recognized the progress to improve diversity of association volunteer leadership and the work that remains ahead
  • Thanked Life Honorary Director Rich Goldsbury for his three years of service as HAI Chair as he completes his term after leading the HAI Board and providing guidance to the HAI staff during the formative years under AEM ownership. In addition, the Board confirmed the election of the HAI Board for 2022, including the following officers:
    • Chair: Bill Hurley of AGCO
    • Vice Chair: Angela Larson of Grindstone Strategic
    • Treasurer: Ken Bianco of JCB
    • Secretary: Megan Tanel of AEM
  • Thanked and congratulated Al Cervero and the planning team on an engaging and successful Annual Conference.

The next meetings of AEM's Board of Directors and Ag and CE Sector Boards are scheduled for March 15-16 in Washington, DC.

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