The CE Sector Board met at AEM’s Annual Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, and covered an agenda focused on strategic planning, prioritization for 2019, advocacy and customer connections.

CE Chair Jeff Reed, president, Reed International/VSS Macropaver, opened the meeting by welcoming Sara Feuling, AEM’s new director of construction, who will work with the CE Board and members to build greater knowledge of construction materials and equipment used onsite, among other areas. She will work in tangent with John Somers, who has taken on the role of director of utility to focus more on alternative power impacts and utility equipment.

In addition, Reed recognized and thanked Nick Yaksich, AEM’s senior vice president, for his 20 years of leading the advocacy efforts on behalf of AEM in Washington D.C. The full board applauded him and wished him well on his retirement.

During the meeting, the CE Sector Board covered the following:

Strategic Planning: Consultants from Tecker International led a guided group discussion on the AEM Strategic Plan, asking members to identify issues AEM should focus on to help members improve their businesses. The new 3-year Strategic Plan will begin in 2020, and this session was designed to get input from the CE Sector Board (as well as the Ag Sector Board) for the AEM Board to review as the new strategic priorities are developed.

2019 Topics for Discussion: John Somers and Sara Feuling led the board discussion and exercise to identify three topics for discussion for the board to focus on in 2019. The three priorities that were identified are machine data and telematics, unmanned equipment and autonomy, and contractor and jobsite efficiency.

Construction Taskforce: The Board approved the development of a new construction digitization taskforce to help make recommendations to the CE Board on issues related to digital evolution and how it is impacting our industry.

Exhibitions/Customer Connections: AEM’s Senior Vice President of Exhibitions & Events Megan Tanel reported on ICUEE and the extensive search conducted by the ICUEE management committed to explore future locations for the show. She shared that due to functional improvements promised by the city, the search resulted in the recommendation to remain in Louisville, Kentucky for the 2021 and 2023 shows.

AEM Vice President of Exhibitions & Event Services Dana Wuesthoff provided an overview of the new layout for CONEXPO-CON/AGG, and shared the results of the successful space draw that was held this fall, resulting in more than 2 million square feet of space already assigned for the 2020 show.

Nicole Hallada, AEM vice president of marketing & communications, discussed the launch of CONEXPO Connect and reviewed the marketing campaign and positioning points for equipment buyers and manufactures, as well as the launch timeline.

Public Policy: AEM Director Kate Fox Wood took the lead on updating the board on the many public policy efforts under way to support members. She shared the 2018 infrastructure accomplishments as part of the Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiative and discussed the identified key issues for 2019.

In addition, the board also reviewed all year-end services reports.

At the meeting, Reed handed the meeting over to Steve Berglund, president and CEO of Trimble, Inc., who will serve as CE Sector Board chair for 2019. Reed thanked the board for allowing him to serve as chair and appreciated the support he received from the board. Reed will now serve as AEM vice chair on the AEM board.

The next meetings of the AEM Board and Sector Boards will be held March 5-6, 2019 in Washington, D.C. For more information about the CE Sector Board, please contact Al Cervero (

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