Donations show our industry has passion and heartBy Al Cervero, AEM Senior Vice President, Construction, Mining and Utility

Any industry has the potential to move the world forward through innovation and leadership. However, our industry might just have a larger impact.

The root challenges we have worked to solve every day for as long as we can remember include sheltering, feeding, powering and transporting the world. Not an easy task. Which might be the reason why we don’t recognize our advances or highlight the future of our industry quite as much as we should.

The fact of the matter is: we don’t stop thinking about our infrastructure and agriculture systems long enough to appreciate the progress we’ve made thus far and recognize the countless number of people we’ve helped along the way.

Like the lyrics from Charlie Puth’s song, we are only “one call away.” The impact we have on our communities is something special. So we need to be proud every day as we wake and prepare for work, knowing that we are a part of an industry that ultimately shapes the improvements and quality of life for us all.

In the opening keynote of this year’s Annual Conference, singer John Ondrasik inspired us with his song, “Superman,” and helped us connect with our conference theme, “Rise. Make Your Mark.” I think everyone in that moment could relate and find joy in being a part of our great industry.

We showed our passion and heart at the conference finale by doing something wonderful with funding from our attendees and sponsors. We granted three wishes for Megan, Eli and Elliot, children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses at a young age. We learned that some of their passions crossed with ours, and that’s where we could make a great impact.

Since the conference, we have granted Megan’s wish, a fence for her horse; Eli’s wish to own the therapy horse he’s been working with over the past year; and we’ll soon grant Elliot’s wish to visit Australia and ride a new tractor to inspire his organic farming dream. We are grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to participate in the Make-A-Wish Foundation and look forward to seeing Elliot’s wish come to life in the spring!

The evening concluded with our members leading us into the giving season with big hearts as they made kind donations of airline miles and a variety of toy models…giving their own special contribution to the Make-A-Wish community. We were overwhelmed to find later that the “Wishes in Flight” program surpassed 2,200,000 miles, all of which will go toward making even more wishes possible.

What a night… a night for the real heroes…though the fictitious ones were there too!

Donations by all made possible the following:

  • Superhero costumes to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
  • Mannequins to Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
  • 3 wishes granted, over 2 million miles (that's 100+ flights to Disney for the kids), and 50+ toy models to Make-A-Wish Foundation