AEM Board of DirectorsThe AEM Board of Directors met Feb. 23 in Washington, D.C. to discuss the strategic direction of the association, including priorities for advocacy, exhibitions, and other topics related to AEM services in support of the membership. AEM Board Chair Rod Schrader, Chairman and CEO of Komatsu America Corp., led the meeting and began by welcoming two new members to the AEM Board:  Kris Flitcroft, Vice Chairwoman, AC Business Media, and Melvin Porter, President and CEO, Link-Belt Cranes.

Schrader also provided his Chair’s Report, highlighting the association’s 2023 strategic priorities and the work already underway to support them. AEM President Megan Tanel provided her President’s Report and discussed the timing for strategic planning process. She also shared the internal work being done to support an AEM culture that is rooted in staff development and training, which ultimately helps to drive innovation and greater value for the membership. As the Board worked through the meeting’s agenda, there was good discussion and interaction on the following:

Guest Speaker

The Board welcomed Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves as guest speaker. The Deputy Secretary provided an overview of the priorities the U.S. Department of Commerce, including the work being done to support manufacturing and innovation, address workforce challenges and strengthen collaboration related to standards. He shared an overview of CHIPS and Science Acts and how they are driving innovation and sustainability in support of revitalizing the U.S. manufacturing economy. He also focused on the international work the Department of Commerce is doing to strengthen relations and support for infrastructure in other markets to make it easier for AEM members to manufacture and sell products internationally.


Pat Weiler, Chair of AEM’s Government & Public Affairs Committee (GPAC) and President & CEO of Weiler, provided the Board with a recap of the GPAC meeting that was held the previous day. He shared that guest speaker Assistant Secretary of Commerce Grant Harris presented on the Mining, Agriculture, and Construction (MAC) Protocol of the Cape town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment.  


AEM Senior Vice President of Exhibitions and Marketing Nicole Hallada provided the Board with an overview of the status of CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 compared to previous shows. She shared the positive pacing reports, highlighting the fact that the show is set to be the largest show in North America of any industry with a nearly 3 million net square foot footprint as a combined total with IFPE, as well as the positive registration numbers currently outpacing the 2020 show.

Financial Results

AEM Chief Financial Officer Kathy Barke and Finance Committee member Melvin Porter provided the Treasurer’s Report, offering an overview of the 2022 year-end financials, highlighting financial results from exhibition and sales in advance of CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2023. The Board also heard financial projections related to the association’s exhibitions cycle. It was reported that the association’s financials remain strong.

In other action, the Board:

  • Heard a report of the Ag Sector Board meeting by Ag Sector Board Chair Bill Hurley and a report of the CE Sector Board meeting from CE Sector Chair Stephen Roy.
  • Discussed the importance of AEM’s Market Share Statistics products and was given an overview of future statistics planning and options from AEM Senior Vice President of Membership, Business Development & Data Sara Truesdale Mooney.
  • Heard updates about the AEM Parts Marketplace and the brand unveiling that will be featured in the AEM booth at CONEXPO-CON/AGG.
  • Heard updates on upcoming conferences and events for 2023, including the Product Safety & Compliance/Liability Seminars (April 24-27 in Cincinnati) and the AEM Annual Conference (Nov. 28-30 in Fort Lauderdale).

The next meetings of and AEM, Ag and CE Sector Boards are scheduled for July 26-27 in Milwaukee at AEM’s headquarters. For more information about the AEM Board of Directors, contact Megan Tanel at

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