Exhibitions, Sectors, Advocacy, Top Agenda at Recent AEM Board Meeting in Milwaukee

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8/7/2023

The AEM Board of Directors met on July 27 at AEM headquarters in Milwaukee to review a full agenda of opportunities and challenges impacting the AEM membership and the off-road equipment industry. 

AEM Chair and Komatsu Chairman and CEO Rod Schrader called the meeting to order and welcomed AGCO’s Bill Hurley to the AEM Board. Bill replaces 2022 AEM Chair Bob Crain of AGCO on the AEM Board while Crain continues to serve on AEM’s Nominating and Finance Committees.  

Schrader also highlighted the very successful Celebration of Construction on the National Mall event that was held in May and the value that event provided for telling the industry story and showcasing our industry to lawmakers and the public. He mentioned AEM’s Product Safety & Compliance and Liability Seminars, which he attended in April, and expressed how valuable he found the content and the speakers.  

AEM President Megan Tanel gave her president’s report, calling out how busy the year has been so far and the good work the staff is doing in support of our member services and to prepare to kick off a new Strategic Plan next year.   

Finance Report 

AEM Treasurer and Executive Chair & CEO of Linamar Corporation Linda Hasenfratz and AEM CFO Kathy Barke led the review of AEM finances and year-end projections, highlighting the success of CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE and the budgeting work in place for 2024 and beyond. The Board voted on several action items and recommendations from the Finance Committee related to retirement plans and business operations.  

Exhibitions 

Turning to a discussion about AEM Exhibitors, AEM Senior Vice President of Exhibitions and Marketing Nicole Hallada and AEM Vice President of Exhibitions & Event Services Dana Wuesthoff highlighted analytics from CONEXPO-CON/AGG and showcased how the cost mitigation efforts and decisions leading up to the show in 2023 provided cost savings for exhibitors and improved satisfaction scores from show attendees. In addition, AEM Event Services Manager Brianne Somers provided the Board with an update on the planning that is underway to examine show pricing for the show in 2026.  

Hallada also talked about the upcoming The Utility Expo and shared the positive results of exhibitor space sales and attendee registrations that are pacing ahead for The Utility Expo. Registration for World of Asphalt opens later this fall and space sales are trending ahead of schedule.  

Advocacy 

Greg Petras, President of Kuhn North America and member of the AEM Champion of the Industry Working Group, announced this year’s recipients of the AEM Champion of the Industry Award. The AEM Champion of the Industry Award is presented annually to one Democrat and one Republican in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives and recognizes lawmakers for their steadfast support for the equipment manufacturing industry and their efforts to advance bipartisan, commonsense solutions to the country’s toughest challenges. The 2023 AEM Champion of the Industry Award will be officially presented to lawmakers during the AEM Washington Fly-in on Sept. 19-20. 

Mike Haberman, executive vice president at Alamo Group, and Kip Eideberg, AEM senior vice president of government and industry relations, outlined a recommendation by the AEM Government and Public Affairs Committee to revisit the AEM Manufacturing Express in 2024. The initiative is designed to tell equipment manufacturers’ stories, raise the profile of the industry, change public perceptions about manufacturing, and engage with as many stakeholders as possible. The AEM Board of Directors voted to approve the AEM Manufacturing Express. More information will be shared in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, please reach out to Kip Eideberg with any questions.  

Nominating Committee 

The AEM Board took action to approve the slate of officers for 2024 and discussed the list of candidates to develop the 2024 leadership slate of Directors for the AEM and Ag and CE Sector boards, which will be announced at the Annual Business meeting in November. 

Ag and CE Sector Updates 

AEM Ag Sector Board Chair and AGCO Vice President Bill Hurley shared a recap of the Ag Sector Board meeting. His update included an overview of sector priorities, the ongoing discussions related to Right to Repair, developments on ag technology topics and recommended events set for 2024, including hosting Modern Agriculture on the National Mall. Hurley also talked about the insights the Ag Sector Board gained from the presentations given by representatives from the American Soybean Association and the National Corn Growers Association.  

CE Sector Board Chair and Mack Truck/Volvo President Stephen Roy also provided an overview of the CE Sector Board meeting. He shared the CE Sector priorities and reviewed the top initiatives that were discussed during the gathering, including the success of the Benefits of Construction Equipment Technologies and their Impact on Society study that was released earlier this year. He shared that representatives of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) spoke to the CE Sector Board and addressed ways in which our two associations can continue to work together to support the development of a ESG reporting tool for the industry. 

In an open forum, Schrader asked the Board members to share their top-challenges and opportunities they are facing within their organizations and there was good discussion related to such topics as workforce development, regulation, Farm Bill, artificial intelligence and supply chain challenges, among others.   

Prior to adjourning the meeting, CLAAS of America’s Leif Magnusson shared his plan to retire from the AEM Board and reinforced how important AEM is for the industry and how he has seen AEM evolve and grow over the years to expand its industry support and value. 

The next meetings of and AEM, Ag and CE Sector Boards are scheduled for Nov. 28-30 as part of the Annual Conference to be held at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa. For more information about the AEM Board of Directors, contact Megan Tanel at mtanel@aem.org.

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