AEM BoardAddressing the impact of COVID-19 on AEM members and the Association's goals was the primary focus of the March 25 meeting of the AEM Board of Directors, held via teleconference.

An open forum discussion held during the call gave the Board input on areas for taking action and providing assistance for AEM members in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on that guidance, AEM is now continuing, enhancing and adding activities and communications to support its members and the industry as a whole.

In addition, the Board welcomed U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on the teleconference call. Vice President Pence provided an update on the work done by the White House Coronavirus Task Force and thanked equipment manufacturers for their response to the pandemic.

The Vice President also acknowledged equipment manufacturers as essential businesses, and he thanked companies that have offered to retool their operations to support the critical manufacturing efforts, and expressed his appreciation for the industry’s leadership and for embracing CDC guidelines to keep their employees and communities healthy and safe. He also urged AEM’s member companies to offer the supplies and equipment they might have in storage or be able to produce or deliver to aid in the COVID-19 response effort.

The Board also received a brief summary of tactics to support the 2020 AEM goals, with a focus on the Strategic Plan to implement this year. Recognizing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, AEM staff has deferred the review of these tactics. Instead, the Association is developing a plan to determine new priorities for 2020 to assist members and the industry during the crisis. The new plan is expected to be provided to the Board during the next few weeks.

In addition, the Board:

  •  Introduced and welcomed Brad Olson of Two Rivers Marketing to the Board.
  •  Reviewed and supported the audit results of the 2017-2019 Strategic Plan, which showed significant progress to achieve key objectives, particularly the hallmark achievements in each of the Key Result Areas for advocacy, thought leadership, driving data and digital direction, Ag and CE Sector leadership, membership and financial/operations.
  • Received the Treasurer’s Report, which included the following results: 2019 year-end financial results include a Net Operating Income (NOI) of $1.88 million, compared to the budgeted NOI of $249,000, for a favorable balance of $1.63 million. January 2020 NOI is $1.4 million, compared to the budgeted NOI of $587,000.
  • Approved the following staff recommendations for changes in the AEM bylaws. They will be presented to the full membership for approval at the Annual Business Meeting in November: Change of approval process for membership applications from the Membership Committee to staff, and update the eligibility requirements to participate in functions (activities) or specific product groups.
  •  Approved the staff recommendation to continue the scholarship program for the AEM Annual Conference.

The next meetings of the AEM Board and Sector Boards are scheduled for Aug. 4-5 in Milwaukee.

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