AED held its annual Summit & CONDEX show Jan. 26 to 28 in Orlando, Fla.
Representatives from the industry’s leading dealerships and manufacturers from the United States, Canada and abroad attended the AED convention.
The mood during the show and conference was upbeat. After two consecutive years of dramatic declines in the market, in 2010 dealers in the United States saw sales improve between 10 and 15 percent.
During the Chairman’s Inaugural Breakfast Jan. 28, North American construction equipment distributors elected Dennis Kruepke to the position of 2011 Chairman of Associated Equipment Distributors. Kruepke is president and CEO of McCann Industries, Addison, Ill., the Case dealer serving the Chicago metro area.
Kruepke entered the construction equipment industry through manufacturing doors, initially with Gehl, then Toyota’s skid steer group and Mustang. He joined Dick McCann’s company in 1995 as partner and president of then newly formed McCann Power & Equipment — the company merged that business with its McCann Construction Specialities in 2000, and Kruepke was named president and CEO.
Also during the summit, AED announced its 2011 legislative priorities.
“What happens in Washington will, to a great extent, determine whether AED members are able to grow and prosper, or whether the equipment industry continues to scrape by or shrink further,” said AED President and CEO Toby Mack. “The association will aggressively push for robust and sustained infrastructure investments and tax and labor policies that create an environment conducive for job creation and economic growth.”
“Underinvestment in our national infrastructure poses a serious challenge to our economic growth and must be a top congressional priority,” said AED Vice President of Government Affairs Christian Klein. “When combined with tax policies that have stifled growth and discouraged investments, the construction equipment industry has been hit especially hard. Without a new approach, industry unemployment will continue to outpace other sectors and America’s economic well being and competitiveness will be severely undermined.”
Insufficient funding for transportation networks clogs the arteries of national commerce, costing the U.S. economy $115 billion annually in wasted time and fuel. A lack of attention to underground water infrastructure meanwhile, has led the American Society of Civil Engineers to give it a grade of “D-”, the lowest in any infrastructure category.
“Spending alone will not solve the national infrastructure. Companies need certainty in the tax code and investment schedules to aid long-term planning. Business owners need assurance that lawmakers will not propose laws and regulations that jam the wheels of industry,” said Mack.
Long-time AED member John Regan was presented with the 2011 AED Distinguished Service Award on Jan. 28 during the annual Summit convention. Walter Berry, president of Berry Companies, and chairman of the AED Foundation, presided over the morning’s program.
Regan was the executive vice president and general manager of G&H Services Inc., a John Deere and Hyundai dealership based in Northwest New Jersey that has closed its doors after 60 years of serving its territory. Regan joined the dealership 39 years ago in 1972 and jointly owned and operated the company together with its founder’s son, Bruce Gordon.
Beginning in 1998, Regan served a two-year term as AED’s Region 2 director. During his equipment industry career, he held the title of president for both the New Jersey AED Local Group and the Northeast John Deere Dealers Association simultaneously. He also was a member of the John Deere Eastern Region dealer advisory board.
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