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IEDA Annual Meeting, Auction Soars Past Its Own Records

Wed February 28, 2024 - National Edition #5

The February Annual Meeting of the Independent Equipment Dealers Association's theme was "Soar in 24" and that was on full display at the three-day conference in Kissimmee, Fla., Feb. 16-18.

Attendance was nearly 20 percent higher, with approximately 200 paid attendees, and registered golfers for the annual tournament nearly doubled over 2023's players. Also, IEDA's Second Annual Live and Online Auction raised more than $32,000 for the IEDA Foundation's technician scholarship fund, more than triple the proceeds from donated prizes at the first auction in 2023.

A recently-added kickoff feature for the annual meeting, the IEDA Auction was held Feb. 16, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., under a huge white tent on the 100-ft.-long front lawn of the Reunion Resort and Golf Club –– the meeting has convened at the Reunion property for three consecutive years.

Bryan Auction, owned by IEDA Board Member Doug Bryan, conducted the equipment auction featuring more than 400 individual lots of all IEDA-member-consigned equipment, trucks, attachments, vehicles and tools. More than 13,000 registered online bidders participated, and more than 200 people attended the family-friendly event in person. Bryan Auction provided a catered Southern lunch buffet and a cash bar to give attendees a fun and laid-back auction networking experience reminiscent of the '90s and earlier.

The primary reason the auction was launched in 2023 was to raise money for the IEDA Foundation, which, since 2022, has awarded 10 merit scholarships of $5,000 each to students enrolled in post-secondary heavy equipment programs to become qualified diesel technicians.

"We knew the auction had the potential to raise a lot more money for the Foundation, and my wife, Courtney, and I are overjoyed to present $32,125 for an incredibly worthwhile cause," said Bryan. "We are grateful to the IEDA board and all the IEDA members who generously contributed to the success of this year's auction, and everyone had a great time. We see nothing but growth every year going forward at this auction."

On Friday evening, Feb. 16, IEDA hosted a Welcome Party for its 200 guests in the sprawling lobby and Romanesque verandah of the Reunion, featuring lavish buffets, full bar and live music.

"The networking at IEDA is phenomenal, and, thanks to our executive director and master event planner, Dave Gordon, our members are able to connect with each other in grand style," said IEDA President Steve Udelson from Easton Sales & Rentals. "There is no detail overlooked at the networking parties we host. I think I can safely speak for the entire IEDA board and membership when I say that this IEDA meeting is the most anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed industry event of the year for the independent distribution channel."

Saturday's business program opened with an economic overview and strategic business advice with CPA Gene Marks, a former New York Times and The Washington Post columnist and frequent commentator on Fox News, MSNBC and other news outlets. The day's presentation topics included insights for mergers and acquisitions and a proven system for coaching the dealer's sales team.

A contractor/customer panel discussed candid perspectives on a range of issues related to buying, renting and repairing construction equipment. The panel consisted of two members of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) –– Dan Maitland, an AEMP board member, and Chris Fontana –– as well as Tommy MacDonald, owner of Top Tier Site Prep, and was moderated by distribution expert Mike Marks, co-founder of Indian River Consulting Group.

The conference concluded with a moving keynote talk from Col. Greg Gadsen, who lost both legs and partial use of his right hand in an explosion while serving in Iraq in 2007.

Relationship-building was the workout of the day Sunday morning as 100 golfers filed into rows of carts and hit the links, undeterred by day-long rain showers.

The closing party Sunday evening brought more than 230 dealers, service providers and OEM used equipment managers together to enjoy dinner, drinks, more live music, and abundant conversation, stories and laughter.

"On behalf of the IEDA board of directors and the IEDA staff, I want to thank our members for investing in themselves by attending the Annual Meeting," said Executive Director Dave Gordon. "There's a good reason contractors want to do business with IEDA member companies: They are the most ethical, solution-minded and truly customer-centric independent equipment dealers in the channel. One of their highest priorities is learning best practices and staying informed about industry trends and customer needs. IEDA is an important vessel delivering the content that helps them continue to grow and excel in the equipment marketplace."

IEDA is a non-profit trade association promoting participation, professionalism and advancement in the independent distribution of heavy equipment. The association focuses its efforts on providing discounts, marketing, advertising, education and networking opportunities to members that will result in increased sales for member companies. Selling, renting and servicing equipment, IEDA members are committed to displaying leadership in the industry by making ethical decisions and accurate claims to customers. IEDA was established in 2002 and, according to the association, it has become a unified and powerful voice within the industry. CEG

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The Bryan Auction team (L-R) are Brian Mooney; Trent Rudquist; Doug Bryan, president and CEO; Rus Puchalla; and Matt Morabec. (CEG photo)
Jeff Miller (L), president, and Mike Sherl, both of Trophy Tractor Inc., Burleson, Texas. (CEG photo)
Chris Wilson (L), JW Tractor, and David Baugous, RDO Equipment Co. (CEG photo)
Michael Pentz, IEDA director, and of the Calvin Group. (CEG photo)
Mike Brown, Stones River Tractor, Murfreesboro, Tenn. (CEG photo)
(L-R): Pawel Pastor and Eric Willering, both of Wilco Machinery; Greg Hall, president and owner of Hall Equipment Company; and Willem Tuinstra of Pon Equipment BV. (CEG photo)
(L-R): Dave Gordon, executive director of IEDA; Steve Udelson, IEDA president, and of Easton Sales and Rentals Inc.; and Adam Brown, Newman Tractor, Walton, Ky., and Bartow, Fla. (CEG photo)
Nadia Gagnon and Marc-Andre Nault, used equipment manager, Liebherr-Canada. (CEG photo)
The 2nd Annual IEDA Live & Virtual Auction on Friday, Feb. 16, kicked off the IEDA Annual Meeting in Kissimmee, Fla. (Photo courtesy of IEDA)
Army Veteran Col. Greg Gadsen gave a stirring keynote talk about his military experiences and life lessons, emphasizing team and leadership.  (Photo courtesy of IEDA)
Golfers were undeterred by rain showers at the IEDA annual tournament. (L-R) are Jason Dey, Specialty Insurance; Guy Roof, Con-Equip of the Carolinas; David Gordon, IEDA; Lou Klein, Specialty Insurance; and Cullen Mancusso, Sunbelt Rentals. (Photo courtesy of IEDA)
Throughout the Business Program on Feb. 17, IEDA provided ample time for attendees to connect with dozens of exhibitors and sponsors. (Photo courtesy of IEDA)
The IEDA Welcome Party on Feb. 16 featured a happy mix of independent dealers, service providers and product suppliers in a festive environment with live music and large buffets. (Photo courtesy of IEDA)
(L-R): Matt Jensen, Brad Grafe and Zach Myhre, all of Valley Transport Services Inc. (CEG photo)
Craig Ferguson, owner of Ferguson Equipment and Tractor Sales, Dover, Minn. (CEG photo)
(L-R): Caleb Colborn, IEDA director, and of Double Edge Equipment Inc., Idaho Falls, Idaho; Caleb Phillips, IEDA director and Granite Mountain Machinery in Georgia; and Alex Wetherell, also of Double Edge Equipment. (CEG photo)
Barry Tarp, Barry Tarp Equipment, Lubbock, Texas. (CEG photo)
Tony Warmka, GMW Rental LLC, San Juan, Texas. (CEG photo)
James Rinehart, Performance Equipment Company, Erie, Colo.
 (CEG photo)
(L-R): Eric Bryan, Courtney Bryan and Kurt Harbeke, all of Bryan Action Company, Oelwein, Iowa. (CEG photo)

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