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The Associated Equipment Distributors (AED held its 2015 Summit and Condex show in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 10 to 13.
The AED Summit and Condex is an annual convention designed specifically to provide equipment distributors with opportunities to see new products, meet with current and prospective business partners, attend educational seminars and network with dealer peers.
More than 1,400 people attended; of that, 433 were equipment dealers. The Condex show was sold out with a total of 122 exhibitors with 45 exhibiting for the first time.
During the event, Don Shilling was inducted as the new 2015 AED chairman. Shilling is president of General Equipment & Supplies Inc. and General Aggregates Equipment Sales, Fargo, N.D.
Ken Taylor, owner of Ohio CAT, was presented with the AED Democracy Award during a special AED PAC reception
During the event, U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez laid out the Obama administration’s ambitious highway reauthorization plan while encouraging equipment distributors to press for congressional action.
Mendez emphasized the impact the federal highway program’s uncertainty on the construction industry while outlining the Obama administration’s Generating Renewal, Opportunity and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America Act (the GROW AMERICA Act). The proposal increases surface transportation infrastructure funding over the next six years and “provides a strong investment in aging highways and bridges across the nation, to ensure that they are safe, reliable and well maintained.” Mendez highlighted the broad job creation and economic benefits of a robust, multiyear highway bill as well as the value of public-private partnerships as tools for rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.
Recognizing AED’s top-tier advocacy program, the Deputy Secretary of Transportation implored attendees to urge lawmakers to take immediate and decisive action to restore certainty to federal surface transportation programs. From his own experience, Mendez recalled meeting with the Arizona congressional delegation while serving as the state’s top transportation official and used the memory to underscore the importance of constituent engagement, particularly at a local level. Small business owners and executives are powerful advocates. By educating Congress about AED’s policy priorities, equipment distributors can illustrate the needs of the entire industry. AED’s next Washington Fly-In will be June 3 to 4 when dealers will storm Capitol Hill as part of the equipment industry’s premiere public policy event.