2019 Leadership Conference

Aug 27, 2019 05:00pm -
Aug 29, 2019 04:30pm

Event Description

Forward looking professionals in the equipment industry know the importance of developing the leadership skills of rising talent and managers within the dealership. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, labor participation rates of baby boomers will fall from 80 percent to below 40 percent by 2022. The baby boomer generation that makes up more than 25 percent of our industry’s workforce.

Business relationships between employees and customers thrive when you have an effective and diverse leadership team in all areas of operation – from the branch level to the corner office. Cultivating those leaders requires education and networking opportunities. As the equipment distribution industry becomes increasingly competitive, it is more important than ever before to invest in leadership development for the future of the business.

How prepared are those in your business who are or will enter leadership roles? Take the opportunity to set up the new and future leaders in your dealership for success by sending them to the AED Leadership Conference. No other event will give you more focused expertise on building and optimizing leaders in your dealership.

Attending will enable professionals to grow by delivering actionable content on leadership principles, the most relevant industry information, technology updates, and a platform to grow their professional networks and to learn from their peers. The Leadership Conference is one of the most highly anticipated industry events of the year across North America. There are many reasons attendees return year after year, including preparing for a promotion, inspiration for improving and motivating team, and the overall quality of the program.


What people are saying:

“This is well worth the time, travel, and expense involved to send a young leader to in your company.  both for the educational content as well as the social aspect of getting to meet other industry peers and converse with them on their pains in the market today as well as successes.”Jon Shilling, General Equipment & Supplies

“I would recommend this event to "high potential candidates" or emerging leaders within an organization.  It was a great, concentrated event with valuable information for managers and leaders.”Taylor McCarthy, Leppo Rents

“It is well worth the time and money. AED does a great job of getting great speakers with relevant content.”Chad Van Solen, Vermeer Midwest

“It allows me to step away from the business, meet with peers, hear new ideas, and reflect on small changes I can make to improve our business. IT helps me develop and focus our strategy for next year.”Bill Price, West Side Tractor Sales

“I would love to see all of our managers attend! It’s a great experience. It really allowed me to take my management skills to the next level.” Alvin Prasad, Sonsray Machinery



  Tuesday, August 27 (schedule subject to change)

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


Welcome Reception

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm



Wednesday, August 28 (schedule subject to change)

8:00 am - 8:45 am



8:00 am - 8:45 am



8:45 am - 9:00 am


Welcome & Announcements


9:00 am - 10:15 am


No Shortcuts to the Top

Ed Viesturs is widely regarded as this country's foremost high-altitude mountaineer. His climbing career spans over 30 years, and he has been on 31 expeditions to Himalayan peaks. He has been on 11 Everest expeditions, reaching the summit 7 times--three of these without supplemental oxygen. He was the climbing leader on the 1996 Everest IMAX filming expedition and took part in the rescues of stranded climbers, documented in the book Into Thin Air.

In this unforgettable presentation, Viesturs helps audiences learn how to become more successful and overcome obstacles by discussing the lessons he learned as he set out to accomplish his primary goal of climbing the World’s 14 peaks over 8000 meters (26,000’ and above) without supplemental oxygen--a project he titled Endeavor 8000. This effort took him 18 years to complete and in doing so became the only American and the fifth person to accomplish this feat.

Hear Ed’s story and learn how to reach higher goals, maintain momentum in the face of hardship and stay at the top of your game.


10:15 am - 10:30 am



10:30 am - 11:30 am


The Voice of the Customer (Panel)

Knowing your customers is key to dealership success. How well do you know yours? This session will feature a panel of dealer customers discussing what they look for in a dealer, how they weigh purchasing versus renting equipment, the most important things a dealer brings to the table when working with a contractor, and more.

11:35 am - 12:35 pm


How to Recession-Proof Your Business

Some business strategists and forecasters are predicting the next recession to hit in the next 6-18 months, and they all talk about “how to survive.” You don’t want to survive, you want to figure out how to leverage the situation and grow your business—even when times are tough and your competitors are crashing all around you because they didn’t plan ahead. This session will help you build a better company and plan for breakout growth during the next recession.

12:35 pm - 1:45 pm



1:45 pm - 2:45 pm


Technology Panel

What technology is available to dealers today? What tools are on the horizon? This panel will feature prominent players in dealership technology solutions discussing how tech can be leveraged in various areas of the dealership.

2:50 pm - 4:00 pm








Digital Marketing Tactics to Activate Your Business

The session will include tips, tools, best practices, and real examples that validate why a company's digital presence and marketing strategy is important and how it can be leveraged to drive business objectives and performance, including sales enablement, demand generation, lead generation, and more.

Session highlights also include:

  • How to leverage three key digital channels: website, social media, and email
  • Why content should be the foundation of your digital marketing strategy
  • Real world examples: How simple digital marketing strategies can drive business results and further position your business as an industry leader

4:00 pm - 4:15 pm



4:15 pm - 5:00 pm


Navigating the Move to the Corner Office

Some of you are there already. Many more are on their way. Hear from a veteran industry executive about all of the things he wished he knew before taking over the dealership, including:

  • Prioritizing the many duties of the President/CEO
  • Time management
  • Working with your business advisors
  • Influencing change
  • And more!

5:00 pm - 6:15 pm


Evening Reception

6:15 pm - 8:00 pm


Emerging Leaders Council Dinner (By Invitation Only)

Thursday, August 29 (schedule subject to change)

8:00 am – 9:00 am



9:00 am - 12:30 pm


The Profound Power of Presence (Workshop)

As a leader, the decision to engage you and build a relationship starts in a split second, before a word is spoken. You can own that moment and make it amazing.

In this workshop, attendees will learn and practice two critical skills: understanding the profound power of presence, and ELSA, which stands for “engage, listen, suggest, and ask.” Learn to apply these behaviors not only to clients and customers to increase sales and revenue, but to your own team at the dealership to increase engagement and retention.

Attendees will also learn:

  • How being present opens listening channels and allows your clients and coworkers to be open to your suggestions
  • The intersection of vulnerability and humility to build trust and rapport
  • The power of suggestion—why suggesting is as natural as breathing
  • The expectation of the ask

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm



1:30 pm - 4:30 pm


Tellin' It Like it *BLEEPIN* Is: Giving Critical Feedback (Workshop)

Someone on your team just made a huge mistake on the job or is simply not performing up to par. You know you need to tell them, but you don’t want to hurt their feelings or damage your relationship with them. Or maybe you are just too blunt and are worried that you will offend them. So instead you hope the problem miraculously goes away or you convince yourself that you’re really going to speak up the next time something happens. This workshop will teach you how to be a good messenger when you need to be the bearer of bad news. Learn how to:

  • Deliver critical feedback conversations with confidence and clarity
  • Distinguish facts from opinions and assumptions when giving feedback
  • Provide feedback that is specific, objective, and actionable
  • Engage in difficult conversations while maintaining rapport and good relationships
  • Determine at what point and under what circumstances you should intervene with feedback
  • Structure the flow of the feedback conversation
  • Give feedback to higher ups and/or clients
  • Tactfully receive critical feedback  



Attendees (as of 5/7/2019)

First Name Last Name Organization City State
Alfonso Pugh Jr 4 Rivers Equipment, LLC Greeley CO
Matt Stoughton BLS Enterprises, Inc. Bensenville IL
Craig Eubanks Eubanks Equipment Afton OK
Tom Ruppelli Ohio Ag Equipment Cleveland Ohio
Todd Shephard Ohio CAT Broadview Hts OH
Matt Howard Vermeer Canada Brampton ON
Michael Schmidt Vermeer Corporation Pella IA
Henry Perez Vermeer Equipment de Mexico Guadalajara MX
James Kirk Vermeer Great Plains Oklahoma City OK
Eric Holby Vermeer MidAtlantic Cranberry Township PA
Craig Crowe Vermeer Midwest Fishers IN
Ollie Windle Vermeer Pacific Portland OR
Monte Erritt Vermeer Southeast Marietta GA
Dale Siever Vermeer Southwest Chandler AZ
Kelli Meyer Vermeer Texas-Louisiana Irving TX


Want more information on the Leadership Conference? View our video below!


AED Cancelation Policy:  
Refunds are not permitted within 14 business of the event unless a note is received detailing a medical emergency or other similar event.

Event Type:Annual Conference
Early registration ends on Jul 01, 2019.
Regular registration starts on Jul 02, 2019 and ends on Aug 05, 2019.
Late registration starts on Aug 06, 2019.
(GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

Register for this event  

Registration Fees
Fee TypeEarlyRegularLate
 Attendee fee
Member Fee: $795.00$895.00$995.00
Non-Member Fee: $1590.00$1790.00$1990.00
 Spouse / Family Member / Guest
Member Fee: $350.00$350.00$350.00
Non-Member Fee: $700.00$700.00$700.00