2020 Financial/HR Symposium

Nov 02, 2020 05:00pm -
Nov 04, 2020 12:30pm

Event Type: Annual Conference
Category: Conference

Speaker Information

Session Descriptions


Leadership Lessons from Hollywood
Presented by: Andy Masters

This session will creatively use the magical imagery of Hollywood to help leaders ignite a culture to develop and empower their dealerships—while defeating the succession planning crisis—in this challenging era of having to “do more with less.” Citing the latest research from Harvard Business Review, Deloitte, and Glassdoor, this session provokes real organizational change from every attendee, and provides immediate “take-home” action items to help cultivate both millennials and Gen Z future leaders in today’s new economy.


Elections Have Consequences: Preparing for the 2020 Political Showdown
Presented by: Brian P. McGuire & Daniel B. Fisher of AED

With the pivotal 2020 elections rapidly approaching, there’s a great deal at stake for the equipment industry.  Hear from AED’s President & CEO Brian P. McGuire and Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher to learn about how the outcome of the 2020 contests will impact tax, trade, workforce development, labor and infrastructure policies, and what you can do to engage with AED to ensure the best possible results for your company.


The Changing Workforce
Presented by: Diane Benck

With five generations working side by side and rapidly changing labor pool demographics, the workforce has never been as varied as it is today. In this session, past AED Chairwoman Diane Benck will discuss the threats to the current manufacturer/distributor model that makes workforce issues more important than ever.

Topics include:

  • Millennial and Generation Y challenges – how the requirements of the changing workforce are forcing dealers to adapt, particularly with technicians
  • Demographic changes and the need for more diversity to adapt to the demographic shifts that are on the way
  • West Side Tractor Sales as a case study for gender diversity, and how that diversity has helped the business grow and profit


2020 Economic Outlook
Presented by: Charlie Dougherty of Wells Fargo

This session will provide an in-depth review of recent economic conditions and insights as the U.S. economy enters the 11th year of expansion. Topics will cover key elements of the national economy, including prospects for the manufacturing and construction industries in 2020 and beyond. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.


The 2020 Mandate: Maximizing the Performance & Value of Your Most Critical Asset
Presented by: Nike Araco of The CFO Alliance

Increasing speculation regarding the timing of a recession, increasing unrest in the Middle East, and global economic uncertainty/pessimism are on the minds of finance professionals across North America.

But, as world-renowned business advisor, author, and speaker Ram Charan pointed out in 2016, “Businesses don’t create value; people do.” And while many factors contribute to business success, including having a sound strategy, having a marketable and salable product or service, and having efficient and effective operational processes in place, it falls to the people to actually execute on these strategies, plans, and processes and to make the business whole.

This session will focus on the five critical areas of opportunity finance leaders should embrace and execute for success in 2020, including:

  • Being watchful, not waiting, for recession
  • The four forces that will drive CFO performance this decade
  • Aligning customer and employee experiences across the business
  • Upskilling and enabling talent
  • Improving operational decision making


M&A Activity and Trends
Presented by: Torre Hammer & Andrew Suen of Moss Adams

This session will focus on a market update on mergers and acquisition activity in the heavy equipment space and will include discussion on lessons learned and best practices in preparing for a sale or acquisition.


Roundtable Collaboration
Moderated by: Nick Araco

Join fellow finance professionals to discuss the topics, issues, industry trends, and developments affecting dealership finance departments during this structured hour of sharing best practices.


Equipment Financing: A Guide for the Dealership Accounting Team
Presented by: Marc Johnson

In this session, experts in the equipment dealership industry who have worked with dozens of dealerships will lead an interactive discussion on equipment financing for the dealership accounting team.  Hear their insights and best practices as well as stories of what has worked and how you can better position your dealership for financing success.

Not to be confused with a seminar on the legalese of finance agreement documents, this session will help the CFO/Controller and others on the accounting and finance team dive into:

  • Borrowing base issues
  • Collateral and liens
  • Valuation standards
  • Lending viewpoints


Rental Strategy, Business Models, and Operations: Common Dealer Practices
Presented by: Dick Stewart of Stewart Consulting

AED has embarked on a two-phased project to support member dealers in the management of their rental lines of business. Phase one identifies common practices currently utilized by dealers in their rental strategies, business models, and operations, while phase two is a rental-specific companion document to AED’s 2020 Cost of Doing Business Report.

The focus of this session is phase one, which presents current common practices drawn from extensive interviews with dealers of all revenue sizes. The common practices address strategic choices for rental as well as business model elections for both rent-to-sell and rent-to-rent models. The emphasis of this session is on the common practices of operating a rental line of business and includes key operating roles, inbound and outbound processes, and management of utilization.

In this session, attendees can expect to gather information that will enable them to benchmark their rental business to common practices revealed through the array of dealer interviews that have been conducted.


Keys to Effective Communication
Presented by: Jill Berg

The importance of communication is paramount in the workplace, as we engage with clients, customers, and co-workers. This session will teach finance leaders about the various forms of communication and how to make them more effective. Attendees will learn listening skills and steps to take to diffuse negative communication.

Content includes:

  • The various forms of communication
  • Self-awareness of your communication style, including tips on how best to be understood
  • Assessing your listening skills and key takeaways for areas of improvement
  • Grasping the impact of communication as it relates to technology


Succession Planning That Works
Presented by: Deni Hoehne

Too many succession plans gather dust on shelves while top talent leaves the organization and outside people get chosen for top posts. In this session, you’ll learn how to design an effective process for selecting and developing qualified successors from the top talent within your dealership. This session is based on real world experience applying the recommendations of Marc Effron, President of the Talent Strategy Group and author of “One Page Talent Management.” One iteration of the process at a heavy equipment dealer was recognized as one of the top three best practices at the manufacturer’s 2018 global talent management conference.

Content includes:

  • Why organizational strategy has to come first
  • How to evaluate possible successors
  • Professional development and training
  • Designing experiences that truly prepare a successor


Humor in the Workplace: Not Just How, but Why!
Presented by: Andy Masters

Since the recession, companies have been downsized and running trim. This includes dealerships. Never before have managers and employees been asked to wear so many hats, and do more with less. Therefore, the time to make the workplace FUN again has never been more important! People are tired of being stressed. People want to be happy, laugh, and enjoy their jobs. The incredible impacts of a fun and positive work environment include less stress, higher morale, lower turnover, and even increased service levels—and it can be accomplished with LITTLE or NO costs!

This session will illustrate easy and inexpensive ways to create a fun working environment, while sharing success stories of how companies have launched a RE-ENERGIZED corporate culture in this new global economy.


Hippies to Hipsters: Communicating Across Generations
Presented by: Jesyca Hope

One of the biggest issues facing the equipment industry is the issue of multi-generational communication and continuity. Face it—from Baby Boomers to Generation Z, we use different communication tools, platforms, and methods, and the best managers need to know how to fine-tune their communications approach to get the best results out of all generations. In this session, learn how different generations can bridge the communication gulf, get on the same page, and work as a harmonious team.

Topics include:

  • Choosing your channel
  • Why “communicating with millennials” is obsolete
  • How to speak a common language
  • How to build effective multi-generational teams


Roundtable Collaboration
Moderated by: Jesyca Hope

Join fellow HR professionals to discuss hot topics, issues, industry trends, and developments affecting human resources during this structured hour of sharing best practices.


How to Establish and Design an Employee Wellness Program
Presented by: Dr. Michael Moses

Wellness programs can benefit employers by lowering health care costs, reducing absenteeism, increasing productivity, reducing injuries and their associated costs, and improving employee morale and loyalty. Learn how to design a program for your dealership, or enhance the one you already have.


CTE & Industry: Connecting with Your Future Workforce (Panel)
Moderated by: Phil Riggs
Panelists include:

  • Michelle Aldrich of Wyoming Department of Education
  • Sarah Heath of Colorado Community College System
  • Pradeep Kotamraju of the California Department of Education

Equipment distributors need to fill a rapidly growing shortage in their workforce; this requires collaboration between education and industry. Learn about the current state of career and technical education, the implementation of Perkins V funding, and best practices on how to engage with your state CTE office during this panel discussion with state CTE directors.


The Ins and Outs of Apprentice Training Programs (Panel)
Moderated by: Jason Blake
Panelists include: 

  • Sara Frith of General Equipment & Supplies, Inc.

Apprentice training programs are one of the most effective ways to help bridge the skills gap but are still not being utilized to their full potential.

When implemented correctly, a well-planned apprenticeship program yields many advantages to an employer, and can:

  • Attract qualified applicants
  • Reduce turnover
  • Increase productivity
  • Ensure employees are trained to industry standards
  • Provide a dealership with a competitive edge through a well-trained and flexible workforce

In this panel discussion, hear from fellow dealers about their experiences in setting up and implementing their own programs, including best practices, pitfalls, and lessons learned.