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AEMP Chairman of the Board: A Look in the Rearview Mirror

Tuesday, April 10, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: AEMP
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Another tremendously successful AEMP Annual Meeting is in the books.  For me as the incoming Chairman of the Board it was a whirlwind of activity, education and collaboration wrapped into a mere 3 ½ day timeframe.  Now that it has passed however, I can look back and see it for what it was, another chapter in the book which supports so many of us as we seek to “build excellence in equipment management” in our companies.  Committee volunteers and staff contributed untold hours to make it such a wonderfully enriching event.  As the conference began to draw to a close I heard so many variations of the comment “best ever.” That only tells part of the story though.

The week began with a Board training session focused on enhancing our governance structure and ensuring that all board members understood the importance of their role and were fully committed to our mission of becoming more strategic in our thinking and actions.  Many thanks to our two consultants, Pam Hemann and Clarke Price who have been working with us for the last year or more on these efforts.  

Great dialog and decision making followed during the Board meeting where we did indeed debate and make decisions on pursing several strategic issues.  Among them was the creation of a Membership Committee to be led by Chairman-Elect Mason Ford of Skanska USA Civil.  We feel that we have so much to offer fleet intensive organizations of every size and type.  Our goal is to position ourselves to connect with them so we can share our greatest resources of education, certification and networking/collaboration opportunities.  Not only do we believe that we have much to offer these organizations, both private and public, we know they will bring much to the table for those of us already in the association to learn from as well. 

Another new strategic issue involves a directive to the Workforce Development Committee.  The issue is to determine how AEMP can bring many of the stakeholders together who are currently all doing great work on their own in trying to attract people to our industry, but in our estimation, could multiply their efforts if they all worked in a coordinated manner.  Just as AEMP led the industry efforts to bring all the stakeholders together in order to make telematics data readily available to machine owners of mixed fleets, we see that AEMP could occupy a similar position with regard to workforce development. Can we bring together all of the disparate individuals, companies, associations, governmental organizations, etc. together to collectively work on this effort?  Time will tell, but we as a Board of Directors feel that it is an effort worth tackling. 

Committee meetings followed which of course is where the meaningful work of the association gets done - everything from education committees to the Technology Committee, from the Editorial Committee to the Workforce Development Committee.  In each committee meeting end users and associate members worked side by side to further the work of AEMP.  To any of you AEMP members who may be sitting on the sidelines, I urge you to get in the game by volunteering your time on one of our committees.  It will enhance your experience both personally and professionally and allow you to give back to the industry as a whole.

All this and I haven’t even commented on the conference itself yet.  The theme was “E3 Mastering Machine Management: Efficiency. Economics. Excellence.”  With a name like that it had to be great and so it was.  It was kicked off by a keynote address by none other than Dr. Mike Vorster who spoke on the topic “What Your CEO Wants from You.”  As always Mike was spot on in his analysis as he was later in the day when he led an educational session called “Maximizing the Data in Your Work Order System.”  We had a multitude of educational sessions led by end users, industry professionals and even Brigadier General (Ret.) Marianne Watson who spoke on the process of hiring military veterans into our industry.  In short, there was something for everyone and take-a-ways galore.  This doesn’t even include the one-on-one time we got to spend with our peers creating relationships that we can leverage for years to come as we look for help dealing with all the challenges of managing an equipment fleet.  

There were awards presented to the Technician of the Year, the Fleet Masters Award for both small and large fleets, a Hall of Fame induction for an extremely deserving member and former Chairman of the Board, Dale “Sarge” Warner, and even a night of comedy presented by a local improv group.  Probably the most compelling event for me wasn’t directly connected with fleet management at all.  Our keynote speaker for day two was Dr. Jackson Katz who spoke on the topic “Be the Hero.”  In an industry dominated by men, Dr. Katz challenged us to provide leadership and take a stand against sexual and domestic violence, racial and ethnic divides, and improve our fleet teams by considering that the culture of those teams is “only as good as the worst behavior that we tolerate.”  Dr. Katz described things that we often think of as being “women’s issues” but challenged us to rethink that paradigm and consider them to be men’s issues that require our leadership and devotion to change.  It was a very inspiring message for which he earned a standing ovation.

Did I mention that there was something for everyone?  If you didn’t make it to this conference be sure to attend our fall EquipmentSHIFT event to see what’s in it for you!

Greg Peet, CEM
2018/19 Chairman of the Board
Helm Group


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