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Final Thoughts From AEMP's Outgoing CEO

Tuesday, November 13, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: AEMP
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by Stan Orr, FASAE, CAE - AEMP CEO

Where to begin.

A journey that began for me in January 1998 ends in only a few short weeks.  It was a journey that at times felt like a slog, and at times it felt like I was walking on water.

From the organization no one ever heard of to being the world leader in the art and science of heavy equipment management, there have been many highs, and yes a few lows.  But through the twenty years and counting, even at times it felt as though AEMP was plodding along like a pack mule, to today, when it is at a Triple Crown winning gallop, I’ve always believed, and still do, that AEMP would someday be a great organization for your profession.  And let there be no doubt.  It is.

Today, AEMP is the world's preeminent organization representing the best interests of every single person responsible for managing fleet assets.  How did it happen?  Easy answer.  The dedication of those who made improving the art and science of equipment management their life’s work, their mission. 

I was blessed with the opportunity to have a front row seat to watch these individuals leave their mark on a profession that in 1998, frankly did not truly exist, and if it did it was rarely acknowledged.  

Thanks to Dale Warner, CEM, we witnessed the birth of an industry-recognized credential, the Certified Equipment Manager. Thanks to Dave Markey, CEM, we watched the formation of the Standards of Ethical Conduct, which begat the Equipment Triangle Philosophy your organization coined and ascribes to.  We watched as John Meese, CEM advanced a diversity and inclusion policy and the accompanying Code of Conduct. It is now an integral part of who AEMP is- an organization that welcomes and embraces anyone who want to be the best equipment manager they can.  And there’s Thad Pirtle, who put AEMP front and center with the OEMs.  We stood in awe of Dick Brannigan, CEM, and Bob Merritt, CEM as they pushed telematics to the forefront of the industry, providing AEMP with a place at the industry table where we are today a key driver of an international standard and technology adoption.   We watched with satisfaction as Guy Gordon, CEM, pushed for the equipment manager as a vital, indispensable part of the C-Suite in any well run, fleet intensive organization.  And I will never forget the efforts of Don Gengelbach, CEM, who recognized organizations such as AEMP are only as good as the board that leads and manages them, moving the AEMP governance from good to great.

All the individuals mentioned above were chairmen of this venerable organization, and each year they led a diverse group of board members who, throughout the years continually advanced AEMP's mission of Building Excellence in Equipment Management. 

I could go on. Every single chairman and every single board of directors over the past 20 years brought to bear advances in your profession for which you can be thankful.  I hope you have noticed them, and I hope you will be challenged by what you see will become a leader yourself.  

For all this and more I am thankful.  Thank you for the front row seat. Thank you for the friendships. For every chairman, every board member, and every committee person I have been blessed to work with, thank you.  For every member I have had the honor to meet, converse with, and establish a relationship, thank you for your support of AEMP and me over the years.  

In January 2019 you will have a new CEO.  Donté Shannon, CAE, is a world class association professional who will bring his considerable talents and skills to bear.  Working with a great board led by Greg Peet, CEM, he will continue to build on the successes of all the boards I had the honor to work with by building a great partnership with each of the boards he will work with in the ensuing years. 

Farewell, and in the words of your 2001 chairman of the board Dale Warner, CEM, “Keep a strain on.”


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