Aug. 17, 2020
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AEM’s CE Sector Board met via teleconference on Tuesday, Aug. 4 to discuss a full agenda focused on technology adoption for equipment end-users, customer connections related to U.S. and international trade shows, and advocacy and policy topics about COVID-19 and its impact on our members.

CE Sector Board Chair Rod Schrader of Komatsu America Corp. called the meeting to order and asked for approval of the minutes from the April CE Sector Board meeting. He also welcomed Dave Hughes, vice president of global sales, McElroy Manufacturing to the CE Sector Board of Directors. Dave has been active with AEM and is the current Chair of The Utility Expo 2021.

Following is an overview of the agenda and discussion:


End User Technology Implementation Challenges & Opportunities

  • Construction Digitization Task Force – AEM Senior Director of Utility John Somers provided an update on the AEM Construction Digitization Task Force and the work that group is doing to address technology adoption and equipment utilization data.
  • End-User Technology Adoption – AEM Director of Education Programs Brooke Konopacki shared the end-user technology adoption research conducted in 2020, including the objectives and methodology for capturing the data. She provided an overview of the key insights from the research and presented a plan for an end-user education program based on the recommendation of the Construction Digitization Task Force. Following her presentation, the CE Sector board members discussed the research results and recommendations for end-user education. As an action item, the Board voted to approve the education initiative.

Aftermarket Support Committee – John Somers introduced this newly launched committee focused on aftermarket support and shared the committee objectives and direction that includes new task forces to address four specific topics: electric and/or alternative fuel powered equipment, uptime and e-commerce, parts and service. He provided a list of the member companies that have volunteered to participate in this committee and encouraged others to volunteer. He will continue to provide updates to the CE Sector Board as this committee moves forward.

Customer Connections – AEM Senior Vice President of Exhibition & Marketing Nicole Hallada provided a look at upcoming trade shows, including World of Asphalt & AGG1 and the health and safety protocols being put in place related to COVID-19. World of Asphalt Show Manager Brittany Weltcheff provided additional management and health and safety details in support of the show, scheduled for March in Atlanta, GA.

  • CONEXPO Latin America – AEM Director of International Business Fred Vieira thanked the Board for the OEM input and guidance during the last months as we’ve worked on plans for CONEXPO Latin America.  Based on that input, he shared insights and recommendations for new formatting for CONEXPO Latin America, which offers more conference-like opportunities, partnering with local experts and higher engagement from dealers and local offices. The CE Sector board approved the new formatting of the show.
  • bauma CONEXPO India – Fred Vieira also provided an update on bauma CONEXPO India and the decision to postpone the show to February 23-25, 2021, and the contingency plan for exhibitors and our continued partnership.
  • CONEXPO Connect – Digital Media Director Jennifer Richter shared an update on CONEXPO Connect and the refocus on content and community to achieve scale and monetization through a new partnership.

International Associations Committee (IAC) – AEM Senior Vice President of the Construction and Utility Sector Megan Tanel discussed the IAC and the newly enhanced vision for the IAC, working toward an elevated global voice for the industry. This includes partnerships with associations to focus on topics such as workforce, advocacy, international standards, regulations and events.

Voice of Customer Survey – AEM Director of Construction Sara Feuling and John Somers led the update on the industry voice of customer surveys. The research focused on the economic outlook related to the workforce and companies that have furloughed and/or laid off employees due to COVID-19. The survey will help AEM, along with sister association and industry publications, gain insight and understand the speed of industry recovery.

Advocacy – AEM Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Kip Eideberg provided an update on COVID-19 and what the AEM Advocacy team is doing to support member companies to make sure our industry’s policy priories are addressed in Washington and state capitals, as well as Canada. He provided an overview of the COVID-19 relief packages to date and the latest developments on a possible fifth stimulus bill currently being negotiated by Congress and the Trump Administration. AEM Senior Director of Government Relations Kate Fox Wood expanded on the latest developments of the next relief package and how it could impact our industry and our members' companies. She also addressed the politics of the current negotiations. AEM Director of Government Relations Alex Russ provided an update on Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 as well as the current investigation on mobile crane imports.

Other Business – Sara Feuling provided an update regarding AEM involvement in the ISO working group for interoperability and the potential opportunity to provide testing and verification to build industry confidence and prove workability to end-users.

  • AEM Annual Conference – AEM Senior Vice President of Technology, Content/Education and Revenue Creation Al Cervero provided an update on the Annual Conference plans given the impact of COVID-19 and how it may impact travel for individual members.


Prior to the meeting, the Board received reports on each of the following AEM service areas that outlined the latest updates and actions led by AEM staff. The service area updates included:

  • CE Sector Board Priorities
  • Digitization Task Force
  • Market Intelligence
  • Statistics
  • Membership
  • Workforce Development
  • Technical & Safety Services
  • Advocacy
  • Customer Connections: CONEXPO-CON/AGG, IFPE, Utility Expo, World of Asphalt, AGG1, CONEXPO Connect, International Exhibitions
  • Component Members Executive Committee
  • Service Members Executive Committee
  • Aftermarket Support Committee
  • AEM Strategic Plan

The next meetings of the AEM Board and Sector Boards are scheduled for Nov. 18-19 as part of the Annual Conference at the Meritage Resort in Napa, California. For more information about AEM’s CE Sector Board, please contact Megan Tanel at [email protected]. 

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