Professional Dealer Education

AED’s Summit is the only show that focuses on dealer-specific education. Each session will provide tremendous opportunity to expand on existing knowledge while learning new, valuable information to take back to your dealership. View below to see the tracks and sessions that will be featured at the 2018 event.

Sessions and topics are subject to change.



Session Title
Speaker Name
Tuesday 1/16 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm Leadership The Future of Your Dealership

Dealerships have to constantly look toward the future in order to retain long-term success. This means keeping an eye on trends, timing purchases and investments, and being able to adjust accordingly. This session will examine current industry results and look at what trends will be driving your dealership in the future.

Richard Stewart Stewart Consulting
Tuesday 1/16 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm Rental Get Paid and Empty Your Lot

Equipment that’s sitting on your lot isn’t just wasting space, it’s costing you money. Dealers are moving to capitalize on that unsold inventory by moving into rental, where they can move that equipment off the lot continually.

In this session, attendees will learn how to organize a rental division and set it up according to rental industry principles, which technologies are crucial to competing in rental, how sales techniques differ from rental techniques, and why rental software is critical to managing your rental business.

Greg Bennett Point of Rental Software
Tuesday 1/16 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm Sales A Granular Data-Driven Approach to Strategic Sales

Imagine if your sales team knew exactly what to sell, when to sell and who to sell it to!

Today’s information systems and analytics can be used to do exactly that, during the strategic planning phase of your sales process.  This session will focus on how to apply customer information to the planning stage, including techniques for building strategies and tactics based on detailed information, using planning systems and new analytic tools like Power BI.

Mets Kramer Strategic Evolutions
Tuesday 1/16 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm Management New Regulatory Mandates Are Here. Are You Prepared?

Major regulatory changes are here. Make sure you’re in compliance with two of the biggest to impact the equipment distribution industry: the OSHA silica dust rule and the FMCSA’s ELD rule.

You’ve heard the dire warnings about silica dust, and you know that new OSHA rules have been issued, but what does that mean to you as an equipment distributor? If you’re a dealer who rents equipment, the answer is plenty. Rental operators must be in compliance with the new regulations, including posting signs, “decontamination” of equipment, written exposure control plans, and more.  Failure to comply can result in daily fines and open up your business to liability claims and litigation.

In addition to OSHA regulations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) ELD rule is about to be fully implemented. This rule applies to over three million drivers on the road today, and it’s not just long-haul truckers. So who is subject to ELD regulations, and who is exempt? How do short-haul provisions work?

Attend this session and learn what these new regulations are, when they become effective, and how they will affect your business operations.

James R. Waite

Brian Dolewski

James R. Waite, LLC

Árachas Group, LLC

Tuesday 1/16 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm Product Support How to Effectively Use Technology to Service and Repair Heavy Equipment Machines

Although traditional tools remain important and experience is often the best “tool” a technician can have, modern technology has added a variety of new tools to the technician’s toolbox. There are significant benefits to remotely connecting to heavy equipment machines, but not all technicians are taking advantage of this new technology. Outside of remote connection, there are many ways a technician can take advantage of a machine’s electronic monitoring and managing systems before, during and after servicing or repairing a machine. This presentation will attempt to raise awareness of some of these extra “tools” and lead to making technicians more effective and efficient while reducing machine downtime.

Scott Heard CDX Learning Systems
Tuesday 1/16 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm Technology Training Faster, Selling Smarter: Bridging the OEM/Dealer Sales Divide with Digital Tools

If you work in sales or marketing in the heavy equipment industry, you’ve experienced the disconnect between OEM and channel sales. OEM marketing and sales staff are inundated with requests for material and information, with a restricted view of what is being used by whom, when and how. Dealer sales reps often feel stranded without proper training, collateral, and documentation to go knowledgably into the field. New reps take a while to get up to speed, and even seasoned veterans have little choice but to operate with outdated product info.

In this interactive session, participants will get an inside look at how cross-platform mobile sales tools can build bridges between these departments and create cohesive partnership, working together more efficiently and effectively. It will include moderated round-table discussions in which participants will have a chance to discuss the biggest obstacles they face in enabling their sales force to become more productive.

Tom Paul Pop Art, Inc.
Tuesday 1/16 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Leadership Leading Change

Today’s business challenges require agile mindsets that learn to welcome change. This session will teach the skills that will enable your team to embrace, rather than fear, change and reimagine the future. Participants will learn and understand the value of an upward spiral leader mindset and how it influences our ability to embrace and drive change as well as help others navigate through transitions for positive professional and business outcomes. Discover how a new vision of change leadership allows us to collectively thrive in a future of work that is very different than today.

Sue Covelli-Buntley InspiraWork
Tuesday 1/16 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Management Treating and Training Your Field Service Technicians to be Company Ambassadors

Few people in your organization have as much interaction with your customers as your field service techs. They become your ambassadors and can be the most trusted people in your organization. However, most of their training is focused on technical skills – little time is spent on:

  • building relationships
  • understanding the value and importance of customer relationships
  • specific skills related to developing a loyal customer
  • what to do and say (or not say) when a customer is upset
  • recognizing additional sales opportunities and passing them along

While it is critical that the equipment is serviced properly, you must also recognize this as an opportunity to strengthen the customer relationship.

Barry Himmel Signature Worldwide
Tuesday 1/16 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Management The Fun of Vegas: An Improv Workshop

This immersive, interactive session is designed to inspire and empower leaders and their teams to communicate more freely, clearly, and effectively. At the end of this workshop, participants will have:

  • New and improved communication and listening skills to build bridges with employees and customers
  • An ability to connect with their team members on a stronger, more relatable level
  • Improved leadership strategies with actionable communication tools that deliver optimum performance
  • More collaborative and disruptive team and leadership identities/qualities
Vital Germaine R&D Events
Tuesday 1/16 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Product Support Telematics: Over Promised and Under Delivered

Organizations today collect massive amounts of information from their suppliers, service providers and even their connected assets. However, when it comes to being able to use data to drive business decisions, the quality, consistency, and actionability of data too often falls short of hyped potential.

Like a doctor who can tell you that you’re sick but can’t provide a treatment plan, telematics-driven data such as sensors or other smart connections (Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT deployments) are not very useful by themselves. After all, knowing that a piece of equipment has failed does not help managers enact a repair plan.

To realize the true benefits of your IoT investments, data must be contextual, integrated and actionable.

Service Relationship Management (SRM) is a strategic business approach that delivers actionable, dynamic, service event responses.

SRM begins by integrating a variety of information and data streams. It shares that information to create and strengthen customer-supplier relationships, drive improvements in asset and equipment uptime and performance, and enable more consistent, reliable, and less costly maintenance processes. Companies who have implemented SRM can:

  • Measure technician skills to know who to send to which job, resulting in a speedier fix and a happier customer.
  • Send same-day estimates from the field, using a mobile device.
  • Understand how customers use assets in order to drive cross-sell and upsell parts and services.

In this session, participants will learn about how leading organizations have used SRM to maximize the value of their telematics data by making it actionable – and, in turn, improve their bottom lines.

Michael Jakab Decisiv
Tuesday 1/16 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Technology Modernizing Your Marketing Strategy – 5 Steps to Get Started in 2018

Dealers and distributors relying primarily on old-school marketing tactics risk missing opportunities and losing market share to more tech-savvy, aggressive competitors. Adopting a well-balanced digital marketing and sales strategy is an important part of your overall modernization and future success. This presentation will reveal 5 steps you can take tomorrow to get started with proven strategies to improve your opportunity pipeline and grow market share.

Brian Shanahan Shanahan Strategy, Inc.
Tuesday 1/16 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Management Cyber Exposure: Recognizing Potential Liabilities and Coverage Gaps

This session will focus on the way that insurers and the courts have responded in applying traditional coverage to cyber breaches and in developing new products and services targeted to this risk. Attendees will learn to identify how their business’s use of cyber media and other services can create new potential risks and liabilities, be able to evaluate their business’s current cyber risk exposure, discover ways for their business to prepare for potential losses or exposure and minimize the fall-out if a cyber security event occurs, and leave the session prepared to apply these principles in the organization and management of their business, including recognizing any gaps in their current coverage.

Michael Airdo Kopon Airdo, LLC
Wednesday 1/17 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm Leadership Leadership Lessons from the Streets

What do first responders have in common with high-performing leaders in the business world? Both have to remain calm under pressure. Both must deliver in the clutch. Both must motivate and empower their teams in an ever-changing environment. Learn how you can apply these tough lessons on leadership and teamwork learned while working the street to your own dealership.

Eric Shipman West Chicago Police Department
Wednesday 1/17 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm Rental A Handshake is Not Enough: Common Rental Contract Mistakes

Equipment rental operations can be deceptively complex. As dealers, you deal with a wide range of customers, equipment types, geographies, weather conditions, and legal requirements. The rental contract must incorporate all of these considerations and the associated potential liabilities—attend this session and make sure your rental contracts are working as hard as you do.

James R. Waite James R. Waite, LLC
Wednesday 1/17 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm Sales Smart Sales Hiring: How to Hire the Right Salesperson (for you) Nearly Every Time

Hiring salespeople is one of the most critical, yet one of the most mistake-ridden, processes in growing a company.  Yet, too often, managers rely on gut instinct, rather than repeatable processes, to hire salespeople.  That’s the wrong approach.  If you’re not winning on sales hires at least ¾ of the time, you’re probably doing it wrong. In this session, participants will learn about:

  • Designing the Hire – know what you’re looking for before you start looking
  • Writing the Ad
  • Building Your People Bank
  • The Five-Second Resume’ Screen
  • Conducting a Winning Resume’ Focused Interview
  • Due Diligence
  • Behavioral Interviewing – the hiring manager’s silver bullet
  • Using Psychometric Profiling to lock in the right hire
  • Making the Offer
Troy Harrison Troy Harrison International
Wednesday 1/17 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm Management The Future of Federal Infrastructure Investment: Will it Be “Huge”?

A major infrastructure package is at the top of President Trump’s agenda in early 2018. Behind the scenes, congressional leaders and administration officials have been laying the groundwork with the goal of meeting the president’s campaign promise of a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. Learn from a panel of leading construction industry trade association lobbyists about the challenges ahead, the politics on Capitol Hill and what equipment dealers can do to help get infrastructure investment across the finish line.

Daniel B. Fisher

Nate Smith

Nick Yaksich

Associated Equipment Distributors



Wednesday 1/17 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm Leadership The Top 10 Things Your Boss Wants You to Know But Won’t Tell You

Many employees want to make a great impression at work and advance in their careers, but they unknowingly sabotage themselves because they lack polish and presence, even if they possess the right technical knowledge. In this session, participants will learn the business etiquette and manners used by experienced executives to build rapport and maintain business relationships. Enhance your professional image, increase your interpersonal effectiveness at work, and transform yourself into a savvy, confident businessperson!

Robert K. Henderson Associated Equipment Distributors
Wednesday 1/17 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm Management The Emerging Workforce: Complex, Confident, and Change Ready

With 20 years of groundbreaking research tracking worker mindsets and trends through the Emerging Workforce Study, we have identified changing attitudes and expectations of today’s workers and uncovered strategies to help companies attract, engage and retain a high-performance workforce.

Each person will take a survey to identify where they fit.

Attendees will also understand key factors impacting candidate attraction and how to attract candidates, how social media and a company’s online reputation influence worker perspectives, how worker expectations vary, and why the need for timely succession planning for Gens Y and Z is so important.

Jill Berg Spherion Staffing
Wednesday 1/17 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm Technology How Equipment Distributors are Transforming Their Customer Engagement and Winning Big

Client relationships and maximizing follow-on sales are critical for every equipment distributor organization. This sixty-minute session will focus on why equipment distributors are relying on cloud technology to improve client relationships. This session will specifically showcase how to improve your customer experience by optimizing customer-facing work streams such as delivering a 360-degree account management view, managing opportunities for your sales team and rentals at job sites and tracking your equipment. You can leverage these capabilities regardless of the existing ERP system.

David Kohar Edgewater Fullscope
Wednesday 1/17 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm Leadership The VIP Formula: People DON’T Come First

We are told repeatedly that “people are our greatest asset” and that “people come first.”  Not only is this approach wrong, but it can limit companies and hinder their ability to achieve goals.

This session upends the traditional, typical “people first” approach and provides an approach to leadership and culture formation that is less stressful, more productive, and moves the company forward.

Participants will learn what an organization’s most valuable asset truly is and how to safeguard it. They will walk away with actionable strategies which will enable them to value people without catering to them or compromising for them.  Participants learn how to put the VIP formula in place and use it to take their organization to the next level.

Kevin Burgess Kevin Burgess Solutions
Wednesday 1/17 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm Rental Are You Leaving Money on the Table? Making the Case for a Rental Manager

Many dealers are still not staffing their rental department with a true Rental Manager. It is often the sales manager who oversees the activity with the help of a clerk or rental coordinator. How might your overall ROI be different if you had the right person dedicated to driving the revenue and managing the expenses of the rental fleet? This session will examine at the ramifications of not staffing this position and provide a better understanding of the appropriate timing to add this key role within the dealership.

Larry Kaye Script International
Wednesday 1/17 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm Sales 21st Century Prospecting

Sales has changed more in the last decade than in the previous 100 years, and nowhere is this more obvious than in prospecting.  We have far more tools than we used to – but less knowledge of how to use them.  In this program, we will clear up the myths and show a consistent, reliable method of delivering a flow of new business.  Topics covered:

  • Today’s prospecting environment
  • Your objective
  • How to build a data-driven teleprospecting program
  • Your approach – the infomercial
  • How to get three appointments in one hour per week on LinkedIn
  • Holding yourself accountable
Troy Harrison Troy Harrison International
Wednesday 1/17 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm Management Legal Issues Related to Social Media

This session will focus on the pros and cons of social media use by employees. Participants will develop a deeper understanding of the business promotion and other benefits that can result from their employees’ use of social media as well as the risks posed by its use. Participants will also learn about the legal limitations on the ability of their business to regulate and monitor the use of social media by their employees.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to develop and implement effective written policies for their business regarding the monitoring of the use of social media by their employees and the adverse employment action that can result from the violation of these policies.

Michael Airdo Kopon Airdo, LLC
Wednesday 1/17 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm Product Support Using Parts and Service as a Strategic Growth Initiative

Satisfied customers become repeat customers, and you satisfy customers by your ability to support their machines after the initial sale.  Are you still waiting for the phone to ring when your customers have a problem? How do you take advantage of all the investment you have made in plants, equipment, inventory and personnel to grow your total business? By making sure that your capabilities in parts and service are part of your overall go-to-market strategy. In this session, attendees will learn how to incorporate their investment in parts and service into their selling strategy to develop repeat customers and grow their businesses.

Bill Mayes Machinery Advisors Consortium
Wednesday 1/17 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm Sales Reinvigorating and Leveraging the Best of Your Senior Sales Staff

Do you have a staff of experienced and long-term sales staff?  Tenured reps have the product knowledge and the personal contacts, but the results aren’t there. What do you do with a struggling senior sales staff? Plenty! In this informative and upbeat session, you will see how to strategize on how to reinvigorate and leverage the very best of your senior sales staff and help them to help lift the team out of the profit gutter!

Todd Cohen Sales Leader, LLC
Wednesday 1/17 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm Management The Devil’s in the Details: How the New Tax Law will Impact Your Dealership

Congress is poised to complete the first major rewrite of the tax code in more than 30 years.  As with any major piece of legislation, there will be some good and some bad.  Join us for a panel discussion moderated by AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher with a leading dealer-focused tax attorney and CPA to learn about the tax bill’s implications for your business.

Daniel Fisher

Donald Barnes

Bruce Belman

Pat Mahoney


Law Offices of Donald A. Barnes, PLLC

Crowe Horwath LLP


Thursday 1/18 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm Rental Investing in Your Rental Fleet: What Results Should You Expect?

Recent AED Cost of Doing Business survey results indicate that almost 40% of dealers derive no revenues from rent-to-rent activities. Another 31% of dealers get less than 10% of their revenues from rent-to-rent activities.  Many dealers are still reluctant to invest the necessary capital to grow the rental fleet and keep up with market demands, due to uncertainty in the “investor” benchmarks that they can expect.  This session will review the latest industry standards and the financial performance that you should expect from your own rental fleet investment.

Larry Kaye Script International
Thursday 1/18 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm Sales Ask The Right Questions: Deliver Exactly What Your Buyer Wants

Product knowledge isn’t king.  Customer knowledge is king!  The better you know your customers, the better you can sell to them and partner with them in creating successful programs.  Customer knowledge is about what you ASK; the biggest factor in your sales success is the questions you ask your customers.  In this program, attendees will learn how to ask incisive, meaningful, and important questions of customers that will help them tell you how to sell them!  Topics covered:

  • Tabula rasa – what it means, and why you must understand it to be an effective questioner
  • Big picture questioning – why most salespeople don’t use it and why you have to
  • Small picture questioning – fitting Ad Specialty products into their needs
  • SWOT analysis – how to find your customer’s four key buying motivators
  • Helping the buyer define success through your questions
Troy Harrison Troy Harrison International
Thursday 1/18 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm Management Talent Management Bootcamp: It Shouldn’t Be So Complex

Wikipedia defines talent management as the science of using strategic human resource planning to improve business value and to make it possible for companies and organizations to reach their goals.  Everything done to recruit, retain, develop, reward and make people perform forms a part of talent management as well as strategic workforce planning.

Talent management often includes engagement, recognition, retention, motivation, learning/training and development.

Easy, right?  Not so much.  There are lots of moving parts to talent management, but which ones should you focus on and which ones will lead your organization to success?

According to research from Bersin & Associates, companies with highly effective talent management strategies achieve 26 percent higher revenue per employee and 41 percent lower turnover among high-performing employees on average.

In this session, you’ll learn:

  • What exactly are considered talent management components today
  • How talent management differs from general human resources, and why both matter
  • Where you should focus your efforts for greatest impact
  • Which advanced tools can help you succeed
Sean Pomeroy Visibility Software
Thursday 1/18 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm Product Support Is Your Service Department Designed for Peak Performance?

The most productive service departments optimize flows: machines in and out of bays, parts and special tools to the technicians, and work order/other information from technicians to administrative departments. Attend this session and learn how to evaluate the performance of your service department, identify and eliminate technician time wasters, and build a bridge between your service department and your parts department.

George Russell Machinery Advisors Consortium
Thursday 1/18 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm Leadership Leadership Lessons from the Streets

What do first responders have in common with high-performing leaders in the business world? Both have to remain calm under pressure. Both must deliver in the clutch. Both must motivate and empower their teams in an ever-changing environment. Learn how you can apply these tough lessons on leadership and teamwork learned while working the street to your own dealership.

Eric Shipman West Chicago Police Department
Thursday 1/18 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm Technology Build Differentiation Through Digital Transformation

The unprecedented pace of technological change and innovation made possible by the digital revolution shows no signs of slowing. Customer behaviors and needs change, and you must have the flexibility to adjust your business practices in order to meet those changes.

And it’s not just about offering the lowest prices. To succeed, there must be layers of service that differentiate your business and help build customer loyalty.

Attend this session to learn ways that you can start building differentiation through digital transformation and the technologies that can help make these goals a reality.

Andreas Hellstrom Infor
Thursday 1/18 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm Leadership Appreciation Strategies: How to Harness the Power of Gratitude in Business and in Life

Learn simple strategies for completing the gratitude cycle – both in the giving and receiving of appreciation. In this session, you will learn practices which take less than five minutes a day that will SHOW you the impact of sincere appreciation. You’ll be surprised by the science behind this incredible power and discover why gratefulness is much more than a “feel good” emotion. You will leave this session with an action plan that will produce dramatic and positive results in your business and in your life.

Lisa Ryan Grategy
Thursday 1/18 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm Rental New Apps & Services that are Changing the Face of the Rental Business

There has traditionally been a distinct separation in the business of contractors and distributors.  Contractors now, however, are looking for ways to get additional utilization from their investment in their fleets, and technology is making this possible. New computer internet applications are enabling them to reach potential users who have traditionally gone to rental companies or to dealers for their short-term needs. These same applications are also opening the door for dealers to get additional utilization from their fleets.

Learn about these applications and make sure that you are gaining business and not losing it to this new business model.

George Russell Machinery Advisors Consortium
Thursday 1/18 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm Sales Your CRM and its Critical Role in Long-Term Business Health

When you think of your CRM, do you think first (and often only) of one department in your company? Your CRM is NOT just a tool for sales, or just for marketing. Your CRM is not just a respiratory for information. In this session, participants will learn how they can change the culture of their business into one where CRM drives business processes, encourages powerful conversations and integrates departments, resulting in increased customer satisfaction, long-term customer relationships, and increased sales.

Todd Cohen Sales Leader, LLC
Thursday 1/18 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm Rental Equipment Financing Trends: Usage and Service Based Models

Manufacturers and dealers are consistently faced with customer demands to continually increase operational efficiencies, reduce margin and the need for equipment to be “always on.”

Increased collaboration between manufacturers, dealers, distributors and resellers is leading to usage-based and managed services business models to meet these demands and unlock new revenue opportunities and partnerships.

During this session, attendees will gain an understanding of new equipment financing trends and outlook, and learn ways equipment financing can maximize investment in equipment and add value to their business model. They’ll also get pragmatic use cases of results and usage-based financing models.

Theo Rennenberg DLL
Thursday 1/18 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm Leadership Flourishing, Functioning, or Flailing

You made it through the last few years of industry turmoil…but now what?  How can you move your dealership away from just functioning, maybe even flailing, toward being an organization that is flourishing?

Planning is always better than reacting in an industry as volatile and capital-intensive as the equipment dealership industry, where costs of being passive can pile up quickly. Our dealership team will share with you specific tips in planning that have actually been implemented, including the following:

  • Strategic planning: proactively managing the organization you are becoming
  • Understanding opportunities
  • Effective goal setting and accountability models
  • Managing the expectations of your shareholders and leadership team
Marc Johnson & Clinton Baker KCoe Isom
Thursday 1/18 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm Product Support Using Maintenance & Repair Contracts to Capture Your Customers

Contractors make their money by using machines, not by fixing them. Maintaining and repairing machines is part of any dealer’s core competency. Attend this session and learn how you can use maintenance and repair contracts to help contractors manage the per hour cost and availability of their fleets, while managing your risk at the same time. The contractor will see benefits in their ability to budget their cost and to bid jobs. They will also benefit in the number of employees they need to run their business.  Help them manage their fleets and let them do what they do best!

Bill Mayes Machinery Advisors Consortium
Thursday 1/18 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm Management The Devil’s in the Details: How the New Tax Law will Impact Your Dealership

Congress is poised to complete the first major rewrite of the tax code in more than 30 years.  As with any major piece of legislation, there will be some good and some bad.  Join us for a panel discussion moderated by AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher with a leading dealer-focused tax attorney and CPA to learn about the tax bill’s implications for your business.

Daniel Fisher

Donald Barnes

Bruce Belman

Pat Mahoney


Law Offices of Donald A. Barnes, PLLC

Crowe Horwath LLP