2021 Summit: Day 1 Recap

The first day of the 2021 Summit kicked off with professional education tracks in the afternoon. Today’s first block of educational sessions included two leadership sessions, one sales session and one technology session. 

The day’s technology session, Predicting the Future: How Machine Learning & AI Will Transform the Construction Equipment Distribution Chain, was run by Simon Ferguson of EquipmentWatch. The session focused on artificial intelligence and its role in predictive analytics to aid businesses in determining when their products will be in higher demand.  Thank you to our technology track sponsor, Trimble. 

The leadership session, Cybersecurity and Business Risk: Five Metrics for Measuring Risk Alignment, was hosted by Ryan Layton and Dr. Dale Rowe of Secuvant. The session provided the audience with five metrics to ensure the amount of IT and security teams spend is maximizes the benefits it can have on the business. 

The second leadership session in the first half of the day, The Leader Who Wasn’t, was run by Sean Hutchinson of RFN Global. Hutchinson took this session to help attendees reflect on their leadership within their organization during the pandemic and used data to show how the most valuable companies were leading through the pandemic. 

TARGIT sponsored today’s leadership tracks.

The sales session with Troy Harrison was titled: Sales Management at a Distance. Harrison discussed how to manage a remote sales team effectively. He provided tips on implementing technology tools to help, effective communication strategies, and how to gain remote accountability. 

After a quick break, the second education block featured management, leadership, product support, and sales sessions. The leadership session, “Leading Through Change: Building Resiliency During Crisis,” was hosted by Jill Berg of INsight Consulting, Inc. The session included tips on better understanding your team during times of crisis and keeping them engaged during uncertain times. 

The management session, “To Know and Be Known,” was hosted by Chief Craig Haigh of the Hanover Park Fire Department. Haigh’s session detailed how the quality of your employees plays a key role in the level of customer service your business can provide. Haigh stressed the importance of training and developing your team to build relationships with customers and keep them coming back effectively. 

The product support session of the day, sponsored by DPL Telematicswas run by George Russell of Machinery Advisors Consortium, and titled Work in Process: Taming the Beast. Russell detailed the steps that dealerships have taken to close work orders promptly and how attendees’ businesses could do the same. 

The sales session, How to Forecast Your Sales with Confidence, was hosted by Steve Clegg of Winsby, Inc. Within the session, Clegg showed a 12-month forecasting model that was based on artificial intelligence. The model was able to predict sales by reviewing data over the past three years and had a confidence level of over 95 percent. 

The final session of the afternoon was the general session hosted by Shawn Rhodes. Rhodes’ presentation, titled Will You Manage the Change COVID-19 is Causing or Will Those Changes Manage You? discussed the ever-evolving business climate due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how to take action.

In the evening, The AED Foundation hosted the Gala and Live Auction. Thanks to AEDF’s generous donors, the Foundation met the Annual Campaign goals for the first time at Summit. The auction offered prizes such as golf excursions, sporting events, select wines, and a fishing trip event sponsored by Ritchie Bros. 

In addition, numerous awards were presented at the Gala, including:

Partner Award winner: The Caterpillar Foundation 

Champion Award winner: Knapheide 

Lester J. Health III Award winner: Bruce Wagner of Wagner CAT 

Technician of the Year Awards 

SMS Equipment

General Equipment & Supplies 
Great Lakes  

Linder Industrial Machinery Company

Highway Equipment & Supply Co.

Hlavinka Equipment Co.
South Central  

Cashman Equipment Company

Bobcat Enterprises, Inc.



The first day of Summit 2021 was off to a productive start. We look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow for the President and Chairman Welcome, OEM Panel, and the first day of CONDEX! 


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