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MONDAY, MAY 24, 2021

Please note:  All session times are in Pacific Standard Time

Predicting the Future: How Machine Learning & AI Will Transform the Construction Equipment Distribution Chain
Simon Ferguson | EquipmentWatch  

It is early in the working day. The CFO of a large heavy equipment dealer switches his laptop on. He has an urgent message from Jenny, who has compiled a report analyzing the company’s current line of excavators. She is predicting a shift in market demand, with a sweet spot in 9 months’ time where prices will spike. The CFO changes his first meeting of the day and sets about preparing to reconfigure his stock.   

What is unusual in this story is that Jenny is not a human: She is an Artificial Intelligence Bot, programmed to analyze market economics across the construction value chain. Jenny can crunch more data in an hour than a human being could do in 5 years.  

Artificial Intelligence and predictive analytics are transforming multiple industry sectors, from transportation to hospitality to pharmaceuticals. This session will look at case studies from these sectors, and then examine the opportunities and impact for the equipment distribution chain. How can technology and machine learning be harnessed to drive margin efficiencies, and predict demand and disposition trends? Attend this session and find out! 

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About Simon Ferguson:
Simon Ferguson is Vice President of EquipmentWatch, part of Informa, a global provider of data & technology solutions. Simon has over 30 years’ experience in business & consumer media, technology and data businesses. He has been in the forefront of developing AI/machine learning solutions for multiple business sectors, working with brands such as Google, Microsoft and Expedia. 



EDUCATION SESSION | 1:45 – 2:30 pm
Strategic Planning: How to Forecast Your Sales With Confidence
Steve Clegg |Winsby, Inc.  

This session will explore a 12-month forecasting model based on artificial intelligence that has been developed for dealers and manufacturers. It reliably predicts sales by incorporating the past three years of data and has a confidence level of over 95%. The session will break down the forecast by parts, service, rental, and equipment by location. Attendees will learn a method of predicting future revenues that is based on concrete actions that show exactly what steps need to be taken to grow their business to achieve success.

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About Steve Clegg:
Steve Clegg and Debbie Frakes founded Winsby Inc. They had both been involved with a variety of businesses and had developed predictable ways of generating growth. They wanted to share their knowledge and experience with other companies to help them minimize problems in figuring out the best ways to grow.

GENERAL SESSION | 3:00 – 4:00 PM
Will You Manage the Change COVID-19 is Causing Or Will Those Changes Manage You? 
Shawn Rhodes | Shoshin Consulting

In the world of heavy equipment, the best plans may not always work out as planned. To address the constant challenge of adapting to COVID and its effects on our companies and teams, TEDx speaker and nationally syndicated columnist Shawn Rhodes will share how the best teams and organizations pivot to leverage change when it occurs, built engaging cultures and ensured the experience of our senior leaders doesn’t leave when they do.

About Shawn Rhodes:
Shawn Rhodes leveraged his former life as a war correspondent to become an international expert in how the best teams pivot when change enters their plans. He's a Tampa-based TEDx speaker and his work studying teams in more than two dozen countries - some the most dangerous places on the planet - has been published in news outlets around the world including TIME, CNN, NBC, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and INC. His clients have included Deloitte, ConAgra, Coca-Cola and dozens of similar businesses. Shawn is also a nationally-syndicated columnist with the Business Journals and author of the new book "Pivot Point: Turn On A Dime Without Sacrificing Results.

TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2021

Please note:  All session times are in Pacific Standard Time


8:30 am General Programming 

  • National Anthems (Canada then US) Video/Music 
  • President & CEO Welcome – Brian McGuire 
  • Presentation of P.E. MacAllister Democracy Award 
  • Presentation of Morton R. Hunter, Sr. Distinguished Industry/Association Contribution Award 
  • Chairman Welcome – Ron Barlet, Bejac Corporation  
  • Presentation of The Chairman’s Award 

9:00 am OEM Panel sponsored by e-Emphasys 


  • Doug Hundt – President, Industrial – Vermeer Corporation 
  • Jason Daly – Global Director, Marketing & Support – John Deere Construction and Forestry 
  • Stephen Roy – President – Volvo Construction Equipment North America 
  • Kristin Girard – Distribution Director – West and Canada — Caterpillar Inc. 
  • Mike Ballweber – President – Doosan Bobcat NA 
  • Tim Tripas – VP & GM, CE Division – Komatsu America Corporation 

Sponsored by e-Emphasys

Negotiation Strategies for Formal and Informal Dispute Resolution aka Let’s Make a Deal
Mark Leitner, Joseph Goode, & John Halpin | Laffey, Leitner & Goode LLC 

Principles are important, but they come at a cost.  While taking your case to trial may sound like a great idea, getting to verdict takes lots of time and money. This presentation will discuss other dispute resolution options, as well as providing negotiation strategies and best practices for resolving disputes short of trial. 

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About John Haplin: 
John was a trial attorney at one of the largest civil defense law firms in Wisconsin and an AmLaw 100 firm before joining Laffey, Leitner & Goode. His experience at those firms, which includes his first jury trial win less than two years out of law school and his representation of some of the world’s best-known brands and major manufacturers, has provided him with a depth and variety of experience that truly sets him apart from his peers. 
About Joseph S. Goode:
Joseph is the Managing Partner of LLG. He approaches client problems with passion and intensity as if those problems were his own. 
About Mark Leitner:
Mark has been successfully trying and arguing cases in Wisconsin and throughout the United States for three decades. Inspired to attend journalism school by Woodward and Bernstein’s relentless Watergate reporting, his training armed him with the investigative and fact-finding skills needed to shine as a trial lawyer. Mark combines blue-collar street smarts with an outstanding academic background to create a persuasion style that gets through to judges and juries alike. 



EDUCATION SESSION | 4:00 – 5:15 pm
Amazon Business is Coming for the Construction Industry: What You Need to Know
Luke Powers | Gearflow 

The rules of customer engagement in the construction equipment and parts industry are changing, with the rise of e-commerce solutions. The industry needs to pay attention to what Amazon is doing and where it is heading next, because it has its sights on YOUR customers. This presentation will help equipment distributors understand how Amazon has the ability to fundamentally change our industry and what you can do to prevent commoditization and compete online profitably. 

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About Luke Powers:
Luke Powers is the CEO and founder of He previously worked in the equipment rental industry at USM ReRents, his family's business, and started in 2018 in order to empower industrial entrepreneurship through ecommerce-enabled businesses. 


Please note:  All session times are in Pacific Standard Time

GENERAL SESSION 8:30 – 10:00 AM  

8:30 AM  

  • The AED Foundation Chairman Welcome – Jeffrey Scott, Intermountain Bobcat 
  • Chairman’s Inaugural Ceremony 
  • Presentation of Paul D. (Bud) Hermann Emerging Leaders Award 

9:00 AM What Lies Ahead: The Industry’s Economic Projections 

Moderated by Eli Lustgarten, ESL Consultants 


  • J. Brian Henderson, CFA – CIO, BOK Financial Corporation 
  • Christian Lawrence – Senior Cross-Asset Strategist, Rabobank 
  • Connor Lokar – Economist, ITR Economics 


EDUCATION SESSION | 1:30 – 2:45 pm 

The Five Revenue-Generating Marketing Moves You Must Make
Thomas Armitage & Melinda Aiken | Site-Seeker, Inc.  

2020 certainly didn’t do any favors for small or large businesses. The removal of in-person meetings as well as trade shows and conferences created a real hardship for many.  

As we move into 2021, a revenue-generating marketing strategy should be a key focus to help regain ground and quickly grow revenue. In this session, attendees will explore the five most important revenue-generating marketing tactics that will have a significant impact on sales for your business.  

Learning objectives include:  

  • Refreshing and reinforcing your brand identity  
  • Building buyer personas for more precise targeting  
  • Email marketing and why it still makes a lot of sense  
  • Your most massive (yet missed) opportunity in Google My Business  
  • Digital advertising with cost and quality in mind 

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About Thomas Armitage:
Tom earned his master’s in integrated marketing communications from West Virginia University and his bachelor’s in public relations from Utica College of Syracuse University. After holding marketing/PR roles at Sovena USA and Overit Media, Tom joined the Site-Seeker team in 2013 as an account manager. He now manages some of the company’s top accounts. As a writer, Tom’s blogs have been featured in outlets such as Entrepreneur, MarketingProfs, and PR Daily. Part-time, he is also an adjunct professor at Utica College where he has taught social media marketing and market research. When not working, Tom loves making hip-hop music, listening to punk rock and 90s rap, and rooting for the Dallas Cowboys. 
About Melinda Aiken:
You won’t find anyone more flexible or easy-to-work-with than Melinda. She’s a proud graduate of Bowling Green State University where she earned her bachelor’s in technology, majoring in visual communication technology and minoring in marketing. Over the past decade, Melinda managed, designed and maintained a number of websites and digital marketing projects, joining Site-Seeker in 2013. As an account manager, she is trusted with some of our company’s longest-standing accounts. She has tremendous follow-through, which makes her perfect for SEO planning, lead nurturing and automation, and email marketing. When not at work, Melinda spends time with her husband and two daughters. She is an avid hockey fan who enjoys a great goalie fight! 

EDUCATION SESSION | 3:15 – 4:30 pm
Buying, Selling, and Leasing Equipment in the COVID Environment
James R. Waite, Esq. | James Waite Law  

In this session, attorney and author James R. Waite will explore how the landscape of how we do business as dealerships and rental operations have changed. The session will explore best practices and how to legally protect yourself and your business against potential lawsuits due to COVID, and discuss how these impact your distributor, sales, and rental agreements. 

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About James R. Waite, Esq. James R. Waite, Esq.:
James is a corporate and transactional attorney with over 25 years of experience in buying, selling and leasing businesses, equipment, aircraft and real estate. Mr. Waite has served as CEO of ICC, USA, CFO of Dental Planet, COO of, and General Counsel for RentX Industries, Inc.

A Conversation with Paul Ryan Presented by DLL

  • 7:45 pm Inaugural Speech – Craig Drury, Vermeer Canada
  • 7:55 pm Sponsor Comments & Introduction of Paul Ryan
  • 8:00 pm A Conversation with Paul Ryan moderated by Brian McGuire

Attendees can expect to hear from the former Speaker on Wednesday evening as a part of the conclusion of the event. As has been the tradition in year’s past, Speaker Ryan will be joined on stage by AED President and CEO Brian P. McGuire for questions and discussion upon completion of the events closing dinner.

About Paul Ryan:
Paul Ryan earned a degree in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio before beginning his political career as a young congressman of 28 when first elected in 1998 to represent Wisconsin’s First Congressional District.

In Congress, Ryan served as chairman of the House Budget Committee, where he proposed a plan to balance the federal budget and pay off the national debt. Later, as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, he spearheaded efforts to simplify the tax code, protect health care choices, advance free trade and strengthen the economy.

After an unsuccessful vice presidential run with Governor Mitt Romney in 2012, Ryan continued to lead efforts in Congress to rebuild our national defense, expand domestic energy production, combat the opioid epidemic, reform our criminal justice system and promote economic opportunity.



Download The 2021 AED Summit App

The 2021 AED Summit app is home to all things Summit. Users can find upcoming sessions, educational tracks, speakers, attendees, and much more! Download to make your virtual experience that much better! You will be able to save education sessions to your schedule and receive essential Summit updates. You will also be able to download presentations on the app. Download now the App Store and Google Play Store.

Sponsored by e-Emphasys


Please note that if you choose to change your virtual registration to an in-person registration, you can do so at any time; simply reach out to an AED staff member at to notify them.

Reserve Your Room Block

We recommend for in-person attendees to arrive on Sunday, May 23, to enhance their Summit experience and access all the programming.

Stay within the Exclusive AED Room – Discounted Room Rates End 5/7/2021

Reserve your rooms from Sunday, May 23 – Thursday, May 27

Hotel Information:
The Mirage Hotel
3400 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Reserve at

Please be aware some third-party travel companies may attempt to solicit you regarding housing for the 2021 AED Summit. Although these companies represent themselves as the “official” housing source, they are not authorized by AED and may provide false information regarding the availability of rooms at the conference hotel.


Refunds will be permitted until 72 hours before the event. In the event Summit 2021 is canceled for reasons due to COVID-19, the attendee will have the option to roll over registration to next year or have it fully refunded.

Do you still have questions? For any additional Summit information, please reach out to an AED staff member at

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