AEM 2011 Annual Conference: “The Art of Decisions”

Off-road equipment industry leaders explore strategies for business success

The changing political and economic landscape, “first person” strategic thinking from industry CEOs, innovation, distribution and breakthrough marketing strategies are on the agenda of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) 2011 Annual Conference, set for November 2-5, 2011 at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle in Aventura (Miami), Florida.

The AEM annual conference is the leading education and networking gathering for senior executives in the off-road equipment manufacturing industry. With the underlying theme that your choices of today determine your company of tomorrow, the conference will offer attendees a variety of perspectives to help them master “the art of decisions” to run their companies profitably despite challenging conditions.

This year’s conference opens with a Wednesday evening (November 2) reception, followed by an intensive two-day speaker program, and concludes Saturday (November 5) with networking events and a golf tournament.

The lead-off session examines political decision making and consequences for the industry, with former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile, who is Democratic National Committee vice chair of voter registration and participation and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Moderator is Major Garrett, U.S. congressional correspondent and  columnist for the National Journal.

A “Decisions of the Day” panel of industry CEOs discusses the complex issues facing manufacturers both domestically and globally, with Mary Andringa, president and CEO, Vermeer Corporation; Leif Magnusson, regional director Americas and president North America holdings, CLAAS of America; and John Patterson, chairman and CEO, JCB.

“Economy of Our Industries” breakout sessions feature economic experts on construction and agriculture to help attendees make sense of the wide variety of economic indicators affecting business. Panelists include Joe Glauber, chief economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist for Wells Fargo & Company; and James Meil, vice president and chief economist with Eaton Corporation.

Also on the AEM annual conference agenda:

  • Growth through innovation by developing a culture of creativity, with Sundaram Nagarajan, executive vice president of Illinois Tool Works
  • Distribution channel issues of the future, including results of research which included AEM members plus industry dealers and end users, with Michael Marks, co-founder of Indian Rivers Consulting Group
  • Uncovering the qualities of “fascination” to shape persuasive product and brand marketing messages, with Sally Hogshead, author and brand innovation consultant
  • “Listening” internally and externally to inspire, motivate and create loyalty, with Roger Nierenberg, creator of “The Music Paradigm”

The association will also hold its annual business meeting and meetings of several board-level committees in conjunction with the annual conference, as well as AEM Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Details and online registration are available in the Education section of the AEM website –

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