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IEDA Annual Meeting: Connections and Learning

A contractor panel candidly shared perspectives and anecdotes about buying, renting, and servicing through equipment dealers. Left to right: Moderator Mike Marks, Indian River Consulting Group; Bobby MacDonald, Top Tier Site Prep; Chris Fontana, an AEMP Certified Fleet Manager; and Dan Maitland, Ajax Paving of Florida and AEMP Board Member.
A contractor panel candidly shared perspectives and anecdotes about buying, renting, and servicing through equipment dealers. Left to right: Moderator Mike Marks, Indian River Consulting Group; Bobby MacDonald, Top Tier Site Prep; Chris Fontana, an AEMP Certified Fleet Manager; and Dan Maitland, Ajax Paving of Florida and AEMP Board Member.
Army veteran Col. Greg Gadsen gave a stirring keynote talk about his military experiences and life lessons, emphasizing team and leadership
Army veteran Col. Greg Gadsen gave a stirring keynote talk about his military experiences and life lessons, emphasizing team and leadership
The 2nd annual IEDA live and virtual auction on February 16 kicked off the IEDA Annual Meeting in Kissimmee, Florida.
The 2nd annual IEDA live and virtual auction on February 16 kicked off the IEDA Annual Meeting in Kissimmee, Florida.
The IEDA welcome party on February 16 featured a mix of independent dealers, service providers, and product suppliers in a festive environment with live music and large buffets.
The IEDA welcome party on February 16 featured a mix of independent dealers, service providers, and product suppliers in a festive environment with live music and large buffets.
Throughout the Business Program on February 17, IEDA provided ample time for attendees to connect with dozens of exhibitors and sponsors.
Throughout the Business Program on February 17, IEDA provided ample time for attendees to connect with dozens of exhibitors and sponsors.
Golfers were undeterred by rain showers at the IEDA annual tournament. Left to right: Jason Dey, Specialty Insurance; Guy Roof, Con-Equip of the Carolinas; David Gordon, IEDA; Lou Klein, Specialty Insurance; and Cullen Mancusso, Sunbelt Rentals.
Golfers were undeterred by rain showers at the IEDA annual tournament. Left to right: Jason Dey, Specialty Insurance; Guy Roof, Con-Equip of the Carolinas; David Gordon, IEDA; Lou Klein, Specialty Insurance; and Cullen Mancusso, Sunbelt Rentals.
The event theme was “Soar in 24” at the Annual Meeting of the Independent Equipment Dealers Association (IEDA), and soaring indeed was on display at the three-day conference in Kissimmee, Florida, February 16 to 18, 2024.

Attendance was nearly 20 percent higher, with about 200 paid attendees, and registered golfers for the annual tournament nearly doubled over 2023’s players. Best of all, IEDA’s second annual live and online auction raised over $32,000 for the IEDA Foundation’s technician scholarship fund — more than triple the proceeds from donated prizes at the first auction last year.

A recently added kickoff feature for the annual meeting, the IEDA auction was held February 16 under a huge white tent on the 100-foot-long front lawn of the Reunion Resort and Golf Club. The meeting has convened at the Reunion property for three consecutive years.

Bryan Auction, owned by IEDA Board Member Doug Bryan, conducted the auction featuring over 400 individual lots of IEDA member-consigned equipment, trucks, attachments, vehicles, and tools. More than 13,000 registered online bidders participated, and over 200 people attended the family-friendly event in person. Bryan Auction provided a catered Southern lunch buffet and a cash bar to give attendees a fun and laid-back auction networking experience reminiscent of the 1990s and earlier.

The primary reason the auction was launched in 2023 was to raise money for the IEDA Foundation, which, since 2022, has awarded 10 merit scholarships of $5,000 each to students enrolled in post-secondary heavy equipment programs to become qualified diesel technicians.

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“We knew the auction had the potential to raise a lot more money for the foundation, and my wife Courtney and I are overjoyed to present $32,125 for an incredibly worthwhile cause,” said Doug Bryan. “We are grateful to the IEDA Board and all the IEDA members who generously contributed to the success of this year’s auction, and everyone had a great time. We see nothing but growth every year going forward at this auction.”

Abundant Networking and Business Education
Friday evening, IEDA hosted a welcome party for its 200 guests in the sprawling lobby and Romanesque verandah of the Reunion with lavish buffets, full bar, and live music.

“The networking at IEDA is phenomenal, and, thanks to our Executive Director and master event planner, Dave Gordon, our members are able to connect with each other in grand style,” said IEDA President Steve Udelson from Easton Sales & Rentals. “There is no detail overlooked at the networking parties we host. I think I can safely speak for the entire IEDA Board and membership when I say that this IEDA meeting is the most anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed industry event of the year for the independent distribution channel.”

Saturday’s business program opened with an economic overview and strategic business advice with CPA Gene Marks, a former columnist for the New York Times and The Washington Post and a frequent commentator on Fox News, MSNBC, and other news outlets. The day’s presentation topics included insights for mergers and acquisitions and a proven system for coaching the dealer’s sales team.

A contractor/customer panel discussed candid perspectives on a range of issues related to buying, renting, and repairing construction equipment. The panel included two members of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) — Dan Maitland, an AEMP board member, and Chris Fontana — as well as Tommy MacDonald, Owner of Top Tier Site Prep, and was moderated by distribution expert Mike Marks, Co-Founder of Indian River Consulting Group.

The conference concluded with a moving keynote talk from Col. Greg Gadsen, who lost both legs and partial use of his right hand in an explosion while serving in Iraq in 2007.

Fun-Filled Finale
Relationship-building was the workout of the day Sunday morning as 100 golfers filed into rows of carts and hit the links, undeterred by day-long rain showers.

The meeting finale exceeded all expectations Sunday evening — the closing party brought over 230 dealers, service providers, and OEM used equipment managers together to enjoy dinner, drinks, more live music, and abundant conversation, stories, and laughter.

“On behalf of the IEDA Board of Directors and the IEDA staff, I want to thank our members for investing in themselves by attending the annual meeting,” Gordon said. “There’s a good reason contractors want to do business with IEDA member companies: They are the most ethical, solution-minded, and truly customer-centric independent equipment dealers in the channel. One of their highest priorities is learning best practices and staying informed about industry trends and customer needs. IEDA is an important vessel delivering the content that helps them continue to grow and excel in the equipment marketplace.”

SITECH
Your local Trimble Construction Division dealer
SITECH Michigan
SITECH
Your local Trimble Construction Division dealer
SITECH Michigan
SITECH
Your local Trimble Construction Division dealer
SITECH Michigan