NAEDA Newsletter
Friday, July 25, 2014 Helping Dealers Succeed!

DEALERS...Your input requested

NAEDA’s Industry Relations Taskforce (IRTF) has upcoming meetings scheduled with AGCO- July 29, New Holland- September 9 and Kubota- September 24. If you are a dealer of one of these manufacturers, please feel free to contact Joe Dykes at NAEDA with any strategic, industry-wide or manufacturer specific issues you would like to be addressed at these meetings. The issues you submit will be coordinated with those of other dealers across North America.  Your input and direction helps insure that NAEDA effectively advocates on behalf of our dealer members and that your voice is being heard. Thank you in advance for your input!


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Industry & Manufacturing News
OPEI announces new officers

Alexandria, Va. - July 17, 2014 - The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) today announced its 2014-2015 Officers and Board of Directors, which was unveiled during the OPEI Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., June 17-19, 2014.

Officers for the 2014-2015 year include: OPEI Chairman Paul Mullet, President, Excel Industries; OPEI Vice Chair Lee Sowell, President, Outdoor Products at Techtronic Industries, N.A., Incorporated; and OPEI Secretary/Treasurer Tim Merrett, Vice President of A & T Global Platform and Turf & Utility, Deere & Company. Immediate past chair is Todd Teske, Chairman, President& CEO at Briggs & Stratton Corporation.

“OPEI is entering a new era of growth and engagement because of the ground work laid for many years by our Board of Directors,” said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI. “As the voice of outdoor power equipment, utility vehicle, and small engine manufacturers, we are doing more to support manufacturers, advocate on their behalf, educate dealers, and share safety standards and best practices within the industry and with consumers.”

“A hundred million plus consumers use our products and our industry is continuing to expand and grow,” said OPEI Chairman, Paul Mullet. “OPEI is championing the highest standards of safety and excellence during this phase of growth and innovation.”

Continuing their service on the OPEI Board are: Daniel T. Ariens, President & CEO, Ariens Company; Earl Bennett, Vice President and General Counsel, N/A and L/A - Husqvarna Professional Products; Steven M. Bly, Executive Vice President, Echo Incorporated; Edward B. Cohen, Vice President, Government & Industry Relations, American Honda Motor Company Inc.; Tom Cromwell, President, Kohler Engines, Kohler Company; John Cunningham, President, Consumer Products Group, Stanley Black & Decker; Marc  J. Dufour, President & CEO, Club Car LLC; Peter Hampton, President - Active Exhaust Corporation; Jean Hlay, President and Chief Operating Officer, MTD Products Inc; and Michael J. Hoffman, Chairman & CEO, the Toro Company.

Source: OPEI

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing more than 100 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers worldwide. OPEI is a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) in the development of safety and performance standards. For more information, visit

AEM elects three new directors

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has elected three new directors, to fill unexpired terms.

Joining the AEM Board of Directors is Jerry Johnson, President Farm, Ranch & Agriculture Division of Blount International, Oregon, Illinois.

Joining the AEM AG Sector Board are Brian McKown, Chief Operating Officer of Kinze Manufacturing, Williamsburg, Iowa, and Gene Fraser, Vice President Global Sales & Marketing of MacDon Industries, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

 AEM is the North American-based international trade group providing innovative business-development resources to advance the off-road equipment manufacturing industry in the global marketplace. AEM membership comprises more than 850 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility sectors worldwide.

AEM directors and officers work on behalf of all AEM member companies to provide strategic direction and guidance for Association services, activities and programs, in areas including public policy; equipment statistics and market information; trade shows; technical, safety and regulatory; global business development; and education/training.

AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with offices in the world capitals of Washington, D.C.; Ottawa, Canada; and Beijing, China.

Source: AEM

The Toro Company Celebrates 100th Anniversary

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Jul. 10, 2014 - The Toro Company today celebrated its 100th anniversary as more than 2,000 employees, retirees, channel and business partners, and other valued guests gathered at the company’s headquarters in Bloomington, Minnesota. Joining Michael J. Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer, as he remarked on the company’s rich history and the individuals and innovations that helped shape the company’s success was Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, who presented the official proclamation declaring “Toro Day” in the State of Minnesota, and Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead.

Left to right: Mayor Gene Winstead (Bloomington); Jeff Appelquist, author of Toro's recently released centennial book, Legacy of Excellence; Governor Mark Dayton (Minnesota); and Michael J. Hoffman, Toro's chairman and CEO (Photo: The Toro Company)

“As we celebrate our first 100 years, it was truly gratifying to be surrounded by many of those who played such a significant role in the company’s success,” said Hoffman. “We are honored to have such talented employees around the world and individuals who have served the company throughout our history, along with great channel and business partners, who work every day to serve our customers and help advance our efforts in the industry. And, I especially want to thank Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead for joining our centennial celebration and honoring the people of Toro.”

“Part of the mentality of Toro is reaching out to its customers and to the communities, and developing high-quality products while strengthening your market through innovation,” said Governor Dayton. “I don’t think that the founder could have imagined 100 years ago that Toro would grow to be a Fortune 1000 company, or that more importantly, you’d be a leading corporate citizen in Minnesota. Your contributions to this state have been enormous.”

Source: The Toro Company

Survey: Growth forecast lowered to 3 percent for the second quarter

Business economists have lowered their estimates for economic growth in the second quarter following news of a significant contraction during the first three months of the year.

The April to June forecast fell to 3 percent from a 3.5 annual rate in June, according to a special survey released Friday by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).

The forecast change is due mostly to a late June report showing that the economy shrank at a 2.9 percent pace in the first quarter.

Still, the economists are relatively upbeat about growth for the rest of the year and they don't foresee a recession for this year or next.

Source: The Hill


Legislative & Regulatory News
Senators renew Internet sales tax push

Senators seeking to give states broader latitude to charge sales taxes on Internet purchases are preparing a last-ditch effort to pass legislation through Congress before the midterm elections.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has been pushing such a fix for years, insisting it would level the playing field between brick-and-mortar and online retailers.

Now, Senate supporters believe they have a perfect vehicle: the Internet Tax Freedom Act, a relatively uncontroversial measure, which sailed through the House on Tuesday, that would extend a long-standing ban on state and local taxes on Internet access.

“Why wouldn’t we?” Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), a longtime supporter of online sales tax legislation, said when asked if he planned to attach the Marketplace Fairness Act to the bill. “They’re a perfect fit.”

Enzi and several other senators released their new bill on Tuesday, which would attach the online sales tax measure to a 10-year extension of the Internet freedom bill. The House passed a permanent version of the online access bill on Tuesday.

Source: The Hill

Senate to act on highway fund

Senators next week are expected to take up a bill to extend the Highway Trust Fund, approving transportation funding until next spring and avoiding a critical shortfall.

House lawmakers passed a nearly $11 billion short-term measure for infrastructure funding on Tuesday, which would keep the fund, scheduled to run out of money in August, afloat until next spring.

The Obama administration has pressed lawmakers to act on the highway fund, warning that allowing it to run out could cost 700,000 construction jobs and delay critical projects during the busy summer travel season.

Democratic senators had balked at the House proposal, preferring a long-term measure, but the Obama administration’s endorsement of that bill earlier this week paved the way for a deal.

Source: The Hill

EPA keeps burning bridges

The EPA's waters of the U.S. rule continues to raise red flags for agriculture.

EPA continues to be a bit of a dirty word in the countryside. Despite Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy’s best attempts to clean up the agency’s act and build a bridge with the agricultural community, she keeps finding herself burning bridges.

The agency already had many in agriculture in an uproar over its proposed lower Renewable Fuels Standards for biofuels last fall. National Farmers Union president Roger Johnson explained that EPA’s reputation was “very severely damaged in farm country” with the proposal to scale-back the Renewable Fuels Standard and this likely led to the “surliness with which the WOTUS proposal rule was received.”

Source: Farm Futures

CBO says US deficit levels are unsustainable

Washington’s failure to contain entitlement spending is biting into the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook, the Congressional Budget Office warned in a Tuesday report that found the nation’s debt would jump to 106 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2039.

The CBO said the rising costs of entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security as the U.S. population continues to age are the drivers of U.S. debt.

“Debt would be on an upward path relative to the size of the economy, a trend that could not be sustained indefinitely,” the report said.

The nonpartisan watchdog said federal debt now held by the public stands at 74 percent of GDP.

Both that figure and the 25-year debt projection are slight increases from the CBO’s previous estimate, first released in September. The CBO found that U.S. debt was 73 percent of GDP in 2013 and predicted that would rise to 102 percent in 2039.

Source: The Hill

Know the facts about EPA's Clean Water Act Proposal

EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released a proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources. The proposed rule will benefit businesses by increasing efficiency in determining coverage of the Clean Water Act. EPA and the Corps are bringing clarity and consistency to the process.

The proposal:

  • DOES NOT regulate new types of ditches
  • DOES NOT regulate activities on land
  • DOES NOT apply to groundwater 
  • DOES NOT change the exemption for stock ponds
  • DOES NOT require permits for normal farming activities, like moving cattle
  • DOES NOT regulate puddles

To address misconceptions about the rule, EPA is providing the facts on how the proposed rule cuts through red tape to make normal farming practices easier while also ensuring that waters are clean for human health, communities, and the economy. Read the facts about the proposal here.

Read EPA Administrator McCarthy's recent remarks to the Kansas City Agribusiness Council here.

Source: EPA

Canadian News
Harper embarks on strategy to win back Quebec voters

Stephen Harper is planning a cabinet meeting in Quebec City as part of celebrations surrounding Confederation, hoping to boost his party’s profile in a former Conservative stronghold that was swept up by the NDP in the last election.

Source: The Globe and Mail

PM Stephen Harper tours flooded regions in Manitoba

Prime Minister Stephen Harper got a bird’s-eye view of Manitoba’s flooded farm fields, washed out roads and dikes holding back a raging Assiniboine River fuelled by floodwater pouring in from the west. Harper took a 20-minute helicopter tour of the southwestern Manitoba region on Sunday before thanking volunteers and emergency officials in Brandon for working around the clock on the flood effort.

Source: The Star

New indicators point to a better second half of 2014 for Canadian economy

A fresh manufacturing report in Canada and surprisingly strong employment numbers from the United States offer a hint of encouragement to Canada's economic prospects entering the second half of 2014. While not all the data is in, the first half of the year produced a hiccup for the economy -- although bad weather was an extenuating factor -- after a strong finish to 2013.

Source: CTV News

Canadian manufacturers poised to grow, repatriate production, jobs: KPMG

Canada's manufacturing sector is finally poised for a true recovery after spending the last eight years in survival mode, according to a new report from consulting firm KPMG.  In the report, KPMG says many of the headwinds that worked against the sector during and since the 2008-09 recession are poised to reverse.

Source: The Record

Unemployment edged up to 7.1 per cent in June

The Canadian economy's capacity to generate meaningful job growth continued to fall short of expectations last month -- particularly in Ontario -- as employment surprisingly fell by 9,400 nationally in June and by 33,900 in the country's most populous province.

Source: CTV News

Stephen Harper under pressure to fill Senate vacancies

Prime Minister Stephen Harper may soon be grappling with a whole new problem inside the Senate. He has already endured a Senate expenses scandal that cost him his chief of staff and suffered another setback in his attempts to reform the upper chamber thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision.

Source: CBC News

Mike Duffy, suspended Senator, facing 31 charges

The RCMP has charged Senator Mike Duffy with bribery, frauds on the government and 29 other charges related to Senate expenses, the awarding of consultant contracts and the acceptance of a $90,000 payment by the prime minister's former chief of staff.

Source: CBC News

New centre to boost profile of Canadian beef

A new Centre of Excellence is going to do for beef what Cigi has done for grains and oilseeds, says the president of Canada Beef. “I’ve always been high on Cigi — the folks there have done a tremendous job of ensuring Canadian grains have strong international recognition,” said Rob Meijer.

Source: Alberta Farm Express

FPT Agriculture Ministers focus on emerging opportunities for a growing sector of Canada's economy

Canada's federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture concluded their annual meeting after focused discussions on creating opportunities for a dynamic agriculture and agri-food sector in Canada. Ministers continue to plan for long-term success, while taking necessary actions to further strengthen the sector, which contributed $106.9 billion to Canada's GDP in 2013.

Source: Insurance News Net

NAEDA, Association & Program Partner News
9 Ways to Diversify Your Social Content

Content is king, but it can be difficult to continue to come up with new and exciting content ideas for you website, blog, and social media. Utilize the following concepts to refresh your social media strategy:

1. Post an interview 
Interview someone influential at your dealership. Highlight anything that is current at your dealership, including how‐to videos explaining and demonstrating new car features, upcoming sale details, or the inner workings of the dealership. The interview can be videoed, recorded, or written.
2. Make it visual
Social media visuals don’t have to be professionally made infographics. Take any clean, well demonstrated visual, even a picture of a whiteboard at your dealership, and post it with a meaningful message.
3. Tell a customer story
Take the last fantastic sale you had and tell your followers about it. Make sure to include how you went above and beyond to provide your customer with exactly what they needed. In this case, a picture of a happy customer can make the story real, as well as make it worth a 1,000 words.
4. Shoot a quick video
Have something important to say? Create a short and sweet video and post it on your social media sites. Videos can be just as powerful as words.
5. Broadcast a review
Did you get a good dealership review? Or maybe one of your brand vehicles is getting rave reviews from buyers everywhere. Tell the world about it! Good news can convince a potential buyer to check out your dealership or inventory.
6. Answer popular questions
Do you get the same questions over and over about new car features or the buying process? Create an article about it, post the question on your social media, and answer it with a link to your article. You’re providing valuable information to your customers and creating valuable content at the same time.
7. Provide need‐to‐know information
Create a post about the top things buyers need to know about car purchasing. Providing valuable information will answer their questions and complete their research before they even walk into your dealership.
8. Highlight your inventory
Every time you get a new vehicle in, or if you’re just focusing upon a specific car, highlight it on your social pages. Post VDPs to get as much mileage out of your inventory as possible.
9. Respond to a comment
Sometimes a customer may post valuable comments or an important question on your social sites. Post and respond to them in a blog. Many people may have similar questions; publically responding to them allows your other customers and potential buyers quick and easy access to the information.

Do you have further questions about how to diversify and leverage your content on social media? Contact

This article is provided by DigiGo, a KPA Company providing Digital Marketing services for over 5,100 dealerships and service companies. If you have additional questions or interest in our service, please contact KPA at or 800.853.9659.

SBA honors Illinois Family-Owned Business of the Year

On Thursday June 26, more than 200 members of Illinois’s business community gathered to celebrate SBA’s 2014 Illinois Small Business of the Year Awardees. Among those honored was Harrisburg’s M & S Implement Company.

Each year, SBA’s Illinois District Office honors outstanding small businesses for excellence in a variety of areas.The Jeffrey Butland SBA Illinois Family-Owned Business Award is presented to an outstanding family-owned small business that exemplifies the dedication and team spirit of America’s family-owned small businesses.

This year’s awardee, M & S Implement Company of Harrisburg has provided Southeast Illinois with high-quality products and services to meet customer needs for over 50 years.

Founded in Carmi in 1959 by Mr. Max Apple, today, M & S sells and services nearly a dozen brands of lawn and garden, earth-moving and agricultural implements. In 1964, M & S expanded to include a second location in Equality and Max’s son Roger joined the business in 1976. Fourteen years later, Roger’s wife Donna joined the business as an accountant after earning her degree at SIU-Carbondale in 1980.

By 2003, M & S was ready to expand again. With the help of the Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Illinois College M & S developed a plan to expand into a more visible location in Harrisburg, and in 2004 M & S opened the doors on a new 14,000 square foot showroom, service center and adjoining 6,000 square foot storage building. The investment paid off as M & S’s total sales have tripled in the decade since the move.

Around the same time as the grand opening of the new facility, Roger and Donna’s sons, Aaron and Austin, began working at M & S, and in 2013, Aaron, Austin and Donna purchased interests in the business when founder, Max Apple, sold his shares to them before he passed away in 2014.

Donna, her son Austin and daughter-in-law Lyndsi were on hand in Chicago to accept this year’s Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business Award from SBA Illinois District Director Bo Steiner in front of the assembled guests from around the Chicagoland and Illinois business community.

Roger and Donna Apple note their love for the business and their hope that their grandchildren, a new generation of Apples, will someday join them in this model of a successful family-owned business here in Illinois.

Source: Daily Register

NAEDA Compensation and Benefits Survey

One of the most important areas of an association's function is the collection, publishing and dissemination of important industry information to help members in the operation of their business.

We are in final process of building NAEDA’s most comprehensive Compensation and Benefits Survey to date.  Dealers ask NAEDA and the regional affiliate associations’ questions regarding compensation levels and incentive methods as well as benefit details on a regular basis.  It’s time to update the survey and we need your participation to make the information valid and useful for your dealership.  

The survey will incorporate many new elements to account for the various new dealership staff positions as well as corporate staff positions and structure.  The benefits section has also been enhanced to account for changes in health care laws and other areas. These additions were specifically requested by dealers along with other suggestions from association staff and industry experts.

With a comprehensive survey comes a need for comprehensive commitment from dealers to participate and provide the data.  The results will only be as good as the data going in.

The survey should be distributed to NAEDA members via email in August with the results compiled and published this fall.

We’ll keep you posted!

Consider a contribution to NAEDA's Equipment Dealers Foundation

NAEDA’s Equipment Dealers Foundation (EDF) was created to provide grants to meet the industry’s need for training resources, career advancements and scholarships.  Through the years, the EDF has expanded its efforts to help dealership employees affected by natural disasters.  Moving forward, your support is needed for research, grants and scholarships to continue to enhance our industry.

When faced with a disaster, the EDF has been able to step in and help.  The EDF has financially aided a number of dealers and dealer employees, thanks to the generous support of dealers, manufacturers, suppliers and affiliated associations.

The purpose is not to replace insurance coverage or the entire business economics; rather, the efforts through “bridge grants” of up to $2,500 help put food on the table, replace toothbrushes and toothpaste, put gas in the vehicle and generally help individuals get their everyday routine back as quickly as possible.  To date, the EDF has provided more than $200,000 to assist disaster victims.

In 2012 and 2013, EDF has offered a matching scholarship program in conjunction with dealers and affiliate associations, with the goal of helping dealers train the next generation of employees.  These scholarships, coupled with the other matching grants of the sponsoring dealer and affiliate associations, were used to help students interested in the equipment industry attend schools and receive training so they can be a part of our industry after graduation.  To date, 145 matching scholarships have been awarded to students.

Now is where you can help.  In order for EDF to assist when disaster strikes again—and it will—and to help do research and provide important industry data and education, and provide scholarships to students excited about our industry, we need your continued support.  Please consider a generous donation to the NAEDA EDF as we close out the year.
Please visit our website at to contribute online.

Thank you.

Tip of the Month


Tip of the Month: Optimizing your Emails for Mobile 

Are your emails optimized for mobile sites? Of the 70 Million mobile users, 43% check their email on it 4 or more times a day. This means that if you aren’t optimizing your emails, you are missing out on a huge group of consumers. To optimize emails for mobile, implement the following:
  • Reduce image file sizes.
  • Increase the size of links and the CTA for easy viewing.
  • Invest in responsive email templates.
Do you want to learn more about optimizing your emails for mobile? Contact
From the NAEDA Office
Task Groups Formed and Ready for Action!
Volunteers step up to study reshaping of NAEDA.

It is rare to have an opportunity to reshape an organization - especially, one that has more than 100 years of service to its members. Change is hard. It is controversial, politically sensitive and challenging, while status quo is comfortable and uncomplicated. However, change can also be invigorating, motivating and rewarding. It can offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assume a leadership role in positioning an organization for continued success - strengthening its foundation, refocusing its priorities, enhancing its value proposition and enabling its volunteer and staff leaders to focus on the goals and objectives of the organization.

Since last month’s article titled “Creating a New and Improved NAEDA,” more than 40 members, affiliate executives and staff volunteered to serve on the task groups mentioned in the article. The following chairs and vice chairs are currently guiding the efforts of each group:

Governance / Structure - purpose and authority of committees, councils and affiliates
Chair: Brian Carpenter, Northeast Equipment Dealers Association
Vice Chairs: Matthew Larsgaard, North Dakota Implement Dealers Association
Gary Manke, Midwest Equipment Dealers Association

Membership - member database, membership categories, dues structure and application/renewal process
Chair: Jay Chapman, Deep South Equipment Dealers Association
Vice Chairs: Billy Adams, Southern Equipment Dealers Association
Rich Strom, Minnesota-South Dakota Equipment Dealers Association

Communications - media strategy, messaging platform and translation/localization opportunities
Chair: Mark Foster, Mid-America Equipment Retailers Association
Vice Chairs: Mike Caraway, SouthEastern Equipment Dealers Association
Ron Moore, Pacific Northwest Association

Manufacturer Relations - issues and opportunities for ensuring a positive working environment for dealers and manufacturers
Chair: Blaine Bingham, Far West Equipment Dealers Association
Vice Chairs: Andy Goodman, Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association
Kim Rominger, Mid-America Equipment Retailers Association and Ohio-Michigan Equipment Dealers Association

Government Relations - federal (U.S. and Canada) legislative issues affecting the industry
Chair: Farrell Oswald, Pacific Northwest Association
Vice Chairs: Brad Griffin, Montana Equipment Dealers Association
John Schmeiser, Canada West Equipment Dealers Association

Regulatory Compliance - federal (U.S. and Canada), state, province and local compliance issues affecting the industry
Chair: Tom Nobbe, Midwest Equipment Dealers Association
Vice Chairs: Ralph Gaiss, Northeast Equipment Dealers Association
Mike Williams, NAEDA National Office

Member Services - programs and services to address operational, educational and professional development opportunities within the industry
Chair: Gail Halderman, Canada West Equipment Dealers Association
Vice Chairs: Steve Kost, Far West Equipment Dealers Association
Vince Zebeau, Deep South Equipment Dealers Association

Branding / Marketing* - logo, tag lines, color scheme, media strategy (communications), messaging platform (communications) and co-branding
Chair: Rick Lawhun, NAEDA National Office
* This group is functioning somewhat differently from the other task groups, as every board member, affiliate executive and staff person is assisting in developing the new brand.

In addition to the chairs and vice chairs listed above, each task group has an additional six to 12 members representing every affiliate organization within NAEDA. This broad participation signifies an overwhelming commitment to create a strong national organization that meets the needs of its members.

Next month, I will provide an update on the progress of the Governance/Structure Task Group. As always, your ideas, issues and suggestions are welcome, so please feel free to contact me at or 636-349-6221.

Thank you for being a valued member of NAEDA.

RICHARD “Rick” LAWHUN is president/CEO of North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA). The association provides educational, legal, legislative and financial services to approximately 5,500 retail agricultural, construction, large property/rural lifestyle and outdoor power equipment dealers in the United States and Canada. Rick can be contacted at 636-349-6221 or via e-mail at

To read this article in full, click here.


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NAEDA Update is provided as a service to members of the North American Equipment Dealers Association. This information may not be reprinted without permission from NAEDA.

The North American Equipment Dealers Association provides educational, legal, legislative, and financial services to approximately 5,000 retail agricultural, construction, large property/rural lifestyle, and outdoor power equipment dealers in the United States and Canada.

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