2021 Financial/HR Symposium | Finance Sessions

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Tuesday, June 29 Sessions: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm | Wednesday, June 30 Sessions: 8:45 am – 12:00 pm


2021: A Year of (r)Evolution for Finance
Nick Araco

With growing optimism for a robust recovery, finance leaders have an unprecedented opportunity to lead their enterprises to new heights. How they answer the challenge will shape their businesses for years to come.

Join CEO Nick Araco, ‘the voice for the Middle Market,’​ representing the more than 15,000 Finance and HR Leaders of The CFO Alliance and The CHRO Alliance Peer Advisory Networks, for a candid discussion and best practice-sharing session on enterprise performance optimization for the rest of 2021 and beyond.

Topics of discussion will include:

  1. With a tightening jobs market, what are you doing to attract and retain top talent?
  2. What are the most critical (biggest bang for the buck) tech investments you can make in your function? For the enterprise as a whole? How do these align with your talent strategies?
  3. Making the business case for investment: Where should you look for the quickest savings? The biggest savings? The biggest revenue builder? How much time and resources are saved when time spent on low-level work is reduced? What would you do with that new time and/or money?
  4. Governance and planning: Who needs to be in the room to get the most from technology and talent investments?
  5. What is the biggest obstacle to getting to the next level of tech? Money, talent, or organizational inertia? What can you do about it?
  6. Fed Chair Jerome Powell recently told 60 Minutes that cybersecurity is the biggest threat to an expected economic rebound. What are you doing to stay out in front of new cyber threats?

Maximize Growth: Get Sales and Finance in Sync
Ed Wallace
Relational Capital Group

The CFO and sales leader have significant impact on their company’s ability to deliver on its strategies. Unfortunately, the relationship between finance and sales is often more confrontational than collaborative. Given CFOs’ expressed interest in spending more time understanding customers — and sales teams’ concerns about re-engaging and re-energizing relationships strained by the pandemic — now is the ideal time for these reluctant partners to get together to improve their ability to measure and grow the “relationship capital” on which sales and enterprise growth depend.

To accomplish the above, Ed Wallace’s highly interactive keynote will highlight his following four strategies that were recently published by Harvard Business Review:

  • Closing the cultural gap between sales and finance
  • Investing in sales training and development
  • Improving forecast accuracy by looking at relationship strength within the pipeline
  • Focusing on key strategic relationships

M&A Activity and Trends
Torre Hammer, Moss Adams
Andrew Suen, Hexagon Capital

This session will focus on a market update on mergers and acquisition activity in the heavy equipment space and will include discussion on lessons learned and best practices in preparing for a sale or acquisition.

Discovering the New Normal: An Economic Outlook
Bob Dieli
MacKay & Company

Yogi Berra famously once said “the future ain’t what it used to be.”  Based on what has happened over the past year and a half, we echo that thought. In this session, Dr. Bob Dieli will present the year’s economic outlook and discuss some of what has been learned about the effects of the pandemic on the way the world works and likely will work. He will also review metrics which measure the current and future performance of the construction industry.

Plenty to Wine About: The Tax Debate in Washington
Daniel B. Fisher, AED
Beth Swanson, KCoe Isom

Tax policy will be front and center in Washington as the Biden administration pushes tax code changes and key provisions from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expire. AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher and K·Coe Isom’s Beth Swanson will discuss the impact that the Biden plan will have on AED members, the political dynamics surrounding the tax debate on Capitol Hill and what AED is doing to push back against tax increases that will detrimentally impact equipment dealers.

War Stories from 2020 (PANEL)
Moderated by: Jason Blake, AED

When COVID hit in 2020, the role of the CFO was front and center. Most CEOs did not make a decision without running it by finance first. Join us for a panel discussion featuring 2020 “war stories” from your fellow dealers, and learn what they did to weather the storm so you’ll be better prepared when the next one hits.

Looking to the Future: Revenue Optimization for Today and Beyond
Dick Stewart
Stewart Consulting

This session will provide an analytical method to assess your dealership’s line of business revenue mix and growth rates. While the emphasis is benchmarking, its implications can be strategic with the aim of achieving revenue growth that is profitable and stable. The session includes content that addresses gaining wallet share with existing customers and defending them from competitors.

Lessons Learned from 2020: A CODB Analysis
Dick Stewart
Stewart Consulting

How did your dealership perform against the broader AED membership in 2020? This session distills the large amount of data in the 2021 Cost of Doing Business report (based on 2020 operations) to key performance metrics regarding balance sheet health, operating results, and rental practices. It will provide a basis for the CFO of a dealership to identify variations from the broader AED membership that may trigger modifications in a dealership’s strategy and/or business model.

Change According to the Great Masters
Lou Quinto

Leading change is difficult. Everyone has their own ideas on what needs to be improved and how it can be improved. Some people want to cling to the past – especially when the going gets rough. Meanwhile others get frustrated because the change can’t come fast enough. This presents many finance leaders with an unfamiliar challenge. Like the Great Masters, finance leaders must focus their attention on helping to create, communicate and get buy-in on a vision of what the “New World” will look like.

This session will discuss key concepts in implementing dealership change, including:

  • Painting a picture of the New World
  • Change starts at the top
  • Addressing the “human side”
  • Creating employee ownership
  • Communicating early and often
  • Celebrating success

Dealerships don’t reap the rewards of change with grand master plans. Change only occurs when there is buy-in at the individual employee level. The Great Masters understood that if they didn’t focus their efforts on the “human side” of change, even the most inspired plans can and will go awry. Join this session and learn from the mistakes the Great Masters made so your dealerships don’t repeat them!

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