AEM President Dennis J. Slater to Retire; Megan Tanel to Succeed as Its First Female President

August 12, 2021

After 23 years as president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), Dennis J. Slater will retire Dec. 31 and AEM Senior Vice President, Construction and Utility Sector Megan Tanel will become the first woman to take the helm in the association’s 127-year history, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Slater has been with AEM since 1982, when he joined the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association (CIMA), AEM’s predecessor. He became president of CIMA in 1998 and president of the newly formed AEM in 2002, following a merger between CIMA and Equipment Manufacturers Institute (EMI).

Under Slater’s leadership, the association has grown by 50 percent to more than 1,000 member companies, with revenue increasing nearly 700 percent to $60 million annually.

“Through Dennis’ leadership and impressive contributions to the industry for nearly 40 years, AEM has built tremendous value and momentum for our members and the industry,” said 2021 AEM Chair and Trimble Inc. Executive Chairman Steve W. Berglund. 

Slater pointed to some of the most rewarding experiences during his long tenure with AEM.

“I oversaw CONEXPO-CON/AGG for many years, starting in 1987, when it was just CONEXPO, and I’ve helped lead that show to its success today,” he said, referring to North America’s largest construction trade show. “The merger of CIMA and EMI to create AEM in 2001, which brought our industry together, was definitely another highlight.”

Slater added that he is also proud of helping to build such a tremendously talented and motivated team.

Tanel joined AEM in 1995 as an intern and became a full-time employee later that year, quickly growing in leadership to her current position. For many years, Tanel led AEM’s exhibitions and events initiatives. She helped launch World of Asphalt in 2001 and served as show director for The Utility Expo (formerly ICUEE) and CONEXPO-CON/AGG.

Under her leadership, she and the team she developed grew AEM trade show revenue by 80 percent over 12 years, worked internationally to establish strategic relationships with AEM’s global partners in support of AEM services and led the effort to extend key contracts for AEM shows, most notably CONEXPO-CON/AGG.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are confident she will continue to lead the association and support the industry for many years to come,” Berglund said.

Slater also is certain Tanel will provide the leadership needed to continue AEM’s success in the future.

“Megan has successfully led key initiatives and been a major driver in building relationships across our industry throughout her 20-year tenure at AEM,” Slater said.

Tanel feels fortunate to have had Slater as an incredible mentor for the past two decades.

“That drive and passion for the industry he displays is contagious,” she said. “Together, we have done some amazing things for our industry, especially to connect our members with their customers through award-winning trade shows.”

As president, Tanel will work to continue bringing the industry together, building relationships, advocating for pro-manufacturing policies and delivering value for the association’s more than 1,000 member companies. 

“Our association is healthy financially, the off-road equipment manufacturing industry is relevant and critical to our global economy, and we have the strong support of our members,” she said.

Tanel plans to continue building on that momentum when she takes the lead at the association.

“We have an incredible staff at AEM, and I know that working together, we will take AEM to the next level, offering new ways to serve our members and support the industry.”

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