FENTON, Mo. – The North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA) has announced the promotion of Joe Dykes to the position of vice president of industry relations.
Joe joined the NAEDA staff in May 2008 serving as director, Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) Programs in addition to being the executive vice president of the Mississippi Valley Equipment Association (MVEA), a position he held since 1990. Upon dissolution of MVEA in 2011, Joe was appointed director, member services for NAEDA. In this position, he developed programs, products and services that supported NAEDA’s purpose and provided equipment dealers with valuable business and professional development opportunities. He also served as staff contact to the OPE Council.
In his new role, Joe will continue to oversee these functions while seeking additional opportunities to leverage existing programs (e.g., the Compensation & Benefits Report and the Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Survey) and develop new products. In addition, he will serve as liaison to NAEDA’s industry partners and will work to expand services provided to OPE dealers by monitoring activities and coordinating meetings with OPE manufacturers in an effort to foster productive and mutually-beneficial relationships. Joe’s knowledge of the industry and his relationship with members and manufacturers will be a tremendous asset in expanding service to all dealers.
NAEDA has also engaged Natalie Higgins as vice president of government relations and general counsel. Prior to joining NAEDA, Natalie practiced labor and employment law at a civil litigation firm in St. Louis, Mo. representing municipal, non-profit and for-profit employers in all phases of litigation. She is a graduate of St. Louis University School of Law and the University of Missouri, Columbia and is licensed to practice law in both Missouri and Illinois.
In her role as vice president of government relations, Natalie will track key legislation affecting equipment dealers and participate in coalitions and industry partnerships. In her role as General Counsel, she will be the first point of contact for members through NAEDA’s Legal Resources Hotline. Natalie will bring significant value to NAEDA members by connecting them with the information and/or legal talent needed to effectively run their businesses. In addition, Natalie will assist in NAEDA’s forthcoming initiatives to provide members with top notch regulatory and legislative training programs.
Natalie is a St. Louis native. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with family and friends, to cook, and to travel.
Along with the two staffing announcements, the NAEDA Equipment Dealers Foundation has awarded 15 scholarships for the 2015-16 academic year to students planning to join or currently employed by equipment dealers who are members of the North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA). Coupled with matching funds from sponsoring dealers, the scholarships total $28,000.
The NAEDA Equipment Dealers Foundation scholarship program is available to students in each of NAEDA’s nine regions throughout North America who have been sponsored and recommended by a NAEDA dealer member.
“These scholarship funds are awarded to assist in the training, retraining or advancement of employees or potential employees of equipment dealers in order to create a larger pool of qualified, committed, long-term employees for those dealerships,” said Farrell Oswald, EDF Chairman. “This assistance can be applied for individual classes, vocational training curriculums, associate degrees, bachelor degrees and post-graduate degrees.”
Technical training is just one of the many educational programs supported by these scholarships. Scholarships were awarded for degrees and training ranging from accounting and finance to biosystems and engineering. “The variety of training opportunities within an equipment dealership is diverse,” said Richard E. Lawhun, President and CEO. “For example, with the growth of precision agriculture, many dealerships now have full-time agronomists on staff. Training in this field would also be supported by the scholarship.”
EDF’s increased commitment to education and training requires a significant need for additional funds to match the growth in applications submitted by current and future employees of dealer members.
For more information about the EDF scholarship program or to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit http://www.naeda.com/Foundation