After careful consideration, the Mississippi Valley Equipment Association (MVEA) board of directors voted to recommend to its members dissolution of the association. At a membership meeting held on Feb. 24, MVEA members voted to approve the board’s recommendation.
“Continuing changes in the industry have reduced the number of dealerships, which has led to overall declining member revenues,” said Joe Dykes, executive vice president, MVEA. While MVEA has worked out of the North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA) office for the past three years to help reduce operating costs, it is not a viable long-term solution, Dykes added.
Tom Nobbe, Wm. Nobbe & Co., Waterloo, Ill., past president of MVEA and its current representative on the NAEDA board, said the decision to dissolve MVEA was difficult. Established in 1907, MVEA has had a rich heritage, he said. But because of continued industry consolidation and consequently a decline in member revenues, MVEA could not provide the increasing expense of representation in state legislatures and with manufacturers, Nobbe said.
Upon dissolution of the MVEA, Illinois dealer members will automatically become members of the Midwest Equipment Dealers Association (MEDA), which represents dealers in Illinois and Wisconsin. Missouri dealer members will become members of the SouthWestern Association, which represents dealers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.
The former MVEA members’ dues will transfer to the respective associations and be kept at the same level for the balance of 2011. The balance of MVEA’s financial resources will be contributed to the Equipment Dealers Foundation, the publicly supported 501(c)(3) charitable organization of NAEDA. The resources will be divided into the foundation’s general fund, for use by dealers in the former MVEA for education programs, and for the disaster relief fund, Dykes said.
Going forward, dealers who had belonged to MVEA will become part of a larger voice in representing the retail equipment industry in Illinois and Missouri, Dykes said. MEDA currently has 300 members, and the SouthWestern Association has approximately 700 members.
Moreover, Tom Nobbe will be MEDA’s representative to the NAEDA board of directors, and a former MVEA member will serve on the SouthWestern Association’s board for the next two to three years.
Jeff Flora, CEO, SouthWestern Association, noted that SouthWestern’s membership is divided into districts, so the former MVEA will have two representatives in the organization for the first couple of years.
The decision for MVEA members to automatically become members of either MEDA or the SouthWestern Association –depending on their home state — makes sense, Flora said. “This will make it simpler to represent all of Missouri’s dealers in their state legislature,” he said. Flora added that his staff will be calling dealers over the next couple of months to welcome them to the association.
Gary Manke, executive vice president and CEO, MEDA, also welcomes former MVEA dealers from Illinois. “We will continue to provide them the same high-quality services along with adding new services,” he said. MEDA staff also will be calling on dealers over the next couple of months to welcome them to the association.