The joint boards of SouthWestern Association (SWA) and Canada West Equipment Dealers Association (CWEDA) recently voted to move forward with a merger of these two associations to form the new Western Equipment Dealers Association (WEDA). This action was the first step toward a merger, which requires a vote by dealer members of each association to be completed this summer. 

Upon member approval, the merged association will be positioned to provide more access to programs and services for members, enhanced training and recruitment, and one unified voice for the combined members. “The goals, objectives and vision of our two associations are closely aligned,” stated John Schmeiser, CWEDA Executive Vice President and CEO. “A major reason for proceeding with this merger is our members will benefit from a larger, financially strong association that will provide more services to address the needs of today’s equipment dealers.” 

Once the merger is completed, Schmeiser said dealer members, endorsed providers, industry suppliers and association management clients of both SouthWestern and Canada West Equipment Dealers Associations will experience little to no change in their daily interactions with their association. He said the goal is to make the merger effective September 1, 2014.

The merged association will continue to support its affiliation with the North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA). “Our joint boards of directors have acknowledged that there has been consolidation at the equipment dealership level, but not within our associations,” added Jeff Flora, SWA CEO. “We believe the timing is right for us to lead association consolidation and that a successful merger of our associations will promote further consolidation with equipment dealer associations affiliated with the North American Equipment Dealers Association.” 

The respective boards of directors of CWEDA and SWA determined that the name of the merged association should be the Western Equipment Dealers Association (WEDA). The name incorporates some aspects of the two associations while acknowledging the history and legacy of each. 

The Western Equipment Dealers Association will represent dealers in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba; and the states of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. To be eligible for admission as a member of the Western Equipment Dealers Association, the dealer must be primarily engaged in the retail hardware business or in the retail sale and service of agricultural, construction, industrial, forestry, outdoor power, lawn and garden and/or turf equipment.