More than 250 Ariens and Gravely dealers attended the company’s annual Dealer Summit from Sept. 21 – 24, 2017, held this year in San Antonio, Texas. The summit took place at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort, a sprawling, 300-acre resort and spa situated on historic ranch land in the hills of Texas.
The three-day event began on Thursday, with an alfresco cocktail reception and dinner overlooking the resort’s expansive golf courses. Ariens Company President & CEO Dan Ariens addressed the crowd, and gave attendees their first glimpse at the meeting’s theme, Breaking Through.
Breaking Through was selected as this year’s meeting message to reiterate the fact that the company continues to experience unprecedented demand for new products while breaking through to reach new levels of their partnership with dealers.
On Friday, dealers and Ariens Company representatives began the day early with the first general session, where executives spoke directly to dealers about the company’s current status, industry trends and future business plans. Dan Ariens again addressed the crowd, delivering a keynote speech about the outdoor power equipment industry and the Ariens and Gravely brands’ 2016 success.
Following the general session remarks, dealers attended a variety of breakout sessions and were then given free time in the evening to see the famed San Antonio Riverwalk.
Saturday morning began again with general session remarks. The highlight of the morning was the company’s annual Million Dollar Club induction ceremony, which highlights dealers who have sold $1 million or more worth of equipment in a single year. This year, Ariens Company inducted 12 dealers into the prestigious club, each receiving a plaque, Million Dollar Club jacket, ring and pearls (for each dealer’s wife).
The morning ended with the introduction of Larry Weyers, the new Ariens Company Power Equipment President.
“Coming in on my 16th day at the company, I didn’t know exactly what to expect at the Summit,” said Weyers. “I think one of the most astounding things that I witnessed was the level of passion from our dealers. The sense of small businesses aspiring to grow to bigger businesses and the passion that was with every dealer I met there was really inspiring.
“All of the conversations I was fortunate to have that week reminded me of my own family’s business growing up and made very clear how important every machine that we make and ship out to our dealers is to their livelihood. We need to do everything we can to astound our dealers, and I plan on working with that goal in mind.”
After Saturday morning’s remarks, dealers had the option to sign up for and attend a wide array of educational sessions, with topics ranging from hiring and retention to financial advice to getting started with social media. All sessions were aimed at helping businesses improve their own companies.