AEM Hall of Fame nominees sought for 2016

Ray O’Connor of Topcon moved to the United States from Ireland over 30 years ago. He quickly realized that he had found the only place on the planet where a kid from another country had the freedom to dream big dreams and actually make them come true. 

Educated at the Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland, his first job was with one of the largest home builders in Ireland. But even early on, it was obvious to O’Connor that the processes for building homes as well as infrastructure, was antiquated. He knew that he wanted to head down the path of being involved in the automation of the industry. 

“When I came to America and joined Topcon in 1993, I was the only employee dedicated to laser products,” O’Connor said. “I had one goal: automate the construction industry.”

Today, with the joining of imaging, GNSS, scanning, and software technology, there are few construction sites or farms that do not use automated positioning. O’Connor mandates that every product for every market segment supports the theme of “time”: saving it by increasing productivity, minimizing the disruptive footprint of a project, and reducing use of renewable and non-renewable resources.

As a result of his life-long accomplishments, O’Connor was selected to the 2013 AEM Hall of Fame, an achievement he says was one of the proudest in his career. 

If you know an off-road equipment industry leader who consistently delivers superior results and goes above and beyond to move the industry forward, nominate them to the AEM Hall of Fame. Nominations are now open for off-road equipment industry frontrunners whose innovations, ideas and leadership have contributed significantly to the growth and strength of the industry.

“To be recognized by the association speaks volumes,” said Davidson. “It’s an election by your peers that you’ve done or accomplished something significant in your life and that was a very important moment for me. 

To nominate an industry leader to the AEM Hall of Fame, complete the nomination form by Monday, June 6. Nominations are evaluated by an independent panel of industry experts from the construction and agriculture sectors.

Who should be nominated?  Anyone, living or deceased, who has made noteworthy and specific contributions to the following sectors of the off-road equipment industry is eligible:

  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution
  • Rental
  • End-user

How are candidates evaluated? Inductees into the AEM Hall of Fame should exemplify five guiding principles:

  • Innovation
  • Industry Contributions
  • Leadership
  • Corporate Citizenship/Social Responsibility
  • Sustainability

Since its inception in 1993, more than 50 industry leaders have been inducted into the AEM Hall of Fame. The 2016 class of inductees will be honored at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ Annual Conference at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, California on November 18.

For more information contact AEM’s Jordanne Waldschmidt (tel: 414-298-4152;

About the AEM Hall of Fame

The AEM Hall of Fame traces its roots to 1993 and development of the Construction Equipment Hall of Fame as a not-for-profit industry-wide initiative by Construction Equipment magazine. AEM served on its Board of Directors; the first Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held at CONEXPO 1993 and the last ceremony in 1999. The Hall lapsed in the early 2000s and AEM took over ownership and operation in 2008 creating the AEM Hall of Fame.


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