The joint membership of SouthWestern Assn. (SWA) and Canada West Equipment Dealers Assn. (CWEDA) have voted overwhelmingly in favor of moving forward with a merger of these two associations to form the new Western Equipment Dealers Assn. (WEDA). The members of both associations ratified the merger resolution with a 99% approval rating.

The member vote follows the merger resolutions passed and recommended for ratification by the respective boards of directors of each organization last April. The member vote was the final step in the merger of the largest equipment dealer associations in Canada and the U.S.

“We appreciate the overwhelming level of support that we have been given by our members,” stated Bruce Coleman, SWA president. “Now that our members have ratified the merger resolutions, we will start consolidating our resources — taking the best of both organizations to enhance our value proposition to members.”

“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,” stated CWEDA President Cameron Bode. “I am very pleased with the confidence that our members have shown in this consolidation.”

The effective date of the merger is September 1, 2014.

The Western Equipment Dealers Assn. 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 Assn., 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.

The Western Equipment Dealers Assn. will continue to be affiliated with the North American Equipment Dealers Assn. (NAEDA) and is hopeful this initiative will promote further consolidation with other equipment dealer associations in North America.