Six decades and counting for ConExpo veteran

By |  April 10, 2023
Leonard McCurley, who has attended ConExpo-Con/Agg for the last 60 years, received a proclamation at this year's show from show Dana Wuesthoff of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), which puts on ConExpo-Con/Agg. Photo: AEM

Leonard McCurley (pictured seventh from from left), who has attended ConExpo-Con/Agg for the last 60 years, received a proclamation at this year’s show from show director Dana Wuesthoff. Photo: ConExpo-Con/Agg

The largest construction trade show in North America is a wrap, as ConExpo-Con/Agg 2023 featured more than 1,800 exhibitors across more than 2.8 million sq. ft. of exhibit space.

Back to the Las Vegas Convention Center once again was Leonard McCurley, an 89-year-old who’s attended the show for the last six decades.

Raised on a farm in Michigan before dedicating his career to construction, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) says McCurley attended his first ‘ConExpo-Con/Agg’ in 1963 – and he’s made it back to every one in the 60 years that followed.

“There are so many interesting people I’ve talked to; it’s an education just to talk to all of them,” McCurley says. “I think everybody that is around heavy equipment should go to that show.”

Several of McCurley’s previous employers had booths at the show. He looks forward to reconnecting with representatives from those companies whenever he can.

McCurley says his fondest memories of attending ConExpo-Con/Agg were with his wife in years past.

“She went to every show with me when she was alive, and she really enjoyed them, too,” says McCurley, who was joined by children and grandchildren at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2023.

After this year’s ConExpo-Con/Agg, McCurley says he has nothing but love for the show. He would like to attend the show in 2026 if it makes sense for him to do so, AEM says.

McCurley says it’s impossible to attend six decades worth of ConExpo-Con/Aggs without at least having some advice to share with newcomers.

“You’ve got to have a good pair of shoes and make sure you go to see the whole thing, because if you don’t, you’re missing a lot,” he says.

Want more ConExpo-Con/Agg coverage?

Keep up with P&Q’s coverage of ConExpo-Con/Agg at the magazine’s dedicated show page.

Information for this article courtesy of AEM.

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About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or

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