On January 1, John Maybury took over as the 52nd president of MHEDA. Maybury, president of Maybury Material Handling, has some big plans for the association in 2006. He spoke with Chris Powers, editor of The MHEDA Journal.
How did you get started in material handling?
I was an 18-year-old studying engineering and business at Western New England College when I started selling benches, stools, shelving and carts to local manufacturing firms in my spare time. I named my company Maybury Material Handling.
Who were some of your customers?
Smith & Wesson, Milton Bradley, American Saw and others. Within one year, my father left his consulting job to join my company (which at the time was headquartered in our house) and our sales reached $1 million. A year later, I left college to concentrate full time on growing the business.
Today, 73 employees operate from a 42,000 sq. ft. facility in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. We sell all kind of material handling equipment, including engineered systems.
What do you do in your spare time now?
Since I was 10 or 12 years old, I’ve been interested in anything that has a motor. My wife and others have concerns about how much stuff I have in my barn—motorcycles, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, boats, race car engines, just stuff. I try to fix them up, ride them or use them. I also have a paintball field behind the house. Employees play, friends play and my sons’ friends play. It’s my favorite game right now and it’s a lot of fun.
If you weren’t in material handling, what would you be doing?
I would enjoy being a doctor, probably a trauma surgeon. I’m intrigued by heart surgery, even knee replacements and emergencies like car accidents because of the immediate action and quick thinking required.
Material handling requires some quick thinking too. What’s your favorite part of the job?
You’re right. There’s never a dull moment because things are always changing. I enjoy the people, networking, problem-solving and strategizing aspects, and my favorite part is being involved in projects, going to different manufacturers and seeing different products and processes.
Why should someone be a member of MHEDA?
There is no better business group or association in which to network, share or openly discuss industry-specific issues. Inexpensive educational offerings, retreats and conventions continue to provide vital, up-to-date industry-specific information that you can’t get elsewhere.
What’s your top priority as MHEDA President?
MHEDA’s theme for 2006 is “Sharpen Your Edge.” We are using the term “Edgers” to describe those individuals who are going to be our companies’ next group of leaders, at whom this publication is aimed. An “Edger” is someone who is passionate about contributing to the success of the organization. Edgers are crucial to the future success of our businesses and the association. My goal as President is to effectively approach and engage our Edgers by leveraging technology and addressing the different expectations inherent in the younger generation. It is the responsibility of all MHEDA members to encourage Edger involvement. By ensuring their success, we will, in turn, strengthen our own businesses and our industry.
What else can “Edgers” look forward to this year?
The Annual Convention is April 29-May 3 in Marco Island, Florida, one of the finest venues for a convention. There will be lots of networking and educational programs for Edgers.
What’s the number one thing you waste time on?
I don’t waste much time at all. I’m a busy guy going full steam. Quite frankly, if I didn’t have to sleep, it would be just fine with me. Other people think I’m nuts, but I consider sleep kind of a waste of time. I’m not sure what’s produc-tive about sleeping, but I guess we have to do it.