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Meet 2011 MHEDA President Chuck Frank

Chuck FrankChuck Frank, president of
AHS Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio,
is MHEDA’s 57th President.

The first job I ever had was delivering newspapers. My employer was focused on keeping employees who could sort, roll and run high volumes of papers through the old manual string-tier. I quickly realized that if I out-performed the person I was working with, I could get promoted to team leader. Within a couple of weeks, I perfected the role and received a promotion, raising my pay from $15.00 to $17.50 per week. I learned principles that still apply today: Do the best job you can, stay focused on continuous improvement and bettering yourself and you will be rewarded in life.

I got into material handling by working for my dad’s company while going to school. I attended Northern Kentucky University, focusing on general business and marketing.

If I wasn’t in material handling, I would be an entertainer, playing the guitar.

I collect logo golf balls from the places I’ve traveled.

The best book that I’ve read recently is The Final Rounds by James Dodson. It is the story of a father and son on a golf trip across England and Scotland before the father dies.

In five years, I plan to be right where I am now, working on the business with an eye on the next generation to assume the reigns and guide the organization into the future.

On a typical day, I wake up at 5:30 a.m., have a cup of coffee with my wife Kathy, sometimes drop off our daughter Megan at school and then head to the office or visit with a customer. When the work day ends, and that time varies, I head to the gym for a workout or run. From the gym, I return home for dinner with my family.

My family is the highlight of my day. My wife Kathy is my soul mate and pillar. Our two children, Jordan, 20, and Megan, 15, are great kids. We love spending time together and supporting one another.

The most exciting part of running a business is designing and implementing solutions for our customers. I enjoy working together with our team members to outthink the competition, install a successful system and remain focused on maintaining long-term relationships and friendships.

When hiring, I look for dedicated, committed, goal-oriented individuals. When I find that right fit, I work with them on a daily basis, mentoring them on the culture and philosophies of AHS. I challenge them to ask questions every day. What have I done today? What am I going to do tomorrow to exceed the expectations of our customers?

I have three mentors. My dad provided guidance on the importance of commitment, integrity and being respectful of others. My mom was the backbone of our family. She always watched out for us, made sure we had everything we needed, kept us organized and was always there. Thank you, Mom and Dad. My other mentor is Gary Thompson, who always made time to listen, answer questions and offer advice. He is a very successful businessperson who demonstrates the importance of challenging yourself to move out of your comfort zone to improve your skill set.

My biggest advice to someone entering the industry is to associate with manufacturers who are focused on value and providing products and services at competitive pricing. Make sure your partners are committed to ongoing success of the distributor/integrator programs. Surround yourself with people who are motivated to do whatever it takes to take care of your customers.

Companies should join MHEDA because it provides tremendous opportunities to network with peer companies. It forces you to work on your business, not in your business. It provides educational opportunities for all positions within your organization and supplies practical and meaningful insight about how to run and lead a successful company. Other MHEDA members are open to sharing best practices, working with one another to ensure we are doing all we can as an organization to demonstrate the commitment to professionalism and sustainable growth.

My top priority as MHEDA president is to work with the team and do all we can to continue to provide educational and networking opportunities. We will remain focused on providing value-added products and services to assist all members in the positioning of their businesses.

My biggest challenge as MHEDA president will be keeping up with the number of new members joining the association as the economy improves. Prospective members will be looking to network with industry peers and stay abreast of economic trends. They will have questions about sustainability and diversification with a focus on growth initiatives. Distributor-manufacturer relationships will be a hot topic, along with ongoing discussion specific to customer demands and requirements.

MHEDA members can look forward to the economy continuing to strengthen. MHEDA committees have met and reviewed the member surveys, industry trends and economic forecasts and put together great educational programs, networking opportunities and an outstanding Convention agenda.

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association

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