Executive Vice President
Gregory Poole Equipment Company
At 10: I wanted to play baseball for the LA Dodgers. I listened to their games on my transistor radio as I was falling asleep.
Imaginative Outside Business: After graduation, I drove from Portland, Oregon, to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and back. Saw a lot of the country, slept outside in most areas.
Imaginative In Business: Spent four days in the wilderness with three other executives at Outward Bound. Learned that I don’t like conflict.
|Hot Issue: How to position our companies to be and remain profitable during this slow recovery. I want to make sure the programs we are offering are relevant to what’s going on in the economy.
Election Platform: Health care.
Best Thing: We went through the downturn and survived it. If you’ve right-sized your company, you’ll be doing very well.
Vice President/General Manager
Hy-Tek Material Handling
|Hot Issue: What direction will we be taken during the 2012 elections? Will we be a society of producers or takers? I will encourage everyone I talk to and engage with to be very prudent in their evaluation and election of candidates.
Election Platform: Get the government out of business, remove barriers to success, and let the free market system work.
Best Thing: Success is abundant for those managing and operating their business “imaginatively.”
CEO, AK Material Handling Systems
(Maple Grove, MN)
At 10: I wanted to be a high achiever. I feel like I’m still growing up and imagining that anything is possible if you get one thing done every day.
Imaginative Outside Business: Learned to fly air- planes. You have to have a good imagination to believe that you can take off at 100 mph, fly in all weather/wind/visibility and land hundreds of miles away at 100 mph.
Imaginative In Business: I realized that to communicate my design ideas I would have to learn 3D CAD drawing, and in order to understand 3D drawing, I needed to think like an artist. I went to a community college class called “Drawing from the right side of the brain” and learned how to draw before I could start learning to 3D CAD draw storage fixtures.
|Hot Issue: It’s becoming glaringly obvious that baby boomers are not the buyers anymore. Social media, Internet shopping, consolidations, super-size distributors selling our products…how to keep up with the way business is now done and how it will keep evolving.
Election Platform: How we could save and better utilize energy. Distribution and logistics cooperation would save billions of dollars in energy and lower our carbon footprint.
Best Thing: We’re right at the forefront of the material handling industry. There is no Amazon, EBay or Internet growth without our industry making their dreams come true.
Vice President/Treasurer/Operations Manager,
Cardinal Carryor, Inc.
At 10: An Air Force pilot just like my father
Imaginative Outside Business: Taught myself to play guitar by playing records and tapes at the wrong speed so I could pick out individual notes in slow motion. Then I just had to figure out the right key to play them back in.
Imaginative In Business: Serve the customer first, employees second, stockholders last.
|Hot Issue: The economy.
Election Platform: Reducing regulation in manufacturing would help us sell more industrial equipment.
Best Thing: The ability to grow in a struggling economy by performing the best service.
Vice President Sales & Marketing
Fallsway Equipment Company
At 10: My grandfather influenced me at a very early age to pursue the path of a design engineer.
Imaginative Outside Business: Having two children with my wife.
Imaginative In Business: Combining the role of product support and machine salesperson. This was not the traditional industry model at the time.
|Hot Issue: Economic uncertainty and overbearing regulatory environment. I want to provide direction to the Education Committee on relevant program topics that will best arm our member companies to work through these difficult times.
Election Platform: Healthcare and energy self-reliance.
Best Thing: We live in an increasingly competitive and global environment. This ensures that our customer base needs MHEDA member companies’ expertise to run the leanest distribution and manufacturing systems possible.
FMH Material Handling Solutions
At 10: I owned my own yard mowing service with 12 yards to take care of. I could only think about owning my own business when I grew up.
Imaginative Outside Business: I had a hole-in-one in Idaho in 2007.
Imaginative In Business: Growing the business we started in 1978 with seven employees to over 500 with 16 locations today.
|Hot Issue: The return of salary pressure from employees with customers requiring reduced pricing.
Election Platform: Repeal of the Health Care Bill
Best Thing: Business is stable and has returned to profit.
Vice President/General Manager, LiftOne
At 10: I knew I was destined to be an NFL quarterback for the Boston Patriots; I hoped I could become an astronaut as well.
Imaginative Outside Business: Got married at the Field of Dreams.
Imaginative In Business: Started a brand new factory dealership in San Francisco with a briefcase and a credit card.
|Hot Issue: Educating our business owners to raise the bar of professionalism. We suffer from a deal-making inferiority complex. We need to become more educated and better business people. I intend to bring this element into the curriculum of MHEDA U.
Election Platform: Would like to see government encourage investments in business growth. Grow the business and the employment will follow.
Best Thing: The people in it.
CEO, Carolina Material Handling Services
At 10: Professional baseball player
Imaginative Outside Business: Played golf at Augusta National.
Imaginative In Business: Adopted open book management for the business.
|Hot Issue: Sales process has become longer and more complex. We need continued high-quality training in sales personnel selection and sales processes.
Election Platform: Cost of healthcare.
Best Thing: The material handling industry serves a wide array of businesses, including distribution, manufacturing, automobile, retail, freight forwarding and many others. This diversification allows us to weather the inevitable ups and downs of our economy.
MHEDA Advisory Board
Vice President, Morrison Industrial Equipment Company
(Grand Rapids, MI)
At 10: I was in-between my James Bond and Indy 500 racecar driver ambitions.
Imaginative Outside Business: Played in a band.
Imaginative In Business: Working with customers to drastically reduce their energy costs.
|Hot Issue: See MHEDA’s Critical Impact Factors.
Election Platform: NA
Best Thing: MHEDA has so much to offer to members. Now is the time to be ramping up training. The industry-specific educational and networking offerings are invaluable.
MHEDA Vice President
President, Lift Atlanta
At 10: Pilot. It’s still on my bucket list.
Imaginative Outside Business: The Marine Corp Mud Run, a 5.2 mile obstacle course with 32 physically enduring Marine training-type obstacles like climbing over walls, under logs, etc. After only two minutes, I found out why it’s called a mud run, covered from head to foot in mud, and had insanely fit Marines yelling at us all day. So much fun I’m making it an annual event.
Imaginative In Business: In late ’90s, we stopped going after competitive service work trying to undercut everyone’s labor and PM rates and concentrated on taking care of our own. Our margins increased significantly as did our level of service to customers who had purchased trucks from us.
|Hot Issue: Economic uncertainty. We’ll provide membership with the best information we can get, so our members can make the decisions to ride out this storm.
Election Platform: Get government out of the way back on the sidelines where it belongs and let the free markets, the entrepreneurs and the resources of the individual get us out of this mess. Let American businesses do what they do best, drive the economy to growth. Throw out the current tax code and simplify it to where American businesses can compete again on a global level and bring manufacturing home. Do away with the burdensome regulations that prevent businesses from growing and expanding.
Best Thing: Our industry is surviving tough times. I think the industry is poised for some great years. We’ll be battered and bruised, but we will all be better businessmen and women when this storm is finally over.
MHEDA Immediate Past President
President, AHS, Inc.
At 10: I wanted to play the guitar and sing.
Imaginative Outside Business: After 15 years of marriage and dreaming about our dream home, I grabbed a piece of paper and put our thoughts on paper. Within 15 minutes, the sketch was complete. I finalized the home plans, submitted to a few builders, and moved in nine months later.
Imaginative In Business: Took all of our associates to Disney.
|Hot Issue: The pressure of the integrator and distributor to add value and supplement our customers’ talents with our core competencies.
Election Platform: Promote our industry and incentives for job creation, like providing reimbursement for the on-boarding process and expense of training new hires, incentives for manufacturing to remain in the states, and success stories with a buyer’s guide on where to purchase Made in America products.
Best Thing: We are in a great position to work with our customers and provide current technologies that assist them in cost reduction by increasing efficiencies and providing cost-justified solutions.
President, Bode Equipment Company
At 10: A doctor and caregiver
Imaginative Outside Business: I tripped rounding first base and landed on my belly, so I stretched like I was reaching for second base even though the bag was still 20-feet away. I did it for the effect.
Imaginative In Business: Saw an innovative door product successfully sold in Canada and introduced it to U.S. companies. Our success with it drove our company’s growth for several years.
|Hot Issue: Being viable to all independent distributor segments of our extremely diversified membership within the industry. I will listen carefully to all the voices of distributors so I can give them the quality representation they deserve.
Election Platform: More incentives to small companies to invest and create new quality jobs.
Best Thing: MHEDA
||Robert M. Giberson
At 10: I imagined I’d grow up and own a business as I was always selling seeds, magazine subscriptions, had a paper route and thinking of entrepreneurial ways to earn money, including the iPod concept for downhill skiers in the early ’70s. (I think Steve Jobs might have stolen it from me.)
Imaginative Outside Business: My wife and I took off all extracurricular activities in the fall so we could spend more quality time and do things with our kids.
Imaginative In Business: Changed the company name to create a “brand.”
|Hot Issue: Help MHEDA members understand the value offered by MHEDA and make sure they participate. Figure out how our professional members can “separate” themselves from competing with “two guys and a pickup truck.”
Election Platform: Small business initiatives, especially depreciation accelerations for capital equipment investments.
Best Thing: We’re recession proof. We help clients whether their businesses are expanding, flat or contracting.
CEO, American Warehouse Systems
At 10: I was intrigued with science and wanted to be a nuclear physicist.
Imaginative Outside Business: In the early ’80s I created a 20-room hotel entirely out of snow and charged admittance to anyone who wanted to see it.
Imaginative In Business: Designed and implemented an interactive website in the early ’90s complete with RFQ forms to extend our reach and automate the sales process.
|Hot Issue: Instant communication via the Internet. I will do my best to help members understand this media and get involved.
Election Platform: More funding for government storage and distribution centers.
Best Thing: We’ve been at a low point for several years and now it’s time for some growth.
President, Conveyor Solutions
At 10: I was trying to choose between being a professional water skier, owning a lighting company for bands like KISS, or being a firefighter.
Imaginative Outside Business: Coaching kids’ teams clears my head and helps me understand what’s really important. It helps the “little kid in me” stay closer to the surface.
Imaginative In Business: Taking risks in synergy business opportunities.
|Hot Issue: Bringing new blood into our organizations and the industry. The membership, networking, education and advocacy committees will continue to set goals related to attracting, training and engaging these new groups.
Election Platform: Large companies like UPS have started to educate the public on our industry by promoting Logistics and Transportation. We need to continue drilling down, raising awareness and educating the public on our impact on every product and service we touch. Take advantage of group health care and the general insurance rates to remain competitive.
Best Thing: MH solutions providers have never had more opportunity to bring value and impact their customer’s businesses than they do today. Businesses are willing to listen and spend capital on solutions that make them more efficient, reduce costs and make them greener.
||Duncan J. Murphy
MHEDA Advisory Board
President, Riekes Equipment Company
At 10: Astronaut. Fly me to the moon.
Imaginative Outside Business: Volunteered to build a rustic hotel at a Boys Scout camp on the site where four boys lost their lives in a tornado, using downed trees and other debris.
Imaginative In Business: Recovered from a devastating fire with no idea how to proceed or what to do next.
|Hot Issue: Confirming the value of the material handling distributor to the marketplace. I will continue to drive members to utilize MHEDA education and networking resources to improve performance for distributors and all of their staff that is confirmed by customers and suppliers. MHEDA MVP is one example.
Election Platform: Recognition and incentives for material handling projects that can create jobs, conserve resources and/or increase productivity. Significant drop in red tape, paperwork and useless regulations for small business.
Best Thing: We are a stable industry whose products and service are necessary to keep the world humming. Companies that provide the best solutions and value will thrive.