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The Future Looks Bright

By Liz Richards, MHEDA Executive Vice President

We’ve just returned from MHEDA’s convention as I write this column, and for those of you who attended, we hope you enjoyed the numerous education and networking opportunities. From what we have read in the post-convention survey results, it appears that you definitely came away with some great value! And those of you who weren’t there, we missed you and hope you can join us next year, May 4-8, 2013, in Palm Desert, CA. There is truly no place better than a MHEDA convention to have one-on-one time with other industry professionals who are facing the same challenges and opportunities, meet with customers and learn about what’s ahead and how to best address the future.

Speaking of the future, one of the highlights of convention for me is to serve as a host to students who are studying industrial distribution curriculums at some of the finest universities in our country and introduce them to our industry and the professionals within it. It was our pleasure this year to host students and faculty from East Carolina University (Greenville, NC), Texas A & M University (College Station, TX) and University of Nebraska Kearny (Kearny, NE). What a refreshing experience to meet these eager, bright, intelligent and enthusiastic young adults. They were invited to attend MHEDA’s past presidents’ dinner the first night of the convention and mingled with former and current board members and their spouses as if they were long time acquaintances. Many members had the opportunity to interact with the students during educational workshops, the round table discussions and during the Exhibitors’ Showcase. Seeing their confidence and hearing their perspective was incredibly refreshing. Our future looks bright! You’ll have a chance to read about the students who attended convention in the next few issues of the journal. By the way, they are all ripe for internships and future employment. Check out their photo on page 73.

And what about MHEDA’s future? That’s looking bright as well, with a number of events coming up to help you grow and mentor the young talent within your own organization. August 2-3, MHEDA will host an Emerging Leaders Conference for young professionals who are poised for or currently involved in leader ship positions. Like many MHEDA events, the speakers at this conference are successful members who will share their words of wisdom and help mentor the young talent we need to carry on the next chapter in this industry. Ten speakers, two days, 12 sessions/events during which your emerging leaders will learn about financial modeling, structuring a winning sales team, improving their productivity, meet with peers and hear from industry veterans. Visit mheda.org for the program agenda.

In this issue you will also learn how other members are onboarding their new talent, especially as it relates to the technical expertise so many of you are seeking. And take a few minutes to read the feature article on page 35 authored by DeeAnn Palin, VP of employment services with Universal Technical Institute, who shares the steps to take after hiring a newly graduated service technician. We appreciate the help from all those who took the time to share their knowledge!

As always, if you have any questions, suggestions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to call me at MHEDA: 847-680-3500 or email: lrichards@mheda.org.

Liz Richards


Liz Richards

MHEDA Executive Vice President