By Mark Juelich
I remember getting a call from Gary Moore in the early fall of 2005. I didn’t really know Gary back then other than the fact that he was an industry leader who was well respected by his peers. Gary called to invite me to join his MHEDA-NET group, “The Integrators.” I wasn’t really sure what MHEDA-NET was and I had a great deal of questions. Fortunately for me, Gary did a great job explaining the benefits and I joined.
MHEDA-NET is a free service available to all MHEDA members. This includes all employees of member companies, not just principals or c-level execs. Today, there are groups for all areas of responsibility within a material handling company.
Our group, like most, meets once a month for an hour via a phone conference system provided by MHEDA. We are comprised of material handling dealer leaders from different areas of the country. MHEDA does a great job of making sure competitors don’t end up in the same group, and we are no exception. We all get along and we rarely run into each other on a sales call. In fact, over the years we have gotten so close that we often help each other out on projects.
I joined The Integrators on September 22, 2005, 11 days after my 35th birthday. We had just started American Warehouse Systems a year and a half earlier. Now I’ve always had a fairly good grasp on marketing, but I was pretty green on what it meant to be a leader or any other business knowledge for that matter. Suddenly I was meeting monthly with a group of guys who had decades of experience leading companies in the material handling industry, some of them even purchased their companies before I was born! Talk about a little fish in a big pond. Fortunately, the group accepted me with open arms and I tried my best to carry my own weight.
I don’t believe I have ever had a business issue that I didn’t bring to my group for advice. They have been there for me every month as a sounding board, advisory board, business coach and touchstone for the last seven years. I can honestly say that my company would not be nearly as successful today without them. Over the years I have learned how to lead from some of the most respected leaders in our industry. I’ve received priceless business advice from some of the most successful businessmen in the material handling industry. And I have made friends with some of the best friends I have.
People ask me if I get any benefit from my time in MHEDA-NET. MHEDA-NET is the single best thing I have done to further my company. I can’t speak highly enough of the blessings I have received just being in the company of these great men. Thank you Gary, Larry, Mark, Tom, Scott, Scott, Dave and John for everything you have done for me.
Truth be told, my story is not unique. Most MHEDA members who are involved in MHEDA-NET have similar stories. I would urge any member to join the group and check it out. It may be the best business decision you ever make.
For more information regarding MHEDA-NET, please contact Rebecca Hein, Networking Coordinator at the MHEDA office, at 847-680-3500 or via email at email@example.com.