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A Reason to be Optimistic

By Jerry Weidmann, 2013 MHEDA President

In 2012 the economy grew, albeit at a slow rate. Our industry experienced reasonable growth and MHEDA welcomed 71 new members to the association. We enter 2013 with a slow growing economy looking over the precipice of the fiscal cliff while facing the headwinds of political partisanship and mounting deficits. You will see in this edition of the MHEDA journal a variety of perspectives on the economy and the prospects for 2013.

I am very optimistic about 2013 and the prospects for our distributor and supplier members. Our members are successful businesses that have risen above the economic challenges of the “great recession” and have continued to thrive.

Success in the face of adversity is not a matter of luck, but the result of applied experience, knowledge and hard work. Helping our members succeed is the cornerstone of MHEDA’s mission, “to further improve the proficiency of material handling distributors in order that they continue to be the most effective and efficient conduit to the marketplace and to be a resource to all industry stakeholders.”

For more than 50 years, MHEDA has provided resources to the material handling industry and, more specifically, to its members, that enrich their knowledge, allow them to network with their peers and advocate their services to the supply chain that relies on them.

As president of MHEDA in 2013, I am committed to continuing its mission, and to building on the successes of the past to assure our membership of the resources they need to succeed in any political or business climate. In 2013 MHEDA will provide an impressive array of educational and networking opportunities. MHEDA University will offer on-line/on-demand training, live seminars and webinars. The website for accessing resources will be expanded and the resources available will continue to grow. Make sure your firm takes advantage of these extraordinary resources.

MHEDA-Net continues to grow, serving as a platform for best practices and shared experiences between our members. I encourage all of our members to sign up for a MHEDA-Net group; the payback is tremendous.

In 2013 we will have three regional networking summits, building on the successful formats used in 2012 that provided the winning combination of education and idea sharing. The regional format allows for greater participation for a small investment. This format provides a great opportunity for your team to share ideas and learn from peers. Watch for a regional networking summit near you.

MHEDA has plunged into social media, providing opportunities to network through Linked-In, Facebook and Twitter. Connect with your fellow MHEDA members and other industry professionals using the power of the web.

Plan on joining your peers in May at the MHEDA Convention at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Hotel in beautiful Palm Desert. I have attended MHEDA conventions since the 90s, in good times and bad. I have always come away with exceptional ideas that improve my business. I have developed business relationships and friendships that are rewarding personally and professionally. I look forward to seeing you in Palm Desert.

MHEDA will provide you with a plethora of opportunities for education and networking. Knowledge is power. My message to all of you is: participate. Encourage your staff to participate. MHEDA is your resource. We exist to serve you.

2013 will be an exciting year in material handling. MHEDA has a fantastic staff led by Liz Richards, a talented board of directors from all segments of the material handling industry and a manufacturer’s board of advisors. All are committed to providing you and your firm with the resources you need for success.


Jerry Weidmann

2013 MHEDA President

President of Wisconsin Lift Truck