By Liz Richards, Executive Vice President, MHEDA
I remember once telling someone I worked for MHEDA (maa-hee-da), and he said to me, “I know that company. They are a Japanese manufacturer of copy machines right?” Well no, not quite. But frankly, with so many acronyms floating around today, Webster’s might consider a dictionary dedicated just to the MHEDAs of the world. But hey, that’s what the Internet is for.
Here’s just a sampling of organizations within our industry that are doing great things to improve the business community, overcome obstacles and raise the bar of professionalism.
Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast in November, disrupting the personal and professional lives of so many people, including many MHEDA members and their customers. We are quite proud of our involvement with ALAN, the American Logistics Aid Network (www.alanaid. org), which gives our members the ability to immediately respond to requests for equipment and services to assist with disaster recovery. If you have not already visited the ALAN website, please take a few moments to do so, visit the relief needs page and learn about the people, companies and organizations within our business community who are making a real difference. Special thanks to the many MHEDA members who have donated to the relief effort.
Engaging young talent and making them aware of this industry continues to challenge us. Two organizations that are making great strides in this area are CICMHE, the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (www.cicmhe.org), and the Material Handling Education Foundation, MHEFI (www.mhia.org/mhefi). For the past nine years, MHEDA has been co-sponsoring Material Handling & Logistics Classroom Day, a program designed by CICMHE to bring students and professors to industry trade shows, exposing them to a variety of technologies and the many career path opportunities available to them. Whether the students end up employed by a member company or become a buyer or user within the industry, Classroom Day serves as an ideal way to raise their awareness and appreciation for material handling and the role our industry plays in the supply chain. And working in concert with CICMHE, since 1976 MHEFI has awarded more than $2,000,000 to worthy students who have chosen material handling as a career. A special thanks to Howard Bernstein, MHEDA past president 1965, who last year funded a $150,000 scholarship. With the help of many other members, this scholarship has continued to grow and will enable many students to continue their educational interest in our industry.
I will be in the company of good friends from WERC, the Warehousing Education and Research Council (www. werc.org), CSCMP, Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (www.cscmp.org) and MHIA, Material Handling Industry of America (www. mhia.org) when we participate in a panel discussion about the industry’s future during ProMat on Wednesday, January 23. The list of groups I have referenced is far from complete, but I would be remiss if I didn’t include a special shout-out to ITA, the Industrial Truck Association (www.indtrk.org) and CEMA, Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (www. cemanet.org). Together we are well positioned to serve you, our valuable members, as we all work closely with one another to provide you with the resources and services you need, when you need them.
Finally, MHEDA would not be what it is today without our incredible Board of Directors and MBOA, Manufacturers Board of Advisors. It’s always bittersweet when at the end of the year we bid farewell to our outgoing board and MBOA members, but we do so with our most sincere gratitude for the time and resources they have spent serving this industry so selflessly. Please help me extend a heartfelt thank you to Board Directors Brad Baker, Cardinal Carryor and John Faulkner, FMH Material Handling Solutions, Past President Duncan Murphy, Riekes Equipment Company and MBOA member Jeff Long, Enersys. And special thanks to Richard Donnelly, outgoing MHEDA president, who helped us to “Reimagine Business” and brought us to new heights in 2012. And now, join us to Get your Game On under the outstanding leadership and guidance of MHEDA’s 2013 President Jerry Weidmann and Board of Directors (Read all about them on page 13 of this issue)! Happy New Year MHEDA!