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The Value of Partners

By Liz Richards, Executive Vice President, MHEDA

Each year, MHEDA profiles Sales Success Stories in the pages of the fourth quarter issue. Since MHEDA’s founding in 1954 and for many years prior, distributors and their supplier partners have been working together to serve the customer by solving problems, offering solutions and achieving “sales success.” Although time has marched on and changes continue to happen at a rapid pace, the concept of partnership remains the very foundation of this industry.

At MHEDA, we also recognize the incredible value of partnerships and how a combined effort can provide added value to the customer. In August, we were pleased to jointly host MHEDA’s Emerging Leaders Conference with our friends from MHI. More than 70 individuals attended this one-day event in Chicago, and given the extremely positive response, plans are already underway to produce another program for our Emerging Leaders next year. Stay tuned!

Much of MHEDA’s success is directly attributable to the business leaders who serve on our Board of Directors and Manufacturers Board of Advisors — individuals who partner together for the betterment of the industry and the association. As I write this column, we are preparing for the last board meeting of this calendar year, which marks the final phase of MHEDA’s annual strategic planning process. As many of you know, this process involves rolling up our sleeves, putting individual organizational “hats” while we collectively analyze the current industry environment to define the “Critical Impact Factors,” i.e., trends and challenges that this industry will be facing in the coming year. These factors are used by MHEDA to build programming for next year all designed to help you, our valued member, proactively address the year ahead. We are always encouraged by how many members ask for these factors to use in their own planning process. The 2014 Critical Impact Factors are listed on page 23 and also posted on the “What’s New” section of the MHEDA website at www.mheda.org. For more information about MHEDA’s Strategic Planning Process, please contact me any time at lrichards@mheda.org or call the office: 847-680-3500.

This is also the time of year when we give thanks and bid farewell to some partners who have served on the MHEDA Board and MBOA and recognize them for the many contributions they have provided to MHEDA. Steve Fawcett, president of Bode Equipment, has been a tireless advocate for the storage and handling community, providing valued advice on programming including most recently, help refining the important DiSC Survey. Kent Eudy, EVP with MCFA, has been an incredible supporter of MHEDA and regularly conveys this passion to the MCFA dealer network. We are extremely grateful for his support and the support of the entire MCFA organization. Greg Morrison, Vice President of Morrison Industrial Equipment Company, served as MHEDA’s president in 2010, a pivotal time in this industry when we were all licking our wounds from the “great recession.” Greg guided this association carefully during a turbulent time and we emerged stronger as an organization under his unwavering leadership. And finally, although we aren’t letting him off the hook just yet, many thanks to our 2013 MHEDA President Jerry Weidmann who under his thoughtful guidance, has strengthened this association even further evidenced by MHEDA’s growth spurt in membership, event attendance and new programming.

We are also very grateful to you for choosing MHEDA as your partner in this industry. Thank you!

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