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Celebrating the Past, Focusing on the Future

By Scott Hennie, 2014 MHEDA President

I am humbled and privileged to serve as MHEDA’s 2014 President. This is a special year, MHEDA’s 60th anniversary, with many exciting and valuable programs planned to help you grow and enhance your business. Our 2014 Convention theme is “Superhero Leadership.” This is a fun spin on an important job: being a leader. Leaders must have vision and determination.

In 1954, MHEDA’s founding fathers (and original material handling superheroes) — A.C. Andrews, Robert Arnold, Albert Bode, Art Canfield, “Bud” Ellis, Harry Embry Jr., George Furnival and L.J. Johnstone — came together with a vision of creating a group of distributors who could bring their material handling businesses to a higher level. If they could look at what MHEDA has become today, they would be proud of the association their vision created.

MHEDA’s first president, Robert Braun, said, “We want to bring material handling as an art and the distribution of equipment thereof to the highest possible standards…” Today, many of our member companies’ value propositions are focused not on the equipment we sell, but the art of using that equipment to help customers be successful. Thank you, Robert, for that vision!

But as we celebrate the successes of the past, we need to focus on the vision of the future. The leadership provided by the past 59 presidents has created a strong foundation from which to build our future.

We invite you to be part of this success by being a more active member and becoming a MHEDA leader.

• Education. MHEDA University continues to expand our online, on-demand training and education programs. We invite you to help us develop curriculums in sales, management, leadership and other disciplines that will help develop our future leaders and make our businesses strong. Your feedback and participation is encouraged and welcome.

• Networking. MHEDA-net is as strong as ever with more than 30 active groups. Regional Summits have been very strong and members are asking for more. If you would be interested in hosting a Regional Summit, please let us know! We also encourage you to explore the wonders of social media as modern networking tool. It can be a great way to connect with peers and potential customers.

• Membership. Our membership is growing. We ask that you help MHEDA continue to grow by sharing your membership experiences with others. The more members we have, the stronger we will be as an organization.

• Most Valuable Partner (MVP). Take the time to explore becoming a MVP. It’s a great tool to help you brand your company and convey your commitment to industry excellence.

• Member Advocacy. MHEDA continues to promote our industry to schools and universities. We, as member leaders, should promote the industry as well. By participating in internships, co-ops and local job fairs, you will help get the word out about the rewarding career opportunities in this industry. MHEDA has the tools to help you do this!

• Manufacturer Relationships. In the beginning years of MHEDA, distributor-manufacturer relations were a primary focus. Today, distributor manufacturer relations are strong with collaborative efforts to help the end-user, our customers, be successful. MHEDA’s creation of the MBOA, Exhibitors’ Showcase and manufacturer-focused MHEDA-net groups has helped to create this collaborative culture. We encourage our manufacturer members to continue to be involved with MHEDA as a way to enhance your dealer relationships.

Lastly, as industry leaders, we need to promote our own companies’ involvement in MHEDA to our employees and customers. Let’s create market awareness that MHEDA is a “stamp of excellence” for all member companies.

Because you are a MHEDA member, you are already a leader. Make 2014 the year of “Superhero Leadership.” Utilize the benefits of membership, share your talents, meet new people and improve your industry relationships. We look forward to celebrating together as an industry that “…brings material handling as an art and the distribution of equipment to the highest possible standard.”

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Scott Hennie Prez Perspective

Scott Hennie

2014 MHEDA President

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