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Help Us Help You

By Steve Guglielmo

With every issue of The MHEDA Journal we strive to be a little bit better. It’s no accident that the articles that are the most read, most shared and most well-received are the articles written by members or written with the input of members. That’s because our members are the ones who are in the trenches every day, dealing with the same issues that you are. And, as evidenced by all of the MHEDA members listed in the Dealer Recognition lists on page 34, our members are very successful at dealing with those problems.

One of the cover stories in this very issue actually came from a conversation with a MHEDA member, Josh Smith from AK Material Handling. He called me and suggested that we do an article about rockstars within MHEDA organizations. You can read the fruits of that suggestion on page 38.

It’s with that in mind that we will soon be sending out a survey designed to improve not only The MHEDA Journal but all of MHEDA Media. This is truly your magazine and we want your voice to be heard. Is there a topic in the industry that we aren’t covering? Perhaps an emerging trend that you’d like us to explore more deeply or new technology that is changing the way your customers do business? If so, please take five minutes to fill out this survey. Not only will you be helping to improve MHEDA Media but you will also be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card. For more information, be on the lookout for an email very soon and make sure to sign up for The MHEDA Connection e-newsletter.

On a much more somber note, we mourn the loss of Howard Bernstein. Almost every member of MHEDA has several Howard stories to tell because he was the kind of person who went out of his way to make you feel welcome and comfortable at all times.

When I was hired to write for The MHEDA Journal, I had not only just graduated from college but I knew less than nothing about material handling. I was a completely blank slate and was pretty intimidated by the industry. Not only the steep learning curve associated with writing and talking about something that I knew so little about, I was scared to even call members on the phone for fear of sounding stupid.

The first issue I worked on was the First Quarter 2011 issue. I helped make forecast calls but did very little of the actual writing for that magazine. The very first feature story I ever wrote was when Howard “retired” from the Atlas Companies to devote all of his time and energy to his foundation. Pretty daunting stuff to have my first feature be a major profile of an industry legend like Howard. I called him for an interview and we spoke on the phone for more than three hours. I learned not only about Howard and his life but he patiently answered all of my questions about the industry. They say there are no stupid questions but I guarantee I asked a stupid question or two and Howard patiently answered every single one for me. That was really the first time that I felt like I was starting to learn and feel comfortable in this industry. Though I only got to meet Howard a handful of times, I really think of him as having a huge impact on my career.

Howard was not only a material handling pioneer but he was also a tireless advocate for our industry, our association and this magazine. In a lot of ways, this issue is the perfect place to honor Howard because it has everything that he stood for. MHEDA members working together to achieve great things, material handling rockstars who, like Howard, have devoted their lives to improving our industry and the concerted efforts to make material handling an appealing and attractive career choice for the next generation through the efforts of Warehouse Design and GTCC.

Howard was present at the very first MHEDA Board meeting and was instrumental in the foundation of MHEDA Magazine, which later went on to become The MHEDA Journal. It is because of Howard and others like him that we have been able to achieve what we have today and now we look to you to help us continue that tradition of constant improvement as we strive to become the benchmark that other associations and association publications measure themselves against.