We celebrate the life and legacy of Howard Bernstein, who was a pioneer in material handling, a staunch supporter of MHEDA and a tireless advocate for the industry. Howard opened The Atlas Companies in 1951 and served as CEO until 2011, when he stepped down at the age of 88 to focus on his foundation. Serving 18 years on MHEDA’s Board of Directors, including as president in 1965, Howard’s contributions to the association and industry were instrumental in making both what they are today. With our deepest condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed by many.
Below are a sampling of tributes and testimonials from those in the industry who knew Howard. To read more about Howard’s life and other testimonials, or to contribute a testimonial of your own, please visit www.themhedajournal.org. Please also share your favorite Howard Bernstein memory with us on twitter @MHEDA_Journal and @MHEDAOffice. The industry lost a great leader and we all lost a great friend. To read Howard’s formal obituary, see page 112 of the 3rd Quarter 2015 issue of The MHEDA Journal
Our industry and our Association lost a great friend this week. Howard (he would never let you call him “Mr. Bernstein”) will always be remembered for his warmth and compassion by those of us who were fortunate to know and work with him. More so, Howard will be remembered for his passion and dedication, not only to our industry, but to the young students and emerging leaders with whom he felt so strongly about. You could see the excitement in his eyes when he would talk about the next generation of material handling professionals, and it was this love of young people, and his belief in their future that gave him purpose long after he retired. You could not help but feel humbled when sitting and talking with Howard, for you knew you were in the presence of honor and integrity. Howard will long be remembered as one of the great men in our industry. — Mark M. Milovich, President Lift Atlanta, Inc. and MHEDA President 2015.
The Howard Bernstein legacy will be one of iconic proportions within the Material Handling Industry as it spans the entrepreneurial spirit, the teaching and mentoring spirit, the sponsorship spirit and the giving back of one’s successes in the industry to others in the form of the scholarships named in his honor. Countless new minds have been nurtured due to Howard’s commitment and love of our industry. We have lost a great leader who has touched and continues to touch many lives. — Gregg Meyer, MHEFI President.
I had the great fortune and honor to have known Howard Bernstein over the past thirty five years. I have yet to meet another individual who was so passionate about enhancing our industry and all that is related to it…its customers; its suppliers; its association and most importantly its people. He was a pioneer in his global approach to Material Handling Solutions. I personally learned a great deal from him. His contributions to the Industry will be sorely missed. I have lost a good friend and the industry has lost a great leader. — Dr. Shankar Basu, Past President & CEO Toyota Material Handling, USA and Past MHEDA MBOA Member.
Howard was one of my favorite people I had met in our industry. We had a friendship that spanned three generations back to my grandparents, AG and Mary Morrison, who met Howard in Chicago after WWII. I will never forget the fun stories that Howard would tell at the MHEDA Past Presidents dinners. I especially enjoyed the time Howard hosted an informal dinner at his dealership during a two day MHEDA Parts and Service Seminar. Howard had tables and chairs set up in the shop, a great BBQ and a Bobcat Skid Steer loader bucket filled with ice and beer! A much more fitting way to spend the evening with your industry peers than going to a local restaurant. Howard had a way to effortlessly make everyone else have a good time. Howard always put a smile on my face and will continue to do so whenever I think about him. As the old Jonathan Swift toast goes … “May you live all the days of your life” … was definitely befitting to Howard. Peace and Love. — Gregory G. Morrison, VP Morrison Industrial Equipment Co., and MHEDA President 2010.