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The CUSTOMER Convention
MHEDA 2011

MHEDA’s 56th Annual Convention & Exhibitors’ Showcase
April 30 – May 4, 2011
JW Marriott Desert Ridge
Phoenix, Arizona

Competition is fierce. Why do customers want to do business with you? Successful material handling executives understand the importance of exceeding customer expectations. Join the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association this spring in Phoenix for a four-day conference dedicated to improving customer relationships. One idea can save you thousands of dollars, help you fulfill your customer service promise and improve your bottom line.

Here are the top 10 reasons to attend MHEDA’s convention….

1) Gain Economic Insights
Keynote speaker Dr. Barry Asmus identifies the “Six Unstoppable Trends” that are impacting America’s business and the economy. The recent recession will temporarily slow these trends but not stop them. We have had 13 economic recessions in the last 80 years followed by 13 expansions. The end of prosperity? Or, the best is yet
Bernstein to announce scholarship

Howard Bernstein wants to set the record straight.

“I’m unemployed, but I’m not retired,” he says. “I hate the word ‘retired.’”

Bernstein, who transferred ownership of Atlas International Lift Truck Rentals & Sales to longtime employee Allen Rawson in February, will announce a scholarship program at the Past Presidents’ dinner at the MHEDA Convention.

“The scholarship was in the back of in my mind, after leaving the business after 60 years,” Bernstein said. “The time is now. I always knew I wanted to do something.”

The scholarship will benefit students attending colleges with an industrial distribution curriculum.
“Ours industry is a continuing need and business that provides help and assistance to every kind of industry imaginable,” Bernstein said. “It has been good to me and I feel I should pass this on to create opportunities for young people.”

The first scholarship winners will be announced at the 2012 MHEDA Convention in Miami Beach, Fla.
Bernstein was president of MHEDA in 1965 and also served as an officer on the MHEDA Board of Directors for 18 consecutive years. He has attended 54 of the 56 MHEDA conventions in his career.
When asked why he wished to give back in the form of scholarships, Bernstein was quick to answer.
“Because the industry was good to me and even though it is a mature industry, it is a progressive industry that there is always going to be a need for," he replied. “We are always looking for the best and the brightest to attract to our industry.

“As long as health permits me, I want to be active to encourage young people and let them understand that the U.S. provides a world of opportunities.”

Material Handling Wholesaler editor Robert Callahan contributed to this article.


to come?

Presented by Dr. Barry Asmus, Senior Economist for the National Center for Policy Analysis.

2) Discover Great Products
MHEDA’s Annual Exhibitors’ Showcase is a tabletop showcase of the material handling industry’s best companies. The showcase provides suppliers with the opportunity to network with distributors across the globe that have the buying power and interest unparalleled to your average trade show attendee. For a complete list of exhibitors, visit

3) Hear from Customers
Learn from material handling customers on how they deliver their customer service promise. Uncover what you need to do as a business partner to support your customers’ strategies and help them fulfill their customer commitment. This panel discussion will be facilitated by MHEDA Member Duncan Murphy, President, Riekes Equipment Company.
Customer Panelists

  • AutoZone, John P. Costa, Maintenance Projects Manager
  • Bargreen Ellingson, Rick Ellingson, Vice President
  • Home Depot, Matt Pitts, Vice President, Building Services

4) Hear from Distributors and Manufacturers
Hear from Distributors and Manufacturers from the lift truck and systems integration markets to learn the steps they are taking to stay aligned in today’s marketplace to serve and support the customer. Discussion topics will include expectations of respective channel partners, network realignments and the impact on respective roles and responsibilities, emerging trends and views on the future of the industry. This panel discussion will be facilitated by MHEDA Member Richard Donnelly, Executive Vice President, Gregory Poole Equipment Company.

Industry Panelists

  • Jim Bowes, President, Peach State Integrated Technologies
  • Kent Eudy, Vice President Dealer Sales, MCFA, Inc.
  • Larry Strayhorn, President, TGW Systems
  • Chris Wetle, President, Papè Material Handling

5) Build Your Network
A favorite convention activity is the Roundtable Discussions. A list of discussion topics will be provided, along with a table facilitator. You will have an hour of uninterrupted time to discuss challenges and opportunities that matter most to you, and learn how others in the industry are handling these same issues.

6) Learn from the Pros
Legendary Service at The Ritz Carlton

Designed for leaders who want to benchmark and learn about The Ritz-Carlton philosophy and core values, and how to translate them into high levels of employee and customer engagement and loyalty. This program examines the corporate culture, and how it plays a role in the foundation of every company.

Presented by Brian Grubb, Corporate Director of Learning and Content Delivery, The Ritz Carlton Leadership Center.

Design the Perfect Customer Experience
Every customer (internal or external) goes through a series of high impact touch points with your company. At each touch point, customers interact with your people, products, and/or services in ways that lead them to have a good, bad, or indifferent experience. The best way to ensure more valuable and profitable customer relationships is to thoughtfully design the experience, train employees on how to do it, and ensure accountability throughout your company. Learn the steps to successful implementation.

Presented by Speaker and Award Winning Author Gregg Lederman.

Know More! Posting—What You Say Online, and What’s Said About You, Can Make or Break Your Business and Reputation
In today’s instant communication and social networking world, it’s easy to share your ideas, opinions, and personal feelings—and your employees, customers, and suppliers can share the same about you. Unfortunately, what you and others post online is not limited to private networks and friend groups. Rather, there’s a good chance that what is said about you and your company is searchable, and archived, forever! Learn inside secrets on how to manage your online presence—so when people search for information on you, you control what they find. This thought provoking and entertaining program will provide you with very practical ideas you can immediately implement to improve your brand, and your reputation.

Presented by Sam Richter, speaker and author of Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling – Web Search Secrets. Sam was also the highest rated speaker at MHEDA’s 2010 Convention!

7) Attend Best Practices Workshops

How to Develop a Truly Effective Sales Compensation Plan
With the pricing pressures our industry faces, developing a sales compensation plan can be a pretty intimidating undertaking. What are the most critical decisions you need to make? What compensation plan structure will motivate your salespeople to achieve the targets you set for them…without producing unintended consequences? Join this real-world discussion about how to develop a customized compensation plan that will motivate your company’s salespeople to achieve their (and your) sales goals! Three MHEDA Members worked with Alan in advance of this session to develop “real world” sample plan templates to share with attendees. As a special bonus all workshop participants will receive an editable Sample Sales Compensation Memo that has been customized to fit the needs of MHEDA members, plus a sales compensation “what if analysis” spreadsheet.

Presented by Alan Rigg, Sales Consultant and Author of How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Selling.

Out-behave the Competition: Engage Employees with the Five Dimensions of Brand Integrity, Featuring a MHEDA Member Case Study
Operationally defining the five dimensions of a productive and profitable brand is the first step to engaging employees, aligning behavioral expectations for what success looks like, and creating a culture of accountability to drive consistency and achieve results. In this workshop, you will learn how to use the results from your Achieving Brand Integrity® Assessment to better understand your company’s current brand and work culture. You will be introduced to a framework that will position you to define the necessary beliefs and nonnegotiable behaviors to out-behave your competition. Member Case Study: MHEDA Member Mike Romano, President/CEO of Associated will share his experience of how his company recently re-branded.

Presented by Gregg Lederman, Managing Partner, Brand Integrity Inc.

Creating an Action Plan for Effective Online Marketing
Learn the essential building blocks your website should have to be ranked by major search engines and how to build on those fundamentals to create a powerful online presence. During this workshop we will discuss what the search engines look for in both code and content, how to optimize a website to increase search engine ranking, implementing alternate forms of effective online marketing, and creating an online marketing system that works well for both our industry and your company.

Presented by MHEDA Member Mark Juelich, Executive Director, American Warehouse Systems/Toyota-Lift of Minnesota

Online Search Secrets: Know More! Customers
This interactive presentation has a huge “WOW” factor—you will be shocked at what you don’t know (but soon will). Know more about your best customers, how to find more of them, and how to connect with prospects on a personal level. All too often, sales teams focus on the quantity of sales calls made versus the quality. You could call on 200 prospects who you think may be interested in what you have to sell. OR…you could take a more focused approach, calling only on the 25 prospects that perfectly fit your best customer profile. As a special bonus all attendees will receive complimentary access to the Know More! Center and Downloadable Toolbar, making it easy and fun to practice what you will learn.

Presented by Sam Richter, Speaker and Author of Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling—Web Search Secrets. Sam was also the highest rated speaker at MHEDA’s 2010 Convention!

Sales Management

Critical Sales Management Concepts You Were Never Taught
The role of a sales manager is critical to a company’s success because the manager’s success or failure is multiplied by the number of salespeople they manage. Unfortunately, most sales managers are never taught key skills that will help them (and their salespeople) succeed. Learn how to reduce expensive hiring mistakes and consistently hire top sales performers and strong middle performers; how to structure new hire training so salespeople learn how to find and qualify opportunities for your company’s entire portfolio of products and services.

Presented by Alan Rigg, Sales Consultant and Author of How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Selling.

Tax Laws

How Changes in Tax Laws are Affecting the Business Owner
This workshop will focus on current tax laws and government regulations that impact business owners. Topics covered will include fair value accounting practices, current tax implications that affect business valuation and what health care reform means to the business owner.

Presented by Bart Basi, Senior Advisor, The Center for Financial, Legal, and Tax Planning, Inc.

8) Location, Location, Location
MHEDA’s Convention will take place at The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. This desert mountain luxury hotel has Arizona’s largest ballroom, a pampering spa, outstanding restaurants and championship golf. Resort suites and hotel rooms include views, signature bedding and balcony or patio. Visit or call 800-266-9432 for more details.

9) Enjoy Special Discounts
MHEDA offers you a variety of ways to save money—negotiated special rate with the hotel, airline discount, car rental discount and reduced rate for a second person in your booth. Plus, free distributor registration offer.

10) Explore Sunny Phoenix
Phoenix provides a beautiful and peaceful desert backdrop. Enjoy one of the many optional activities, including a golf tournament, tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s personal winter home Taliesin West and so much more!

For more convention details, please visit or call 847-680-3500.