Certainly the most discussed topic of the day, second only to the weather perhaps was the state of the economy. For the most part, distributors are beginning to see some movement upward. Most reported projects that customers have been putting on hold are now coming to fruition. Speakers like Al Bates who explained the association's distributor statistical comparisons survey report, or Mike Romano (former MHEDA president and past winner of the Material Handling Management Value-Added award) who offered planning strategies, provided attendees with tools required to make the recovery happen even sooner.
Convention Chairman and MHEDA President-Elect Loren Swakow, introduced MHM's Clyde Witt, executive editor, who made the presentation of this year's Value-Added award to Materials Handling Equipment Company, Denver, Colorado. Accepting the award were Gary Moore and Ron Conrad.
There was no argument among attendees that the keynote speech by Richard Picciotto, FDNY Battalion Commander, the highest-ranking firefighter to survive the World Trade Center terrorist attack, was one truly defined the word "heroism." Picciotto is the author of the best-selling book Last Man Down. His story of how he was trapped on the stairwell in the North Tower when it collapsed was in everyone's estimation, amazing.
The Manufacturers' Fair & Luncheon gave attendees the opportunity to discuss the current crop of material handling equipment from representatives of nearly 100 companies.
Educational workshops such as distributor marketing, provided the opportunity to learn objectives and supportive tactics on building a forward thinking marketing plan. Gary T. Moore, president, Materials Handling Equipment Company, discussed going beyond the basics to learn big ideas distributors could implement immediately.
Strategic planning can help focus your company on long term growth and success. Mike Romano, CEO, Abel-Womack Integrated Handling Solutions presented a practical, straightforward guide on how to implement a proven strategic planning process for organizations.
Additional workshops focused on sales activities, Don Buttrey, vice president, marketing, Butler Learning Systems; how the aftermarket is now the beforemarket, Lee Hall, director of product support marketing Hyster Sales Company; and leadership & teambuilding, Doug Cartland, author, speaker and personal coach; profitable installations, John Gillard, president, action installation.