Chairman’s Message

A message from MHEDA’s 2022 Chairman of the Board:

Tom Albero

I am honored to have been chosen to be the Chairman of the Board for MHEDA in 2022. I look forward to helping MHEDA find ways to provide members with additional business resources, leadership training, networking opportunities, industry benchmarking data, career development tools and insight on industry trends.

The MHEDA Journal | Spring 2022

The most pressing challenges discussed during the Board Meeting related to supply chain disruptions, lead times, labor shortages, inflation, wage pressure and employee burnout.

I delayed writing this column and pushed the limits of my deadline so I could have the Chairman’s Perspective after facilitating my first Winter Board Meeting. Little did I know that by doing so, I would completely change what I planned on writing in this edition.

I first will give a shout-out to Liz, Rebecca and the entire MHEDA staff for all the hard work they put in when planning a Board meeting. They make it extremely easy for all our Board members. Twenty-three people in all attended this Board Meeting. Liz, Rebecca, five Executive Committee Board members, 10 Directors, two Advisory Board Members and four Manufacturer Board of Advisors dedicated their time over three days to give back to our industry and help find ways to make us all better. I am most excited to report back that during our business scan, where we discuss the most pressing issues that our companies/the industry are facing, for the first time in two years, there was no negative mention of the pandemic. I sure hope this is a sign that we will get back to a new normal for our industry during this post-pandemic recovery.

At Alliance Material Handling, Inc., we recently addressed those same challenges. You may ask, “How do you attack all these problems at one time?” Well, you start by throwing the best gala in company history. Two hundred and sixty-one people gathered at the Maryland Live Casino banquet room. We ate, we drank, and we celebrated our employees for all their hard work in 2021 – a record-breaking year for Alliance. We are an ESOP, so we take care of our employees for the long term through distribution of shares in the company. In the short term, we address their wage concerns through a year-end profit­ sharing bonus that is distributed at the gala.

This year we felt we also had to address the inflation factor that is hitting all of us. We increased all wages, effective immediately, by an additional $2 per hour for each eligible employee. I have never seen so many excited employees. The buzz of these decisions is still being heard every day, and I am sure the decision to pay it forward with our employees will reap the company many rewards going forward. It was impressive to hear all the other ideas fellow board members implemented to address their employees’ concerns (you can read about them starting on page 15 of The MHEDA Journal). It was great to see the steps companies are taking so quickly to address the most precious asset at our companies – our employees.

We did not have any quick answers or fixes for the supply chain and lead time issues. We did review the data that explains why these two issues remain a concern, but only time can cure these problems, along with a little help from people feeling more comfortable to head out of their homes during this post­ pandemic recovery and shift some of their attention toward more services. Three days of what felt like post-pandemic Board Meeting normalcy gave us all a burst of energy that has been missing. Our expectations are high for 2022, and we will look for how best the MHEDA Board can serve you all. Stay tuned for updates in future articles.

Please feel free to reach out to me or any member of the MHEDA Board of Directors and staff as we embark upon another year together in this wonderful industry that has been so good to all of us.

Thomas Albero, President/CEO
Alliance Material Handling, Inc.