Automation Solutions Conference 2022

Join MHEDA for a one-day conference designed to address the shifting landscape of Automation Solutions.

Detailed Schedule   Speaker Lineup     Hotel Location     Fees/Who Should Attend

Conference Overview

Is your business prepared to support your customers who require Automation Solutions? Today’s companies face market conditions and trends that have forced them to change their business and distribution strategy. Customers are turning more frequently to automation to insulate them from the increasing cost and reduced availability of the labor required to drive these changes.

Event Highlights

  • Supply Chain design post-COVID;
  • Macro guidance on logistics infrastructure investment based on your supply chain specifics;
  • Hear from a customer to gain a new perspective;
  • Warehouse automation and technologies;
  • Trends in distribution and order fulfillment;
  • Different approaches to distribution centers, including combination channel centers, dedicated centers, last-mile delivery centers and hybrid approaches;
  • Automation Technician Skills Assessment, Development and Certification;
  • Peer-to-Peer Roundtable Discussions;
  • BONUS Optional Event: Networking Dinner at Gibsons Steakhouse
    Enhance your conference experience with a first-class dinner at the famous Gibsons Steakhouse. Enjoy
    mouthwatering steaks, huge portions and memorable desserts all in a classy environment, designed for your
    peer-to-peer networking. You do not want to miss this event! Note, registration is $160 per person.
  • And more!

Schedule at a Glance

    Wednesday September 21

  • 7:00 am - 8:00 am
    Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:00 am - 8:30 am
    Welcome & Introductions
  • 8:30 am - 12:15 pm
    Speaker Presentations and Roundtable Discussions
  • 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
    Group Lunch
  • 1:15 pm - 4:00 pm
    Speaker Presentations and Roundtable Discussions
  • 4:00 pm - 4:30 pm
    Closing Comments & Conference Ends
  • 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
    Networking Dinner at Gibson’s Steakhouse (Optional)

Registration Fees

$795 – Member after August 15
$1095 – Non-Member
$160 – (Optional) Gibsons Networking Dinner

Included in the registration fee is admittance to the conference, all handout materials, full hot breakfast, networking luncheon, coffee, soda and snacks breaks. Plus: networking with other material handling professionals who face similar material handling career challenges as you and the priceless opportunity to bring your material handling career to the next level! Does not include travel or hotel accommodations.

Cancellation Policy: The full amount will be refunded if you cancel no later than August 31, 2022.

Cancellations received after that date but before the start of the conference will be charged a $300 administration fee per person. No refunds given for “no shows.”

Who Should Attend

> Organizations that want to better understand the market conditions and trends that companies currently face;

> Organizations that currently offer Automated Solutions;

> Organizations who are planning to offer Automated Solutions;

> Dealer Principals, Executive Management, Sales Management who contribute to the development of their automation strategy.



Detailed Schedule

    Wednesday September 21

  • 7:00 am - 8:00 am

    Breakfast & Registration

    Stop by the reg desk for your name badge, then enjoy a hot breakfast and fresh coffee.

  • 8:00 am - 8:30 am

    Welcome & Introductions

    Supply Chain Trends – Presented by: Steve Harrington, Senior Advisor, Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC)

  • 8:30 am - 9:15 am

    Unfair Strategies to Recognize and Profit from Disruption
    Presented by Patrick Schwerdtfeger, business futurist More about speaker.

    There are two types of innovation: Incremental and Disruptive. Incremental Innovation comes from the center of expertise, while Disruptive Innovation comes from the sides, often catching business executives off guard. Disruptive Innovation invalidates existing business models, and it’s affecting all industries including material handling. In this session, Patrick Schwerdtfeger will highlight case histories where data analytics, machine learning, and robotics (including ASRS technologies) are revolutionizing warehousing and distribution networks. He will also share two models to help executives anticipate and proactively capitalize on Disruptive Innovation in the future.

  • 9:15 am - 9:30 am


  • 9:30 am - 10:15 am

    Networking Roundtable Discussions

    Roundtables provide the opportunity to discuss what you have learned and share your knowledge, opinions and experience with industry peers. Networking makes your conference experience interactive and engaging.

  • 10:15 am - 10:30 am


  • 10:30 am - 11:30 am

    Sorting Out the Myriad of Automated Solutions
    Presented by Troy Donnelly, Sr. VP of Sales, Marketing and Applications, DMW&H. More about speaker.

    The number of automated solutions being applied in material handling applications grows daily. As new technologies enter the market, their application and ROI is constantly changing. This session will provide an overview of the automated solutions available for distribution operations and evaluate their application and justification.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Identify the automated solutions available in distribution applications;
    • Understand the best fit automated solutions;
    • Review the operational justification for distribution automated solutions.
  • 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

    Networking Roundtable Discussions

    Roundtables provide the opportunity to discuss what you have learned and share your knowledge, opinions and experience with industry peers. Networking makes your conference experience interactive and engaging.

  • 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

    Group Lunch

  • 1:15 pm - 2:00 pm

    Customer Perspective – NorthShore Care Supply
    Presented by Adam Greenberg, President, Owner & Founder of NorthShore Care Supply. More about speaker.

    You will have the opportunity to learn about NorthShore Care Supply, an interesting automation story that solved a unique problem. Customer Adam Greenberg will discuss the market drivers that are impacting his organization, the resulting technologies they are exploring and how the customer/supplier relationships are evolving.


  • 2:00 pm - 2:15 pm


  • 2:15 pm - 3:00 pm

    The State Of Automation & Robotics 2022
    Presented by Bob Trebilcock, Peerless Media, Editorial Director, Supply Chain Management Review, Executive Editor, Modern Materials Handling. More about speaker.

    There’s little question that companies are investing in automated materials handling equipment and technologies. But, where are your peers directing those investments, and what are their plans for the future? Those are two of the questions answered in Modern Materials Handling’s annual industry survey and its annual warehouse robotics survey. In this presentation, Bob Trebilcock, Modern’s executive editor, will discuss the results of the latest survey and other trends in distribution and order fulfillment.

  • 3:00 pm - 3:15 pm


  • 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

    Keeping Automation Running: Technician Skills Development, Assessment and Credentialing
    Presented by: Steve Harrington, Senior Advisor, Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC), More about speaker and Joshua Smith, Corporate Administrative Manager for Toyota Forklifts of Atlanta. More about speaker.

    The growth in automated systems is driving an accelerating demand for skill technicians along with the need for technician training programs to support these systems. Automated systems integrators and material handling equipment distributors are now thinking strategically about how these trends are impacting their operations and how business plans need to evolve. With direction and input by industry professionals from MHI, MHEDA and numerous other logistics experts, the National Center for Supply Chain Automation has developed a comprehensive Certified Technician-Supply Chain Automation credentialing program in partnership with the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council and Amatrol. This industry vetted solution is beginning to roll out at technical schools in 22 states and at companies in logistics centroids across the country.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Learn about industry trends driving automation adoption and the demand for technicians;
    • Hear background on the skills, development, and growth of the credentialing program;
    • Receive an update on the schools adopting the program nationally;
    • Learn about how Target is using the program to develop and upskill its workforce;
    • Hear about why Toyota Material Handling Systems has decided to pilot the program.
  • 4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

    Closing Comments & Conference Ends

  • 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

    Networking Dinner at Gibson’s Steakhouse (Optional)


Troy Donnelly

Troy Donnelly serves as Sr. VP of Sales, Applications and Marketing at DMW&H. Prior to joining DMW&H, Troy held the following positions: VP of Integration and Solution Strategy for Toyota Advanced Logistics North America (TALNA); Director of Consulting & System Integration for Associated; Project Director for Peach State; Director of Solution Design for HK Logistics; Manager of Simulations and Systems Analysis for HK Systems/Dematic. Throughout Troy’s career he has designed and analyzed material handling systems leveraging every technology and across every market. Troy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Milwaukee School of Engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree from Marquette University. He also served in the Marine Corps prior to getting his advanced degrees.

Adam Greenberg

Adam Greenberg founded NorthShore in 2002 after experiencing family incontinence struggles including concerns over privacy, logistics, product confusion and stigma. Adam is a Board-Certified Patient Advocate who has brought a patient-centered approach to retail incontinence supplies as he transitioned NorthShore from a niche internet retailer in the personal care category to the USA’s leading direct-to-consumer brand, NorthShore®, for premium adult diapers. NorthShore features award winning customer service and has been consistently recognized as a Top 1000 Internet Retailer in the USA and one of Newsweek’s Best Online Shops. Adam has a bachelor’s degree from the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

Steve Harrington

Steve Harrington is the Industry Liaison for the National Center for Supply Chain Automation (SCA) and a Senior Advisor for the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC). In his SCA role, he is responsible for the development and oversight of a national industry leadership team consisting of supply chain executives and logistics industry stakeholders. In his role at MSSC, he is the principle contact for the innovative Certified Technician-Supply Chain Automation (CTSCA) technician certification program he partnered with industry to collaboratively develop. Steve has 28 years of experience in supply chain operations most recently as the West Coast Logistics Manager for the Perrigo Co., a Fortune 500 generic drug manufacturer. Steve is past President and Chairman of the Distribution Management Association of Southern California (DMA), a 250 member logistics industry association he developed, organized and lead. He is a two time “Spirit of the Entrepreneur” award winner for his work in the field of economic development. He is a graduate from Cal State University Fullerton with a degree in Business Administration.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger

Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a business futurist and keynote speaker specializing in technology trends including artificial intelligence and blockchain. He’s the author of Pandemic, Inc.; 8 Trends Driving Business Growth and Success in the New Economy (2020, Authority Publishing) as well as five other business books. Patrick has been featured on a wide variety of media outlets and is a regular speaker for Bloomberg TV. He’s also the host of the Strategic Business Insights video blog with 26,000 subscribers and over 7 million views on YouTube. He’s spoken about business trends and emerging technologies at hundreds of conferences around the world.

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith is the Corporate Administrative Manager for Toyota Forklifts of Atlanta. His responsibilities include Corporate Rental, Sales Admin, Used Equipment, Dock and Door, and Motive Power Management. He also is responsible for Toyota Lean Management initiatives throughout the dealership. Joshua is third generation in Toyota Forklifts of Atlanta, founded by his grandfather Bob Smith in 1973. Growing up in the lift truck business Joshua has always known that he wanted to be a part of the company and industry.

Bob Trebilcock

Bob Trebilcock is the executive editor of Modern Materials Handling and the editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. He has been a working journalist for more than 40 years, and began covering the materials handling industry and the broader supply chain in 1984.


  • Embassy Suites O’Hare

    5500 N. River Road
    Rosemont, IL 60018

    For reservations, call (800) 315-1061 and mention MHEDA to receive the discounted rate of $185. Or make your reservations online today! Discount rate available until September 3 or until the room block is sold out.

    The Embassy Suites O’Hare Hotel is located less than two miles from O’Hare International Airport and has a 24-hour airport shuttle. Conveniently located only a few blocks from Fashion Outlets of Chicago and rail links to downtown. Enjoy convenient location, complimentary evening reception, and access to the pool and fitness center.