2022 Emerging Leaders Conference

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Only a few seats left, register today!

Designed for young (or young at heart) material handling professionals who want to move from feeling burnt out to Fired Up by improving their communications, goal setting and resiliency skills.


Are you excited, have tons of energy and ready to face the day? Or are you burnt out after an intense couple of years. Chances are, you are like the millions of professionals from across the country who have been moving so fast dealing with ever changing challenges that you are exhausted from an unrelenting pace.

We are all human (yes, even leaders!) and need to recalibrate and learn how to control things within our own powers. Join MHEDA, MHI and WERC for a one-day leadership event designed to help you get “Fired Up.” It’s time to take a day away from the office and expand your professional toolkit so that you can better manage yourself and others.

Beyond the learning, you will enjoy getting to know other industry professionals who also have been dealing with endless challenges. This one-day event includes presentations, roundtables, networking with your peers and an interactive experience, filled with delicious food and amazing architecture. We look forward to seeing you this summer in Chicago!


$895 MHEDA/MHI/WERC Member Rate
$1095 Non-Member Rate

Included in the registration fee is admittance to the conference, all handout materials, full hot breakfast, networking luncheon, coffee, soda and snacks breaks, and rooftop reception. 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 July 7, 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.”


Detailed Schedule

    Thursday July 28

  • 7:30 am - 8:15 am

    Breakfast & Registration
    Stop by the reg desk for your name badge, then enjoy a hot and healthy breakfast giving you the energy you need to fuel your day!

  • 8:15 am - 9:00 am

    Welcome & Ice Breaker
    Meet with fellow attendees during the fast and fun ice breaker activity.

  • 9:00 am - 11:00 am

    Attention Pays™ presented by Neen James, a speaker and leadership expert. Designed to help leaders communicate their ideas and articulate their value with more impact.


    Do you want to make your messages more memorable and repeatable? Do you need a framework to share the value you bring to your organization and your team? Do you want strategies to get the attention you want and need to move ahead in your career? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will enjoy learning how to apply the Attention Matrix in your conversations.

    In an on-demand, 24/7 society, where distractions cost millions of people productivity, profitability, relationships, and peace, it’s time to pay attention to what matters most.

    To create extraordinary lives, we must learn to “unplug” from the constant barrage of disruptions and “plug in” to the tools and mindsets that allow us to harness our attention to reach our highest potential—and this session shows you how.

    Attention Pays™ spotlights the power of attention and absolute focus. You will first enjoy a keynote presentation, then have the opportunity to participate in an interactive, highly-engaging workshop to apply what you learned.

    • Personally: WHO we pay attention to.
    • Professionally: WHAT we pay attention to.
    • Globally: HOW we pay attention in the world— and to the world.
    • Powerful strategies to increase profitability by articulating your value.
    • Language to lead conversations, strengthen social media, and provide a competitive edge.
    • Achieve maximum accountability and results.
      Guidance on improving daily attention and focus.
    About the Speaker
  • 11:00 am - 11:15 am


  • 11:15 am - 12:00 pm

    Material Handling Trends Roundtable Discussions

    Discuss the 2022-2023 Material Handling Business Trends, published by the MHEDA Executive Committee. This is your opportunity to hear how other material handling leaders are addressing trends in their organization. You will learn, connect, share and review important themes and issues.

  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


    Take a break and enjoy a satisfying lunch with fellow attendees.

  • 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

    The Energizer

    No after lunch nap for you! “The Energizer” session will wake you up with interactive activities.

  • 1:45 pm - 2:00 pm


  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

    Set Goals All the Time presented by Jeremy Wall, CEO of GoalMakers. Designed to help leaders establish the framework for creating “good goals.”


    Does everyone at your organization come to work, every day, knowing what their individual goals are? More so, could they tell you what the company goals are for this year? Learn how successful leaders align their organizations around shared goals, while also supporting and empowering managers and teams to focus on daily actions and decisions that move the organization closer to achieving those goals.

    • Discuss the fundamentals of your long-term goal, aka your vision, so that everyone moves together toward a shared future.
    • Create three company-wide goals: financial, customer, & employee and how to measure and manage your progress towards each.
    • Establish the frameworks for creating ‘good goals’ for company-wide, department-level, and even individual employee goals.
    • Provide action steps to bring this to your teams internally and the systems needed to make this a central part of your culture.
    About the Speaker
  • 3:00 pm - 3:15 pm


  • 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

    Keep On Pushing: Developing A Resilient Mindset presented by Olympian Devon Harris. Designed to help leaders visualize success with an Olympic mindset.

    Three-time Olympian with Jamaica’s original bobsled team (!!!) Devon Harris knows the power and pain of overcoming inertia and pushing beyond. Raised in a violent ghetto in Jamaica, he could have allowed his environment to keep a chokehold on his life, but he learned how to push past the gangs and drugs by using the power of visualization to imagine greatness. His vision ultimately manifested in a life that took him from the ghetto to the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England (which graduated such luminaries as Sir Winston Churchill and King Hussein of Jordan), to becoming an Olympian. It was Devon’s determined focus and persistent vision to achieve something greater that carried him farther than those who gave in to their destructive environment.

    This highly engaging program will help you to develop a resilient mindset and improve performance in a fast-paced world, swirling in a sea of uncertainty. You will learn how to:

    • Take personal responsibility regardless of the uncontrollable events.
    • Reframe the experience in order to reduce stress and feel empowered.
    • Relaunch your efforts after dealing with setbacks, frustration or even out-right failure.
    About the Speaker
  • 4:15 pm - 4:30 pm

    Wrap-up, Trivia and Prizes!

  • 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

    Rooftop Networking Reception

    End your Emerging Leaders Conference experience with a rooftop networking reception. After a busy day of learning, relax with your industry colleagues by enjoying drinks, appetizers and stunning views of Chicago. Included with your conference registration.


    Thank You Vsimple for Sponsoring
    Our Rooftop Networking Reception

  • 5:30 pm -

    Conference Ends


Jim Ripkey

MHEDA Member and ELC Conference Facilitator Jim Ripkey is President, Industrial Equipment, for Hy-Tek Material Handling headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. He has over 32 years of material handling dealership experience, including leading sales, operations, marketing, and administration. He has facilitated workshops in areas of training, technology, parts & service operations, and recruiting. Jim has served as the ELC facilitator for nearly 10 years!

Neen James

Attention Pays™ is presented by Neen James, a speaker and leadership expert. Understanding that attention and productivity can only come after clarifying focus, audiences leave Neen’s keynotes with the practical strategies they can then apply personally and professionally to get them where they want to be. Neen earned her MBA from Southern Cross University and the Certified Speaking Professional.

Jeremy Wall

Set Goals all the Time is presented by Jeremy Wall, CEO of GoalMakers. Jeremy has a background in product design and business development, most recently as CEO of an IoT company in the mobility industry. After exiting that business, Wall did private consulting before joining business trainer John Cioffi to expand GoalMakers programs to a global audience in the online training & education market.

Wall is also the program facilitator for MHEDA’s Master Manager program. Emerging Leaders Conference attendees have the opportunity to participate in the Fall 2022 Master Manager program and save 40% off the registration fee. Click here to see details!

Devon Harris

Keep On Pushing is presented by Olympian Devon Harris. Devon moves audiences to greatness by giving passionate and practical guidance to push beyond limiting beliefs, embrace the visionary discipline of an athlete and internalize the tactics of a trained military officer to achieve any goal. You will leave more focused on your own goals, inspired by a renewed sense that you can attain higher levels of personal and team achievement.


  • Loews Chicago Hotel

    455 N Park Dr Chicago, IL 60611
    Discounted Group Rate is $239

    For reservations, call 312-840-6600 or use the button below to make a reservation online.

    ***Important: Please note, Chicago is hosting Lollapoolza July 28-31. Please be sure that you make your hotel reservations for the Emerging Leaders Conference as soon as possible so that you are able to secure hotel accommodations.***

    About the Hotel

    Experience Chicago from the heart of the city. The luxurious Loews Chicago Downtown Hotel, situated steps from Navy Pier, offers guests spectacular city skyline and lake views while enjoying the comforts of home. Our top-rated luxury hotel in Downtown Chicago is ideally located near Magnificent Mile, and close to the city’s most popular attractions including Millennium Park and the John Hancock Center.

Want to take your leadership skills to the next level? For a limited time, if you are registered for the ELC, you can save 40% off MHEDA Master Manager program. Master Manager is designed to help you learn the foundational principles and the most valuable strategies of a traditional MBA curriculum, at a fraction of the cost and time. Enjoy access to this ten-week facilitated e-Learning program for only $595 (regular registration fee is $995).

To redeem this offer, enter the promo code “ELC22” on the Master Manager registration form. Click here to learn more and register.

Hurry! This offer expires August 15, 2022 and is ONLY available to individuals who have registered for the Emerging Leaders Conference.

“Christmas in July” Toy Drive for Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

You are invited to help bring smiles to the faces of children who are in Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. We are organizing a “Christmas in July” Toy Drive and invite you to donate a toy. This world-renowned hospital is located in downtown Chicago, only minutes from the Emerging Leaders Conference hotel. To view the toy “Wish List” click here. You can ship directly to Lurie’s Hospital or bring to the conference and we will deliver the toys. Thank you for your thoughtful support and giving back to the community!

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Reviews from Past Emerging Leaders Conferences

Well-organized, action-packed, informative, inspiring!

Great job of changing up the program every year and I look forward to always attending.

Course material/subject matter from both speaking groups was very refreshing.

Thank you for all the hard work to put this on great job.

The size of the group made it feel more intimate and connected with speakers and participants.

Every time I attend I come back with valuable takeaways.

As an emerging leader this is important knowledge to obtain.

I attend each year to continue growing and learning and to become a better leader.

Speakers and presentation topics were excellent and I enjoyed the networking opportunities as well.

There were excellent speakers, and just the right amount of time to keep everyone engaged.

I attended to become a better leader and communicator.

Excellent speakers, very engaging.

My favorite part is the peer to peer collaboration.

The best part of this conference was hearing stories from other people and how they got to where they are today.

Fantastic session for all, I have several applicable things to take home with me.

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