Emerging Leaders Conference: Amplify

A Conference for Young Professionals in Material Handling
Co-Presented by MHEDA and MHI
JW Marriott Austin ▪ Austin, Texas

Emerging Leaders Conference is Sold Out!
The 2021 MHEDA/MHI Emerging Leaders Conference has reached full capacity. You can submit a request to be added to our registration waitlist. If space opens, you will be contacted in the order your request was received with instructions to complete your registration.

Conference Agenda About Hotel Convention Details Register Now

Hey Emerging Leaders! After a crazy year, are you ready to get out of the office and start working on those leadership skills again? We got you!

MHEDA and MHI are proud to present the 9th Annual Emerging Leaders Conference – LIVE and IN-PERSON! Yes, you read that correctly. We are planning a safe, fun and memorable one-day Emerging Leaders Conference in scenic and bustling Austin, Texas. This event is designed for material handling professionals who want to amplify their knowledge on how to be a stronger, more authentic and purposeful leader for a new world.

And because it has been one heck of a year – we are making this event better, bolder and brighter than ever before. We invited our two favorite rock star experts Jim Knight and Brant Menswar to headline the conference with a fun twist on leadership training so that you graduate from the event as a “Certified Rock Star!” We’ve also invited the engaging and worldly Sylvie di Giusto (who is Austrian by birth, French in her heart, Italian in her kitchen, German in her work ethic, and American by choice!) to help you package yourself as a polished, professional material handling executive.

Beyond the leadership training, you will experience several interactive networking exercises that will get you out of your chair and moving around the room to connect with your industry peers.

We will end the conference with a refreshing reception and enjoy a treat from the delicious gelato bar.

Safety Guidelines

We take your health and safety very seriously and want to inform you of the steps we have taken during the event planning to keep you safe.

  • The meeting room (Brazos Room) can accommodate 150 people, we have limited this event to 60 attendees, to ensure there is plenty of space.
  • The tables can be set for 10 people, we are setting for eight people to give you more room to spread out at your table.
  • Lunch will be served as a “plated” lunch, so that your meal is individually served.
  • We will have masks available if you would like to wear a mask.

In addition to these precautions, JW Marriott policy requires face coverings for all guests who are not vaccinated and all associates. This includes all public areas, including the front desk & lobby, elevators, pool area, and guest hallways.  Face coverings may be removed while seated in the restaurants/bars or the pool area while eating/drinking. The JW Marriott continues with frequent cleaning and sanitation in all common areas.  

We hope this information provides you with a high level of comfort by knowing the precautions that have been taken.  We will continue to monitor the situation including following any updated guidelines set by the CDC and the JW Marriott Austin.

Registration Fee

$795 Member Rate (for MHEDA & MHI members)
$1,095 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 reception. Also includes swag bag, interactive games, custom certificate of completion, and “Image of Leadership” book. 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.

Register Now

Who Should Attend

Designed for young (or young at heart) material handling professionals who want to amplify their management and leadership skills and advance their career within the material handling industry.

Give Back Opportunity

MHEDA & MHI will make a donation to Cannonball Kids Cancer. Cannonball Kids Cancer’s mission is to fund innovative, accessible research for children fighting cancer to provide better treatments and quality of life, and to educate for change. Emerging Leaders Conference attendees may also opt to add a donation on the registration form.


Program Descriptions

    Wednesday August 11

  • 7:00 am - 8:00 am

    Breakfast & Registration

  • 8:00 am - 12:30 pm

    Certified Rock Star  – A Rock ‘N’ Roll Inspired Leadership Experience!
    Co-Presented by Brant Menswar and Jim Knight

    Certified Rock Star is a highly-engaging, interactive half-day workshop focused on helping you become the rock star leader you were meant to be. With a healthy mix of lifechanging inspiration and practical learnings, this hands-on session provides specific strategies to becoming a more effective and impactful leader. It’s edutainment at its best.

    Values Based Leadership:
    Better Decisions, Instinctive Motivation and Extraordinary Results
    Presented by Brant Menswar, Best-Selling Author and Performance Coach

    The world has changed. The difficulty of the last year has increased the need to perform at the highest level! High performing organizations share three powerful traits: a united purpose, focused collaboration and enduring resiliency. The challenge is we attempt to achieve these things by addressing behaviors rather than the real driver of performance…our non-negotiable values. The truth is we perform at our best when we care about the work and feel like we can make a meaningful contribution. Discover your non-negotiable values and learn how to build bridges between personal and organizational values through a specific framework for action.


    • Interactive Core Values Assessment – Learn your “Flock of 5”
    • Values Tracking Workbook – Separating reality from aspirational
    • Purpose Statement Generator – Grounding your “Why” with values
    • Bridge Building Worksheet
    • Real world application for action NOW
    • And more!

    Brant Menswar is a best-selling author, performance coach and named one of the country’s “Top 10″ speakers in motivation. His books and Top 200 podcast (Thoughts That Rock) expand on his ground-breaking work around values-based leadership described as “disarmingly simple and incredibly powerful.” He has helped to change what’s possible for industry-leading organizations like Netflix, Verizon, Anthem, SunTrust, Microsoft, ESPN, Hilton, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and dozens more. Passionate and engaging, Brant encourages audiences to discover their Black Sheep Values® and move forward with deliberate intention. His interactive and entertaining ways of defining what matters most enables audiences to develop the skills necessary to perform at the highest level.

    Leadership That Rocks:
    Top Leadership Initiatives that will Immediately Deliver Sustainable Results
    Presented by Jim Knight, Best-Selling Author and Award Winning Trainer

    This impactful program is effectively designed for new and up-and-coming leaders to help create an iconic business culture. Keynote speaker, podcaster and bestselling author, Jim Knight will act as a thought-starter for the session. He will use the visceral backdrop of Rock ‘n Roll and his 21 years running Global Training and Development for Hard Rock International to discuss key strategies to implementing initiatives for leading others to produce desired results.


    • Understanding the Drivers of Today’s Workforce
    • Defining Company Culture
    • Producing a Virtuous Environment
    • Amping Up Communication
    • Enhancing Employee Engagement
    • Building an Iconic Team of Giants
    • Fostering Mentorship & Accountability
    • And more!

    Utilizing an interactive handout and delivering rapid-fire concepts that you can immediately put into practice, this high energy session will start you down a path to rock star success.

    Jim Knight is the best-selling author of Culture that Rocks: How to Revolutionize Your Company’s Culture, one of the nation’s most popular speakers, a podcast host, an award winning training & development specialist, and the Founder/CEO of Knight Speaker. Having spent 21 years with Hard Rock International, as the head of Training for the brand’s School of Hard Rocks, Jim’s team was recognized by Training Magazine as one of the Top 125 training organizations in the world. He has been featured in Inc Magazine, Forbes & Entrepreneur Magazines and Fox Business News. Jim has spoken on the topics of leadership, building a customer-obsessed culture and delivering world-class differentiated service to organizations such as Coldwell Banker, General Mills, Volkswagen, Cornell, Planet Fitness, LEGO, ADP, Society of Human Resource Management, Meeting Professionals International, Hershey, Subway, Taco Bell, Price Waterhouse Cooper and the US Air Force.


  • 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

    Lunch & Roundtable Discussions
    Discuss Industry Trends & Challenges

    Enjoy lunch and good conversation with your fellow Emerging Leaders Conference attendees. Learn and discuss industry trends, challenges and more.

  • 2:15 pm - 3:45 pm

    The Image of Leadership:
    How Leaders Package Themselves to Stand Out for the Right Reasons
    Presented by Sylvie di Giusto, CSP

    Whether someone is getting to know you in a first meeting, virtually from screen to screen, or through your social media, your image is being broadcasted, and your reputation as a leader is being formed.

    The most successful leaders make an unforgettable first impression. They immediately reveal who they are, what they represent as a leader, and how they serve the organization they work for. They influence the message they send to others by displaying a strong executive presence and by being mindful of the impressions they leave behind for their employees, clients, and shareholders and the industry they are a part of.

    Join us to better understand how to portray the image you would like, gain a clear picture of the image others currently have of you, and develop the skills you need to close the gap. Being perceived as someone who reflects the corporate image and is dedicated to the business will open opportunities. Learn how to effectively shape and mold the impressions you leave behind in your and your company’s favor. It can ultimately translate into a promotion, more assignments, and the respect of peers and senior management.


    • Learn about the psychology behind first impressions and how your professional imprint needs to create an aura of executive presence.
    • Gain clarity about the four variables of your first impression and how you can create an impression that represents you as the leaders you deserve to be.
    • Understand core principles that help others perceive you as confident, authentic, professional, controlled, and respectful leaders.
    • Learn about the consequences a bad first impression can have and the way employees and colleagues perceive you.
    • Understand the importance of leading by example to establish trust and respect among employees.
    • And more!

    BONUS: All ELC Conference attendees will receive a copy of Sylvie di Giusto’s book, The Image of Leadership!

    “You have 7 seconds. Make them count!” says Keynote Speaker Sylvie di Giusto, CSP, who helps individuals and organizations explore how people make up their minds very quickly about them, and either open the door for them or slam it shut. Sylvie takes audiences around the world on an interactive and entertaining journey of self-discovery that reveals how the world sees them, and ultimately, how they see themselves. With her unique and thought-provoking presentations, she helps audience members to lead better, sell faster, and persuade instantly. She empowers them to master their first impressions in any professional environment and during customer interactions. Sylvie is also the author of “The Image of Leadership” and the mind and producer behind dozens of corporate or individual online courses, including her own at the “How You Impress” online academy.

  • 3:45 pm - 4:15 pm

    The Scoop! Gelato Bar Networking Reception

    End the day by networking with your industry peers while enjoying a sweet treat from the Gelato Bar!


  • JW Marriott Austin Downtown Hotel

    110 E 2nd Street
    Austin, TX 78701

    Room Rate: $199. Call 844-473-3959 to make reservations. 


    Voted as a top hotel in Texas by Condé Nast readers in 2020, JW Marriott Austin is situated in the heart of downtown Austin and brings luxury comforts with sophisticated amenities. The urban resort features an on-site spa, room service, several bars and restaurants, Starbucks® and the largest guest rooms in the city with floor-to-ceiling windows. Grab a bite at the ever-popular Burger Bar, a food truck concept without the wheels, or lounge on the rooftop at Edge Rooftop + Bar, with cocktails and picturesque views of the Texas State Capitol and Lady Bird Lake. The hotel is located just steps from the best attractions and entertainment options Austin has to offer. Marriott Commitment to Clean Policy

MHEDA 2021 Convention

BOTH the Emerging Leaders Conference AND the Convention will take place at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas. Click here for more MHEDA Convention details.

  • The Emerging Leaders Conference begins on Wednesday, August 11th at 7:00 a.m. with breakfast and check-in.
  • Convention check-in begins at 10:00 a.m. on August 11th with the Opening Party later in the evening.


Reviews from Past Emerging Leaders Conferences

“Great job of changing up the program every year and I look forward to always attending.”
“Every time I attend I come back with valuable takeaways.”
“I enjoy getting different perspectives.”
“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.”
“There were excellent speakers, and just the right amount of time to keep everyone engaged.”
“I attended to become a better leader and communicator.”
“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.”
“Excellent speakers, very engaging.”
“Fantastic session for all, I have several applicable things to take home with me.”
“It was an awesome first-time experience, met a lot of people and connected with a lot of them on some issues we are having.”