Executive Idea Exchange

Detailed Schedule   Speaker Lineup     Hotel Location     Fees/Who Should Attend


Networking builds trust, closes deals and secures careers. Now more than ever, it is critical to cultivate strong industry relationships.

MHEDA is proud to present a NEW, one-day networking event designed for material handling executives, managers and decision makers, the “Executive Idea Exchange.” This live, in-person program provides you with the unique opportunity to expand your network and connect with fellow material handling industry peers who face similar professional challenges: managing people, running a business and serving customers in an ever changing Covid-era.

Networking does not need to be boring or awkward! MHEDA’s one day “Executive Idea Exchange” delivers networking in a fun, fast and informative format, making it easy for you to make those important connections when you need it most.

Join us in bustling and lively Nashville to gain insights on leadership, communications and business operations. Meet new people and hear new ideas from peers from across the country. This program features expert speakers as well as Member to Member “Lightening Round” sessions, giving insights on a variety of topics.

The event will end with a networking reception where you can continue the conversation with fellow attendees in a relaxed setting and also have the opportunity to meet with MHEDA’s Board of Directors and Manufacturer Board of Advisors.

Make plans now to surround yourself with your MHEDA peers on October 12th in Music City and reap the rewards of networking, big thinking, hot chicken, and maybe even some cool new friends.

One amazing Nashville destination, only steps from the vibrant local scene.
Two Dynamic and Interactive Expert Presentations.
Three Roundtable Discussions with your MHEDA peers.
Four Member to Member Lightning Rounds.
Networking Reception with MHEDA’s Board of Directors & Advisors.

Registration Fees

$895 Regular Member Rate
$1295 Non-Member Rate

Included in the registration fee is admittance to the event, all sessions, full hot breakfast, networking luncheon, coffee, soda, snack breaks, and networking reception with MHEDA’s Board and MBOA. Does not include travel or hotel accommodations.

Cancellation Policy: The full amount will be refunded if you cancel no later than September 21, 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

This event is designed for material handling executives, managers and decision makers who want to connect with their MHEDA peers. A great way to tap into the brainpower our industry has to offer!


Detailed Schedule

    Wednesday October 12

  • 7:00 am - 8:00 am

    Breakfast & Registration

  • 8:00 am - 8:15 am

    Welcome & Ice Breaker

  • 8:15 am - 9:15 am

    Keynote Presentation
    Leaders are not Born. They are Built.
    Presented by Randy Disharoon, President, Goal Stride, LLC

    This highly interactive keynote presentation introduces the four phases of leadership development – Build Within, Build Around, Build Up and Build Out. You will leave empowered with tools to develop the leader within; communicate a compelling vision and create a high-performance culture.

    Build Within – Assimilate the four keys to developing your capacity to lead.
    Build Around – Employ the five keys to recruiting, retaining, and developing top talent.
    Build Up – Create and foster a culture of change leadership, even in times of crisis.
    Build Out – Strategize how to influence your industry and mentor the next generation.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Chart a path to becoming a more effective leader.
    • Upgrade talent in key positions.
    • Transform your company culture to high-performance.
    • Implement the keys to leading through change and crises.


    About the Speaker

  • 9:15 am - 9:30 am


  • 9:30 am - 10:15 am

    Business Scan

    This is an exercise MHEDA Board Members start each meeting with. You will have the opportunity to share your big picture perspective on what is happening in your business and discuss with fellow attendees at your table. At the end of the session, hear from each table leader about top trends fellow MHEDA Members are also facing.

  • 10:15 am - 10:30 am


  • 10:30 am - 11:15 am

    Member 2 Member Lightening Rounds

    Your fellow MHEDA Members are a great resource for learning new ideas! We will present two Member led sessions, then give you time to discuss what you learn and share your own perspective.

    10:30 am – 10:50 am

    Navigating Distribution Supply Chain Disruptions Across the Material Handling Industry
    Presented by: Tony Totta, Chief Sales Officer, eShipping

    In today’s volatile and unpredictable business environment, businesses and organizations are finding themselves in a constant state of change. In this session, learn about the supply chain disruptions facing the Material Handling Industry and how you can best position your team to react by maximizing margins in order to outlast the current economic environment.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Supply chain disruptions in the Material Handling industry
    • Current state of the logistics industry and how it will impact your bottom line over the next 12 months
    • Actionable steps you can take to improve upon and gain visibility into your transportation, distribution chain, and warehouse management programs


    About the Speaker

    10:55 am – 11:15 am

    Planning for the Future of Your Business
    Presented by: Jessman Smith, Assistant Director Advanced Solutions, Principal®

    Business growth is a key, measurable, and preferred means of evaluating a company’s well-being. Business protection – while perhaps less exciting – is just as vital to a company’s longevity. In times following unexpected tragedies or economic downturns, business protection ensures that a company can maintain its standards. In this session, we’ll learn about industry accepted informal valuation techniques, how it affects your business succession strategies for both planned and unplanned transitions and how to protect your business from lost revenue following emergency events.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Learn how their business might compare with the recent survey findings.
    • Find out what the industry accepted business valuation techniques are.
    • Different ways they can protect their business.


    Insurance products issued by Principal National Life Insurance Company (except in NY), Principal Life Insurance Co., and the companies available through the Preferred Product Network, Inc. Securities and advisory products offered through Principal Securities, Inc., Member SIPC. Referenced companies are members of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392. Jessman Smith, Principal Securities Registered Representative. 2383901-082022


    About the Speaker

  • 11:15 am - 11:30 am


  • 11:30 am - 12:00 pm

    Roundtable Discussions 

    Discuss what you learned during the morning presentation and M2M Lightening Rounds.


  • 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

    Lunch with Networking Activity

    Sponsored by MHEDA member, Principal®. Thank you.

  • 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

    Science Based Persuasion & Communication Techniques
    Presented by Jamie Turner, CEO of SIXTY

    The world’s top executives understand the science behind effective persuasion and communication skills. If you’d like to become a more effective manager or leader, don’t miss this interactive, fast-paced workshop by internationally recognized author, professor, and TV news contributor Jamie Turner. Learn science-based techniques you can use to manage employees and work smarter, not harder.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Why what you’ve been taught about persuasion is wrong – and how to use new research to fix your approach.
    • How to use the Communications Matrix to improve the effectiveness of your conversations.
    • Why using MindMapping can make you more productive and help improve team morale.
    • How to use the But Eraser and the Because Technique to improve the impact of your conversations.
    • How to manage conversations so that you, your company, and your employees all end up rowing in the same direction.


    About the Speaker

  • 2:30 pm - 2:45 pm


  • 2:45 pm - 3:30 pm

    Member 2 Member Lightening Rounds

    Your fellow MHEDA Members are a great resource for learning new ideas! We will present two more Member sessions, then give you time to discuss what you learn and share your own perspective.

    2:45 pm –3:05 pm

    Top Three Trends in Robotic Automation
    Presented by Dr. Bernard Casse, Founder and CEO at RIOS Intelligent Machines, Inc.

    Customers face the ever-pressing challenges of needing to meet and exceed production numbers, and the material handling industry is turning to robotics to achieve distribution goals. Let’s discuss the Top Three Trends in Robotics Automation that can advance your customers’ operations into Industry 4.0 now.

    Key Takeaways:

    • From AMR to Autonomous Forklifts to Robotic Workcells, there is a robot for every process in the facility.
    • There is a hybrid automation model that is allowing enterprise level businesses to exceed production numbers that can be easily adopted by SMBs.
    • Lack of a large CapEx budget is no longer a limiting factor. New pricing offerings make robots available for businesses of all sizes.


    About the Speaker


    3:10 pm – 3:30 pm

    Supply Chain and the Systems That Power It
    Presented by Jim Shaw & Jordan Frank Co-Founders of Zion Solutions Group

    Businesses and Customers more than ever are having to decide which systems they invest in to handle the ever-changing data demand(s) and technologies being used in the Supply Chain. Let’s discuss and demystify the differences in all the S’s (CCS, WCS, WES, WMS, RMS, AMS, FMS, etc) that supply chain customers are using or will be investing in for their operations and material handling needs. You will walk away with a better understanding of where the industry is heading and how systems will play a critical role in the journey

    Key Takeaways:

    • Learn what, where and why customers are using all the S’s (Systems) inside the warehouse
    • Find out the investments in tools and team members you should be considering to assist customers design, implement and support these systems
    • Better understand the trends on how customers are buying and capitalizing these systems and how SaaS (Software as a Service) is making the investment affordable for companies of all sizes

    About Speaker – Jordan Frank

    About Speaker – Jim Shaw

  • 3:30 pm - 3:45 pm


  • 3:45 pm - 4:30 pm

    Conversations & Coolers

    We’ll bring the beverages; you bring the brainpower. Discuss MHEDA’s Material Handling Business Trends.

  • 4:30 pm - 4:45 pm


  • 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    Nashville Networking Reception

    After a full day of idea exchanges, sit back, relax and enjoy a reception with your fellow attendees and MHEDA’s Board of Directors and Manufacturer Board of Advisors. Enjoy local food, drinks and music.

    Sponsored by MHEDA member, Principal®. Thank you.


Event Facilitator - Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan is Chief Financial Officer of Thompson & Johnson Equipment Co., Inc. responsible for financial and risk management at the Toyota, Crown and Clark dealership serving Upstate NY. Prior to joining T&J he spent 19 years as CFO in the Hyster/Yale dealer network responsible for financial, operational and mergers & acquisition activities. He current serves on MHEDA’s Board of Directors, including Chairman of the Board in 2019, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York.

Dr. Bernard Casse

Dr. Bernard Casse is the founder and CEO of RIOS – a technology company rethinking automation and focused on building smart factories of the future powered by robotics and AI. Prior to that, he co-founded Metawave (A Xerox PARC spin-out) – an innovative automotive radar company, and led all aspects of the company’s technological strategy, roadmap and vision, as its CTO. Before Metawave, he was an Area Manager at Xerox PARC, where he created and led the Metamaterial Devices & Applications business area, and managed multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts. Before PARC, he was a program manager at Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) where he won and led million-dollar defense projects. In his past life, Dr. Casse was a postdoc at Northeastern University, and carried out his research work at Harvard University Center for Nanoscale Systems Brookhaven National Lab. Dr. Casse holds a BS and PhD in Physics from the National University of Singapore.

Randy Disharoon

Randy Disharoon is the President of Goal Stride, LLC. He has an extensive background in both distribution and manufacturing which makes him uniquely qualified to address the issues that most businesses face in today’s market environment. Randy holds a B.S. in Engineering, two master’s degrees, including an MBA, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership. At age 23, he was certified as a nuclear engineer. At 25, he was leading training courses for officers in the nuclear Navy. He entered the private sector at age 27 and ever since has served in leadership capacities in operations and sales, where his teams have consistently exceeded their goals. Randy has become known as a “turnaround artist.” With over 30 years of leadership experience, Randy aims to offer a fun, interactive, and practical approach to leadership development so that you can make an immediate and lasting impact on your business.

Jordan Frank

Jordan Frank is the Executive Vice President and Co-founder of Zion Solutions Group (ZSG)- a full-service supply chain integration group, focused on a singular message: deliver memorable experiences and guide intelligent change. Jordan has spent the bulk of his career in sales and solution design. With his background in robotics, automation, and software, he can bring a unique viewpoint to the everchanging world of distribution. Prior to ZSG, Jordan spent time with another systems integrator AHS where he spent time in engineering, marketing, business development, project management, and sales. Jordan holds a B.A degree in Economics from the University of Kentucky and remains close with the university. Jordan has been involved with the MHEDA organization for 15 years and continues to enjoy attending the sessions, networking, and sharing knowledge where he can.

Jim Shaw

Jim Shaw is the President and Co-founder of Zion Solutions Group (ZSG) – a full-service supply chain integration group, focused on a singular message: deliver memorable experiences and guide intelligent change. Jim has an extensive background in warehousing, logistics, material handling, operations, facility design, network analysis and executive strategy which allows him to help customers solve problems and address challenges in their supply chain. Prior to ZSG, he held various leadership positions in operations, engineering, customer service, sales and implementations at AHS and UPS Supply Chain Solutions over his 20+ year career. Jim holds M.S & B.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering, serves on multiple external advisory boards and is very involved in his church and local community. He is most passionate about inspiring a culture of engaged employees, dynamic partnerships and working on work worth doing.

Jessman Smith

Jessman Smith has spent several years as a general civil practiced attorney that provided him with a well-rounded knowledge of the interplay of various legal areas affecting our daily lives. Jessman joined Principal® in 2015 where he provides consulting services and plan design, informal business valuations, buy sell plan reviews, business succession planning, key employee and owner benefit plans, business protection and estate planning for business owners and their key employees. 

Insurance products issued by Principal National Life Insurance Company (except in NY), Principal Life Insurance Co., and the companies available through the Preferred Product Network, Inc. Securities and advisory products offered through Principal Securities, Inc., Member SIPC. Referenced companies are members of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392. Jessman Smith, Principal Securities Registered Representative. 2383901-082022

Tony Totta

Tony Totta is the Chief Sales Officer, eShipping. He joined eShipping in 2009, to help grow the company under a mission-focused culture. At eShipping, Tony has filled a variety of roles including oversight of the eShipping Client Services division, developing the suite of operational services offered to customers, and building an employee recruiting and development model that is employed across the organization today. In 2013, Tony assisted in the development and launch of eShipping Exchange, a sister company and partnership sales channel. As Chief Sales Officer, Tony is responsible for all new business development for eShipping, eShipping Distribution, and eShipping

Jamie Turner

Jamie Turner is an internationally recognized author, professor, consultant, and speaker who has helped employees at The Coca-Cola Company, Holiday Inn, Microsoft, Verizon and others do a better job leading, managing, and mentoring others. You may have seen Jamie in Inc., Entrepreneur, Business Insider, or Forbes. He’s also a regular guest on CNN and HLN, where he delivers segments on marketing, persuasion, and leadership. Jamie is the co-author of several essential business books and his YouTube channel was designated one of the “Top 10 Business YouTube Channels” in the nation by Wishpond.com.


  • Cambria Nashville Downtown Hotel

    118 8th Ave South
    Nashville, TN 37203

    MHEDA Discounted Rate is sold out, however the Cambria still has rooms available. Please use the button below to check availability and confirm.

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