Women In Industry Conference: Recalibrate

Detailed Schedule   Speaker Lineup     Hotel Location     Fees/Who Should Attend

Conference Overview

Let’s get real for a minute: the last few years have been beyond challenging. Endless changes, new rules and a workload that grows daily. For women, this series of professional challenges are often accompanied by personal challenges faced at home. It’s our job to provide care for those around us, while still wanting to excel professionally and bring our best versions forward in the workplace. We are no longer the same people we were just a few short years ago. Transformation is here and there is no going back. It’s time to Recalibrate.

MHEDA, MHI and WERC invite you to join us November 2nd in Rosemont, IL for the 2022 Women in Industry Conference. We’ve planned a powerful one-day event designed to help move you through the ever-changing Material Handling business climate. This is your opportunity to connect, learn and grow with other women who face similar daily challenges as you. Discuss industry trends during the roundtable sessions, improve your business communication skills, improve the culture within your organization, gain strategies to overcome the imposter syndrome and so much more.

This is the value-filled event you have been waiting for all year. Invest one day in yourself and rediscover your strengths, redefine your influence and release your stress. Let’s Recalibrate (together in person!) this November.

What are the Conference Takeaways?

  • Gain tools to get energized and lead by example.
  • Discuss the power of language in the workplace.
  • Review the art and science of appreciation.
  • Learn ways to flex your creative muscles.
  • Discover how to foster an innovative culture.
  • Uncover five strategies to overcome Impostor Syndrome.
  • Learn how to match your confidence to your competence.
  • Take the reins so you can be the boss of your life.
  • Learn gratitude strategies to strengthen your relationships.
  • Review unique financial challenges women face when planning for retirement.
  • Discuss Material Handling business trends.
  • Enjoy endless networking opportunities with women who work in Material Handling.
  • And more!

Schedule at a Glance

    Wednesday November 02

  • 7:15 am - 8:00 am
    Breakfast Buffet Available
  • 8:00 am - 8:30 am
    Welcome & Ice Breaker
  • 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
    Presentations and Roundtable Discussions
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
  • 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
    Presentations and Roundtable Discussions
  • 4:30 pm - 4:45 pm
    Event Wrap Up
  • 4:45 pm - 6:00 pm
    Give Back & Reception

Registration Fees

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

Registration Includes: All handout materials, breakfast, lunch, and a networking reception. Also includes networking with other women who are material handling professionals and face similar career challenges as you. Travel and lodging not included.

Cancellation Policy: The full amount will be refunded if you cancel no later than October 19, 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

Women who work in Material Handling and want to improve their leadership and communications skills.



    Wednesday November 02

  • 7:15 am - 8:00 am

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

  • 8:00 am - 8:30 am

    Welcome & Ice Breaker

  • 8:30 am - 9:20 am

    How to Stay Inspired When You are So Darn Tired

    It can feel challenging to stay right side up when the world feels upside down. These past few years have been stressful, but it is time to take back your power. Take control of what you have the power to change. Shift your perspective, get energized, and lead by example. It’s time to take the reins so you can be the boss of your life, all while enjoying one fantastic ride. Presented by Christine Cashen, Hall of Fame Speaker and Author.

    • Gain methods to “Compose and Dispose” to handle worry.
    • Identify Energy Gainers/Drainers and what to do about them.
    • Learn how to get your “mojo” back.
    • Access tools to leverage levity.

    About the Speaker

  • 9:20 am - 9:35 am

    Break sponsored by   

  • 9:35 am - 10:30 am

    Gratitude Strategies to Improve Workplace Culture

    Did you know that the Department of Labor found that 64% of working Americans leave their jobs because they don’t feel appreciated? Or that Gallup research shows that 70% of working Americans say they receive no praise or recognition on the job? When leaders take the time to recognize and appreciate their peers and their staff members, retention, productivity and overall work satisfaction increases dramatically. Showing appreciation at all levels of an organization fundamentally connects people to one another. When leaders learn to communicate their appreciation to their employees, they create stronger engagement levels throughout the organization. This session will show you how the art and science of appreciation in the workplace impacts managers, peers, staff and team members, making a noticeable difference in your workplace culture. Presented by Lisa Ryan, Speaker, Author and Welder

    • Discover why “giving too much appreciation” elevates, rather than diminishes, its effect.
    • Discuss the power of language in the workplace and how properly saying “thank you” boosts employee contributions and connection to the organization.
    • Experience the physical benefits of gratitude through activities that reduce the stress response.
    • Understand the strategies to create a workplace culture that ROCKS!

    About the Speaker

  • 10:30 am - 10:45 am

    Break sponsored by   

  • 10:45 am - 11:30 am

    Roundtable Discussions: 2023 Material Handling Business Trends

    Roundtable discussions are interactive and engaging sessions, giving you the opportunity to discuss what you have learned and share your knowledge, opinions and experience with fellow conference attendees. Enjoy two roundtable sessions in 2022 giving you more time to connect, network and tap into the experience and wisdom of your material handling peers. Discuss the 2023 Material Handling Trends during the first roundtable discussion and during the second session you will discuss conference takeaways.

  • 11:30 am - 12:00 pm

    Women & Retirement: Practical Tools to Prepare for the Future

    Presented by MHEDA Member: Mary Ellen Fiflis, FSCP™, Managing Director, Principal®

    Women can face a lot of changes and challenges during their lifetime which typically occurs during their earning years so their savings for retirement can be interrupted or declined. You will learn what some of those changes and challenges are and what you can do to get on track to save for retirement. 

    Insurance products issued by Principal National Life Insurance Company (except in NY), Principal Life Insurance Company®, 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. Mary Ellen Fiflis, Principal National and Principal Life Financial Representative, Principal Securities Registered Representative, Investment Adviser Representative, and a member of the Principal® Financial Network. 2415018-092022

    About the Speaker

  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


  • 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

    Afternoon Energizer

  • 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

    Problem Solving: Put the Storm Back in Brainstorming

    Have you run out of ideas? Is your team having a brain drizzle rather than a brainstorm? Discover the tools to weather creative blocks, solve problems and get great ideas in half the time. Learn specific strategies to put the “storm” back into brainstorming. Presented by Christine Cashen, Hall of Fame Speaker and Author.

    • Identify and overcome creative blocks with mind-mapping.
    • Discover and practice a group technique for idea generation and determining solutions.
    • Learn ways flex your creative muscles and foster an innovative culture.
    • Increase productivity, gain creative confidence, and relieve workplace tension.

    About the Speaker

  • 2:30 pm - 2:45 pm

    Break sponsored by   

  • 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm

    The Fraud-Free Framework: Five Strategies to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

    Everyone sees you as amazing, except you. You feel like a fraud. It’s exhausting. It’s draining. And it’s killing your enthusiasm. Impostor Syndrome is the single most significant roadblock preventing competent people from performing at their best. Almost every company’s problem, whether it’s financial, organizational, strategic, or operational can be traced to the mindset issue of Impostor Syndrome. It masquerades as other issues, such as disengagement, conflict, and absenteeism. What can you do?

    The Fraud-Free Framework is your solution to reclaim the joy, self-assurance and courage to shake these destructive and limiting beliefs that hold you back and fill you with secret shame. End the Women in Industry Conference by learning the “Fraud-Free Framework” to silence that impostor voice so you can embrace your success and be confident to move further ahead. You can be released from the clench of the counterfeit so you can match your confidence to your competence, so you have more influence. Presented by Maureen Zappala, award winning speaker, author and presentation skills coach and former NASA “Rocket Scientist”

    • Understand the causes and symptoms of Impostor Syndrome.
    • Learn three powerful steps to turn your thoughts from pitiful to powerful.
    • Explore how essential it is to connect with peers to diffuse your fraud feelings.
    • Learn how to enjoy your own success and begin to believe you really are as smart as everyone thinks you are.

    About the Speaker

  • 3:45 pm - 4:00 pm

    Break sponsored by   

  • 4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

    Roundtable Discussions: A Day in Review

    Enjoy another opportunity to network and connect with fellow attendees. Discuss what you learned and gain additional peer perspectives.

  • 4:30 pm - 4:45 pm

    Event Wrap Up

  • 4:45 pm - 6:00 pm

    Give Back & Reception

    End your day by participating in a Give Back activity helping the organization Lemons of Love. Afterwards, enjoy a fun and relaxing networking reception with fellow attendees.

  • -

    Thank You

    for Your Sponsorship!


Shari Altergott

Conference Facilitator, Shari Altergott has over 20 years of experience within the Material Handling Industry. During her career she has held several positions within Marketing, Sales, Business Development and Executive Leadership. Today she leads a Customer Experience Consulting Firm focused specifically on the material handling industry. Over her time, she has developed full scope marketing functions that manage corporate initiatives related to Customer Experience, CRM, Social Networking, Brand Development, Advertising and Lead Generation. Shari also formally serves as the host of the MHEDA Talks Podcast.

Christine Cashen

Christine Cashen delivers a fast-paced, hilarious program with useful content that makes her a sought-after speaker worldwide. She was inducted into the National Speakers Association, CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame and for more than 15 years, she has jazzed an amazing variety of audiences throughout the world. Christine is an authority on sparking innovative ideas, handling conflict, reducing stress and energizing employees. Christine is the author of THE GOOD STUFF: Quips & Tips on Life, Love, Work and Happiness, which was named motivational book of the year by the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She has also been featured as a creativity expert in HOW Designs at Work magazine. Before embarking on her journey as a speaker, she worked as a university admissions officer, corporate trainer, and broadcaster. She is a mother of two, wife of a “hottie engineer,” and caregiver of Murphy, a chocolate lab.

Mary Ellen Fiflis

Mary Ellen Fiflis, FSCP™ is a Managing Director at Principal®. She has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years. Mary Ellen joined the leadership team of the Chicagoland Region in 2013, and she is passionate about helping her team build and grow their business. She focuses on Risk Management, Investments and Retirement Planning for individuals and  businesses. Mary Ellen earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance with a minor in Accounting from DePaul University. She obtained her Financial Service Certified Professional (FSCP™)  designation from the American College in 2015. Mary Ellen is active in her community, engaged in National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors (NAIFA), Women in  Insurance and Financial Services (WIFS), Women in Manufacturing (WIM) and Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA).

Insurance products issued by Principal National Life Insurance Company (except in NY), Principal Life Insurance Company®, 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. Mary Ellen Fiflis, Principal National and Principal Life Financial Representative, Principal Securities Registered Representative, Investment Adviser Representative, and a member of the Principal® Financial Network. National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors, Women in Insurance and Financial Services, and Material Handling Equipment Distributors Associate are not affiliates of any company of the Principal Financial Group®. 2415018-092022

Lisa Ryan

Lisa Ryan is a former welder who is an energetic and dynamic speaker, and her presentations are anything but standard. Instead, Lisa engages her audience with entertaining anecdotes gained in the trenches, incorporates the most current research, trends and best practices while also capturing the wisdom in the room.” Ryan’s programs focus on positive workplace culture, inter-generational communication, employee acquisition, engagement, retention, and gratitude strategies (“Grategies”) for personal and professional development. Her down-to-earth approach and willingness to share best practices have proven to be a winning formula for her clients. Lisa Ryan currently serves as Immediate Past-President of the National Speakers Association, Ohio Chapter.

Maureen Zappala

Maureen Zappala, a former NASA propulsion engineer (aka, “rocket scientist!”) and founder of High Altitude Strategies, is an award winning speaker, author and presentation skills coach. A native of NYC, she has a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and she spent more than 13 years at NASA’s Lewis Research Center in Cleveland (now Glenn Research Center) conducting aircraft engine research. She became the youngest and first female manager of NASA’s Propulsion Systems Laboratory, a jet engine test facility. Despite stellar credentials and impressive accomplishments at NASA, the annoying Impostor Syndrome was her constant companion, causing her to think, “I’m not as smart as everyone thinks I am, and they’re going to figure it out!” This led to a passion for showing others how to silence those destructive voices that hinder success and create secret shame. She is the author of four books, including “Pushing Your Envelope: How Smart People Defeat Self-Doubt and Live with Bold Enthusiasm.” After 35+ years in Cleveland, Ohio, Maureen moved to Las Vegas in 2019. She still can’t find her winter coat, and that’s just fine with her.


  • Loews Chicago O’Hare

    5300 N River Rd.
    Rosemont, IL 60018

    Room Rate: $199 Single/Double
    Use the button below to make a reservation online.

    If you would prefer to speak to a Loews Travel Planner, please call 1-877-868-8232 and reference Group Code: MHE322. Rate is available until October 11 or until room block fills up.

    Located just two-miles from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, this award-winning hotel offers a stylish new design that reflects trellised gardens and lawns found in Chicago. Warm wood, garden greens and touches of cool concrete honor the city’s parks and architecture and, most importantly, provide a soothing, residential-style oasis for your stay. Enjoy an onsite art gallery features a revolving lineup of works by local Chicago artists; 24-hour fitness center and convenient location just minutes away from the Fashion Outlets of Chicago, home to more than 100 luxury outlet stores.

Give Back – Lemons of Love

When someone you know is diagnosed with cancer, it can be difficult to know what to say or do. If you’re the one living with cancer, it can be challenging to find others who understand what you’re going through. Lemons of Love’s mission is to share love with anyone impacted by cancer. Their mission is to provide words of encouragement when you don’t know what to say and to connect patients and families to a community of support.

Lemons of Love was created in 2014 when Jill Swanson was diagnosed with colon cancer. As she began chemotherapy, a friend gave Jill a small gift with items to help her through treatment. Inspired, Jill began her own little lemonade project of filling and sharing thoughtfully selected items with others in treatment.

Today, Lemons of Love is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that delivers care packages to hospitals and oncology centers and provides personalized care packages for individuals with a donation.

Learn More…

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Reviews from Past Women in Industry Conferences

“Thank you for a wonderful conference jam-packed with great information, fantastic speakers and wonderful women.”

“This was my first MHEDA conference and I absolutely loved it, I came out of it with more self-confidence, new friends and a network to turn to utilize and assist others.”

“This is an amazing conference.”

“Thank you for bringing in such incredible speakers.”

“Thank you for continuing this conference, our industry is better for it.”

“I got to meet and connect with several women who can help me move forward in this industry.”

“Outstanding speakers with excellent information.”

“Great opportunities to be a part of a community of material handling professionals.”

“Definitely was inspired, many things I think in my head I heard out loud confirming my thoughts and giving me confidence.”

“New ways of bringing ideas to the table, having better ways to discuss these team working skills.”

“Getting beyond my insecurities and networking with passionate women who are like me trying to achieve success.”

“Roundtable discussions gave different opportunities to discuss and share.”

“I learned new skills to accomplish my goals in my career.”

“I feel more empowered.”

“Spoke to women in the industry and their experiences.”

“Great information on being a woman in the workforce.”

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