2019 Women in Industry Conference: Perspective

Looking for a little perspective when it comes to your career and your life? How do you define success? How are you getting it all done? Do you want to gain insight and learn from your industry peers? Gaining perspective is achieved by looking at those around you and ALSO looking at yourself. Make sure nothing is holding you back.

MHEDA & MHI are proud to present the third annual Women in Industry Conference. Gain leadership insight, unlock your personal best and meet other women who also work in material handling. It’s a one-day event you won’t want to miss!

What are the Conference Take-Aways?

  • Seek and find connection opportunities that will further your career.
  • Gain awareness of how you are perceived by your direct reports, peers, and supervisors.
  • Take a Leadership Assessment to learn what kind of leader you are.
  • Hear from peers who are leaders in the material handling industry.
  • Learn how to ignore the rules that created your limits.
  • And so much more!


Registration Fees Per Person

Member: $699
Non-Member: $999
(Join MHEDA to receive discounted registration)

Kisses & Cannoli Networking Dinner (optional): $125

Registration Includes: All handout materials, breakfast, lunch, and a Happy Hour reception. Also includes networking with other material handling professionals who face similar career challenges as you and the priceless opportunity to bring your career to the next level! Optional dinner, travel and lodging not included.

Who Should Attend

  • Material Handling Executives, Owners, Presidents
  • Operations Managers
  • Marketing Managers
  • HR Managers
  • Sales Professionals
  • Women who want to improve their leadership and communications skills.
Download Brochure


    Wednesday November 06

  • 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

    Kisses & Cannoli Networking Dinner (optional)

    Take the night off and join us for a relaxing evening at Carmine’s Rosemont. Enjoy old-school Italian cooking with an elegant dining ambiance.  During the evening we will have a “Lip Print Reader.” Lip print reading is the art of analyzing a person’s lip print, and comically deciphering the lipstick print with razor-sharp accuracy. Each lip print is unique and can reveal how you are perceived by the world, who needs more hugs, energy levels, communication skills, food preferences, stubbornness, and much more. Please note, this is an optional event. Registration is $125 per person. Includes dinner, drinks, lip print reader entertainment, tax, gratuity and transportation.

  • Thursday November 07

  • 7:00 am - 8:00 am


  • 8:00 am - 8:15 am


  • 8:15 am - 9:15 am

    Hard Won Wisdom
    Presented by Fawn Germer

    If you have ever wanted to pick the brains of highly successful people, now’s your chance. Speaker Fawn Germer has personally interviewed over 300 highly successful women, including world leaders, top ranking CEOs, Nobel laureates, Olympic athletes and even movie stars. Fawn will share with you the success secrets of these leaders and trailblazers on what it takes to win. These inspiring stories are just the thing to give you a performance jolt to be wildly successful. 

    • Market your achievements for career advancement.
    • Realize your greatest potential by taking risks and moving forward.
    • Give up on the concept of perfection and achieve your goals.
    • Find key leaders who will advance and mentor you.
  • 9:30 am - 10:15 am

    Industry Wisdom Roundtable Discussions

    Roundtable discussions are interactive and engaging, giving you the opportunity to discuss what you have learned and share your own knowledge, opinions and experience. Based on attendee feedback, we are offering two roundtable sessions in 2019 giving you more time to connect, network and tap into the experience and wisdom of your material handling peers. 

  • 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

    Commander Leadership
    Presented by Mary Kelly

    Explore what makes some leaders wildly effective and how we can emulate their best traits. Review data from over 100,000 employee surveys to pinpoint the 7 most common reasons why some managers fail while others are so successful. Whether in your first year of management or your 30th, this program shows participants hidden pitfalls and how to avoid them. 

    • Gain insight into behaviors that may be sabotaging the loyalty of your direct reports.
    • Understand why your top talent may not be performing up to their potential.
    • Gain tools to help you align team goals with the organizational mission.
    • Access to a personalized leadership assessment to identify your leadership strengths and weaknesses.
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


  • 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

    Member Panel: Peer Perspectives

    Hear from men and women who are leaders in the material handling industry on the best ways to grow and thrive in your career. Panelists will discuss topics covering areas of leadership, communication, mentoring, business advice and reveal their resiliency strategies.

  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

    Industry Wisdom Roundtable Discussions

    Roundtable discussions are interactive and engaging, giving you the opportunity to discuss what you have learned and share your own knowledge, opinions and experience. Based on attendee feedback, we are offering two roundtable sessions in 2019 giving you more time to connect, network and tap into the experience and wisdom of your material handling peers.  

  • 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

    Live Limitlessly
    Presented by Laura Gassner Otting

    Many of us spend our lives pursuing a singular idea of success, one that was created for us by someone else. We give votes to those who shouldn’t even have voices and strive to go faster and faster even as we find ourselves falling further and further behind. We chase gold stars, we check all the boxes, we Lean In – and we still feel incomplete. Often described as “a kick in the ass surrounded by a warm hug,” Laura brings both tough love and wisdom based on her bestselling book Limitless, and offers a no-holds-barred look at what it really takes to be confident in the choices that you make and the chances that you take.

    • Light a fire within that catalyzes energy and excitement towards becoming the change agent needed to maximize impact.
    • Learn how to ignore the rules that created your limits.
    • Uncover how to align your energies and your actions, and do work that really matters so that you can live your best life.
    • And get out of your own way!
  • 4:00 pm - 4:30 pm


  • 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

    Happy Hour Reception

    End your Women in Industry Conference experience with a networking reception. After a busy day of learning, relax with your industry colleagues by enjoying drinks and appetizers. Included with your conference registration.

    Sponsored by Charter Software Inc.


Shari Altergott (Facilitator)

Shari has over 18 years of experience within the Material Handling Industry.  During her career she has held several positions within Marketing, Business Development and Executive Leadership.  Over her time, she has developed a full scope marketing function that manages corporate initiatives related to Customer Experience, CRM, Social Networking, Brand Development, Advertising and Lead Generation.  Shari also formally served as the Marketing Chair for the CSCMP Chicago Board and currently serves as an Executive Board Member for Loyola’s Supply and Value Chain Center.  

Fawn Germer, Best Selling Author

Fawn is the best-selling author of nine books including the Oprah book, Hard Won Wisdom. She has been a keynote speaker for more than 80 Fortune 500 companies and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize four times. She is respected around the world for her groundbreaking work combining leadership with stress management that propel women leaders up. She has interviewed more than 300 of the most accomplished women of our times, including Olympic athletes, prime ministers, Nobel Peace Prize winners, Academy Award winners and many others who shared their secrets of success.

Watch video.

Mary Kelly, PhD, CSP, CDR, US Navy (ret)

Mary is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, Mary spent 21 years on active duty, achieving the rank of Commander. She has trained over 40,000 military and civilian personnel in multi-cultural environments all over the world. Mary is also an economist and best-selling author specializing in business and leadership development to improve efficiency and profits. She now builds successful strategies for corporate and association leaders. She has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Entrepreneur, Men’s Health, and other periodicals. Fun and funny, Mary is a college professor, international speaker, and author of award-winning leadership books.

Watch video.

Laura Gassner Otting, Author & Speaker

Founder & Chief Catalyzing Officer at Limitless Possibility, Laura inspires people to push past the doubt and indecision that keep great ideas in limbo. Her entrepreneurial edge has been well-honed over a 25-year career that started as a Presidential Appointee in Bill Clinton’s White House, where she helped shape AmeriCorps. Laura founded and ran a mission-driven executive search firm which partnered with the full gamut of mission-driven nonprofit executives, from start-up dreamers to scaling social entrepreneurs to global philanthropists. She is also a co-founder of a women’s philanthropic network that has distributed more than $1M to 25 different nonprofits.

Watch video.


  • Alternate Hotel - Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago O'Hare Rosemont

    5500 North River Road
    Rosemont, Illinois 60018

    The hotel is 1.5 miles from O’Hare Airport with a complimentary 24-hour shuttle (contact the hotel for shuttle times). We’re located two blocks from the Rosemont Blue Line CTA station, taking you to downtown Chicago, Illinois, for numerous sightseeing, dining and shopping options.

    $179 Single/Double

    For reservation call 1-800-315-1061 and use the 3 letter code MHD to get the MHEDA rate.

  • Event Location: Loews Chicago O’Hare - SOLD OUT

    5300 N River Rd
    Rosemont, IL 60018

    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.

    Useful Information

    Check in: 4 PM | Check out: 12 Noon
    Self-parking: $32; Valet parking: $42 (subject to change)
    Covered parking lot and 4 electric vehicle charging stations available with your paid garage access
    Fitness Center: Lobby level, 24 hours with a room key
    A complimentary airport shuttle runs between the hotel and Chicago O’Hare airport.



Give Back Opportunity: Find Your Fabulosity

Find Your Fabulosity is dedicated to donating thousands of lipsticks to domestic violence shelters for women around the country. We will be collecting new/never used lipsticks at the Conference. To victims, a new lipstick marks a new beginning and rediscovery of her voice, identity, and beauty inside and out – her “fabulosity.”  

Thanks to our Sponsors!

Sponsorship opportunities still available! Contact Kathy Cotter at kcotter@mheda.org or call 847-680-3500.

Reviews from the 2018 Women in Industry Conference

  • “Excellent content, encouraging and energizing, great networking.”
  • “Roundtable discussions were great, love hearing different outlooks.”
  • “Extremely uplifting and empowering.”
  • “A true feeling of encouragement being a female in the industry.”
  • “Gain better understanding and value of women in the industry and how we can become more empowered in our own organization.”
  • “Taking time for myself and my career, to make me a better leader.”
  • “New ideas about how to turn my hesitation into action.”
  • “I definitely added more tools to my toolbox to further my management goals.”
  • “It gave me back the blast I needed to remind me how important woman are.”
  • “Much of the information shared has given me a new perspective about my self-growth as an individual and how I can impact others.”
  • “This was my first women in the industry and it was wonderful, it was a monumental meeting with like-minded women and learning from their experiences.”
  • “Excited to start implementing what I learned, amazing, engaging and useful content.”

Conference brought to you by: