Keynote, General Sessions, Workshops
Convention > 2017 Annual Convention

Keynote Presentation

General Sessions

Education Workshops

Keynote Presentation on Monday, May 1

All Convention attendees are invited to attend this session.

Powerful Portraits: An Intimate Look at Humanity and Leadership
Presented by Platon - Learn more about Platon

Don’t miss this engaging presentation on Monday, May 1st at 8:00 a.m.

After working for British Vogue for several years, Platon was invited to NYC to work for the late John Kennedy Jr. and his political magazine, George. Shooting portraits for a range of international publications including Rolling Stone, The New York Times magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ and The Sunday Times magazine, Platon developed a special relationship with TIME magazine, producing over 25 covers.

In 2007, he photographed Russian Premier Vladimir Putin for TIME magazine's “Person of the Year” cover. This image was awarded 1st prize at the World Press Photo Contest.

In 2008 he signed a multi-year contract with The New Yorker. As the staff photographer, he has produced a series of large-scale photo essays, two of which won ASME Awards in 2009 and 2010. Platon's New Yorker portfolios have focused on many themes, including the U.S Military, portraits of world leaders and the Civil Rights Movement.

The following year, Platon teamed up with the Human Rights Watch to help them celebrate those who fight for equality and justice in countries suppressed by political forces. These projects have highlighted human rights defenders from Burma as well as the leaders of the Egyptian revolution. Following his coverage of Burma, Platon photographed Aung San Suu Kyi for the cover of TIME—days after her release from house arrest. In 2011, Platon was honored with a “Peabody Award” for collaboration on the topic of Russia's Civil Society with The New Yorker magazine and Human Rights Watch.

The publication of Platon's first monograph Platon's Republic [Phaidon Press, 2004] coincided with international exhibitions in London at the ex-Saatchi Gallery as well as the Milk Gallery in New York. His second book, Power—a collection of portraits of over 100 world leaders—was published in 2011 by Chronicle and includes portraits of Barack Obama, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Hugo Chavez, Tony Blair, Robert Mugabe and Muammar Qaddafi.

Public speaking now plays a major role in Platon's career as communicator and storyteller and is represented by the Washington Speakers Bureau. He has been invited to be a keynote speaker on leadership at the World Economic Forum
in Davos, Chanel, Nike, Yale University, Oxford University, Wharton University, the National Portrait Gallery in London and International Center of Photography in NY.

He has also appeared on a range of television media including Charlie Rose
(PBS), Morning Joe (MSNBC), Fareed Zakaria's GPS (CNN) and the BBC World News.
Platon's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums both domestically and abroad. He has exhibited in New York at the Matthew Marks Gallery and the Howard Greenberg Gallery, as well as internationally at the Colette Gallery in Paris, France.

The New York Historical Society has exhibited a solo show of Platon's Civil Rights photographs, which remain as part of the museum's permanent collection. Other permanent collections holding Platon's photography include The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa, Florida and The Westlicht Museum for Photography in Vienna, Austria and the Scotland National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. Platon is a member of the Global Leadership Council for the World Economic Forum.

General Sessions on Monday and Tuesday

All Convention attendees are invited to attend these sessions.

Monday, May 1 from 1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.


Economic Outlook: A New World?
Presented by Alan Beaulieu, ITR Economics
Learn more about Alan Beaulieu

Changes has occurred in Washington, and changes are occurring in Europe, the UK, China, commodity prices, oil prices and in other key sectors of the US and global economy. We will look at these changes with an eye to what they will mean to the US economy and to your business.

Attendees will be know what to expect, and how long the upside business cycle pressures will last. There are good days coming – the key will be to ready for them.  We will talk about the negatives in the world, but we will also discuss the positive economic realities, too. We will be approaching the next recession, too, and we will need to take a look at that as well. Attendees should leave with a solid, positive outlook for their future.

Beaulieu will be looking at the following:
The US elections are over – what should we expect?
What is happening in China, the UK and Europe – what does that mean for us?
What is happening with job growth and wages?
What is the status of manufacturing in the US?
What is the future of business-to-business activity?
What is happening with oil prices?
What are the key leading indicators telling us?
What is the outlook for some of our top markets?
What are the mega trends we will all have to contend with?
Will interest rates keep moving higher?
Will those forecasts directly impact your company?
Should you be concerned about the proposed increase in the minimum wage?
Which of ITR®’s Phase Management Objectives TM apply to your company at this time in the business cycle?


Tuesday, May 2 from 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.


Everything Has Changed and Nothing Is Different
Presented by Scott Stratten, President of Un-Marketing
Learn more about Scott Stratten

We’re in the age of disruption. Today’s business climate is changing at an unprecedented rate. Every week, it seems there is a new strategy, social media site or technology that is a “must use” or a “game changer”.  What we lose in this endless quest for the next bright shiny business object is that at the core of business while everything has changed, nothing is different.  Trust, connection, consistency and service will always trump any new app to hit the market.

In this presentation, Scott will walk the audience through what is real and what are only smoke screens in the business world today. Audiences will walk away under-standing the following:

The Millennial Myth: The younger generation may create new challenges for business, but not in the way people are saying.

Social Media Snake Oil: Why social media is a poor sales and marketing tool, what it’s really meant for, and how understanding this will actually lead to the best success for your company online.

The Digital Decision: Your market today is forming buying decisions well before coming to you. Marketing today means getting in front of them when they’re making these important choices.


Tuesday, May 2nd from 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.


The Promise: 3 Commitments of The Engagement Experience  
Presented by Jason Hewlett, CSP, CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame
Learn more about Jason Hewlett

The Engagement Experience is what keeping promises is all about, while answering the following questions:

How present are we in every engagement?

Does the advertisement of our product over blow the reality of the customer experience? 

As team members, do we trust one another?  

Finally, do we keep promises to ourselves and to the most important people in our lives?  And if not, what can we change? 

Using humorous stories and musical impressions, Jason's delivery of The Promise will change the language in your company, your home life, and within yourself.

Workshop Presentations on Tuesday, May 2

Four workshops will run concurrently in two different time slots. Convention attendees will select the workshop of their choice. Each registrant will receive handout material prior to the start of convention to help guide you through selecting your workshops.

10:45am - 12:00pm


Material Handling Industry Trends: 2017 Critical Impact Factors
Members of MHEDA’s Executive Committee will lead the discussion centered on the 2017 Critical Impact Factors. This casual open forum group conversation will give you the opportunity to engage with your industry peers, share ideas and gain a new perspective. View the 2017 Critical Impact Factors


Preparing for 2020:  Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent
Presented by Kathryne A. Newton, Ph. D., Professor, Supply Chain Management Technology, Purdue University.

Hiring and retaining good talent has never been easy, but the rapid pace of change is going to make this task even more challenging over the next 5 years. Is your organization ready for it?  Consider that in a few years, we will have 5 highly diverse generations working in organizations side-by-side with vastly different values, beliefs, and technology skill sets. Understanding these differences is essential for all positions within any company, and successful managers should be prepared to capitalize on these differences. Companies invest a large percentage of their margin dollars on employee wages and benefits, yet they rarely invest a commensurate amount of time and energy on selecting and retaining employees. Important management activities, such as employee recruitment, screening, hiring and onboarding are critical to getting and keeping great talent.  Just as important, programs for keeping employees motivated must all be working together effectively toward improving productivity. This seminar examines practices that may be working against your organization rather than for it and teaches the practical tools needed to hire and develop a highly motivated staff positioned for success.


What’s My Company Worth? How to Value Your Company
Presented by Roman Basi, President of The Center for Financial, Legal & Tax Planning, Inc. - Learn more about Roman Basi

Do you know what your business is worth? How can you plan for the future of your company, your family, and yourself, if you don’t know the answer to that question? Private companies involved in the material handling industry are critical to powering this country and need to know their value for a whole host of reasons including Estate Planning, Succession Planning, obtaining financing, business acquisition, operations expansions, and many more. Valuing a business has its complexities.  Each and every company is so unique and different, that determining a value is not so simple. There is no "formula" or "multiple" that can be used to determine a business value. Conforming to IRS and state standards for business valuation is critical to determining a correct value for a business.  Additionally, the IRS has recently modified Internal Revenue Regulations in order to limit valuation discounts of certain closely-held companies. Within the proposed regulation certain listed companies would have their potential appraisal discount limited. The proposed regulation will likely become law in mid-2017 and will have a far reaching effect on those in the material handling and transportation business.  In this workshop Roman Basi will describe the process of Valuing your Company, including the information required, the time allotment for the process, the methods used and how to analyze the results.  Participants will walk away with a comprehensive understanding of Business Valuations and expose themselves to the legal and tax changes that are on the horizon.


So, What Else is New? Modifying Your Sales Approach to Reflect Changes in Business & Technology
Presented by Joe Ellers, Sales Trainer, Consulting Associates
Learn more about Joe Ellers

Over the past 50 years, there have been some very significant changes in the ways business is done. Changing manufacturing strategies and technology are obvious. Changes in who we are now dealing with are a little less obvious, but critically important. The real challenge is this: some of the rules still apply, some of the rules have changed. We have to sort out what goes into each bucket.

In this program, we will look at some of the fundamental changes in business and technology and what you need to do about it. A few key considerations:

  • Are you really sure that you know what they (customers, prospects) want/need?
  • How many different ways are you providing information to the markets?
  • How many ways are you in contact with your customers (and prospects?)
  • How easy is it for the people in your organization to communicate with the customer (and prospects?)

We will present a self-diagnostic audit that will help you to uncover a few areas where you can change what you do to get better results.


1:00pm - 2:15pm


Leaders Are Not Born. They are Built.
Presented by Randy Disharoon, Speaker, Author, Trainer

General Patton declared, “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way!” Designed for company executives, this highly interactive session introduces the four phases of leadership development – Build Within, Build Around, Build Up and Build Out. Participants will leave empowered to develop the leader within, to recruit and retain the dream team, to communicate a compelling vision, to create the high performance culture, and to effectively pass the baton to the next generation of leaders.


Money on the Table: Using Data to Boost Sales & Margins
Presented by Joe Ellers

There are huge amounts of data available today that can drive higher sales, and improve margins and customer relationships.  We will look at ways to enhance several key sales processes: prospecting; identifying decision-makers; account penetration; and more. We will also investigate some ways to use data to increase profitability. Presented by Joe Ellers, Sales Expert, Consulting Associates


Workforce Development Initiative for Supply Chain Technicians

The accelerating trend toward automation is impacting workforce demand. Learn about steps the National Center for Supply Chain Technology Education is doing to work with industry and local community colleges to address the shortage of supply chain technicians. Learn how you can get involved with this program.  Presented by Steve Harrington, Industry Liaison, National Center for Supply Chain Technology Education. Learn more about the National Center for Supply Chain Technology Education


Member Idea Exchange: Customer & Employee Engagement

Hear how fellow MHEDA Members are engaging with customers and employees. This interactive session will give you the opportunity to network, brainstorm and generate new ideas.  Presented by the MHEDA-NET group, The Pace Setters.