Highlights from 2016

We’ve corked the champagne bottles and written down our resolutions for the new year. 2017 is here and we’re sailing full speed ahead, excited to see what the coming months have in store for us. But before we leave 2016 behind us altogether, we’ll take one last look at the moments and events that made last year such a memorable one for the team at AK Material Handling Systems and for our family and friends.

For AK, as for many around the world, 2016 was a year of change. In business and in life, the only constant is change. Adaptability is the name of the game, and the culture of AK is rooted in embracing change and new challenges. The AK team spent much of 2016 revamping and retooling processes. We also launched the Design Group,  our turnkey service team that works with customers in need of engineered systems or warehouse layout and design. The end goal of all this work? A customer experience that is as streamlined and reliable as any in the industry.



In early March, Josh, Adam, Jake, Dave, and Andrea participated in the Subway Bedrace for Bridging at Buck Hill. Buck Hill was the hometown hill of professional skier Lindsay Vonn, and sits just south of Minneapolis. Bridging is a Twin Cities-based nonprofit that helps those who were formerly homeless furnish their new living spaces.



Josh and James warmed up in their green gear before the race at the 2016 Get Lucky 7K. For a race that took place in March in Minnesota, 70 degree weather was a welcome change!



Post-race at the Get Lucky 7K. The AK team has run a wide variety of races over the course of many years, but the Get Lucky 7K has always been a team favorite.



We were honored to celebrate being counted among the Minnesota Best 100 Companies to Work For by Minnesota Business Magazine. This year marked our 5th in a row earning a slot in the Top 100. As the AK mantra goes, “Work hard, but have fun doing it.”



In May, members of the AK team gave back to the community by assembling pallet rack work benches donated from AK stock, and helped build a pallet wall in the entryway of Matter, a local nonprofit. In June, as part of the MHEDA Midwest Regional Summit, attendees and AK employees teamed up to pack Matter Boxes and organize medical supplies destined for people in need.



This year, AK hosted the MHEDA Midwest Regional Summit, an educational and networking event for MHEDA members. Al, Josh, and MHEDA CEO Liz Richards all spoke at the event. Dennis and Megan Doyle, Matter’s co-founders, delivered the Summit’s keynote presentations.



In September, members of AK Material Handling Systems and WPRP Wholesale Pallet Rack Products teamed up under the banner of the Give Back Crew and participated in the 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Together, the teams raised over $2,000 for their local Alzheimer’s Association chapters.



Movember is an awesome way to raise awareness for men’s health and a great excuse to grow a mustache. This year’s participants has some serious fun and raised over $500 along the way.






In the final days of 2016, we excited to learn that we would once again be a MHEDA MVP member. The MHEDA MVP Award was given based on a “demonstrated commitment to business excellence in 2016.”



2016 marked the launching of the new Give Back Crew website. The Give Back Crew has existed since 2011 as a 501(c)3 powered by the employees of AK Material Handling Systems. The GBC revamped its logo this year to reflect the organization’s ambitious new fundraising and engagement initiatives.