Having been in the material handling business since the late 1980s, we’ve had the good fortune of being able to attend educational and networking events big and small around the country. Some have been underwhelming, while many more have provided more value than one could ask for. Up until last June, however, we’d never hosted an event of our own. So, when the opportunity to host the MHEDA Regional Networking Summit presented itself, we jumped at the chance to hopefully contribute some value of our own. The result was a unique set of opportunities that, when combined, made the Summit a rewarding event to take part in, both as attendee and as host.

A group of men in business casual clothing smile into the camera for a selfie, the text above rthme reads MEHDA Regional Summit recap

Getting Started by Giving Back

One of the most underrated ways to break the ice is by working together to help those in need. The AK Give Back Crew collaborated with MHEDA and Matter to organize the Summit’s Give Back Event, which was held the evening prior to the Summit itself. Members of the AK team and Summit attendees from all over the midwest combined efforts to sort medical supplies destined to help people in locations around the globe, and packed Matter Boxes filled with healthy food to give a boost to the food insecure living in our own neighborhoods. Since a little friendly competition never hurts, we split into teams to see who could pack the most boxes. All in all, it’s estimated that the Give Back Event team impacted 19,000 lives. It was the perfect prelude to the next day’s keynote speeches, which featured Matter CEO and Co-founder Dennis Doyle and his wife, Megan Doyle.

The Connection Between Success and Corporate Giving

A key function of the success of MHEDA’s events is education. Education about material handling, business and other areas can help member organizations improve their processes and refocus on their goals. At June’s MHEDA Summit, we were fortunate enough to hear from Dennis and Megan Doyle. Besides being the CEO of Matter, Dennis is an established real estate professional in the state of Minnesota, serving as Executive Chairman of Welsh Companies and CEO (and Founder) of Wildamere Capital Management. Dennis delivered an in-depth account of his experiences in real estate, as well as an analysis of the current real estate market in Minnesota. Megan spoke about the strong correlation between corporate giving and success in business, and explained to us how giving and charitable activity is more likely to help your bottom line than hurt it, as is sometimes the intuition. Both offered sincere advice, first-hand experience and a more candid, conversational delivery than can normally be found at speaking engagements. We felt all the more inspired after hearing them.

Forging New Relationships

One of the qualities that separated the MHEDA Regional Networking Summit from a lot of other events we’ve experienced was size of the group. Unlike some of the large-scale events that attract thousands of attendees, the smaller number of Summit attendees facilitated the beginning of new friendships and business relationships over the course of the event. Between the opening reception, roundtable discussions and casual conversation, attendees found themselves in situations in which getting to know those around them happened naturally, instead of feeling like work. When it comes to creating a rich networking experience, quality often trumps quantity. The Summit offered the perfect chance to connect with a smaller, yet dedicated and engaging group of material handling professionals.

A group of people wearing business casual clother watches as a woman present a slideshow at the MHEDA Regional Networking Summit

Different types of industry and networking events afford different types of opportunities. Some offer widespread exposure; others a wide range of activities and events. For us, the MHEDA Regional Summit created a unique atmosphere in which we could help others, get to know people with whom we’d only talked in passing, and learn from people who had succeeded both in business and helping others — all of which would not have been possible without MHEDA and help from the Summit’s sponsors: UNEX Manufacturing, J&L Wire, Remis Power Systems and WPRP Wholesale Pallet Rack Products.

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About AK Material Handling Systems

We deliver value to our customers by providing the absolute best combination of quality products, helpful customer service and competitive pricing. We specialize in warehouse layout & design, pallet rack systems, engineered sales, mezzaninesmodular offices and completed turn-key warehouse systems. For more information email us or call (800) 722-5908