When recruiting new members, we spend a lot of time answering the question, “What is the value proposition of MHEDA?” With the vast array of services offered, that value proposition means different things to different people. But in reality, the most valuable proposition of MHEDA is something very personal. Let me explain.
One of our members, Kurt Nelson told me a story that happened at last year’s convention. Kurt and his spouse Tana were seated at the closing dinner in Miami with new members, Hubert and Bettina Muhldorfer. Hubert is the CEO of Motus Online Service GmbH and forklift-international.com.
Kurt’s wife Tana has family in Germany, as her mother came to the USA from there in 1960 so Tana and Hubert immediately found common ground. They all shared stories about their businesses and families. When the Nelson’s mentioned that their daughter, Kendall Nelson, was graduating the following week with a Graphic Design and Fine Arts Degree from Oklahoma State University, Hubert said, "I think we could use a graphic designer."
A few weeks later, Hubert followed up with an email to Kurt and in September, Kendall traveled to Germany for the 90 days her passport would allow and was assigned projects that utilized her skills, working with websites, creating an "App", designing logos, and updating marketing materials. Both parties were evidently happy with one another, as Kendall subsequently signed a one year employment agreement and returned to Germany on a work visa.
This is just one example of numerous stories of members helping members in a most personal way. Sometimes it’s business and sometimes it’s family but it’s always personal. Years ago, I heard from a member whose daughter was traveling across the country and her car broke down. The first thing he did was pull out the membership directory and contact a trusted fellow MHEDA member for help. Another time, a member in New Jersey was completing a big rack job in Florida but due to a customer issue, the installation was delayed and the product had to be stored for a short time. He called a fellow MHEDA member in Florida who helped him out by providing warehouse space.
On my own personal level, I have made hundreds of friends through MHEDA and know that I could call upon any one of them if I was in need. When my father suffered a debilitating stroke a few years ago and I started an online journal, so many MHEDA members followed that journey with me and provided me with incredible inspiration. One of those close confidants was Bruce Pelynio who became a great source of strength to me during this struggle.
On December 20, 2018, tragedy struck when a private plane went down and Bruce, President and CEO of Heli Forklifts along with Wei Chen and two other company executives were killed. Bruce has been a member of MHEDA throughout his entire career and I can speak for my MHEDA colleagues, Bruce became a dear friend. Our hearts were broken when we heard this tragic news and our prayers extend to Bruce’s family and to everyone who knew him. Turn to page XX, to read about the life and accomplishments of this wonderful man who impacted so many lives.
So, what’s the value proposition of MHEDA? It is certainly the education, industry reports, sharing of best practices and knowledge transfer. But at its very core, it’s much more than that. It’s personal. Those personal relationships that are formed through MHEDA can make an enormous difference in your business and your life. Kurt Nelson concluded his recent convention experience with this: “This is a story of a little girl growing up going to MHEDA conventions with her mom and dad, now working in the industry. Imagine that!” And a quote from a long time MHEDA member that for me, always drives home the value of MHEDA: “No matter how smart we are as one, we can never reach a level as high, as when we combine our knowledge with that of others. I have found that networking through MHEDA, I have been associated with some of the most brilliant minds in this business, and I have benefited from their success, and avoided some of their failures because of that association.”
As always, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 847-204-3500 or visit us on Twitter @MHEDAOffice.