As IWLA members return to their companies with new connections and innovative ideas, we take a moment to reflect on 2015 IWLA Convention & Expo highlights.
The 2015 IWLA Convention attracted a record number of warehousing professional attendees and exhibiting supplier partners. In addition, dozens of members experienced their first IWLA annual meeting. The association extends a special outreach to these new attendees, including a special breakfast, a reception, and a buddy program (led by IWLA Board Member Bruce Stoddard from Parke Warehouses in Illinois).
One first-timer, Morris Glaze, works in warehouse sales at Standard Transportation Services based in Joplin, Mo. Glaze also serves as mayor pro tem for the City of Joplin, as the town is approaching the fourth anniversary of the 2011 tornado which caused significant destruction – and around which the logistics community rallied to help back on its feet.
The mingling of newcomers with veteran IWLA members enhanced many social activities in the expo hall and networking receptions. Guests also enjoyed the view of the beautiful Savannah harbor, often stopping to watch the massive cargo ships as they cruised by. Attendees also ventured via ferry across the river to take in downtown Savannah’s restaurants and historical sites.
Innovation Contest Enhances the Expo
Attendees to the IWLA Expo voted in the first-ever IWLA Innovation Contest. Exhibitors who showcased their most innovative products and services received votes from the warehouse owners and executives. The top voted company in each category received an award from IWLA – and bragging rights. IWLA congratulates innovative product winner FlatFork and innovative service winner Select Staffing.
Speakers Inspire Leadership and the Future
Keynote speaker, volunteer football coach and Memphis businessman, Bill Courtney inspired attendees with a recollection of his life and what it means to truly be a leader for all of the right reasons. He recounted his experience coaching a struggling football team and the trust that he had to earn from the team members in order to lead them to success.
General session speaker Libby Gill also inspired the group with lessons learned via her leadership as the head of communications at Universal Studios. She talked about what powerful motivation it is to give employees hope. This gives allows them to embrace positive beliefs and behaviors – and be more accountable. Gill’s advice is to build a brand that employees can be proud of and identify with. This enthusiasm will lead outsiders to feel the same about your brand.
Another speaker, Michael Rogers, painted a fascinating picture of what the future will look like. Technology is moving at warp speeds as we enter into a completely virtual world. He discussed the transformation into the wearable age. From Google Glass to mobile devices becoming as powerful as computers, the possibilities seem endless. He also addressed a new generational classification emerging out of children today who are introduced to technology at a young age. These future workers will be more adaptable to digital technologies. He also defined new buzzwords that will shape business: augmented reality, virtualization of the economy, and artificial intelligence.
Members Earn Recognition
IWLA honored several members during the annual business meeting. Three recipients were awarded the Jock Menzies 2015 IWLA Distinguished Service Award:
- Darby Strickland, the late President of Shippers Warehouse
- Paul Delp, President & CEO of Lansdale Warehouse Co., Inc.
- Gary Minardi, President of San Jose Distribution Services
IWLA recognized Treasurer IWLA Treasurer Mark DeFabis, CEO of Plainfield, Ind.-based Integrated Distribution Services, Inc., as the 2015 IWLA Government Affairs Person of the Year. (See press releases in the Members Newsfeed section.)
See you next year! The 2016 IWLA Convention & Expo is coming to Orlando, Fla., March 13-15.