Q&A – Heather Taylor and Rose Haire

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The people who work at MHI and its WERC division are the gears that keep the association rolling. They ensure MHI continues to be a valuable association and resource for people involved in the industry, and do so with wit, competence and a smile on their face. The goal of this column in MHI Solutions magazine is to give readers a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes at MHI and “meet” the people who make it a successful hub for everyone involved in the material handling industry.

For this issue, Heather Taylor and Rose Haire give us a peek into what they do, how they do it, what drives them and what makes them happy after a long, productive day at work.

rose haire

Heather Taylor, Program Director, Market Intelligence, MHI

Why were you attracted to MHI and to this industry as a career choice?

It’s exciting to be part of such a vital and innovative industry. About five years prior to joining MHI, I worked at a member company. The experience of being a member gave me an appreciation for how broad and expansive the industry really was, especially as e-commerce became more prevalent. I knew there was potential for MHI to impact material handling sectors around the world. I chose to join MHI with the hope of developing the statistical reporting program into a world-class program. I also wanted to connect members with additional research and data sources that could help them make informed decisions.

What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your position at MHI?

My enthusiasm for learning and sharing information are strong assets in this role. I have experience conducting research, interpreting data and utilizing both to provide actionable insight. I have 15+ years of experience developing strategic roadmaps and then operationalizing those strategic plans. Being able to process information at the macro and micro levels helps me continually improve existing products and services while also identifying new opportunities for consideration.

What gives you the greatest sense of accomplishment (professionally) at the end of the day?

I enjoy connecting members to information and content that helps them move forward with their business planning. I proudly recommend our member resources like forecasts and special reports by Jason Schenker, president of Prestige Economics and chairman of The Futurist Institute, and industry forecasts by Oxford Economics.

My role allows me to interact with many members daily. For some members, I might be the only connection they have with MHI. I use that opportunity to cultivate strong relationships and build rapport, often with a blend of humor and professionalism, but mostly humor.

What aspect of the industry is most intriguing to you?

I’m intrigued by the limitless potential for our industry to connect people with products from around the world—even through crises. Innovation and adaptation are ongoing in this industry. At the time of this writing, we have a record backlog of container ships off the U.S. coast. Supply chain experts will learn many lessons from this experience. New technology solutions and processes will be implemented that do not exist today—both at the macro and micro level in terms of people, jobs, data, automation, connectivity, etc.

What is at the top of your bucket list?

I hope to see The Shire (Hobbiton) movie set in New Zealand one day. I hope to visit every continent during my lifetime. As I get older, I am more averse to cold weather so Antarctica might get dropped from the list. I want to see the auroras in optimal viewing locations, but I am now reconsidering this idea since it also involves cold climates.

Do you have any unique skills or talents that most people don’t know about?

I am an aspiring metalsmith. Metals are pricey so it’s hard to feel experimental when it comes to metalsmithing right now. I’ve utilized etching, cold connections (like riveting and wire stitching), lost wax casting, soldering, forging and welding. Etching and casting are my favorite techniques and I still have much to learn there. I want to try enameling and granulation next.

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?

I enjoy reading, although I haven’t prioritized it lately as I should have. I’m happiest spending time with my family, which usually involves creative projects at home like Lego builds or home improvement. I also enjoy outdoor activities like mountain biking, camping and hiking.

What are some causes you care about?

I probably give the most time and money to animal rehabilitators: Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, Carolina Wildlife Conservation Center and Hatteras Island Wildlife Rehabilitation. Some of the other causes I care about include education (particularly science, arts and cultural charities), mental health support and environment/conservation.

rose haire

Rose Haire, Manager of Industry Groups, MHI

Why were you attracted to MHI and to this industry as a career choice?

When I came to MHI, I did not know about material handling. I was working as a contractor with a tech support firm and looking for a more stable position. Previously, I worked for several of the local banks as they changed names and had mergers.

What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your position at MHI?

My background with project management and working with remote teams.

What aspect of the industry is most intriguing to you?

Recent events have driven changes in the industry we knew were coming, but the adoption of new technologies has been on an unprecedented trajectory. It is intriguing to me to witness the changes happening and the new innovations being developed.

What do you like most about your job?

There is never a dull moment and there is always something new whether in the industry as new technologies emerge or professionally, as with the leadership program.

What is at the top of your bucket list?

I want to travel outside the United States. I renewed my passport just before COVID, so you see how that’s going!

What is the last book you read?

Non- fiction was “The Body Keeps Score” by Bessel van der Kolk and fiction was “The Watchmaker of Filigree Street” by Natasha Pulley

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?

Depends on my mood, but generally reading. I find it to be a great escape and a chance to “live” in another’s life for a time.

Do you have a favorite holiday?

I love Halloween, for the time of year and the costumes. I love seeing a creative costume!