Q&A: Kia Schmit, Chelsea Fairweather

Inside MHI

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, Kia Schmit and Chelsea Fairweather 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.

jay traylorKia Schmit, Industry Group Coordinator, MHI

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

I am highly organized and attentive to detail. I utilize both of these skills daily as I support multiple Industry Groups.

What’s a typical day like for you?

My typical day usually includes coordinating meetings, podcasts, blogs and projects/initiatives, and maintaining records, rosters and resources for Industry Groups.

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

I love my to-do lists! I create one daily to stay organized, and it always feels like an accomplishment to cross items off the list and to track my progress on tasks and projects from day to day.

What aspect of the industry is most intriguing to you?

I find the interconnectedness of the different Industry Groups incredibly intriguing. There are so many different components to the supply chain and material handling world, and it is great to see the collaboration within and between groups that positively impacts and elevates the industry as a whole.

On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me…

Going for a walk to a local coffee shop with my husband and my dog.

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

Anything outdoors that incorporates a little adventure—hiking, kayaking, exploring new places.

What is your favorite sports team?

UNC Basketball. Go Tarheels!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

Probably somewhere in the western or southwestern United States, mainly for proximity to so many national parks.

krys slovacekChelsea Fairweather, Membership Development Manager, MHI

What aspect of the industry is most intriguing to you?

I am new to the industry, so it feels like I am intrigued by something different within it every day! With that being said, I would say I am most fascinated by the amount of technology that is involved within the warehouse. Within the first 10 days of being employed at MHI, I had the opportunity to attend MODEX. I was absolutely overwhelmed and amazed as I walked the floor of the tradeshow and saw all of the technology that companies are using to enhance and improve the functionality of the warehouse.

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

To be honest, prior to being hired, I did not know much about the industry. However, I did my research on MHI and quickly saw what an amazing organization it is. I come from a background of working in hospitality and managing memberships at country clubs; therefore, joining a company that has high standards of customer service was important to me. When I realized the great reputation MHI had among its membership, I knew that I would enjoy working for them. I love a good challenge, so not knowing much about the industry and having the opportunity to gain new knowledge really enticed me as well.

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

Communication, time management and positivity. I genuinely enjoy connecting with others and helping to improve their day in any way I can. When working with our membership or team, I always strive to be a clear communicator and get things done as efficiently as possible. I am also big on tackling challenging tasks or problems with optimism, as I am naturally a positive person and believe this approach can help combat the stress associated with challenges.

What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in your role at MHI in the next year?

I am looking forward to getting to know more of our members and connecting with them at our events throughout the year. My goal is to be able to work closely with our membership and become someone they know they can reach out to for assistance with anything involving MHI.

On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me…

Lacing up my shoes to go for a run or a hike! I recently moved to North Carolina where there are countless trails surrounding me. I have been taking advantage of exploring them as much as I can during my free time.

What is your favorite sports team?

New England Patriots! I grew up in Massachusetts and was raised as a Pats fan. I love football Sundays and especially love a football Sunday when I can celebrate a Patriots win!

Do you have a favorite holiday?

Definitely Christmas. I enjoy all of the spirit that the Christmas holiday season brings with it. To me, it really is the most wonderful time of the year! I always look forward to carrying on old traditions and making new memories with my family and friends during the season.

What event/excursion (in your life) would you consider adventurous or especially meaningful?

Back in 2017, my fiancé and I backpacked for 11 weeks through Europe and were able to see over 20 countries. Prior to this trip I had never left the United States and had little experience with traveling. I was somewhat nervous before the adventure, but I am so glad I took the opportunity to go. The time I spent there really opened my eyes to how amazing the world is.

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