WERC’s 46th Annual Conference Coming to Orlando in June

WERC Matters

Trio of keynote speakers to focus on “Growth Through Disruption” theme across three areas

annual logoThere’s been plenty of disruption over the past three years, particularly in our field of supply chain. But at the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC)—a division of MHI—we see opportunities for growth and improvement amidst these challenges.

That’s why WERC Advisory Council Directors Rick Gott, W.L. Gore’s Director of Global Logistics and 2023 Conference Chair, and Jeremy Banta, Assistant Professor and Supply Chain Program Management Coordinator at Columbus State Community College and 2023 Conference Vice Chair, chose the theme “Growth Through Disruption” for our 46th Annual Conference.

conference comingSlated for June 4-7, 2023, this in-person event will be hosted at the Hilton Orlando in Florida, home of some of the world’s most magical theme parks. It’s the perfect setting for the magic that happens at each WERC Annual Conference. There’s no better place to meet and reconnect with friends, colleagues and peers. You won’t want to miss the camaraderie and shared, face-to-face interactions that make the Conference so relevant, powerful and valuable to those who attend.

It includes educational sessions that address the current concerns of WERC members, like ongoing workforce challenges, supply chain turbulence and share and hear others’ best practices for corporate, professional and personal growth.

Further, WERC has engaged three dynamic guest speakers from the worlds of hospitality, media and sports to present keynotes built around “Growth Through Disruption.” Each will offer a unique perspective on turning adversity into opportunity, inspiring Conference attendees to embrace ongoing challenges and sharing new strategies to confront them with a positive outlook.

jim knightMonday’s opening keynote is a jam session with Jim Knight, whose career path includes a stint teaching public middle school and two decades leading Global Training at Hard Rock International. Learn how to crank corporate growth up to 11 and thrive in the current supply chain landscape with Knight’s high-energy presentation “Culture that Rocks: How to Amp Up and Revolutionize Company Culture.”

Knight said his presentation will speak to individuals, departments and entire companies who are charged with creating, maintaining and transforming organizational culture.

“With amazing culture that extends all the way down to—and is embraced by—the front lines, your company will enhance employee engagement. That enables you to differentiate through exceptional service,” he noted. “I’ll explain why that starts with servant leadership, as well as how that translates into incredible customer service and corporate growth. Your company can have great products, but without a heart-centered leadership philosophy that gets people engaged, you’ll never achieve your desired results.”

libby gillTuesday’s keynote from Libby Gill—a change management educator and leadership coach who previously led communications at Sony, Universal and Turner Broadcasting—will focus on professional growth. Gill’s session, “Leading Through Change and Challenge,” guides individuals at all levels to thrive under pressure at work.

“Now that we’re essentially through COVID I find a lot of people are saying, ‘Now what? Everything is different,’” she explained. “Work changed forever. You have to acknowledge that changes are not finished and establish where you are today, because what you did yesterday doesn’t work for the future.”

Gill continued that, in terms of professional growth, now is the time to identify the changes that need to be made, and what steps to take to execute toward them. “In my presentation, I take audiences through a five-step ‘Change Checklist.’ That includes reviewing why change is necessary, because as human beings we are naturally resistant to change.”

presenting wednesdayPresenting Wednesday’s closing keynote is Joe Theismann, Super Bowl winning quarterback, author and NFL broadcast analyst for ESPN and the NFL Network. Having overcome significant adversity, Theismann will offer personal growth insights from his experiences. His discussion, “Challenge of Change,” will share actionable takeaways for how individuals can personally thrive when times are tough.

Theismann, the two-time Pro Bowl player and most productive quarterback in Washington Redskins history, recounted how his football career ended during a November 1985 game. A sack that resulted in a compound leg fracture forced him to reconsider both his personal life and professional career.

“At that time, I identified myself through football. Then my world was thrown upside down, which many people can relate to today. I thought it was all about me; I learned that we’re put on this earth to serve, not to be served,” he said. “Not only is your relationship with others important, but so is your relationship with yourself. What gets you out of bed in the morning? In my presentation I emphasize that people need to write their goals down in four areas: personal, professional, spiritual and financial. We’ll talk about figuring out what you want to do and choosing to do it.”

Want to learn more about WERC’s 46th Annual Conference? Visit werc.org/2023 today for details and registration. In addition to reduced Conference registration fees, WERC membership includes full access to WERC’s educational resources, industry-focused research and an expansive network of industry peers. I’m happy to answer your questions about the Conference or WERC membership. Connect with me at [email protected].

Experience the Benefits of WERC at ProMat 2023

New to the world of WERC? Experience the value of a WERC event during ProMat 2023, held March 20-23, 2023, at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

The WERC Connects networking session and luncheon—to be held on Tuesday, March 21—welcomes warehousing, distribution and logistics practitioners and MHI Premier Club members for camaraderie and education. The event will showcase a speaker sharing the type of high-quality, industry focused educational content that WERC is known for, as well as a relaxed atmosphere ideal for building professional connections.

Pre-registration for WERC Connects is required, with a fee for non-Premier Club members. Learn more by contacting Michael Mikitka at [email protected].