Inside MHI

q and a

Hannah Mead
Rachel Picot

The people who work at MHI and its WERC division are the gears that keep the association moving. 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 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, Hannah Mead and Rachel Picot 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.

Hannah Mead
Marketing Data Analyst

hannah mead

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

I was attracted to MHI because of the impact it has on the supply chain industry and its mission statement. I’m blessed to know I’m an asset to not only my department and company but to the community. My first impressions of the organization were developed by like-minded individuals who share a common goal in personal development and have a footprint in the community. There is ample room to grow and learn from the many subject matter experts, and I look forward to seeing where this opportunity takes me and how I can elevate MHI’s data-driven decision-making through machine learning (ML) and statistical analysis.

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

My goal is to establish clear definitions for KPIs and metrics while laying the groundwork for easily accessible analysis, including projections and goal tracking. I aim to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our data-driven decision-making processes by providing a robust foundation for comprehensive analysis and insights. In doing so, I aspire to become a well-integrated asset to the company and its people, contributing to the overall success and collaborative spirit of the team.

What’s a typical day like for you?

A typical day for me as a data scientist at MHI involves diving into the intricacies of industry trends, analyzing datasets and collaborating with crossfunctional teams on projects. I spend a significant portion of my day leveraging computational statistical analysis and ML techniques to extract meaningful insights and create live views that are easily accessible. Meetings with colleagues and stakeholders are essential for aligning our analyses with MHI’s mission, and I’m continuously honing my skills in statistics and ML to stay at the forefront of developments in data science. It’s a dynamic routine that allows me to contribute to the company’s goals through informed decision-making and analytical innovation.

What aspect of the industry is most intriguing to you?

What most intrigues me is the intersection of technology and logistics. Witnessing the ongoing advancements in technology and how they reshape supply chain dynamics, enhance operational efficiency and improve overall logistics processes is particularly fascinating. I’m enthusiastic about exploring innovative solutions and leveraging data science to contribute to MHI’s endeavors at the forefront of these exciting developments.

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

Outside the realm of data analytics, I have a passion for culinary arts, and regularly experiment with new recipes during gatherings with family and friends. On a more competitive note, I’ve had the honor of representing my skills internationally in table tennis. Moreover, I find joy in expanding my horizons by learning and speaking multiple languages, adding a cultural dimension to my diverse skillset.

What is the last book you read?

“Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century” by Michio Kaku. It’s a thought-provoking read that delves into the potential scientific advancements that could shape our future. I’m currently in the process of finishing it, finding it both intellectually stimulating and enlightening.

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

Thailand—I haven’t visited, but the beautiful scenery, great food, relaxed lifestyle, diverse and friendly culture and location to other countries to use as a base for SE Asia travel are all reasons why I would consider living in Thailand.

What is your favorite sports team?

My favorite sports teams are the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL and Mercedes in Formula 1.

Rachel Picot
Exhibitor Services Coordinator

rachel picot

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

I was initially attracted to MHI because of the high performing Exhibitions Team and seeing how long some employees have been with MHI was a huge green flag. As a special events planner, transitioning to the world of tradeshows and exhibitions in this role, specifically with MODEX and ProMat, has been especially exciting and I’ve learned so much already. I’m really looking forward to my first MODEX this March!

What was your first impression of this industry, and has it changed since then?

My first impression was a bit different coming from a Food and Beverage (F&B) background! Previously, I worked in special events and catering for a golf and country club and then a yacht club. Seeing the executive chef and purchasing director ordering food and beverages from their purveyors multiple times a week, if not daily, and how the orders were delivered so quickly, was really fascinating and was only possible due to the supply chain. The times during COVID and even post-COVID really showed me how the supply chain has a major impact on most businesses’ daily operations and how to be flexible with last-minute changes as they occur. Of course, my impression has changed tremendously as I’ve learned that the industry goes way beyond just the F&B supply chain, but that was my first impression.

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

Some of the best skills I bring to my position managing the On-Floor Education Seminars are my administrative and problem-solving skills. My attention to detail, organized manner, ability to multi-task and willingness to take on a challenge have really helped me grow into my position here at MHI.

What aspect of the industry is most intriguing to you?

I think automation is the most fascinating to me right now because of how endless the possibilities are and how rapidly the technology is being developed. I’m really excited for MODEX 2024 to see some of it firsthand on the show floor.

I think automation is the most fascinating to me right now because of how endless the possibilities are and how rapidly the technology is being developed. I’m really excited for MODEX 2024 to see some of it firsthand on the show floor.

What is at the top of your bucket list?

Travelling to and exploring Tahiti… or really any of the French Polynesian Islands.

Finish this sentence. On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me…

Playing pickleball with friends or taking Cali, my rescue pup, to the park.

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

I really enjoy biking, whether it’s a stationary bike at a workout class or biking on a trail here in NC. I actually just visited NYC, and my favorite part was biking through Central Park.

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

I have a specific event that comes to mind, and it really is a full circle moment for me. When I was a teenager, my Nana, mom, sister and I travelled from Florida to California to visit my uncle and his family and we all had our Vera Bradley tote bags/ backpacks with us on the flight as our carry-ons. A woman on the flight was so happy to see three generations all carrying her company’s products, and we ended up chatting—later, she sent us new product samples before they launched! This was extremely exciting since my family loved this brand and it was something we all bonded over. Later in the year, my mom and I were invited to attend their consumer conference in Orlando called “A Colorful Day: The Ultimate Vera Bradley Experience,” and it was an absolutely incredible experience and the first time I was exposed to a conference of that magnitude. I believe this to be the meaningful event that made me fall in love with the world of event planning, conferences and marketing, ultimately choosing to study Hospitality & Communications in college and choosing a career in this space.