Announcing the MDM 2020 Future Leaders Award - Modern Distribution Management

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Announcing the MDM 2020 Future Leaders Award

The program will recognize five or more associates who stand out for their passion for the wholesale distribution industry, learning and developing their leadership skills.
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I’m excited to announce that we are sponsoring our first annual MDM Future Leaders Award program, to be presented in January 2020. The program will recognize five or more associates who stand out for their passion for the wholesale distribution industry, learning and developing their leadership skills.  

Several distribution associations that MDM works with closely have networking and education programs that support the emerging leaders within member companies, typically those under the age of 40 who are building strong careers. And as we’ve reported on, the wholesale distribution industry has had an ongoing challenge to be competitive in attracting the best young minds and talent into the management tracks of distribution companies.  

Unfortunately, there is a stereotype of wholesale distribution as being dusty and dirty warehouses plus offices in industrial zones. It has been interesting over the past 10 years or more to see many distributors displaced from their original locations – the value of their property had exploded as these areas redeveloped. 

Increasingly, corporate offices are transforming regardless of location – as in every other industry – to become creative workplaces and cultures that are bringing together the best of the old and the new to stay relevant to the fast-changing needs of customers.  

We’d like to do our part in helping to communicate the incredibly exciting and rewarding careers there are in distribution. With disruption comes opportunity. We are in a unique part of the industry lifecycle where many senior managers and owners of companies are preparing to retire. That is opening up opportunities to grow a career more rapidly than perhaps ever before in nearly every part of a distributor’s operations. And to assume responsibility more rapidly within a distribution company than ever before.  

It is also a unique time in the industry lifecycle when senior managers are placing high value on bringing new talent onboard – associates with strong digital and analytic skills to create a data-driven and digitally literate workforce to stay competitive and close to customers.  

We have a wonderful partnership with Texas A&M and other university distribution programs to provide access to MDM content to students. I also have had a regular opportunity for many years to teach classes about the latest trends and what we are hearing from senior leaders of distribution companies regarding the types of skills and interests they are looking for to bring onto their teams.  

There is an incredible pool of talent entering distribution and already here! We are excited to help recognize the dedicated young leaders who have found that this industry, through which nearly one-third of the U.S. economy flows and is the backbone of the most dynamic economy in the world, is filled with rich and rewarding career opportunities. 

Nominate One of Your Future Leaders 

To nominate one of your associates or colleagues for recognition as an MDM Future Leader, simply fill out this online form. Candidates for the MDM Future Leaders Award must meet the following criteria: 

  • Be under the age of 40 at the time of nomination. 

  • Be actively employed on the team of a distribution company (may be global, no geographic restrictions). 

  • Exhibit the character and drive of a future leader in the distribution industry, which includes a diverse set of skills, interests and capabilities. 

  • Be willing to participate in MDM interviews and video blogs to share their stories, accomplishments and specific areas of passion for the wholesale distribution industry. 

  • Before or upon selection, obtain the approval of management to participate in this award program. 

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