2018 YPN Outstanding Young Professional Award Winner – Q+A Session

By Laurie Walker, MHI Senior Membership Coordinator

Each year, MHI member companies have the opportunity to submit their employees for the MHI Outstanding Young Professional of the Year Award and the MHI Mentor Award.

We were proud to announce at MODEX 2018 the winner of the MHI Outstanding Young Professional Award is Brian C. Neuwirth from UNEX Manufacturing.
We were recently able to catch up with Brian to learn more about him.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in New Jersey. Upon graduation from Susquehanna University with a BA in Corporate Communications and after receiving a Mini-MBA in Digital Marketing from Rutgers University, I went to work in our family business, UNEX Manufacturing.

My wife and I have two beautiful daughters, ages 7 and 2. In my free time, I enjoy playing golf and taking vacations along the Jersey shore.

What position do you currently hold at UNEX Manufacturing?

I am currently the VP of Sales and Marketing for UNEX. My focus is on developing strategies that generate sales, grow the business and differentiate the company from the competition.

You’ve had so many accomplishments during your career. In your opinion, what has been the most impactful for your company and industry?

UNEX Manufacturing has been around for over 50 years and has had some transitional evolutions. Culturally we are in a good place. Our sales department has a strong mentoring program that we were able to launch. We pair professionals of different generations together and formalize a mentoring relationship. The initial plan was to help the younger/newer staff gain experience, but we’ve seen the benefits on both sides. Mentoring is important to UNEX. It allows us to gain the knowledge and expertise of our longtime staff and pass it along to the newcomers.

What words of advice do you have for new young professionals entering the material handling industry?

The material handling industry is a great industry with lots of opportunity. My best advice for young professionals is to build a network of contacts and peers that spans multiple generations. In addition to that, work hard and focus on learning something new every day.

What do you hope to accomplish and/or work towards in the next 5 years of your career?

In the next 5 years, I will work to continue the expansion of the UNEX footprint. Most recently, our company acquired SpeedCell to help the us enter a new market and expand our reach. I also want to further my professional growth with continued involvement in industry associations, such as MHI and MHEDA. I hope that I will be able to shape the future of the industry with thought leadership and innovations.

Submissions for the Outstanding Young Professional Award and Mentor Award are accepted at the start of each year, with the winners being announced at ProMat and MODEX.

The Outstanding Young Professional Award is given to an MHI member under the age of 40 who has displayed professional accomplishments, effective leadership skills and contributions to their company and industry innovation.

The Mentor Award is awarded to an MHI member who offers professional guidance, is a positive and inspiring role model, instills and nurtures talent, advocates for employees and supports their professional development.

If you know of someone that would be a candidate for either award, be on the lookout for submission forms in December 2018 or check back on the MHI Young Professionals Network webpage. For questions, please contact the MHI membership team at membership@mhi.org.