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Alongside the Ohio River bordering Indiana, the central hub of premier horseracing, and where Muhammad Ali called home, made way for HARDI’s Emerging Leaders conference in Louisville, Kentucky. The three-day event took place from June 23-25 at the Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville. That Sunday, all newcomers were invited to a first-timer orientation, which helped them better understand what was in store throughout the next few days. Shortly after, the welcome reception commenced at the Graham Café at the hotel.
On the second day, speaker Brent Grover, founder of Evergreen Consulting, took the stage to discuss strategic planning and the importance of implementing such processes in each organization. As Grover explained, this can be done by being the catalyst or volunteering in any capacity. “There should never be an inconsistency in the planning process,” he said. And he showed ways of preventing that through handouts and a visual presentation.
After lunch, the highlight of the conference (and most popular format rated by attendees) was the mentor-led roundtables. Each attendee was assigned a roundtable to sit in on. Each table group rotated in 15-minute increments. The table topics were addressed by experts in the field. This gave the attendees an overwhelming sense of camaraderie and provided a unique learning experience.
That evening’s main event truly spoiled everyone with a boat cruise on the Ohio River. Sponsored by Hardcast, the 96-foot, 2-story yacht was a great place to mingle and have fun. The weather was gorgeous that day. Attendees enjoyed the lush scenery and indulged in fine Kentucky bourbon. It was a fantastic way to cap off a full day of events.
The final day of the conference didn’t disappoint either. The morning activity called “Versagility” tested each attendee’s endurance when it came to strategic partnership. Again, randomly grouped, each team was given a slew of tasks to work on together under various time constraints and conditions. The teams learned valuable insights into on-your-toes strategy planning and implementation. This was an incredibly fun session with lots of energy and excitement.
The event and conference concluded by an almost sci-fi-themed, but very real talk. Kevin Gue, professor of industrial engineering and director of The Logistics and Distribution Institute at the University of Louisville, spoke about robots. Specifically, robots in the warehouse. His talk was titled “Robots riding drones through augmented reality- Is this the future of warehousing?”Attendees had their eyes glued to the screen as Gue showed videos of autonomous machines, agile robots and sensor-driven technology. These systems, as he described, will be a big part of everyone’s future very soon in the distribution and manufacturing channels. This reality check moment was very necessary as these emerging leaders will one day be leaders in these sectors.
HARDI’s annual conference will be held Dec. 3-5 at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.