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AK MATERIAL HANDLING SYSTEMS (AKMHS) has been awarded MHEDA’s (Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association) prestigious MVP (Most Valuable Partner) Award for 2020, based on their accomplishments in 2019. The award marks the 10th consecutive year AKMHS has earned MVP distinction from MHEDA.

Award recipients must satisfy a rigorous set of criteria with less than 10% of the association’s membership earning the award. As a 2020 MVP, AKMHS has successfully demonstrated a commitment to business excellence, professionalism, and good stewardship.

To qualify for the annual MVP Award companies are required to provide evidence of their commitment to customers, employees, and suppliers. They must satisfy criteria in the following important areas:
• Industry Advocacy
• Customer Service & Safety Practices
• Business Networking
• Continuing Education
• Business Best Practices

“Achievement of MHEDA’s MVP status represents members who have demonstrated a commitment to their business and its employees, their industry and also to the communities within which they serve,” said Mike Vaughn, 2019 MHEDA Chairman of the Board and Chief Financial Officer of Liftech Equipment Companies in East Syracuse, N.Y.

David E. Laskey Director of Facilities & Operations at Second Harvest Heartland (SHH), applauded AKMHS’s staff for their current work at the SHH food banks: “We are building a new facility in Brooklyn Park, Minn. and moving our main headquarters and distribution center operations from Maplewood, Minn. into this new (fully remodeled) facility. The project is extremely complex which required AK to plan and coordinate very closely with several of our contractors (i.e. GC and Architect) as well as internal SHH staff to execute flawlessly. AK’s “Turn-Key” service has made this piece of the project easy to manage.”

AKMHS President, Joshua E. Smith, credited his staff’s “exemplary company culture and dedication to customer service” as key to AKMHS’s success. This same culture nurtures their long-time relationships with manufacturers and suppliers. “We are who we are because of our business partners.”

“To me, the relationship we have with AK Material Handling is what a true partnership is all about” wrote Tom Wagner, Central West & Canada Region Manager at UNEX Manufacturing. “My experience with AK over the past six years as their UNEX Regional Manager has been fantastic. AK’s dedication to sales representative training, joint customer calls, trade shows, and featuring their products on their social media platforms has made them one of my top distributors.”

AKMHS delivers value to their clients by providing the absolute best combination of quality product, helpful customer service, and competitive pricing. AKMHS specializes in warehouse layout & design, pallet rack systems, engineered system sales, mezzanines, modular offices and completed turnkey warehouse systems. Founded in 1988, AKMHS employs 27 full and part-time staff at their headquarters and distribution center in Maple Grove, Minn. and their Eastern distribution center in East Stroudsburg, Pa.

MHEDA is the premier trade association dedicated to serving all segments of the material handling business community. MHEDA represents close to 650 companies in the material handling equipment business. Located in suburban Chicago, the association provides services to companies seeking to improve their business through education, networking, benchmarking and best practices. For more information, visit

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