Logistics trade group the Material Handling Industry (MHI) has acquired the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) and will continue to operate the smaller group as an independent division, the businesses said today.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The expanded association will serve MHI’s 840 member companies and WERC’s 750 professional members. WERC CEO Michael Mikitka will join MHI as executive vice president of the MHI Knowledge Value Center and will lead the WERC division within MHI.

As combined organizations, the groups will offer expanded knowledge and educational resources to both association’s audiences, Charlotte, North Carolina-based MHI said.

“WERC offers an exciting opportunity for MHI to strengthen and expand the member value for both WERC and MHI’s members in the areas of industry thought leadership and education,” John Paxton, MHI’s COO and CEO-designate, said in a release. “The combination of WERC’s members and their expertise in the warehousing and distribution space supports MHI’s strategy to bring material handling and logistics solution providers and users together in a collaborative environment for connecting, educating, and advancing the industry.”

Oak Brook, Illinois-based WERC was founded in 1977 when a number of individuals from the distribution field came together in search of education, research, and networking opportunities in the field of warehousing. Since then, WERC has developed educational programs and conducted research concerning the warehouse management process.

“WERC joining MHI provides a major growth opportunity for both our associations through an extended service offering for all members,” Mikitka said in a release. “As our industry evolves, together our associations will leverage its resources to provide the products, services and information to advance distribution logistics professionals to do their jobs, excel in their careers and make a difference in the world.”

Known for hosting the the ProMat and MODEX trade shows, MHI has represented the material handling, logistics, and supply chain industry since 1945. Its members include manufacturers of material handling equipment including warehousing and logistics, systems integrators, third-party logistics providers, consultants, and publishers.


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