Looking back on his company’s 25 years as a member of the Machinery Dealers National Association, Jose “Pepe” Sardinas most appreciates the “association” part of that relationship.
Sardinas is vice-president and co-owner of AM Metalmaq Inc., a suburban Miami concern that is marking a quarter-century of involvement with the MDNA this year. That time together reflects well on the MDNA, he says, because the organization’s principles and members have been so valuable to his business.
“It’s a group of folks who do the same thing you do and are eager to help you,” he explained in a recent conversation. “You ask them for advice or their opinion and you know you’re confident you’re getting good advice and an informed opinion.”
AM Metalmaq joined the MDNA in 1998, three years after Sardinas joined forces with co-owner and company president George Alves. The company offers a broad selection of new equipment and as well as pre-owned inventory for machine and fabrication shops. Its facility, in Hialeah, provides an ideal location to showcase its wares for customers coming in from Miami International Airport, just a couple of miles up the highway.
AM Metalmaq, founded in 1991, is much less involved in exporting equipment to Latin American and the Caribbean than it was when it joined MDNA. Sardinas says what has been learned through the trade group has helped the company successfully adapt to changing domestic and international markets.
“When people ask me, ‘What’s an organization like (MDNA) going to do for me?’,” Sardinas says. “I tell them, ‘Get yourself involved in it and learn,’ It’s all about the relationships you build over the years. This is an elite group of businesses, and so good to work with. What you can learn is, how to make money.”
Sardinas says he and Alves relish the friendships and trust they have forged with fellow MDNA members — a process that began when they were recruited for membership at a trade expo in Miami Beach. They appreciate the one-to-one nature of such professional contacts, and have enjoyed “working the room” at MDNA functions. In the early years, their conversations often took place amid the scent of cigars the two would bestow as a nod to their Cuban heritage.
“There’s less smoking now,” Sardinas admits, with a laugh. “But we still are occasionally asked, ‘Hey, where are our cigars?’”
Sardinas, who resides in Kendall, Fla., with his wife Ileana, is pleased to have been part of MDNA leadership through the years, having served as the organization’s Southeast Chapter chair and as a member of its national board of directors.
“We have its Code of Ethics posted on our wall,” he declares. “When you’re dealing with MDNA members, you know you’ve taken a step up.”
Every once in a while, life throws you an opportunity that allows you to not only give back but also to recognize one of your friends for their outstanding contributions to the world. One such opportunity presented itself this year during one of my annual cancer benefit auctions when I was asked to help present Dan Wheeler, CEA, of Wheeler Machinery Sales, Inc. and MDNA’s First Vice President, as this year’s recipient of the Gavers Community Cancer Foundation’s “Never Be Defeated” award on Saturday July 15th, 2023, during their annual Barndance in Woodstock, IL. This award is earned by demonstrating an incredibly positive outlook under extreme circumstances and by greatly inspiring others to help them survive cancer.
Travelling to be in attendance to help Dan celebrate this award, which was a surprise to him was Dan’s wife Gina, daughter Sara, my wife Kimmy, and MDNA & AMEA’s Bob Yeoman, Michael Ackerman, and his friends from the Testicular Cancer Foundation.
The Barndance is a 7-hour volunteer run party that draws crowds in excess of 2,000 people to Woodstock, IL, for great BBQ, a ton of raffles, a live auction & awesome bands. The goal being to raise money to help raise cancer awareness through education & screenings, improving cancer care for local residents, & raising funds for cancer research. It really is the area’s best 7-hours of summer every year.
When the call came, I was honored and humbled to help present such a major award to one of the best humans I know. I called a lot of Dan’s friends in the MDNA, as well as his family for help in giving the presentation a fun roast-type presentation rather than a typical dry formal presentation, and yes, big Dan cried…. The question then becomes, what kind of award do you present to your friend upon such a huge honor? I’m not a trophy plague-giving guy, I prefer more personalized tokens so for Dan, I quietly presented him with a 5-pound brass nut that I engraved myself.
Anyone that knows Dan understands his passion for life, his willingness to help anyone, and his total dedication to his family. If you don’t know Dan, make it a point to meet him at a chapter meeting or convention, his fire for life is energizing & motivating, I am happy to call him my friend.
This year’s Barndance raised $524,532 dollars for the fight!!
Jake Josko, C.E.A.
Vice President of Global Sales
You can chart a company’s growth in many ways: sales volume, market share, units shipped, web traffic, year-over-year, month-over-month, etc.
But at Machine Tool Emporium, LLC, the preferred unit of measurement is square feet.
In January of this year, Machine Tool Emporium moved into new, purpose-built quarters in LaGrange, Ky., northwest of Louisville. The structure encloses 18,000 square feet — all air-conditioned and heated, and more than six times the area of the company’s original, rented quarters near the Louisville airport.
“This is not some little warehouse,” said Mark Coxon, Machine Tool Emporium’s managing partner, and the MDNA’s Ohio Valley Chapter chairman and national Board representative. “This is a very professional atmosphere, where we can have machines of all sizes on display.”
Machine Tool Emporium opened for business five years ago and, while Coxon said it still specializes in CNC chip cutting units, now handles an array of used machinery from lathes to punches and presses, saws and shears.
"We dabble in pretty much everything,” he summarized.
From the outset, his business has enjoyed what Coxon calls “quite a growth curve.” It soon became obvious that to continue on that trajectory would require more space. When he located a six-acre tract for sale in LaGrange, he didn’t hesitate.
“We decided if we’re going to do it we’d better do it now, before we see 7- or 8-percent interest rates,” he recalls. The business offices, warehouse, and showroom were mapped out in a building that features foot-thick reinforced concrete floors to handle the weight of the wares. Ground was broken in August 2022 and the Emporium opened its new doors five months later.
The additional square-footage is quickly being put to good use. Just a few months into its new surroundings, Machine Tool Emporium has shipped machinery throughout North America and as far away as India. And the prospect future growth doesn’t concern Coxon like it did a couple of years ago.
"We have room on our land now for another 18,000 square feet,” he notes, with a smile.
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It won’t surprise you to know that a machinery merchant named Generation Machine Tools can trace its history back more than a century.
Marshall Schulman and his son, Matt, are the third and fourth generations of their family to buy, sell, and appraise used machinery. The Schulman business began in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1908 and eventually made its way onto nearby Long Island. It now looks to the future from a new structure that consolidates the corporate offices and warehouse and should open by mid-August in the Sarasota area, on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
“We traded snow for sand,” said Schulman of the move to Florida, which came in 2016. “And we have grown steadily.”
The Schulmans incorporated as Generation Machine Tools after relocating to Bradenton, Fla. Marshall has more than a half-century of experience in machinery sales and Matt, now the owner of Generation, has 15 years in the trade.
The company handles appraisal, acquisition, and sales of CNC machinery as well as conventional machine tools and fabricating devices. The consistent growth since the move to the Sunshine State made roomier quarters not just a want, but a need.
“It was always my goal to own my own facility,” said Matt Schulman, whose business has been operating from rented buildings clustered in Bradenton, just a mile from the new structure.
Generation Machine Tools employs nine people and most of its business in done in the U.S. The new building covers 20,000 square feet, which is nearly triple the space Generation had in its initial four buildings. Schulman said he has the flexibility to put another 10,000 square feet under roof on the Generation property.
“This building has been master-planned to allow us to grow,” he said. “We bought the property just before COVID, and things are finally happening.”
Ryan Yoder is determined to make the most of MDNA Locator so his fellow Machinery Dealers National Association business owners can make the most of their MDNA membership.
MDNA Locator is the website for Locator Services, Inc., the MDNA subsidiary that serves as a one-stop marketplace for machinery sales, resales and expertise. Your can find it here.
Yoder is a member of MDNA leadership, serving as the board’s alternate representative for the Detroit/Toledo Region. The MDNA board asked him to chair Locator Services’ board of directors and he began his term in January of this year. He immediately focused on MDNA Locator, which he believes offers great value to MDNA members.
“This is a growing platform,” he declared. “Trust is a big selling point, and you have that with MDNA. It wasn’t at the height of its potential but everything we’re seeing so far is trending up.”
As the third generation of his family in the machinery business, Yoder relies on more than 20 years’ experience to understand what both buyers and sellers need to know. He established Yoder Brothers Machinery in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, in 2018, and is its CEO. He’s assisted there by his brother, Kory, as operations manager, and his father, Tim, is still active in the operation.
The MDNA’s sales assistance began in the 1960s as a book provided to its member companies. The book was updated monthly, but with the advent of the internet, it gave way to MDNA Locator. The organization has assembled a strong customer relationship management database and improved the initial website design with the goal of providing the ideal centralized marketplace.
MDNA Locator bills itself as “the gold standard when you need to find the perfect machine for your job,” and it backs that up with detailed information on thousands of items in categories ranging from air compressors to woodworking machines. The “Miscellaneous” category alone contains more than 2,000 listings. There is also a “Machinery Wanted” section for prospective buyers, as well as links to more than 1,000 MDNA-member machinery buyers and sellers.
Yoder said initial website activity results and member feedback have been encouraging.
“We’re seeing a lot more traffic,” he declared, adding that he is especially pleased by the “substantial” number of sale and resale listings and the share increase MDNA Locator has achieved in a competitive online market.
“MDNA Locator is a solid base for us to build on,” he concluded. “Our job now is to continue to raise the level of the website’s performance. When that happens, we’ll have built that better mousetrap for the buyer.”
Dear MDNA Members,
I recently received this note from your fellow member, John Green, CEA of FL Sales. I love getting notes like this because hearing from members about the success of our benefits is always stronger coming from members.
“I was one of the first to use the new Machine Hub email blasts. I am selling some CNC machines, which, as you know, I typically do not sell. Even though the machines are still for sale, Machine Hub helped develop the HTML based on the info and pictures I sent them. As a result of the mailing, we have sent out 35 quotes on the machines. I would highly recommend the mailing list, and I have already signed up for two more in the future.”
Through July, MDNA Members can launch a Machine Hub Email Blast for $1,500. Customize your email message to fit your event and let Machine Hub handle the rest by clicking the link below.
Launch a Machine Hub Email Blast
If you believe a resort getaway can’t also be good for business, Matt Gadsden begs to differ.
Matt Gadsden, chairman of the European Chapter of the Machinery Dealers National Association (MDNA) enjoyed the sun and festivities like everyone else who took in the 2023 conference of the European Association of Machine Tool Merchants (EAMTM) in early June. At the same time, he enjoyed the company of machinery industry leaders from throughout continental Europe and beyond, listening to their perspectives on issues of common interest and building relationships upon which future prosperity rests.
“In Europe, we have access to varying markets in different countries,” Gadsden noted. “You’re trading daily with France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Portugal. And friendships within the EAMTM open up a greater range of markets to the MDNA.”
Matt was not the only MDNA member at the meeting, which this year took place at the Grande Real Santa Eulalia Hotel & Spa on Portugal’s southwestern coast. A number of MDNA members with memberships in both trade organizations also were in attendance, but his position as MDNA’s European chapter chair lent added significance to his discussions with
counterparts from other nations. He believes such dialogue strengthens both organizations.
“It’s about like-minded individuals building relationships, finding new business partners,” he says of the benefit. “As you speak with each other, you find friendships, develop trust, and its easier to do business together.”
The EAMTM, headquartered in Brussels, is an organization of more than 150 member companies operating in 20 nations throughout Europe and beyond. Now in its 50th year of operation it, like the MDNA, affords it members a valuable trading forum governed by a code of professional ethics.
Matt is a senior account executive with London-based Liquidity Services, who is no stranger to EAMTM annual conferences. He says he and other MDNA attendees are always warmly welcomed by members of the host organization.
“It’s important for machinery dealers and resellers — on either side of the world— to have a like-minded group of business associates, partners who all adhere to a code of ethics and trade between each other.” he continues. With his EAMTM contacts, Matt has found “a shared love of what we do and the ability to be able to trust the people with whom you are considering working with and associating.”
Matt encourages MDNA members who wish to broaden their business horizons to consider joining the EAMTM and taking part in the annual conference experience. There has always been a strong bond between the two associations over a large number of years.
“I always like talking about the friendships and the associations I’ve built up with people over the past 23 years,” he says of the word he takes back to this MDNA colleagues. He’s well aware that the EAMTM Conference “is a long way to travel,” but adds: “I try to tell people they should come across and share. It’s well worth doing and is only a benefit to your business.”
Gadsden says he is eager to build on the contacts he has made at EAMTM conferences. ”The collaboration between these two organizations is strong,” he declared. “and needs to get so much stronger.”
Most people don’t look forward to Mondays but, if you enjoy golf and good company, there’s a great experience in store for you on the first Monday in August.
The Machinery Dealer National Association’s Detroit/Toledo Chapter will hold its annual golf outing and chapter meeting on Monday, August 7, at the Northville Hills Golf Club, just northwest of metro Detroit. Registrations are accepted from individuals and foursomes. The $160-per-person fee covers pre-round range time, greens fees and cart, as well as a light lunch, and dinner following the day’s play. A shotgun start will get things going at 10 a.m. sharp.
MDNA members and premier sponsors are welcome to register for the event, which usually attracts 80 or more golfers. The outing is a tradition with the Detroit/Toledo Chapter, and will include a chapter membership business meeting following dinner.
“The annual MDNA golf outing is one of the best chances of the year for members to connect and network with other members,” said Detroit/Toledo Chapter Chairman Hamilton Cauffiel. “After our 18-hole scramble round, members will connect over dinner, drinks, competition awards, and outstanding door prizes for all. Also, on the golf course we give companies an opportunity to showcase their companies through sponsoring holes and prizes.”
Hole sponsorships are available at $250.
Cauffiel and fellow chapter officers Parker Patrona, Chase Thornton, and Mike Neil, are this year’s event planning committee.
“This is the first time we’ve held this at Northville Hills,” noted John Stencel IV, a member of the MDNA Board. “It’s a very scenic course and we expect to see people coming from all over the country. This is a nationwide event.”
Northville Hills is an Arnold Palmer Signature public course that opened in 2000. The scenic 6,021-yard, par 72 layout recently was ranked among the Top 20 Courses in Michigan by Golf Advisor. The course address is 15565 Bay Hill Drive in Northville, and is easily accessible off I-275/I-96 via Michigan 14.
“It’s a great networking opportunity every year,” Stencel said. “For an opportunity to get to know someone, there’s nothing quite like 18 holes of golf.”
“This is truly one of the most exciting events the MDNA puts on every year and we hope to see everyone there,” Cauffiel added.
The registration RSVP and hole sponsorship deadline is Friday, July 28, to Patrona at email@example.com
Detroit/Toledo Chapter Board Representative Nick Gibbs