The Austin D. Lucas Scholarship Fund (ADLSF) is celebrating 40 years of giving! The Machinery Dealers National Association considers the ADLSF the “Heart of the Association.” Through it we have assisted countless students, giving them the opportunity to meet their educational goals.
The scholarship program was founded in 1983 to provide tuition assistance to children whose parents are employed by MDNA member firms. Since its inception, the Austin D. Lucas Scholarship Fund has awarded over 1,490 scholarships totaling $2,038,500.
These funds have made a real difference for hundreds of students and their families, easing the burden of college or trade school tuition and paving the way for a brighter future. Many recipients are first-generation college students.
“The Austin D. Lucas Scholarship Fund is my passion,” said Kristine Conroy, president of the Austin D. Lucas Scholarship Fund. “I really feel that the Fund is the best thing MDNA does. It changes student lives and is a real benefit that owners can give directly to their employees.”
Funded by donations from MDNA dealers, the fund is actually comprised of many Trusts, each totaling $5000. “Any time someone makes a donation,” said Kristine, “it goes toward a Trust. These Trusts provide a lasting legacy and are established in honor or memory of someone or in support of this worthy cause. Trusts can be established over a period of time or through a one-time donation. Some members give monthly until they reach the $5,000 goal.”
In celebration of 40 Years of Giving, we are inviting members to pledge to start a Trust this year. Members, groups of members, and companies are encouraged to join the “40 for 40” goal of having 40 pledges!
Donations aren’t the only way that MDNA helps build this fund. We also host a yearly fundraiser through the Ray Roberts Raffle. MDNA members make a $100 contribution and have a chance to win $10,000! There are also prizes of $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000. Only 300 tickets are sold, so you have a great chance to win! Tickets are available through your local MDNA chapter.
Through all these means, along with careful stewardship, the Austin D. Lucas Scholarship Fund is proud to give students the opportunity to go to trade school or college and to learn, grow, and make a difference in the world.
If you haven’t made your reservation for convention yet, Kristine Conroy has one more reason for you to attend this year. “I want people to know MDNA the way I know it, “she said. “To me, MDNA is a family.”
For Kristine, the industry goes far beyond buying and selling machinery. “If you are involved in MDNA, you are part of a close-knit family. I have friends in MDNA I’ve known for 35 years. We fly across the country to attend each other’s children’s weddings; we vacation together and stay in close touch. Honestly, my closest friends are MDNA people, and they’re from all over the country.”
Kristine has served on the Convention Committee for over twenty years and values her role as a woman on the committee. She feels that a woman’s perspective adds to the planning of events and enjoys working with the convention committee and closely with Mark Robinson and her husband John. “We all work hard to make every convention special,” she said. Kristine is particularly committed to making the women who attend the convention welcome and works hard to make sure they have a special experience.
In addition to friendship, MDNA Convention & Annual Meeting offers several opportunities to form strong business connections, too. “It’s the best networking tool,” she said. “Convention offers a wonderful environment to network and meet new people.” In fact, many deals originate at the social events at convention.
Even though Kristine has known generations of machinery dealers, she recognizes the value in forming new connections each year. “I really like seeing the younger generation sharing ideas with the older generation and the older generation relating their ideas and the history of the association. It’s a nice blend.”
And while Kristine acknowledges that the dealers come for the seminars, which are extremely informative, she also wants people to plan on having a lot of fun. “Convention is the perfect time to re-acquaint with people in a social setting and engage with friendly competitors. Attending conventions always affords you the opportunity to travel to different cities and experience unique venues. Where else can you party on an aircraft carrier, have a private cocktail party in a theatre in NYC, or have a private event at Pima?”
Still not convinced? Think of it as an investment in your own future. “The more you give to the association,” said Conroy, “the more you get back in your business and in your life.”
The New England Chapter of the Machinery Dealers National Association (MDNA) has elected a new chairman, Marc Mazzalupo, ASA, CEA, for the 2023-2024 leadership cycle. As chair, Mazzalupo will work to advance collaboration among chapter members and lead advocacy efforts for the industry.
Joining Mazzalupo in the chapter’s leadership are the following:
“Serving in MDNA chapter leadership is an honor and a privilege,” said Mark Robinson, Executive Vice President, MDNA. “In electing Mazzalupo as chair, chapter members have acknowledged he has what it takes to effectively lead his fellow members. It is a privilege to represent fellow chapter members at the national level as well.”
Mazzalupo currently works as Vice President of The Branford Group, a global auction and valuation business and longtime MDNA member. The company manages all types of industrial assets and has particular expertise in the technology and life sciences sectors, having hosted most of the electronics assembly, circuit board, and electrical test and measurement sales in the industry.
Throughout his career, Mazzalupo has sold and appraised equipment in multiple countries, including valuing the assets of the largest poultry processer in Australia and installing a blowmolding line in Surabya, Indonesia.
“My family has been involved in the machinery business for two generations,” said Mazzalupo, “and I was able to start learning that market from a very young age. I attended my first MDNA meeting with my father nearly 30 years ago. There was a great deal of collaboration and enthusiasm among the members, and I would like to help foster this type of engagement in the New England chapter.”
According to Mazzalupo, the biggest benefits of MDNA membership are forming connections, which lead to shared knowledge and expertise, as well as investing in equipment with fellow members.
Does your local MDNA chapter have leadership news to share? Be sure to send it to Mark Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can spread the word and offer our congratulations!