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60 Seconds with Sal Fateen of Seizmic and MHEFI

Modern Materials Handling sat down with Sal Fateen, CEO of Seizmic and president of the Material Handling Education Foundation Inc. to talk about the industry.


CEO of Seizmic and president of the Material Handling Education Foundation Inc.


Covina, Calif., and Charlotte, N.C.


Fateen joined MHEFI in 2011 and became president in 2018. He has worked with materials handling companies since 1973. In 1985, he started Seizmic Inc., handling structural engineering and consulting for all facets of materials handling and logistics.

Modern: Sal, let’s start with the simple question: What does MHEFI stand for, and what does the foundation do?

Fateen: MHEFI stands for the Material Handling Education Foundation Inc. It is a 501c3 charitable organization with the mission to engage and attract students to the materials handling, logistics and supply chain industries by providing financial support.

Modern: How did the foundation get started?

Fateen: MHEFI was established in 1976 by the MHI Board of Directors. We received a $3,000 seed donation by Harnischfeger Corporation and Henry Harnischfeger, which was matched by MHI members. With that start, MHEFI awarded the first two scholarships for the 1976-1977 academic term. Since then, MHEFI has supported more than 1,000 students and educators seeking pathways to quality educational programs and fulfilling careers.

Modern: That’s a lot of people the foundation has supported. How is the foundation funded?

Fateen: MHEFI receives its funding through contributions from MHI and MHEDA members, MHI Industry Groups, named scholarship funds and endowments and other general donations.

Modern: Key to the success of MHEFI is the involvement of individuals from within the industry. Sal, when and why did you get involved?

Fateen: Since I have been in the materials handling industry since 1973, this became my industry, and I owe it a debt that I pay by being involved through any means I can. I joined MHEFI in 2011.

Modern: How do I, or someone at my company, get information about applying for one of the scholarship opportunities available for participating industry association member company employees or families?

Fateen: The foundation awarded scholarships to an employee of a MHEDA member company and a family member of an MHI member company for the 2020-2021 academic year. We hope to have many more people apply this year. You can go to to apply. Eligibility and instructions are on the website. We will accept applications until January 15, 2021, and scholarships will be awarded by April 30, 2021.

Modern: Last question: This is the time of year when many individuals contribute to non-profits and charitable organizations. How can I make a financial contribution to MHEFI?

Fateen: The foundation accepts contributions by check or credit card. Checks can be mailed to MHEFI, 8720 Red Oak Blvd., Suite 201, Charlotte, N.C., 28217. Credit card donations can be made at MHEFI is a charitable organization, so contributions may be tax deductible. Donors should consult a tax professional if there are any questions. MHI members also earn Loyalty Points for their donations to the foundation starting at a minimum of $500.

For more information about MHEFI or to get involved in supporting students, visit

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About the Author

Bob Trebilcock's avatar
Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock is the executive editor for Modern Materials Handling and an editorial advisor to Supply Chain Management Review. He has covered materials handling, technology, logistics, and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at 603-852-8976.
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