MHEFI Announces Two New Endowments Sponsored by SIGI

Friday, October 13, 2023

The Material Handling Education Foundation, Inc. (MHEFI) is honored to receive two endowments that will benefit students. The new endowments were announced during an October 3rd ceremony at the MHI Annual Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Southworth International Group, Inc. (SIGI) is funding the endowments for $100,000 each. SIGI is the parent company of several leading manufacturers of ergonomic work positioning equipment used in manufacturing, assembly, warehousing, retail, and other facilities. Both endowments were established to honor former SIGI employees.

The Brian E. McNamara Honor Scholarship was established to recognize and honor the significant contributions made by Brian to the material handling industry. James Cabot, SIGI President and CEO, stated: “Over a 40-year career with SIGI, Brian McNamara provided key vision, leadership, and determination to enable our business to continue to grow and evolve. The modern SIGI is really a testament to this vision and leadership. At the same time, he has been an active and engaged participant in MHI activities. He has championed bringing new talent into our industry through involvement with MHEFI, CICMHE, and other groups. It is therefore fitting that we recognize Brian’s business leadership, volunteer spirit, and focus on educating and mentoring the next generation through a scholarship fund bearing his name and endowed in perpetuity.”

The James J. Galante Memorial Scholarship was established to recognize and memorialize the significant contributions made by James J. Galante to the industry. "Jim enjoyed a more than 50-year career in the material handling industry between Autoquip Corporation and SIGI,” stated Cabot. “His career was diverse including roles in service, sales, product development, codes and standards, education and training in the areas of ergonomics and material handling technologies. In his heart, however, Jim was a teacher and a mentor, and he liked nothing more than working with and sharing his knowledge with younger colleagues within our company and across the industry. Therefore, we are honored to be able to remember Jim and to celebrate his spirit and legacy with an endowed fund bearing his name for perpetuity through MHEFI."

The Brian E. McNamara Honor Scholarship and the James J. Galante Memorial Scholarship will be awarded each year to deserving students who apply through the MHEFI scholarship program.

 “We are incredibly grateful to SIGI for establishing these generous endowments for MHEFI. In addition to paying tribute to two esteemed leaders, these endowments will open doors for young students to embark on their journey into our industry,” MHI CEO John Paxton stated.

The Material Handling Education Foundation, Inc. (MHEFI) is an independent charitable organization that was established in 1976. Since 1976, its programs have supported over 1,000 students and educators seeking pathways to quality educational programs and fulfilling careers. The demands of today’s global economy and fast-paced technological change reinforce the need to draw top talent to sustain and strengthen material handling and supply chain businesses for the future. Learn more at If you would like to support MHEFI’s mission to provide financial support for educational programs, please visit

About MHI
MHI is an international trade association that has represented the material handling, logistics and supply chain industry since 1945. MHI’s over 970 members include material handling and logistics equipment and systems manufacturers, integrators, consultants, publishers and third-party logistics providers. MHI offers education, networking and solution sourcing for their members, their members’ customers and the industry as a whole through programming and events. The association sponsors the ProMat and MODEX expos to showcase the products and services of its member companies and to educate manufacturing and supply chain professionals. The Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) is a division of MHI and provides education and research to the warehousing, distribution, and logistics community.



Mary Alyson Ammons

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