Archive for the month “May, 2012”


I spent last week in Miami representing Hollister Whitney at Elevcon. Elevcon is a unique gathering in the world of elevators. The sponsoring group is the International Association of Elevator Engineers, and it is organized by Chairman Ami Lustig – a highly respected consultant from Israel.

Some 120 people attended the three day event – and there were 23 countries represented. Elevcon has two main components – a Congress, where individuals present technical papers that were proposed and approved in advance, and a small expo where product and service vendors have an opportunity to show / expose their products to the Elevcon attendees.

The presentation of technical papers is the meat of the gathering. The topics touch many aspects of elevatoring and are divided into themed sessions – each of which has a Chairman to conduct the session, introduce the presenters, and keep the program on schedule. I was honored to have been asked to chair one of the technical sessions. Most presentations represent new / innovative thinking or research – all are very interesting.

The expo is very small and all of the breaks take place in the room where the table top displays are set up. I had a demonstration stand that displayed two different designs of the Hollister Whitney Rope Gripper. Rope Gripper is a hot topic around the world right now because the EN81 code (European) Amendment 3 went into effect in Jan. For the first time in EN81, Amendment 3 contains requirements to protect against Unintentional Car Movement in new construction as well as modernization. Rope Gripper is an ideal product for complying with these new requirements.

Elevcon was a great learning experience and a good time to renew friendships with elevator types from all around the world. Many thanks to Teresa and to Pat Tobin of MEI who both helped me set up and position my display.


ECNY Supplier Showcase

The ECNY Supplier Showcase
This is a unique event – and ya, I know there are others of the same mold, but the ECNY Supplier Showcase is like nothing else. I’m not sure why, but the New York market is like none other.

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Phil Reid

Phil Reid is a really good friend and a golfing buddy. He is one of the guys who owns Premier Elevator in Atlanta, and also a recent past president of NAEC. While he was President we (Teresa, Phil, and Phil’s wife Joyce) got to travel together a ton – had a ball in a lot of places on this earth.

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ASME Standards Committee meeting

I have had the opportunity to participate in many facets of the elevator industry over these last 35 years and am currently sitting on the ASME Emergency Operations, and ASME Hoistway working committees, as well as the ASME A17.1 / B44 Standards Committee.

Last week in San Antonio the Standards Committee held one of the three meetings that it holds annually. Contrary to what many people think, these meetings, although they are conducted pretty much according to Roberts Rules, often contain a lot of meaty stuff for those of us in the industry – and this week was no exception.
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Industry Good Deeds

So Lien Randle and her husband Patrick Meehan are great elevator friends. Their family owned Atlas Elevator in San Fran for years. I served on the NAEC Board of Directors with Don Randle, Lien’s dad. Lien joined the NAEC Board later on and went on to become the NAEC president. These guys flew all the way from SD to NY to help me celebrate when I turned 60.

They live in San Diego now. Patrick is with Thyssen and Lien is the Branch Manager for Mitsubishi. I am happy to be helping out by giving Liens cause a little more exposure. Even though I am sending a small personal donation, I am really just making you aware of some of the neat things going on in our industry.

Follow this link to see ahat Lien is up to.

Good on you Lien

A Sad Monday Morning

After a mercifully short battle with cancer, we lost Joey Frascella Saturday night. Joey had been an anchor in Service Parts Sales at GAL for more years than most can remember. This guy was every guy. Joey could be a jovial uncle, a strong and protective brother, or a wise and patient father. It was always fun as you walked passed his desk to overhear his warm and friendly banter. He loved his job and everyone he worked with became his friend.

God speed Joey. The angles are lucky to have you. You will be missed by all.

Crazy Elevator

Yeow – Couldn’t resist posting this link. Would love to know who engineered and installed this elevator.

Check out:

Watch on YouTube

I found this link on the Elevator Radio Show show notes.  It is a weekly podcast that Tom Sybert produces – often very interesting. If you google ‘” you can subscribe for free.

Full Disclosure

Last posting I gave a Readers Digest Condensed version of my background. In the spirit of full disclosure, there is another issue that any reader of this blog should know.

So you know NAEC – The National Association of Elevator Contractors – then you would also know Teresa Shirley, the Executive Director of NAEC? Well her correct legal name is Teresa Witham and she is my wife. We have been crazy happily married for 4 years. Because we both love our jobs, we continue to maintain a house in the Atlanta area and one in the New York area.

Probably wouldn’t work for everyone, but it works well for us.

Here We Go

 So I have decided to begin this blog. It will be interesting to see where it goes. I am hoping to share some of my thoughts, opinions, and experiences with others – mostly those in the elevator industry. I am also hoping that I can stimulate some discussion on products, codes, business practice, as well as the history and future of our industry.

For those who do not know me, I am Vice President of Sales and Marketing for GAL Manufacturing, Hollister Whitney, ECI Canada, and GAL Canada. I started playing elevators in 1976 after leaving Ohio State University. I was hired into the industry by Dick Gregory – at that time he and his brother-in-law, Milt Sybert (now CJ Anderson) owned Gregory Elevator, a contracting business in Chicago. I was their Purchasing Agent and Chief Bottle Washer.

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