Archive for the month “September, 2013”

NAEC Tampa

I spent the last week in Tampa at the annual NAEC Convention and Expo. Whew – the whole North American elevator industry gathered – what a great week. I went a couple of days early to accompany Teresa to some of her Board of Directors functions.

The NAEC has started a program to return something socially responsible to the communities where they stage events. I went one day, with Teresa and a group of primarily (maybe totally) directors and their spouses, and did a real neat thing. We traveled to the Tampa Shriners Children’s Hospital where NAEC sponsored a little party for the children and their families. Along with pizza and soda, they brought in a magician to entertain. It was a very touching and satisfying thing to participate in – allowing the kids and their family to take their minds off of their challenges for at least a while. After the party, we were given a tour of the hospital and an explanation of the Shriners mission – very enlightening. If you aren’t maxed in you charitable giving, you should go educate yourself on the Shriners work – what they do is  very worthy of support.

The Segway Group

The Segway Group

On another day, I joined a group to take a segway tour of the local section of Tampa. If you’ve never ridden a Segway, you ought to try to find a place to do so. It’s really easy and crazy fun. Takes about 5 minutes to get comfortable and then it’s just a great way to get around. We had a ball. Our group included John & Andrea Sweeny and Dennis & Christy Lotter of Jersey Elevator and Alison Whitaker from EHC Global. Our tour guide Rob picked up on the group personality quickly and allowed us to morph our experience into part segway tour, part pub crawl. We covered probably 3 or 4 miles of the Tampa water front as well a Harbor Island. Fun Fun Fun

More on the NAEC Event next time

Weekend in Canuckville

Crazy Weekend in Toronto

Every once in a while, the stars all get into alignment – and life goes straight off the rails! So it was with last weekend.

It started when Linda Husband contacted a bunch of GAL types – including Teresa and me – and let us know she was going to throw a surprise birthday party for Steve on Sat 9/14. (Steve Husband is Vice President of Canadian Operations for GAL and a 25 year friend) She thought it would be nice to send us an invitation as a courtesy – never suspecting we would actually show up.

But show up we did. Teresa and I burned up some of our frequent traveler’s points and made plans to join several of the usual suspects from GAL. Herbie 3 and his wife  Becky, Paul Seifried and his wife Mellissa, and James Varon all decided that Steve’s  50th birthday was good reason to celebrate.

So we all wound up in Toronto on the Friday – And guess what we discovered? Friday was Herb 3’s birthday! Yahoo. So we gathered a group of the usual suspects from the Toronto area and proceeded to celebrate herbs birthday in proper GAL fashion. The group of us from GAL were joined by Andy Reistetter (Chief cook and bottle washer at the National Elevator and Escalator Asso of Canada) and his son Michael (Trident Elevator). Patrick Bothwell ( EHC Global) and his wife Katherine (Executive Director of Canadian Elevator Association) also joined in the merriment

So a play-by-play isn’t possible but the picture attached gives to a bit of an idea about how the night went. This is a wall-sized message board in the bar / restaurant where we were. Andy was in charge of getting a message posted to recognize Herb’s BD. He told the DJ to post this “ Happy B-day Herb III, New York City, GAL” . You can see for yourself how that translated into Canadian! We laughed till it hurt.IMG_1317

It’s hard to imagine, but on night two, the party atmosphere got upped a notch yet. Linda pulled off the perfect ambush. When Steve walked in, it was obvious that he was floored. Some maybe 70 family and friends were there to help him get over the heartbreak of turning 50. Whew, I think half of the Canadian elevator industry was on hand. I would try to name them all but am afraid I would leave someone out.  It is testament to Steve’s personality that so many industry types have become his friends. Music, food, and beverage flowed like from a volcano.  A great time was had by all.

Music, singing, and dancing – and of course Steve’s air guitar (he is the best), went on until the early hours. His family, neighbors and friends mixed seamlessly through the night and everyone agreed that Steve had launched into his second half century in grand style.

Herb 3, James, The Birthday Boy, Paul, and Me. HB Steve!

Herb 3, James, The Birthday Boy, Paul, and Me. HB Steve!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The people in our industry make great friends – anywhere, any time. If you are making your living in the elevator industry, you need to make it your business to get to know the others who are doing the same. Life is much more full and much more fun when you are lucky enough to work with your friends.

ASME Standards Committee in Canada

So every third meeting of the ASME Standards Committee is usually held in Canada. After all, since our codes have been harmonized, it is an A17 (US) and B44 (CA) committee.

Last week it was held in St Johns, Newfoundland. From New York, St. Johns is about halfway to the UK and also halfway to the Arctic Circle. As difficult as that sounds, it is really a quaint, pretty, clean town – and a stop for many cruise ships going up and down the east coast. We were joking about the 5000 room ship that ties up in a town with 6 buildings over 2 floors – not very accurate but it sure seemed like it.

Under Chairman Hank Peelle, the Standards Committee conducted its business in record time. We were finished mid-afternoon on day one. Yeow – these used to go into overtime after two full days. Because the A17 and B44 codes are now on a three year cycle of publication, and we have passed the deadline for the next publication, I think the pressure is off the working committees and the technical revisions and interpretations have slowed to a trickle – a nice break.

Carl Burch was also there from GAL. He and I had a very nice evening out with Ken Garst of Great Lakes Elevator out of Chicago, and Richard Baxter, an independent consultant HQ’d in Texas. Both are good friends and we enjoyed a lot of great elevator conversation over a fantastic meal.

It was good to see Brian Black in attendance. Brian represents NEII on the Standards Committee and has been through some very challenging medical issues lately. He is back to his old self and it’s great to have him back in harness.

The Standards Committee is open to all who have an interest. Visitors are not only allowed to sit in, they are encouraged to participate in deliberations. If you ever want to observe or contribute to the code making process in North America, just go to the ASME web site and find the next Standards meeting.

 

Catching Up

I have fallen way behind in keeping up with this blog. Just too much to get done and too short on time.

Since I sat down to blog last, I have be bouncing around like a crazy man – I always learn a lot from these forays – it sometimes amazes me how much I don’t know about elevators. A lot of it , per usual, has been fun.

In early August I spent several days in the Chicago area doing elevator stuff. Gregg Gibbs of Anderson Elevator gathered his favorite group of elevator crazies for a day of fun in Michigan City IN. The whole Anderson Elevator family came out to play. Also got to catch up with Ron Selke – and OLD friend from the days when life was much more dangerous.

Friday of that week was the Chicago Elevator Association golf outing so, painful as it was, I had to stay. Glenn Duncan said that total attendance was down but that sponsorships were still growing. Their tournament is held for the benefit of the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation. Going to Chicago is still like old home week for me.

Mid August the usual group of pilgrims made the trek up to Long Island Maine where Steve and Chris McDuffie (Pine State Elevator) once again blew us away with wine and warmth. When you hear the term Island life you usually think of the Caribbean or South Pacific – well, Island life in Maine is no less interesting or fun. One afternoon we all hopped onto The Blue Nun (Steve’s boat) and motored over to another island for a spectacular lunch with amazing views of the Maine coast.

More recently I got together with a group of elevator types in a Manhattan restaurant to surprise this year’s William C Sturgeon Award winner with the news. Trouble with this one is that it won’t be public till the NAEC convention so I can’t spill the beans.

Teresa and I had a house full of guests for the annual IAEC Boat cruise around New York a couple of weeks ago. It was a great night – beautiful weather. In a bid to spice things up a bit, the consultants set up gambling tables on the boat – fun stuff. There are a lot of people who come to NY just for this event.

Got to shoot up to Boston and play golf in the Mass Elevator Safety Asso. outing. Rollie and Mark did their usual outstanding job and the weather was better than I ever remember it being. Mark Yako and I played host for Tom Horan of Fujitec and Neil Hussey of Stanley Elevator. We had a ball even if none of us played particularly well.

For Labor Day weekend, Dick and Carol Vinciquerra (AFD Industries) invited us over to their home in Canton OH. We got in a little bit of golf and a great deal of fun – Including being invited to Mike and Patti Paschke’s ( Canton Elevator) for what is turning into an annual event – their ‘corn roast’.

Whew – I caught up – but it starts again tonight. Bob Kazar, Mike Paschke of Canton Elevator, and Dustin Witham (Midwest Elevator) are in route to NY right now. The four of us will meet Chris Dodds (Kencore Elevator) sometime in the middle of the night tonight and take off for a couple of days of offshore tuna fishing. Hopefully next week I can show you a couple of 100 lb + Big Eye tunas!

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