Archive for the month “October, 2014”

Euro Lift 2015

Spent last week in Kielce Poland working a booth at EuroLift 2015. This trip is always fun – the business? – a challenge to say the least.

We (Teresa joined me this year which made the trip especially nice) traveled overnight Saturday thru Amsterdam to Warsaw where we took a day and a half to adjust to the European time. We had a chance in Warsaw to have dinner again with Tom Sullivan a long time, good friend, of my son Dustin. This year his wife Sarah also came out. They are a neat couple – Americans who have been living in Warsaw for some 5 years now. They now have their first bambino and are beginning to look forward to transferring back to the good ole U S of A.

Warsaw is a beautiful city. The weather was October perfect on Monday – sunny with maybe a high of 70. An ideal day for touring an interesting city. There is a mix of new high-rise, modern architecture, which is within blocks of the re-built old city with traditional streets and squares. There are many excellent restaurants, the people are terribly friendly, and there is virtually no language barrier – everyone there speaks English fluently. Don’t miss Warsaw if you ever get the chance.

On Tues AM, Peter Ackerman, owner of Lifts & More, and Hollister Whitney’s representative in Poland, picked us up for the 2 hour drive to Kielce. He and I spent the day setting up the booth. We needed to overcome some self-inflicted difficulties, but with Doug Dietrich of Hollister providing long distance technical support, pulled it together and had two running Rope Gripper demonstrators before the sun went down. Ahh – the glamour of business travel.

Peter Ackerman and me in the Lifts And More booth

Peter Ackerman and me in the Lifts And More booth

An aside – On Tues, thanks to my son Dustin (Midwest Elevator in St Louis) and his sweet wife Lauren, Teresa and I became Grandparents again – Joleen Elizabeth – all happy and healthy.

Weds, Thurs, and Friday were show days – 10 till 5. The show is very well organized, and the facility is as good as any anywhere in the world – but this is really a regional show and it doesn’t demand 3 days – 2 would be great. There were 115 exhibitors (slightly down from last time) working booths that ranged from very modest to really elaborate. Don’t know the final attendance numbers, but it seemed to us that it might also have been less than 2 years ago.

Brian Farley (Hudson Elevator), President of NAEC, was in Prague visiting his Daughter who is in school there, flew over and joined Teresa for meetings with Polish Lift Association. They reported that their talks were very interesting – both associations trying to figure out if there are things that they could do better. Teresa felt like they fielded many more questions than they had a chance to ask – so be it – new contacts made – our elevator world continues to shrink.

When working the booth, language can become a stumbling block. I was very happy to have Peter there to back me up. The Rope Gripper is technical enough that it’s hard to get features and benefits translated. Even though A17 code and EN81 code are essentially the same, the terminology is very different and subject to interpretation even when being discussed in the same language. Makes working the booth fun and challenging.

Rope Gripper banner in Polish

Rope Gripper banner in Polish

In Poland, the contractors use bi-directional safeties and a solenoid pin through the governor wheel to address the Ascending Car Overspeed and Unintentional Motion issues. Rope Gripper is a much more elegant solution but their market doesn’t demand it. They have no rules to prevent slipping traction. We have taken our at-bats here, Peter Ackerman is a conscientious and competent representative. I doubt if I will return to EuroLift.

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Good on GAL

So here’s a touching story – It was passed around yesterday by Amy Mc Callion – Sales Dept. Manager at GAL. You can’t help but smile.

GAL’s customer, Alternate Sales in Orlando Florida, asked us if we could produce buttons that were ½” taller than normal. They wanted them for a college in Winter Park.

It was a bit of a strange request but not so difficult. A little extra engineering and then a special production run of buttons and it was done. It turns out that Alternate Sales wanted two sets of these special buttons. One was for training and the other was for the actual fixtures.

The COP

The COP


The Solution

The Solution


Here are the pictures that explain the situation. The buttons were for a handicapped man who cannot use his hands. His dog has been trained to respond to verbal commands to push the “up”, “down”, and floor buttons.

Man’s best friend indeed!

One More Time

So after playing in the Mid Atlantic Elevator Chapter outing in MD, Dick Vinciquerra and I jumped into my trusty Ford Explorer and took off for Casa Witham in Montvale NJ. We arrived home at 11:00 PM which seemed like a proper cause for celebration – so we did.

The next morning, was the annual Sons Of Italy golf outing. We’ve always called it the Bonardi outing because the primary organizer has been Eddie Bonardi – a great friend back to the days when he owned Archer Elevator. This one is a little different. Yes, it’s a golf outing but it’s not entirely elevator related (although it mostly is because of Eddie’s influence). It raises funds for scholarships that are awarded by the Rockland (County) Lodge of the Sons Of Italy. (You quickly discover that everyone around you has a last name that ends in a vowel!)

So for the last maybe 5 years, we have maintained the same foursome – Walter Glaser of GAL, Vinnie Moscato of Liberty Elevator, Dick Vinciquerra of AFD, and me. This year, due to the shuffling that always accompanies a golf outing, we were joined by Michael Bonardi of D & D Elevator (Eddies son) and played a 5 person scramble. It was a very social game and was great to spend time again with Michael.

Me, Walt, Michael, Vinnie, Dick

Me, Walt, Michael, Vinnie, Dick


After golf, everyone retires to the SOI Lodge for an hour or so of cocktails and hors douvers ( I know that misspelled) and then the lodge members / volunteers serve the 120 or so guest s a sit down, family style feast. It’s a very nice event. Greg DeCola of Omega Industries – a regional elevator consultant – is an active member of the SOI and the elevator industry, so he also plays a role in the festivities.

I had a chance to catch up with Gabe Capozzi. Gabe worked here at GAL for a while, did a stint at Schindler Headquarters in Morristown, and is now with Otis. He became familiar with the GAL product, and how well it installs and works – and has been sending us jobs ever since.

Well, I think that’s it for golf outings this year. You would think a guy might get good at it – Nooo – but they are great industry events and chances for comradery. There’s always next year

Mid Atlantic Elevator Chapter Golf Outing

The night before the annual MAEC golf outing, we had a great night out with John Warring III and his crew from Warfield and Sanford Elevator. It’s altogether too rare that we get a chance to break bread – and always a crazy fun nite. And do you know Jerry’s Seafood restaurant? There are a couple of them in the DC area – whew – they do a “Crab Bomb” entrée. I’ll just tell you that it is aptly named.

Does it seem like there’s been a lot of golf outings lately – ya, I agree. The Mid Atlantic Elevator Chapter held their outing on Weds October first. And a good day it was too. Great weather, very nice course,(Lake Presidential Club in Upper Marlboro MD), and I had the excellent company of my good friends Bob Kazar and Mike Paschke from Canton Elevator and Dick Vinciquerra from AFD.

The round itself was a death march. It took over 6 hours to play an 18 hole scramble. At an outing everyone plays as slow as the slowest group – not too much you can do about that – except the ranger on the course was brain dead –couldn’t figure out why / where the holdup was. Nice guy, just not so bright.

The MAEC is a hybrid. It is actually a chapter of NAEC – as opposed to most regional associations who stand on their own. NAEC provides all kinds of support and organization for the group. Kudos go to Shawn Cowden who was the staff member assigned and on site for the outing. I know he enjoys this sort of work (it shows) and the event wouldn’t come off without his efforts.

The emcee chores at the banquet are ably handled by Jeff Kneuer of Innovation Industries, and Mark Yako of GAL. These guys know how to run a raffle. Fun and funny and fast. It’s always good to rub shoulders with the DC elevator group.

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