Archive for the tag “AFD”

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

Catching Up

So once again it has been way too long since I got around to keeping up this blog. I am going to make another commitment to keeping it current and if I find I can’t do it, I am going to call it off altogether.

Since last I typed, I have been to many elevator industry events, had a million personal and professional wins and losses, traveled thousands of miles, and made lots of new friends.

Looking at my calendar – There was the Anderson Elevator golf and drink fest. I don’t know of another company who does this stuff. The Gibbs clan, supported by some Krygowsky and Chmielewski types, invite a group of customers, consultants, employees and suppliers for a full day of complete insanity over in Michigan City Indiana. Anderson Elevator does it right.

In the same week, Chicago Elevator Association held their annual golf outing to support the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation. Glen Duncan – Parts Specialists – was, per usual, the master of ceremonies. I would try to name the whole committee but there is too high a risk of leaving a deserving someone out. I was told that attendance was down some, but that the financials were robust as ever. Going to Chicago is like old home week for me. Good fun with good friends – and oh ya, they also happen to be good customers.

I spent the Thursday between these two events doing some promotion of, and troubleshooting on GALaxy Controls issues with various Urban Elevator types. I’m a peddler, so no one is going to allow me to climb on elevators unescorted. For this outing I was shepherded by Carl Burch – by acclamation, this is one of the genuine good guys in our industry. Carl plays both a tech support and sales role for GAL – and does both spectacularly. He is a pleasure to work with and does GAL and Hollister Whitney proud every day.

I left Chicago Saturday AM for our home in Georgia. My / our world went into a tailspin when Teresa’s dear mother passed away on Sunday. There is no way this sort of event can be related in this blog. Granny Annie was the matriarch of an extended family and a loving soul who had become friends with many of our elevator friends. The outpouring of warmth from the industry, and the number of elevator types who came to Granny’s wake to support Teresa, still brings tears to my eyes.

From this emotional nadir, a week later, Teresa and I went, along with Dick and Carol Vinciquerra (AFD Industries) up to visit our great friends the McDuffys (Pine State Elevator). Steve and Chris are the consummate hosts at their ‘camp’ on Long Island – offshore from Portland Maine. It’s always crazy fun to get together with them and this year was certainly no exception. I cannot imagine an atmosphere more full of laughter from sun up to sundown. Some of the things that happen in Maine just have to stay in Maine.

My “check liver light” had just quit flashing when the next week, a group of friends snuck into a quiet, quaint little B& B in Pennsylvania to surprise Rick Kennedy (Kencore Elevator) by announcing that he would be this year’s recipient of the William C Sturgeon Award. He was so caught off guard. Marv Schumacher (Schumacher Elevator and awards committee chair) made the formal introduction. He was followed at the mic by daughter Karen Dodds who gave us the personal side of this guy – whew – she is impressive in her own right. Cas (wife) and all of Ricks kids were there, along with his ‘adopted’ exchange students and quite a gathering of well-wishers. Mike Pashke and Bob Kazar (Canton Elevator), Dick Vinciquerra (AFD), Pete Meeks (Delaware Elevator), Phil Reid (Premier Elevator). I know I left some out. This was the first time I have ever seen Rick at a loss for words. A fun fun evening to honor a great man and good friend.

Teresa and I, along with a contingent from the Kennedy / WCS surprise group drove the next day up to casa Witham in New Jersey, changed clothes, and got a car service to take us down to (and more importantly back from) the annual cruise around NY sponsored by the NY chapter of the International Association of Elevator Consultants. It was a beautiful night on a great yacht – to cruise down the Hudson, out to the Statue of Liberty, around the tip of Manhattan, up the East River past the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, and then turn around and do it all again in reverse – all in the company of some 300 elevator types – all of whom were enjoying spectacular food and drink. If you are part of the elevator industry in any fashion, put this excursion on your bucket list. Magical.

A week later – the Friday of Labor Day weekend, my mom had a heart attack. All is well now, she is recovering fine, but I needed to shoot out to San Diego to be with her for several days and help get her out of the hospital. Whew, at this stage I’m saying to myself “stop the world, I want to get off” – but no time to rest yet.

I got back from San Diego to LaGuardia at 7:00 PM Weds, shot home, repacked, and flew to San Antonio for the 65th annual NAEC convention and trade show at 7:20 AM on Thur. What a great gathering. Teresa and her staff pull this off with ever-increasing finesse every year. Some 2000 attendees, 200+ exhibits, banquets, parties, meetings, exhibits – an absolute whirlwind of elevator activity spread over the four or five days.

I get a chance to see, hug, toast, and break bread with many many very long time friends. I enjoy nothing more that being a representative of GAL and Hollister Whitney at the NAEC. We showcased lots of new and innovative products. This year there were 13 of us who pulled out all the stops to show off our equipment and to throw a proper GAL / HW party to say thanks to our customers.

GAL HW Award Winning Booth at NAEC

GAL HW Award Winning Booth at NAEC

So here’s the payoff – after I’ve been running full tilt boogie for 3 – 4 months without much of a breather, the crazy good crew from GAL, GAL Canada, and Hollister Whitney wins the award at the NAEC for the best island booth. Grins all around. Life is very good.

I promise, I will either blog more frequently so they are not novel length, or I will give it up. Stay tuned and soon you will know.

Interlift 2013

Just returned from 7 days in Germany at the 2013 Interlift Trade Show. Interlift is one of the largest elevator gatherings in the world. This year there were some 18000 visitors who came to see exhibits erected by 504 vendors from 40 countries taking up 45,000 square meters (485,000 Sq feet).Whew – elevators on a big scale.

Our emphasis at Interlift is the Hollister Whitney Rope gripper. The European Code – EN81 – has just added amendment 3 which for the first time has requirements to protect against unintentional car movement with the doors open – one of the hazards that Rope Gripper is designed to protect against.

I am always baffled by the different approaches to elevatoring that are generally accepted in different places in the world. In North America, Australia, and Asia, almost without exception, we address ACO (Ascending Car Overspeed) and UCM (Unintentional Car Movement) with a rope brake – read the Rope Gripper.  In Europe, their approach is very different. They make modifications and add a battery back-up to a traditional bi-directional safety in order to comply. Both are equally convinced that the other is just plain crazy.

Frank Musholt in the Hollister booth at Interlift

Frank Musholt in the Hollister booth at Interlift

This year, because Hollister Whitney is not a household name in the rest of the world, we introduced a new web site – www.ropegrippers.com – take a look. It contains everything about the HW Rope Gripper.

The show itself can be grueling – it goes from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm four days in a row. If you have ever worked trade shows, you know that this is an endurance test. We take a large enough contingent that we can work in shifts – this allows for some time to actually go and see the rest of the show as well as working the booth. This year, the old guys – Walter & Herbie Glaser, Frank Musholt, and I – worked the booth in the AM and the younger guys – Paul Seifried, Brian Musholt, and James Varon took over in the afternoons. Made it more comfortable for everyone.

Teresa also attended and worked a booth for NAEC – looking to attract membership and attendance at their events. John Sweeney, President of the Association, along with first lady Andrea, represented NAEC at many of the official and unofficial functions. I think they found Interlift an eye-opener from the industry/ NAEC standpoint and I know they had ball hanging out with the international crowd.

For the 6th Interlift in a row – (12 yrs cause it’s held every other year) Hollister Whitney hosted a large group of Americans and other friends for a night out in Munich. Crazy fun. We all take a coach from Augsburg to Munich, have a great Bavarian meal, (this year we were at the Hauxenbaur, maybe the most famous Bavarian restaurant in Munich) and then carry on to the Hofbrauhaus (world famous beer hall) for even more merriment.

Walter Glaser welcomes Hollister's guests at the Hauxembaur

Walter Glaser welcomes Hollister’s guests at the Hauxembaur

It is a tradition that the NAEC President gets up and directs the oom pah band in the Hofbrauhaus and John Sweeney did yeoman’s work to raise the bar on this count. I have the video but it’s too large to attach here – take my word for it – entertaining. Shelly Klehr from MEI (Mikes Klehr’s spouse) also showed off her director’s skills – whew, neither is ready for the Philharmonic.

We got to catch up with a lot of our international friends. Dirk Henning and Philip Molineus from Henning are big players in Germany and had the booth directly across for ours. Dagcan Piroglu from Moston, our representative in Turkey, was also in the same hall exhibiting. Peter Lycett had a large contingent with him from ILE in the UK. John Wang from DTS in China with his two new compatriots John Curzon and Peter Collins of Ensota. We also had a good chance to talk with our representatives in India, Ashok Subhedar and Swapnil Astunkar from DSA.

Walter and John Sweeney get into the atmosphere at the Hofbrauhaus

Walter and John Sweeney get into the atmosphere at the Hofbrauhaus

Peter Ackerman from Lifts & More was there. Peter represents Rope Gripper in Poland and introduced me last year to the Euro Lift show in Kielce Poland. For circulation during Interlift, he and I co-authored an article in the Elevatori Magazine “How It Works” supplement.

Every Interlift, there are more participants from the US. Twelve years ago there were very few. This year – and forgive me if I’ve left some out – we saw our friends from: AFD Industries, Canton Elevator, Texacone, Wurtec, MEI, ELSCO, CE Electronics, Elevator Solutions, NAEC, Elevator World, Jersey Elevator, Atlantic Elevator North, and City Elevator (New York).

Interlift is an important gathering for the elevator industry. If you can ever make it fit into your schedule and budget, you ought to go experience it at least once.

Elevator Friends 2

Some of The Usual Suspects – L to R – Doug Witham, Phil Reid, Dick Vinciquerra, Larry Fulgenzi, Mike Klehr

I’ve written before about elevator friends and how special I think our industry is because of the friendships made. Well, here I go again.
Last weekend a group of the usual suspects joined Phil & Joyce Reid of Premier Elevator at their vacation home on Lake Keowee (SC). Yikes – it’s my usual question – “Who has more fun than we do?” I don’t have the vocabulary to describe the bonds that grow between elevator friends – but I know that it is unique. The group consisted of Phil & Joyce, Larry & Lou Fulgenzi (EDS), Mike & Shelly Klehr (MEI), Dick & Carol Vinciquerra (AFD), and Teresa and myself. Read more…

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.

Read more…

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