Archive for the tag “Great Lakes Elevator”

NAEC in Hawaii

Last week some 200+ elevator types basked in the warmth of Waikiki for 4 days of education and comradery as NAEC sponsored its annual Mid-Year elevator convention.

So you gotta know that my sweet wife Teresa officially named this event the NAEC Spring Educational Conference back maybe 10 years ago – and is still trying to get all of us old-timers to refer to it as such – but that’s just not happening. Much to her consternation, we will always call it the Mid-Year. We enjoy teasing her.

Despite nearly gale force winds at times, the temps were typical Hawaiian ideal, and the great weather was really appreciated by those of us just emerging from a brutal winter. Along with the really well attended education sessions were the normal golf outing, as well as an NAEC sponsored catamaran cruise.

There were a million pics taken but I don’t have them. I’ll try to come back and post some after they have been shared.

Most of the attendees took advantage of being so far away by either arriving a bit early, or sticking around a couple of days after. Not so for us. After a final night’s dinner with our friends Greg and Maria Carlisle and their crew (Murphy Elevator), and Ken and Barb Garst (Great Lakes Elevator), Teresa and I both red-eyed it out of there on Weds.

Yes, the hours in the air were a sacrifice, but education at 85 degrees just seems to be absorbed better than education at 35 degrees. I took a poll – everyone agreed. Imagine that.

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IAEC in Denver

Mark Yako and I attended the IAEC Annual Forum last week in Denver. The International Association of Elevator Consultants grew out of what was once called NAVTP – National Association of Vertical Transportation Professionals (a mouthful that everyone was happy to see go by the wayside)

Vendors are invited to set up tabletop displays which the consultants avail themselves of during breaks and lunches. There is also an opening reception and silent auction for the benefit of the EESF that were held in amongst the exhibits. It is really good, casual, one-on-one time with consultant friends. Needless to say there is a lot of elevator yick yack.

The meat of the forum is two days of educational presentations by various experts on their topics. Mark, as is always his style, did a stellar presentation on the topic of Non-Proprietary MRL’s – I can hear yawns from all you non-elevator types, but he stirred up a very lively conversation and Q & A session. Although at Hollister Whitney, we don’t really build an MRL package, we build all of the key components to a very high standard. Mark made a very strong case for sticking with non-proprietary equipment.

As is always the case when some faction of the industry gathers, I got to catch up with a couple of old friends. Mark, Teresa, and I broke bread (OK and a couple of adult beverages) one night with John Donnelley and Leo Fenili – brought back some great memories of my Chicago days. Hanie Lancaster is a Denver Based consultant. We became friends in 1986 when he was part of the acquisition team working through the Westinghouse purchase of Adams Elevator. Hanie invited me on an elk hunt some 10 years ago – had a ball.

We also had a very pleasant dinner with Don Taylor and Landon Scott (along with his delightful wife Courtney) – key players at Centric Elevator. Centric has to be the largest independent contractor in Denver, and has several other offices in the West and Northwest – great customers – and Don and I go back a long way. Don and his wife Sue are a golfing couple, and Teresa and I had a chance to tee it up with them back when they still lived in Phoenix.

All in all, IAEC was very good from a business as well as a monkey business standpoint.

One side note – and I don’t know if there is any connection to the legalization of pot in the state of Colorado – but the locals that were hanging around the convention center area were a shaggy crew. Lots of downtrodden and unwashed, begging on the street. Not a pleasant atmosphere. The weekend prior, Denver celebrated 420 (and I’m so dated that I didn’t even know what that was till I got there). It is a huge pot party celebrated every year on April 20th. Maybe we witnessed the dregs of the 420 celebration. In fairness, I also have to say that the restaurant district showed itself very very well.

On other side note – Teresa and I traveled from Denver to Indianapolis for the NRA Annual National Convention. What a ball. Ken & Barb Garst (Great Lakes Elevator / Chicago) joined up with us a couple of days of fun and learning – and nights of eating and drinking. On Friday we listened to quite a lineup of pro – second amendment, conservative speakers. Cruz, Rubio, Santorum, Lavin, McConnell, and others. Then on Sat, I got to walk the show floor with my son Dustin (Mid West Elevator / St Louis), and spend the evening with him and his wife Lauren as well as my “Gerber Baby Beautiful” granddaughter Layla. I’m still smiling!

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.

 

NAEC Board of Directors

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Ken Garst (Great Lakes Elevator), Doug Witham (GAL), Hugh Bertschin (Premier Elevator) enjoying some down time

I am very privileged once every year to be able to accompany Teresa to her Mid-Year Board of Directors Meeting. The members of the BOD have 3 meetings a year, one each during the Spring Conference and the Convention and this Mid-Year (half way through the fiscal year) Meeting. This is the only time a BOD and spouses are together separate from the general membership.  It is the NAEC’s way of saying ‘thank you’ for all of the volunteer time and effort that the board members expend during the year. Read more…

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