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!