Archive for the tag “Schumacher Elevator”

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.

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Elevator U at Ames

I spent last week in Ames, Iowa – Iowa State University – at the annual gathering of Elevator U. This is a hybrid group of elevator types. All are involved with large numbers of elevators – mostly on university campuses. Some are advisory and some have crews who do maintenance and repairs on their equipment.

This is a great group of people for GAL and Hollister Whitney. They tend to like the same things that we are good at. High quality, non-proprietary elevator equipment is important to the people charged with keeping this equipment running economically and for a full life expectancy. I was joined there by Mark Yako of GAL and Brian Musholt and Doug Deitrich of Hollister Whitney. At our booth, we had a really good opportunity to spread the news about all of the new products and product improvements coming out of both of our companies.

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Marv Schumacher and I look over a Hollister gearless machine in the Schumacher factory

On Tuesday, all of the attendees took a road trip to Denver Iowa and the Schumacher Elevator headquarters and factory. These guys have been great customers and friends for more years than I can remember. Marv, Helen, and Jeff Schumacher, Mark Treatow and all of the folks at Schumacher made us very welcome and gave us a close look at their very impressive manufacturing operations. I know, because Hollister is also in a remote location, how fun it is to show off when you get the rare opportunity to have visitors. These guys get it and pulled out all the stops – good stuff for everyone.

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The whole crew shows up at Schumacher Elevator

43 suppliers set up their booths to show their stuff to some 150 attendees – a record attendance number for this event. A social event – cocktails and dinner –  held right on the expo floor on Weds night was really well received and gave everyone a chance to mingle and talk – making a neat combination of party and product. During the night, a silent auction was held for the benefit of the EESF – the bidding wars generated a lot of friendly chuckles.

Congratulations go to Don Neilsen and his cohorts at Iowa State University for hosting a very organized and well orchestrated event on their campus. And kudos also to Terri Flint, Steve Pydynowski, Brad O’Guynn, Don Ross, Ed Jaskowak, Tom Sybert and Glenn Duncan who all contributed to making this happen. Nice work all around.

Murphy Celebrates 80th Anniversary

The “Murphy Elevator Family”

What a night – and for good reason. Murphy Elevator of Louisville KY – the epitome of an Independent Elevator Contractor – hit its 80thanniversary – and they did it in grand style.

Greg and Maria Carlisle – the current generation in charge – brought together a great mixture of family and friends for a night of reflection and revelry. Family included both the Carlisle clan, literally family, and the Murphy Elevator family – the extended company family who are making Murphy Elevator what it is today. Read more…

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