A New Journey
This year is my 50th in the elevator industry, and in response to a lifelong commitment to work full time for only half of my anticipated lifetime, as of March 1, I will be preparing to pursue other interests and endeavors. However, I will continue to work for Elevator World, Inc. as a consultant. My plan for the foreseeable future is to consider how best to arrange my day-to-day schedule so as to be able to engage in more of my personal interests, while remaining very much involved in the elevator industry with ELEVATOR WORLD, as well as with numerous other projects I have in mind.
While working as a professional musician throughout much of the 1960s and 1970s, I started my elevator-industry career as a draftsman at Jaros, Baum & Bolles (JB&B). There, I had a wonderful time making elevator layout drawings and helping our firm design some of the world’s most notable buildings, including the World Trade Center in New York City, the Sears (now Willis) Tower in Chicago, the Bank of China in Hong Kong and hundreds of others throughout the world. As a QEI, I traveled the world commissioning elevator systems on many of our projects throughout the U.S., as well as in Kuwait, Hong Kong, South Korea, Egypt and the U.K. I also assisted the JB&B commissioning team with testing of fire-alarm and building-automation systems. I had a great time working at JB&B, and during my time there, I was also promoted to the position of associate. I very much enjoyed the 27 years I worked under the tutelage of Cal Kort, Bill Lewis and George Strakosch, all of whom were my mentors and were among the giants of the elevator industry.
When the urge came for me to work for a firm in which its sole business was related to the elevator industry, I left JB&B and joined DTM Inc., where, for the better part of a year, I worked as a full-time employee, then as an independent consultant. To this day, among my dearest friends are Joseph C. and Nicholas J. Montesano, who, since founding DTM in 1982, have grown their company to include 25 employees.
My next move was to take the position of vice president of the Syska Hennessy Transport Systems Group, where I was involved in a diversity of major projects and made some of my dearest friends in the industry. My experience to this point gave me a great foundation to take to my current position as EW editor, which has been the crème de la crème of positions during my professional career. Those who know me well can attest to the fact that throughout my years working as an associate editor under William C. Sturgeon, then as the magazine’s editor, I have had a ball. Throughout these years, I have always felt and often stated, “Being the editor of EW is the best job in the world!”
It’s cliché to say, “If you love your job, you will never have to work a day in your life.” In this regard, I can unequivocally say that what I have been doing for the last 20 years on behalf of EW and the elevator industry has been a sheer joy and pleasure. I’ve traveled the world and written well over 250 Editor’s Overview columns for EW, the EW Source© and EW India, enough to fill three loose-leaf binders. I’ve reported on and photographed hundreds of events, meetings and construction projects, and, in doing so, made some of the best friends anyone could ever expect to have. I feel I have had a good run, and I have made and continue to have wonderful friends around the world — so much so that I feel if I am ever in need of assistance anywhere in the world, I have good friends within this fine industry of ours to call upon.
I would love to list and recognize you all, but I have to save some space in this issue of EW for the fine editorial content the EW staff has pulled together for you this month and which I know you are anxious to read. So, I will keep it short and sweet, and say thanks to you all for being there for me personally, as well as for supporting EW as you have throughout the more than 60 years it has been published from, as we say in the southern U.S., “Down here in Mobile, Alabama.”
I’ve enjoyed every bit of my time working as the editor of the world’s leading elevator-industry publication, and it has been a pleasure to work as closely as I have with so many of you in the industry. As I will not be writing this column every month, I will miss having our (one-way) chats on a regular basis, but I will never be far away. Initially, I will be taking a bit of time off to get reenergized, and when I come back, I will be ready, willing and, perhaps, even more able to help you in any way I can. And, I will be able to do this with a refreshed state of mind, with which I will continue to do what I love to do — work with you all in much the same capacity I have been, but perhaps with a new perspective and even the capability to do more for you than I have been able to do as a journalist.
I will soon be embarking on a new journey that will better allow me to assist you with any elevator-industry issues you may be facing. So, stay tuned, and let’s be sure to keep in touch. If any of you need help with your endeavors (or, even if you need a fairly decent musician), I will help in any way I can. All the best!