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APPA Conference 2017

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(l-r) PCAPPA President John Ferris, Terri Flint, Steve Pydynowski, your author and immediate past president of APPA Chuck Scott; photo by Rhonda Hole

On July 21 and 22, San Francisco hosted the annual Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA) Conference. The conference was held at the Hilton San Francisco Union Station downtown. This year’s conference was combined with those in the association’s Pacific Coast region (PCAPPA) and the local Bay Area region. APPA serves educational institutions by promoting leadership “for professionals seeking to build their careers, transform their institutions, and elevate the value and recognition of facilities in education.” More than 100 vendors represented a wide range of industries, including flooring, door systems, janitorial and landscaping services, plumbing, lighting, consulting services and more.

Many of the nearly 500 professionals who attended oversee departments that manage vertical transportation (VT) on their campuses, so it was a great event to attend to introduce them to Elevator U (EU) and Elevator World, Inc.

Steve Pydynowski, assistant superintendent of building maintenance at Illinois State University and EU treasurer, along with Terri Flint, elevator program manager for the University of Michigan and EU chairman of the board, attended on behalf of EU. Pydynowski has expertise in contract creation and management, and Flint, a licensed journeyman, oversees approximately 600 elevators on her campus. Your author had the privilege of joining them to represent both EU and Elevator World.

The topic of an ANSI standard for total cost of ownership came up often during conversations in the EU booth among those who work in the VT segments of their facilities.

During the day, educational sessions were held throughout the hotel. These covered a variety of topics universities and facilities face, such as leadership and mentoring, embracing technology, energy efficiency, fire and safety codes, long-term planning and maintenance.

One of the breakout educational sessions was a presentation on APPA’s push for an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for total cost of ownership. Called APPA 1000, this standard hopes to “establish a common framework for owners of facilities’ assets to identify and more effectively track and manage costs of a facility, building or supporting infrastructure of assets over the full lifecycle.”

APPA 1000 is currently in ANSI’s public review cycle. This topic came up often during conversations in the EU booth among those who work in VT segments of their facilities — to use proprietary or nonproprietary equipment and how to calculate the cost of differences over a piece of equipment’s lifecycle.

During the exposition, bonus copies of the June 2017 issue of ELEVATOR WORLD, along with a reprint of the EU 2016 event coverage in EW, were handed out to the many professionals who stopped by the EU booth. This issue was specifically chosen for the APPA Conference, as it featured the history of EU, which proved to be helpful for attendees looking to learn more about the organization.

The overall perception of EU was positive. Attendees knew about the key role EU plays in the industry, and others were interested in attending the next conference, which will be held in June 2018 at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. It was good to see representatives from schools that are current members of EU, as well.

When talking to those not familiar with EU, we could sense the anxiety in their voices whenever any aspect of VT management was discussed. Easing or eliminating this anxiety is why EU was founded and why it continues to thrive as a valuable resource for schools across the country.

Pydynowski and Flint stated that one of the goals for attending the conference was to meet and connect with schools and facilities on the West Coast, a region EU has been trying to reach recently. Not only was this accomplished, but contacts were also made for universities in Mexico and Canada.

EW was new to many of these people, so attending this event proved to be very worthwhile for both Elevator World and EU. The 2018 APPA Conference is scheduled for August 3-5 in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit appa.org. For more information about EU, visit elevatoru.org.

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