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It’s tempting to think of this as the “NAEC issue,” because it will go to the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) event on September 28-October 1 in Boston (see Special Secion), and almost every page has something about an NAEC member or really excellent advice for the contractors and suppliers who make up its membership. However, this issue is more about associations in general – their events, the needs of their members and how they interact with other associations.

We have multiple reported events, from the very small (A Night at the Races fundraiser for scholarships by the Chicago Elevator Association and the EESF Chicago Cruise fundraiser for the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation [EESF] covered by Richard Gregory) to the larger events, like Russian Elevator Week, with more than 150 exhibits, reported on by our ELEVATOR WORLD Turkey managing director, Bülent Yılmaz. Two groups that have rapidly growing memberships are the Canadian Elevator Contractors Association (CECA), a northern sister to NAEC patterned after that association, and Elevator U, a group that focuses on elevator management within universities. This year’s Elevator U Conference was held at Ohio State and covered by our new marketing associate, Caleb Givens. Elevator U continues to grow (it started as “The Big Ten and Friends”), and this year had the largest attendance in the last five.

The CECA Convention (on the cover) was held in Vancouver. This event is an all-time favorite that always draws a crowd. Membership there has grown to exceed 200. The coverage of that event was by our Associate Editor Kaija Wilkinson, who also wrote a great Market Trends piece on the United States construction industry. She interviewed leaders at KONE, Schindler and ThyssenKrupp, as well as a number of independent contractors from NAEC. Our South American correspondent, Carmen Maldacena, wrote about the event NAEC in Brazil, where a true association-to-association gathering took place. NAEC’s president, Brian Farley, and executive director, Teresa Witham, traveled to Brazil on request to speak to a large gathering of elevator-industry professionals about modern practices of elevator management.

We focus this month on legal issues with three terrific articles aimed at elevator companies of all sizes. Delaware Elevator’s Ellie Webb’s article, So You’re an HR Manager, outlines the importance of human-resource management within even the smallest organization. A Defense When Service Allegedly Falters by John Tateossian of HUB Insurance is a must read for anyone who provides service. He guides the reader through designing a contract and cautions against “also insured” and indemnifications. Our bulldog lawyer, Paul Waters, delivers a great OSHA Update in which he describes recent moves by the government safety agency similar to putting a frog in tepid water and slowly raising the temperature until it boils. It’s a vivid comparison of where today’s contractors may be finding themselves.

Our profile in September is of Larry Wash, executive vice president of KONE Americas. He has a high-energy outlook, a fascinating job background and very interesting leisure-time activities. (Anybody who likes Bob Seger has my vote – and that leaves out most people running for president these days.)

Have you wondered what the Internet of Things (IoT) is? I’ve been seeing and hearing about it for about a year now. My initial understanding was that everything I own that is electronic has the potential to link to the Internet and outsmart me on a regular basis (unless my grandson reprograms it). Now, finally, Sanjay Kimani and Jonathan Tombes have written an article, IoT and Elevators, on its application in our industry. They propose that collecting data in “smart elevators” and comparing it to benchmarks can improve both tenant and owner satisfaction.

This summer, we have lost some leaders in the industry: Charlie Murphy, Gary Bailey, Clarence “Pete” Fox and André Bélanger mentioned this month, and pioneers William Maxton Shrum, Jr. and Dick Winchell in the July issue. All of these men raised the standards in the industry and mentored others. Bélanger mentored me. I vividly recall him coaching me and correcting my high-school French before a speech to CECA a few years ago. He was passionate about having the EESF’s Safe-T Rider program translated into French for Le Prudent Passenger in Montreal, and he wouldn’t rest until it was done. As we mourn the loss of these giants, we know we are lucky to have a new and energetic generation coming up behind snapping at our heels.

Speaking of giants in the industry, Columbia Elevator at 50 charts the destiny of Lou Blaiotta, Sr. as he built that company from the ground up and was joined by son, L.J., in the endeavor.

In his second article in the new column “Pop Culture,” A Tin Hat at the Elevator Historical Society, Daniel Levinson Wilk takes you on a tour of the New York City elevator museum, which hosts a vast array of industry equipment and memorabilia. Of course, there is so much more in this issue that goes unmentioned due to space on this page. Luckily, we have 187 more pages for you to explore.  

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