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Bates Lifetime Achievement Celebration

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This lifetime achievement celebration honored Quentin Bates, one of the founders of Lerch Bates.

submitted by Annie Feiler, Lerch Bates Inc.

Lerch Bates Inc. held a Lifetime Achievement Celebration on October 25, 2011, in honor of Quentin Bates, one of the founders of the elevator consulting firm. This event was attended by the current Lerch Bates Board of Directors and several former directors, all of whom are current managers, and many former employees who helped Lerch Bates grow from a small Denver company into a global firm with offices worldwide.

The evening in Denver began with a formal cocktail reception, dinner and company awards presentation. After dinner, attendees were entertained by a video presentation, kicked off by longtime board member Bob Beale, looking back to the founding of the company and Bates’ key role in the growth and prosperity of the firm. R. James Nicholson, former Lerch Bates director and retired U.S. ambassador and secretary, congratulated and recognized Bates’ essential contributions to the engineering discipline, his tireless work in both acquiring customers and delivering top-notch services, and his example as a husband and father. Bates’ family was present, as well, to share in the celebration of his life and career accomplishments.

Bates is a 1955 graduate of the Military Academy at West Point; he graduated 17th in a class of 438 and was a Rhodes scholarship finalist. Afterward, he received his MBA from Denver University and, later, Professional Engineer certification as a mechanical engineer. After graduation, Bates was stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, where he met his wife, Anna, a flight attendant for Pan Am World Airways. They were married in 1958, and their family soon grew to five, including sons, Jim and Steve, and daughter, Christy, all of whom were in attendance for this celebration. After the conclusion of his military service, Bates joined Elevator Maintenance Co. of Los Angeles as a construction and service helper. After this company was purchased by Haughton Elevator Co., he continued as a Haughton trainee in the estimating and engineering departments in Los Angeles before being sent to San Francisco as a sales representative.

In 1964, Bates met Charles Lerch and joined Charles W. Lerch and Associates as vice president. In 1974, Bates became president and secretary of the company, changing its name to Lerch Bates and Associates Inc. At this time, Lerch Bates had three branch offices located in Denver, Los Angeles and New Jersey. Under Bates’ leadership and following his strategy of developing a decentralized firm, the company opened additional offices in North America, the Middle East, India and Europe. It organized multiple “Lerch Bates Forums” in the 1980s and 1990s, where elevator professionals met in Colorado to develop standardized elevator performance metrics and address issues central to the elevator industry. These forums were attended by the senior leadership of all the major elevator companies, other consultants and industry professionals. Bates and the Elevcon steering committee were instrumental in organizing the first Elevcon held in Nice, France, in 1986, where elevator academics gathered with sales representatives and industry suppliers of elevator equipment.

At the conclusion of the presentation, several current and former Lerch Bates employees spoke on the role Bates has played in their career. These speakers included Bart Stephan, president and CEO; Chuck Olson, past president and CEO; Bryan Hines; Jack Tornquist; Eric Pankey; Jay Popp; Verle Meade, past chief financial officer; Christy Bates Kirkland; and Jim Bates. There was a common thread in each speech: Quentin Bates has lived a life based on integrity and loyalty, and was a mentor and friend to all. The evening concluded with attendees socializing with friends, and current and former employees. A more memorable time would be hard to experience.

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