Delaware Elevator and the NAEC Education Committee Meeting
Your author tours Delaware Elevator, visits a restored distillery and gets to know Salisbury, Maryland.
Two months ago, David Smarte called about a National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) Education Committee meeting in Salisbury, Maryland, at Delaware Elevator, Inc., where he works as safety manager. All I knew about Salisbury was Delta couldn’t take me there. (If you live in Mobile, Alabama, you pretty much have the Delta schedule memorized, along with all the gate numbers in Atlanta.) Nonetheless, American Airlines got me there on a very small plane. (I had to climb down portable stairs to debark!) It is a shame it is not more accessible, because the people there are crazy nice — every single person, from the cab driver to the hotel breakfast waitress — and I’m pretty sure all of them know Delaware Elevator CEO Pete Meeks.
Smarte took me on a quick tour the first afternoon, and we ran into Meeks in Delaware Elevator Vice President Keith Coffin’s office. The headquarters building is huge, and they are getting ready to almost double its size. Meeks’ office was exactly what you would expect for a third- generation elevator man: stuffed to the doors with ongoing projects and 90 years of memorabilia.
Delaware Elevator has about 400 employees and branches in Virginia, Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina and Florida. The company has another office in Ocean City, Maryland. The manufacturing area, consisting of three large buildings, is near the Salisbury headquarters. Expansion is planned there, as well.
The company has had many high-profile jobs, including an embassy in Beijing and numerous elevators for the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. One evening, we drove to Ocean City to tour an old, restored distillery called Seacrets where Delaware had installed the elevator (ELEVATOR WORLD, December 2017). The elevator and the tour were great, and so was the tasting. It’s the first elevator installation tour I left tipsy!
Across from the Delaware Elevator headquarters is the 7,600-sq.-ft. training center. This is where we held the two-day NAEC education meeting to discuss improvements to the program. It’s also the building where Smarte works alongside Human Resources Director Elie Webb and Education and Training Administrator Georgeta Wainwright.
The downstairs has ample classroom space, a glass machine-room-less (MRL) elevator, several different door operators, controllers, accessibility equipment and safety personal protective equipment. Delaware Elevator is constantly adding to it and has pushed hundreds of technicians through the NAEC Certified Elevator Technician (CET®) program each year. It was an ideal location for the meeting.