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ECNY Packs Out Villa Barone

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Beloved event continues to enjoy strong support.

Your author had not been to the Elevator Conference of New York (ECNY) Supplier Showcase in about three years but was able to attend this year on April 5. The event has changed, and it has grown — even though the last time I was there, no additional space was available. It never fails to amaze how they pack so many exhibitors into the wonderful Villa Barone Manor in Bronx, New York. There were well over 100 booths, some on top of each other and many overflowing into the dining hall. Ever the master of ceremonies, Bobby “Bobby Dee” Defrancesco related they were at maximum capacity but have agreed not to move from the great facility they have used for many years. There is a waiting list for future years, so if someone drops out for a year, they have to get back in line.

This year, more than 700 attended from around the area, which is comparable to the last couple of years. The event, which runs from noon to 6 p.m., is an ECNY member service, so the cost of booths is very reasonable, and the food service just goes on and on, and is wonderful. Booths surrounded the dining area this year, so everyone who was eating felt a little guilty if they ate and didn’t visit the booths. Needless to say, booths in the dining room got plenty of action from noon to 3 p.m. I don’t know how those manning their booths stayed in them with the aroma of fabulous Italian food drifting by.

ECNY officers Doug Gilman, Kenny Breglio, Greg DeCola and Defrancesco have been involved in this all-industry group for a long time, and are very supportive of the membership and the other institutions in the industry. They provide a free booth to the National Association of Elevator Contractors, NAESA International, the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation and Elevator World, Inc. Also, they have provided meeting space and food for the Vertical Initiative for Elevator Escalator Women meetings for the past five years (see sidebar). 

VIEEW Meets in New York

Were it not for a traffic tie-up, the Vertical Initiative for Elevator Escalator Women (VIEEW) meeting before the Elevator Conference of New York (ECNY) Supplier Showcase would have been the largest ever. As it was, 20 women managed to attend and stayed on for the showcase. Grace Greco of Columbia Elevator Products Co., Inc. and Mary Beeson of Unitec did all the coordinating and setup, since they live in the area. Everyone who attended agreed that ECNY does a great job of supporting the VIEEW. The conference provided coffee and hot breakfast snacks.

Amy DiPaolo, CEO and owner of Independence Elevator Co., presented the program. She talked about her history and how she came to this point in her career. Her journey took her through many jobs (mostly in sales), and she increased sales wherever she worked. DiPaolo said the most important thing is to “learn from everyone.”

She noted that she had some great mentors along the way. Getting her company to finally become a “certified woman-owned business” was an adventure all its own, she said.

DiPaolo has run her own business for a few years now and has some important advice for women (and men, too) who are striking out on their own: “Build relationships, pay on time and treat your staff like customers.”

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