EESF Board Meets With New Executive
Foundation back on track after COVID-19 puts gathering on hold.
Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) board members gathered at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel in downtown Mobile, Alabama, on February 16-17 for their first meeting with newly hired Executive Director Jason Fisher. Chairman Cornelius Walls was unable to attend, so Vice Chair Sheila Swett opened the meeting in his place. There were ten board members present, four on Zoom and your author.
After reviewing the mission of the organization, Jeff Schumacher, EESF treasurer, discussed the finances from the past year. Income was off by US$100,000 but, due to COVID-19, expenses for programs and travel were down by more than US$200,000, resulting in a net gain for the year.
Following introductions and financial reports, Fisher then led the meeting. He introduced the Strategic Goals for 2022-2023, for which he received unanimous approval. His points for EESF were:
- Develop a marketing plan to communicate the Foundation’s programs
- Elevate the organization’s industry relationships through communication, accountability and transparency
- Grow the resources of the Foundation to support its goals and objectives
The true meat of the meeting was a discussion on how to achieve those goals. Fisher, who had been planning initiatives to begin the work of the Foundation, introduced a new database system that he researched. The system would be open to both donors and constituents and provide complete customer relationship management (CRM) for more than 100 unique records. The cost is less than what the EESF is paying now, and the system can do much more. The goal is to have the records transferred by June of this year.
Marketing and branding were discussed, and there was consideration for changing the logo to contain “education.” The exhibits used by the Foundation for conferences were also reviewed, and it was agreed that they need updating as well.
There was a long discussion concerning the revenue streams for EESF and how the Foundation proves the value of its programs. It was agreed that the issue of actually preventing accidents is moot because the organization has no number with which to begin, and never will. What is provable is the number of people (children, seniors, college students) who have been educated by the Foundation’s programs. It was determined that it is important to build on those numbers and communicate them to the industry.
Fundraising was the final item discussed. The list of events was reviewed, and it was agreed that Fisher would attend as many industry events as possible, while board members would be at each to introduce him.
The daylong meeting was followed by a Mardi Gras parade and food on a private balcony overlooking the nighttime city and the parade route. Mobile has the oldest Mardi Gras in the U.S., and the EESF board members were able to enjoy one of the earliest parades in the two-week celebration.
Members on Site:
- Gord Pattison, Alberta Elevating Devices & Amusement Rides Safety Association, Canada EESF
- Sheila Swett, International Association of Elevator Consultants, EESF vice chair
- Mark Mullins, Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund
- T. Bruce MacKinnon, Elevator World, EESF secretary
- Joe McAnulty, Liberty Elevator Experts
- Emerald Kuhns, National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities
- Amy Blankenbiller, National Elevator Industry, Inc.
- Matt Yelland, The Peelle Co.
- Laurie Dueitt, EESF program manager
- Jason Fisher, EESF executive director
- Ricia Sturgeon-Hendrick, Elevator World, EESF guest
Attendants on Zoom:
- Jeff Schumacher, Schumacher Elevator, EESF treasurer
- Greg DeCola, Omega Industries
- Glenn Duncan, Parts Specialists
- John Calderon, EHC Global
Unable to Attend:
- Cornelius Walls, Formula Systems, EESF chairman