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Elevator U Hosts Virtual Meeting

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Elevator U President Eddie Morris

Associations share hot topics and outlook.

Elevator U hosted a virtual meeting on March 31 that brought together representatives of Elevator U, the International Association of Elevator Consultants (IAEC); the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC); NAESA International, the Canadian Elevator Contractors Association (CECA); the National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) and the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF). Representatives updated attendees on their progress, plans and outlook for 2021 and beyond. Elevator U President Eddie Morris opened the meeting, sharing that universities are in better financial shape than anticipated. He said Elevator U hopes to host an in-person conference in 2022.

Represented by Sheila Swett and John W. Koshak, IAEC issued a reminder about its Annual Forum in Orlando in June. Koshak said he conducted a short, informal survey of 13 colleagues, and 11 — 85% — said their outlook is brighter than it was a year ago.

NAEC Executive Director Rena Cozart said “a lot is going on” at the association. Since taking the leadership reins in November 2020, Cozart said NAEC has filled four vacancies. Registrations at the Spring Educational Conference in Tucson were higher than expected, she said, as NAEC focuses on four key areas during a “time of growth”: a better-defined internal structure, growth in educational offerings, growth and retention of membership and gathering feedback from partners in an effort to get events back on track. Speaking of getting meetings back on track, NAESA Executive Director Jim Borwey said the association planned a meeting in April to discuss the future of in-person events such as the Wisconsin Elevator Symposium, typically held in September in Lake Geneva.

NEII Executive Director Amy Blankenbiller said NEII recently added two new staff members, is updating its CodeFinder program in the summer and has observed that remote inspections are a current hot topic.

CECA Executive Director Catharine Bothwell said initiatives like a virtual chatroom and virtual wine tasting have helped CECA members navigate the pandemic. CECA postponed its 2021 event to 2022 as the Canadian/U.S. border remained closed and an array of provincial rules remained in place. Further to that, CECA opened applications for four scholarships, observed increased use of maintenance control programs, plans to welcome the Certified Accessibility and Private Residence Lift Technician (CAT®) program to the country and plans a possible fall golf event as the population “slowly” gets vaccinated.

NEII Executive Director Amy Blankenbiller said the organization is, for the first time, assembling a member council to determine if NEII is meeting the needs of the industry. Although with a 100% virtual office at the time of the meeting, NEII representatives hope to attend the NAEC 72nd Annual Convention and Exposition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in the fall. Blankenbiller said NEII recently added two new staff members, is updating its CodeFinder program in the summer and has observed that remote inspections are a current hot topic.

EESF Executive Director Shawn Cowden said the Foundation is focused on online outreach and working to generate more web traffic. Elevator U’s Glenn Duncan was among those to close the meeting by encouraging people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. “Let’s get the world going again,” Duncan said.

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Kaija Wilkinson

Kaija Wilkinson

Elevator World Associate Editor

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