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NAEC Meeting at Dana Point

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photos by Ricia S. Hendrick and John Dimaio

It would be hard to find a more beautiful and luxurious spot than the Ritz Carlton Laguna Nigel in Dana Point, California. The hotel is high above the Pacific Ocean, with lovely gardens and trails winding down to the beach where surfers play daily. The National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) had its Spring Educational Conference here and supplied the maximum in education to match the luxury. Final attendance topped out at 220, which is high for such events in the western U.S. Those arriving early for meetings (the NAEC board and Education Committee) were greeted with beautiful weather, although it turned cooler and wetter later in the week.

On April 13, contractors and suppliers had brief meetings to discuss their individual issues. The event officially started with that evening’s opening reception. Food, drink and fellowship for several hours gave everyone a chance to reacquaint, and greet old friends and meet some new ones. President Mark Boelhouwer announced that, as a result of the board meeting that day, the new officers (beginning in the fall) would be John Sweeney of Jersey Elevator (president elect), Brian Farley of Hudson Elevator (vice president elect), Corey Hussey of Stanley Elevator (treasurer elect) and David Smarte of Delaware Elevator, Inc. (secretary elect).

The April 14 opening breakfast was chaired by Boelhouwer, who, after a few housekeeping remarks, turned it over to Doug Witham, who announced a new Specification Database being developed for NAEC members. This would be a very valuable benefit, where members could put their specifications online and include them in presentations to clients (contractors, consultants and architects). In turn, clients could search the database for vendor specifications to fit their jobs.

Alan Beaulieu, an economist who had previously spoken to NAEC, was the breakfast speaker. His company specializes in predicting the economy as far as 20 years into the future. His predictions included:

  • The next five years will be good for the economy, with a mild dip in 2014.
  • Construction will continue to grow, in both residential and commercial sectors. Office-building construction will grow by 13% this year.
  • If you ever think you’re going to need money, borrow it now, because rates will never be this low again in our lifetime.
  • Invest in real estate. Have a second source of income.
  • Save your money, and have no debt by 2020.
  • A significant recession will begin in 2019.
  • Inflation and mortgage rates will grow to 18% in the next recession.

Regular educational sessions (see sidebar) began later in the morning, with sessions lasting until noon. The afternoon was open for golf or shopping. On April 15, the educational sessions went from 8:30-3:30 and were followed by a reception. Most concurrent sessions boasted 25-35 participants. Several committees managed to meet between these. On April 16, there were roundtables on two tracks that went on for 3 hr., giving everyone a chance to catch the one they needed for at least an hour of continuing-education credit. In the afternoon came the official NAEC Golf Tournament, as well as a 2-hr. American Red Cross first-aid course. NAEC topped it all off with the dregs party –enjoyed by all.

Educational Seminars

  • “Hydraulic Elevator Control Valve Training” by Billy Shrum, Maxton Manufacturing Co.
  • “Competing in the New Economy” by Chris Carey, Chris Carey Advisors
  • “Elevator Lighting/Ceiling Materials” by Walter Barnes, ECI
  • “Design of Energy Efficient MRL Equipped with Destination Dispatch” by Emery Thran and Steve Boisvert, Motion Control Engineering
  • “What Every Elevator Industry Professional Needs to Know About Structuring Their Assets, Lawsuit Protection, Tax Reduction and Estate Planning” by G. Kent Mangelson, American Society of Asset Protection
  • “Telescopic Jacks – Application and Service” by Don Brown, EECO
  • “Improving Elevator Contractor Profitability with Microsoft Dynamics” by Jonathan Taub, Rimrock
  • “New Products and Innovations at GAL and Hollister Whitney” by Rick Cahoon, GAL Manufacturing Corp.
  • “Presentations and Communications” by Liên Randle, Mitsubishi Electric, Elevator and Escalator Division
  • “Best Practices: Swing Door Interlocks” by Patrick Edwards, Integrity Groups
  • “American Red Cross First Aid Course” by Michael J. Ryan, The Peelle Co.

Roundtable Discussions

  • “Encoded Elevator Positioning Systems and Serial Communications” moderated by Ron Ishimoto, Elevator Controls Corp.
  • “Platform – False Cars” moderated by Rob Wurth, Wurtec, and David Smarte, Delaware Elevator Inc.
  • “Collections: Improving Your Cash Flow” moderated by Jeffrey S. Nicolet and Daniel Reich, Wagner, Falconer and Judd Ltd.
  • “ADA Design Standards for Wheelchair Lifts and Limited Use Elevators” moderated by Craig Jones, Country Home Elevator
  • “Major Changes to A17 Codes Affecting Elevator Contractors” moderated by Lee Rigby, Vertical Assessment Associates
  • “Arc Flash” moderated by Mark Borski, Magnetek
  • “ObamaCare – What Does It Really Mean for Your Business?” moderated by Monica Austin, The Hopkins Group, LLC
  • “Asset Protection” moderated by by G. Kent Mangelson, American Society of Asset Protection
  • A special 8-hr. seminar on California codes by Jim Myers was held on April 17, following the final day of the regular conference.
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