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NAEC Takes a Spin in Las Vegas

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More than 200 delegates and spouses came to Las Vegas for the National Association of Elevator Contractors’ (NAEC) spring Educational Conference on March 26-29 at the J.W. Marriott Resort in Las Vegas. This was a surprising number, considering the state of the economy and past participation levels. However, attendee confidence seemed higher than in the past several years; hopefully this is a sign of better times to come.

The welcome reception held on the lawn on the first evening was beautiful but chilly. Everyone forgot how fast the temperature drops in the desert once the sun goes down. However, outdoor heaters helped, and since attendees were mostly around the bars a little  alcohol helped too.

The Kick-Off Breakfast brought a powerful speaker, Alan Beaulieu, who has predicted economic trends with a 96% accuracy rate. He held the audience spellbound with predictions of an office building recovery in 2012 and another significant recession in 2018-2019. He noted that as we are coming out of the recession this year, it is the time to negotiate long-term leases and contracts, make acquisitions, train employees, look for new suppliers and lead with optimism. As the recovery grows, be prepared, he said, to accelerate training, increase inventory and raise prices.

The breakfast led into three days of education in the mornings, with many concurrent sessions followed by golf and city tours in the afternoons. All together, nine speakers taught sessions and eight roundtable presenters did sessions in 45-minute intervals. (See schedule and photos in sidebar on previous pages.) In addition, a number of committees and caucuses met during the event, bringing members up to date on activities and progress.

Two social events kept attendees busy at night, full of good food and, in the case of the reception and dinner on Monday night, amazed. True to Las Vegas style, the entertainment was Cirque du Soleil acrobats, who performed feats of daring in the midst of the dinner. The following evening, the mood was a bit more “down home” at the Spring Dregs Party at J.C. Wooloughan’s Irish Pub onsite.

NAEC’s staff always does a great job with its spring conference. The smaller format helps everyone feel like they have been personally attended to by the organization.

Education at the Spring Conference

  • “Trends in Worldwide Codes and Standards” by Louis Bialy of Otis. The session was well attended and included a discussion of global harmonization and how it will affect the industry.
  • “Two-Way Communication in Accessibility/Residential and Commercial Applications” by David Bryant of Kings III Emergency Communication. The discussion emphasized the need for two-way communication and advisability of a 24/7 call center.
  • “Maintenance Control Program” (MCP) by Marcus Tevyaw of TSSA. The session was well attended and had an active question-and-answer session after the discussion about MCP guidelines and regulations, which is new in the U.S. and Canada.
  • “Complying with Health Care Reform: What Every Employer Must Know” by Tiffany Downs of Ford & Harrison LLP. The speaker discussed how the healthcare reform is affecting everyone at this time.
  • “Fall Protection” by David White of Quad City Safety. White
  • noted that 49% of fatalities are related to lack of fall protection.  “Surviving an OSHA Inspection” by Timothy A. Fisher of OSHA
  • Services, LLC. Fisher gave an animated review of OSHA policies. He indicated that construction is a targeted industry.
  •  “Arc-Flash Hazards” by David Smarte of Delaware Elevator.

The session included a discussion on clothing and procedures to protect against arc flash in the elevator industry.

  • “Successfully Managing the Double-Edged Sword with Gender Communication” by Jane Sanders of GenderSmart Solutions. Sanders analyzed the style of men and women and how the communication breaks down. She also noted how perception could be changed. The class was well attended by both men and women.
  • “American Red Cross First Aid” by Michael Ryan of The Peelle Co. Although the class was small, more people now recognize the skills needed to save lives in an emergency.

Roundtable Discussions

  • “Tax Reduction & Estate Planning” by Larry Oxenham of the American Society of Asset Protection
  • “New Certificates of Insurance Plus Additional Insured’s” by Jackie Mortman of JM Associates
  • “What’s Up in HR” by Karen Hopkins of The Hopkins Group, LLC  “
  • When Does Repair/Replacement become Modernization” by Dick Gregory of Vertex Corp.
  • “Grooved Piping Advancements for Hydraulic Elevators” by Dennis Love of Victaulic
  •  “Remote Monitoring” by Dean Heasley of Kings III
  •  “How to Survey a Job” by Robert Cuzzi and Tom Stack of Van Deusen & Associates
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