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NAESA International’s 40th Annual Anniversary Workshop

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Downtown Portland

A recap of the meeting held in Portland, which focused on the inspection of older elevator and escalator equipment

Photos by George W. Gibson, Davis L. Turner and Louis Bialy

NAESA International held its 40th Annual Workshop in Portland, Oregon, on August 16-18 at the Embassy Suites Hotel – Downtown Portland. Although attendance was lower than anticipated, the event proved to be a huge success. The theme of the workshop was “Back to the Basics,” which focused on the inspection of older existing elevator and escalator equipment. Attendees enjoyed presentations by industry professionals who provided valuable insight on many of the issues relating to inspections, maintenance and repair on older equipment. The workshop, also comprised of exhibitors and social events, was preceded by three days of meetings held on August 13-15, including finance and executive committee meetings, and board of certification and board of director meetings.

The workshop began with opening remarks from Warren Hartung, chief elevator inspector for the state of Oregon, and welcoming comments by James Runyan, education director for NAESA International. Presentations for the day were kicked off by Louis Bialy, director of Worldwide Codes and Standards for Otis, who spoke on “History of the Code.” Kevin Heling, president and general manager of Brugg Wire Rope, LLC, then gave a presentation on the topic of “Wire Ropes.” After a brief morning break, Zack McCain, principal of McCain Engineering Associates, followed with a presentation titled “The Need for MCP on Both Old and New Equipment.” After a break for lunch, the sessions resumed with Marc Tevyaw speaking on “ASME A17.2” and Davis Turner presenting “How to Test/Inspect Dumbwaiters.” The afternoon was rounded out by Greg Lorsbach, who talked on “How to Perform a Step Skirt Index Test.”

In addition to the presentations, many exhibitors participated in the event. In an effort to inject some levity into the proceedings, exhibitors had the opportunity to decorate their booths around a particular theme. NAESA International chose the 1980s as its theme to reflect the decade of the organization’s inception. The Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) booth was themed to celebrate its 20th anniversary, complete with birthday decorations and an ornamental cake. Electrodyn Systems received a gift certificate for the most creative booth. Decked out with a 1970s theme, the booth included a display of news articles from the period and representatives were dressed in tie-dye bellbottoms and leisure suits. 

After a day of educational sessions, the opening-night reception, complete with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, gave attendees a chance to celebrate, mingle and support EESF, the mission of which is to educate the public on the safe and proper use of elevators, escalators and moving walks. A silent auction took place, along with a 50/50 raffle, both benefiting EESF. Max Prinsen of Otis Elevator was the winner of the raffle and generously contributed his US$400 winnings to EESF. Other attendees followed his lead, which led to a flurry of donations. NAESA International raised US$6,456 for the organization, which will fund the safety education of more than 22,000 students.

The second day of the workshop began with opening remarks from Jack Day, leading into a presentation by Doug Witham, vice president of Sales and Marketing for GAL Manufacturing, and Craig Buckley, manager of National Field Engineering for Otis, titled “What to Look for when Inspecting Controllers.” A panel comprised of Runyan, McCain, Tevyaw, Bialy, Doug Labrecque and Barry Blackaby and moderated by George W. Gibson was held on the topic “How Current Codes Relate to Existing Elevators.”

During the afternoon, Duane Leopard, an elevator inspector for Spokane, Washington, gave a presentation titled “Going Down: How to Test/Inspect Sidewalk Elevators.” Afterward, Bob Shepherd spoke on “Safety in the Workplace,” followed by Barbara Allen, executive director of EESF, who gave an update on the organization and its plans for the future. Afterward, Michael J. Ryan, of Peelle Co., spoke about the 2012 United event. The afternoon was comprised of several meetings for AHJs, private and professional inspectors, and the board of directors and executive committee. Also held were the general membership meeting, elections and western region business meeting.

The afternoon of speakers came to a close and gave way to the evening’s social activity a dinner cruise aboard the Portland Spirit. The riverboat dining experience spanned two-and-a-half hours and included fresh Northwest cuisine, beautiful views of Portland’s downtown skyline and the Columbia Gorge, and live entertainment. All the ingredients came together for a memorable evening on the waves.  

Opening remarks for the final day were given by Bill Watson, vice chair of NAESA International’s western region, followed by the swearing in of officers by McCain. Officers include Dean McClellan, president; Bill Snyder, vice president; Doug Warne, secretary; and Jim Browey, treasurer. Newly elected board members include Michael Stewart, AHJ class, Colorado, and Charlie Slater, private inspector, Florida. The afternoon was rounded out by presentations on “Periodic and Annual Tests” by Jonathan Brooks, “Rack and Pinion” by Al Marchant, “How to Perform Inspections” and “Inspection Scenarios” by Runyan and “ASME A17.3” by Labrecque.

The workshop was one of the best and most informative that NAESA International has held, with attendees receiving a strong education on older equipment and “legacy” codes. As the event drew to a close, Runyan thanked the speakers, exhibitors and attendees for their support in another great workshop. Next year’s annual workshop will be held in conjunction with United 2012, to be held September 10-13 at the Sheraton Atlantic City and Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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