The auditorium was packed during the EESF Squabble fundraiser, which saw all four participating associations compete in a Family Feud-style match.

The third United event includes various educational sessions, meetings, social gatherings and a two-day exposition featuring numerous innovative booths.

Succeeds in Atlantic City

The third United event took place during a beautiful week in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on September 8-14 amid large crowds and much enthusiasm. As has been the case since its inception in 2005, the event was a combined effort of four North America-based organizations: the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC), Canadian Elevator Contractors Association (CECA), NAESA International and the International Association of Elevator Consultants (IAEC). The associations held numerous meetings and a combined exposition, all of which were considered well attended. While most of the proceedings took place in the Atlantic City Convention Center and adjacent Sheraton Hotel, the entire downtown area was fair game for sightseeing, gambling, shopping and, of course, strolls along the ever-bustling Boardwalk.

Preliminary Activities

After two days of closed-door committee, directors and officers meetings, a golf tournament at the Seaview Golf Resort kicked off day three, September 10. Educational sessions were popular, even though it would be two days before the opening of the exposition. The events of the day culminated in the Presidents’ Welcome Reception, where the associations’ officers greeted attendees. Immediately following, the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) held its “EESF Squabble” fundraiser, raising nearly US$21,000 for the Foundation.

Opening Breakfast

Following the September 11 early morning Annual Fun Run, the Opening Breakfast was kicked off with welcomes from Sheila Swett, president of IAEC, and Barry Piquet, vice president of CECA. Piquet presented NAEC Executive Director Teresa Witham with a gift for heading the NAEC staff that organized United 2012. NAEC President Greg Carlisle also thanked Witham and extended the appreciation to all participating associations for taking part.

Ricia S. Hendrick, president of Elevator World, Inc. and publisher of ELEVATOR WORLD, then spoke about United and its history. She remarked that only seven years after wondering whether the first United (2005 in Toronto) would be successful, the third event was already well underway. Hendrick expounded upon the challenges that first United faced, including nationalism, regionalism, the Certified Elevator Technician (CET®) program and its accreditation, and the QEI program from NAESA. She also suggested that in the future, “As our industry returns to full employment, we may face a lack of trained people. In fact, I’ve talked to several contractors who have had this problem.” Hendrick explained that the four associations present are poised to provide any training required. She foresees great growth potential in the industry, following the tightening of our belts and the retirement and career changes of many formerly active industry members.

Hendrick then introduced award-winning inspirational speaker Don Yaeger, the New York Times bestselling author dubbed “the speaker of champions.” Among his anecdotes of relationships and interviews with famous and successful athletes was such good advice as, “hating to lose more than loving to win,” a sentiment Yaeger found all great players he interviewed shared, regardless of sport or era. Another common thread concerned the attainment of greatness: the willingness to do the common things uncommonly well, discipline, training and proper nutrition. He stressed that great winners use adversity as fuel and understand the value of association.

NAEC General Business Session

Carlisle opened the General Business Session with a moment of silence in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11. Following that tribute, Carlisle remarked on how quickly his one-year term as president had passed and how much he enjoyed the position. He thanked and stressed the importance of the many volunteers and exhibitors who helped make United 2012 a grand success. Carlisle also thanked Teresa Witham for her hard work and congratulated her on 21 years as NAEC executive director.

The session progressed quickly with the help of NAEC Secretary Craig Jones. Treasurer Alison Whittaker made copies of the audit available, while confirming NAEC’s money was “well managed and spent judicially.” Carlisle then introduced the session’s master of ceremonies, comedian Bodine Balasco, whose first order of business was to coerce a US$20 bill from Alabama Accessibility Inc.’s Jim Haines in a sleight of hand that ultimately produced US$40. After a few more magic tricks, Balasco won the crowd over and proceeded to introduce, with great flair, the committee members who were to present reports.

Marie McDonald, chair for the Archives Committee, started the reports with an update on that group’s work interviewing older NAEC members and placing those interviews on the NAEC website for all to read. Lee Rigby, chair of the Certification Board committee, announced the committee’s new members, Dennis Finn and John Koshak, and those leaving the committee, Zack McCain and Rigby. He reported the first American National Standards Institute (ANSI) review of CET would be taking place soon, and that numbers were up for both it and the Certified Accessibility and Private-Residence Lift Technician (CAT®) program from last year. Koshak spoke on behalf of the Codes and Standards Committee, informing the group that the 2013 code passed public review and had more than 100 revisions. Michael J. Ryan, speaking on behalf of the Convention and Exhibitory Advisory Committee, announced that United’s attendance stood at nearly 3,100, with upwards of 3,500 anticipated over the course of the expo. Exhibitors numbered 216, making United 2012 the biggest show in memory, according to Ryan. The Education and Technical Advisory Committee’s David Smarte agreed with Rigby’s report that numbers for CET and CAT were up.

Safety Committee and EESF Chairman Robert Merlo began his reports with thanks to everyone who participated in the EESF game show and Fun Run, and those who planned to take part in the other Foundation fundraisers at United. He also announced Koshak as the upcoming chairman for EESF. Pertaining to the Safety Committee, Merlo asked the group for reports of accidents and OSHA-related issues, while also discussing the growing concern over arc-flash hazards. John Curzon, representing the Future Directions Committee, discussed NAEC member recruitment and member services.

Membership Development Committee chairman Carl Faruolo said NAEC membership is down 3%, but he believes the jump in the economy will help boost membership. Cory Hussey discussed the ongoing work of the Government Affairs Committee, and Tom Stack talked about the New York Elevator Code Committee and its developments. Doug Witham reported on the work of the Specification Database, something he called the brainchild of past NAEC President Rick Kennedy. The committee allows for the gathering of specifications from large companies; those specs can then be put into a database suppliers can access. Witham said the effort would be completed soon.

The contractor and supplier nominees for the NAEC board were announced. Contractor Nominating Chairperson Wes Jones announced Hugh Bertschin of Premier Elevator Co. Inc., Brian Farley of Hudson Elevator Group and Hussey of Stanley Elevator as the contractor nominees, and Supplier Nominating Chairperson Joe DeSimone announced Smarte of Delaware Elevator Mfg. Inc. as the supplier nominee.

Once the General Business Session adjourned, the awards and recognitions began. Outgoing directors, Paul Horney, Carlisle, Rodney Pitts and Gerald Murray, were recognized and thanked for their service. New officers were installed by Arthur Steber and included Mark Boelhouwer of Oracle Elevator as president, John Sweeney of Jersey Elevator as vice president, Craig Jones of Country Home Elevator as secretary and Alison Whittaker of EHC Global as treasurer. Balasco announced the Contractor’s Choice Award, which was given to Smartrise Engineering. Carlisle then recognized Steber with the Presidents’ Award, saying Steber, a longtime friend, had encouraged him to join NAEC.

NAEC Contractor Member Session

Immediately following the NAEC General Business Session, the NAEC Contractor Member Session began, and the three new contractor NAEC board members were approved and sworn in. A report from the NAEC Certification Board indicated both CET and CAT enrollments were up, and the 2013 version of the ASME A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators, had passed public review. With more than 100 revisions and the inclusion of the A17 Wind Turbine Committee, the code will now only be published every three years. Wind-turbine elevator, occupant emergency egress and outside emergency elevator requirements were also added. Also, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) now imposes term limits for committee officers.

Supplier Member Session

CECA and NAEC held a joint Supplier Member Session, opened by CECA Supplier Chairman George Foleanu and Paul Horney, Foleanu’s NAEC counterpart. Horney presided over the elevation and installation of NAEC Supplier Board member David Smarte, and Foleanu presented a report from CECA. Ryan represented the NAEC Exhibitory Advisory Committee, reporting higher registration for this event than recent NAEC conventions and United in Orlando 2009. There was also more floor space sold, with 216 exhibitors present.

Achim Hütter spoke about Interlift, promoting its 2013 version in Augsburg, Germany. With 130 members, organizer VFA-Interlift partnered with AFAG in 2011 to host more than 500 exhibitors. Doug Witham then discussed promoting the NAEC membership to Elevator U (EU) members, particularly in terms of educational benefit. This would mean 130 good potential new members who buy a lot of elevator equipment – US$38 million was spent by only seven members in 2011. The supplier membership agreed to go to the NAEC board to discuss creating a category for EU members.


The CECA Annual General Meeting (AGM) was opened by Barry Piquet, as President Ryan Wilson was unable to attend. Piquet continued with his Treasurer Report, noting a good year in 2011 with the Victoria convention and expo (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2011), including an increase in membership revenue since 2009. Furthermore, funds were reserved by shifting mid-term meetings outside the 2011 calendar year due to the timing of United.

Michael J. Ryan presented his Membership Report, noting 135 current members in the following categories: 38 contractor, 77 supplier, eight dual, five honorary and seven subscription. A new category, “social,” is  being investigated but will require a constitutional change. This is intended to offer a discounted membership for retirees who still want to take part in CECA events. Ryan also announced website updates (www.ceca-acea.org) and several recognition awards, including one for 30 years of CECA membership presented to Michelle Andersen of Capital Elevator Ltd.

Following Pedro Oughourlian’s Eastern Region Report, in which he announced the region is in communication with Régie du Batîment du Québec, Brian Elliott gave his Central Region Report. It included news from the Training and Certification Advisory Board, which has announced the curriculum for continuing-education requirements for 2013. The regulations will be consistent with Director’s Order 232/08, requiring six hours of safe working practices; three hours of act, regulations, code and director’s orders/bulletins; and three hours of technical training. The Durham College of Applied Arts and Technology in Oshawa, Canada, is training elevator technicians, with 18 students in attendance this year. An Elevating Device Mechanic Class F Skills Passport for consultants and inspectors was in development, and a draft was to be presented for approval at the next board meeting.

Elliott reported the Field Advisory Committee noted the implementation of CSA B44-10 in Ontario, the adoption and implementation of a new Maintenance Control Program (MCP), alternative and benchmark testing, and testing following single-bottom cylinder replacement. This means elevator phone lines must be checked daily with indicator and alarm, all new installations (including limited-use/limited-application elevators) must now have at least Phase 1 Firefighters’ Service and mandatory replacement of all single-bottom cylinders by 2015. MCP requirements, coming into effect in May 2013, include logging documenting tasks, tests, adjustments, repairs and replacements, and written procedures. Though Elliott said it means “big changes for Ontario,” Alan Hopkirk said CECA’s relationship with the Technical Standards and Safety Authority has been “great,” and the authority’s work on the MCP has been helpful. In conclusion, Elliott noted a successful Central Region Golf Tournament that took place on June 6 at the Legends in Niagara Falls, Canada. The new, well-attended event was organized by the 2013 convention host company, Brock Elevator, and included a fundaiser for the EESF of Canada.

Heiner Marnet presented on the Western Region, remarking that business in British Columbia (BC) has picked up, with high construction and modernization activity, and nearly universal mechanic and helper employment. Mechanic certification is getting attention in the province, and the BC Safety Authority has increased site visits and been enforcing code compliance. Foleanu followed with his Supplier’s Report, noting free supplier advertising campaigns were “working extremely well.”

Ron Quinn and Bert Tolhoek then spoke on the next annual CECA event, which they will host at the Fallsview Casino Resort and Hilton in Niagara Falls on June 4-8, 2013. Karl LePage will be in charge of the following one, in Quebec City on June 3-7, 2014, and Maike Marnet will host the June 2-6, 2015, edition in Vancouver. Elliott then held board elections, in which Daniel Desy and Joe Kerr were replaced with Luc Marion, new Eastern Region director, and Doug Guderian, new secretary. At the end of the meeting, Hopkirk was made the proud recipient of the CECA President’s Award.

IAEC General Business Meeting

The IAEC General Business Meeting began with a welcome by Sheila Swett. IAEC Secretary James Lawrence read over the minutes from the last general meeting held in New York City, which were then approved by the group. Reports were given by the officers and Executive Director Gordon Ernst. Much time was then devoted to the review of the bylaws, with revisions to them being made – namely, an expansion of the scope allowed for a professional membership.

The new officers and board members for the 2012-2013 year were sworn in by Swett. They included Jay Popp, president; James Lawrence, vice president; Paul Rosenberg, secretary; and John Donnelly, treasurer. Swett announced IAEC’s next meeting, which takes place in San Antonio.

NAESA Business Session

During the NAESA Business Session, Executive Director Dotty Stanlaske discussed the changes in accreditation procedures now that NAESA plans to obtain accreditation through ANSI. This change is the result of ASME’s decision to discontinue accrediting certifying organizations after nearly 25 years. She also explained the association is seeking 60 industry members who desire QEI certification to participate in a pilot program to evaluate the initial certification exam (ELEVATOR WORLD, October 2012), as exam questions must now be validated by professionals in the testing field. Stanlaske stressed this is a great opportunity to become QEI certified at a discounted price. At that time, about 15 individuals had agreed to participate in the pilot program.

Despite the current changes facing NAESA, Stanlaske feels optimistic about the outcome. “With every challenge comes an opportunity. We’ve always wanted our test validated,” she explained. “NAESA is setting the standard for everyone else, which is exactly what we wanted to happen.”

During the meeting, those running for positions on the NAESA board of directors were introduced. Those ultimately named to the board include Jim Borwey of Iowa and Dean McLellan of Canada, AHJ classification; Carl McDilda of Virginia, private-inspector classification; and Jonathan Brooks of North Carolina, professional classification.  


The expo, held on September 12-13, had high attendance, largely due to Atlantic City’s proximity to other major urban areas such as New York City and Philadelphia. The EESF benefitted from fundraisers during the expo, as well: the Maxton Manufacturing Co. QR-Code Scavenger Hunt and Elevator Riders Riding Club (ERRC) 50/50 Poker Run combined to add more than US$2,000 toward the Foundation’s goal. Both winners of these events, John Spinella of the National Elevator Industry Educational Program and ERRC member John Harper, respectively, donated their cash prizes to EESF. Additionally, a 42-in.-television raffle at Electrodyn’s booth raised US$425 in funds.

Dinner Dance

Nanette’s Boardwalk Supper Club played host to the annual Dinner Dance, where attendees had an excellent chance to let their hair down.

Awards Breakfast

September 13 began with the annual Awards Breakfast, opened by convention host Sheila Swett, who recognized the associations’ board members and NAEC staff. Barry Piquet presented her with a plaque for her work on United. Outgoing NAEC President Greg Carlisle then presented the following booth awards: Best Single Booth: ACLA USA Inc.; Best Multiple Booth: Formula Systems; Best Island Booth: Minnesota Elevator, Inc. (MEI); and Spirit of United: Elevator Doors, Inc./Elevator Cabs, Inc. (EDI/ECI). CECA Continued Membership awards were presented by Piquet, and Swett recognized Joe Neto for leading the committee on putting together the New York City Boat Ride. She then announced new QEC holders Jay Popp and Richard Baxter.

Carlisle then presented the William C. Sturgeon (WCS) Distinguished Service Award to Vincent Moscato for his dedication throughout a lifelong career in the industry. Moscato said, “There’s nobody better, in my opinion, than those in the elevator industry. To me, the honor of this award is unbelievable. Just look at the names that come before me.” Expounding, he said an enduring quality of our industry is its members helping competitors. Moscato also remarked on the value of association, as he met many friends and mentors as he became more involved in industry organizations over the years. “My friends are elevator people, and they’re the best I’d ever want,” he concluded.

Hendrick swore in the NAESA International Board of Directors, remarking that the new president, Bill Snyder, is the first non-AHJ president. Regaining the podium, Swett encouraged all present to visit this and future expos, as they can only add value to participants.

NAESA Eastern Region Meeting

The NAESA Eastern Region, which represents nearly half of NAESA’s total membership, met under its new President Bill Snyder, replacing Dean McLellan at the position. Snyder said he feels positive about the convention’s high attendance and that NAESA is “very strong.” He stated the officers still anticipate ANSI accreditation in the spring, though such changes as barring presenters and teachers from the certification board will have to be made. Since the ANSI accreditation standard is very stringent it will require another six to eight months of work from NAESA to complete the process. Despite radical changes, the process should be seamless for current members.

The NAESA Board of Directors has decided to suspend the organization’s annual workshops on the basis of losing money at each (on average, only approximately 50 of 2,400 members attend). A committee has reviewed the situation and was to provide a recommendation on how to proceed. Regional Vice President James D. Lawrence announced NAESA has updated its code of conduct. Regional Secretary/Treasurer Morris A. De Simone, Jr. gave his report, noting the region’s intent to continue supporting EESF and encouraging attendees to present its Safe-T Rider© program in local schools. Carl McDilda agreed and encouraged participation in volunteer opportunities.


Members of many associations, including the Association of Members of the Accessibility Industry, CECA, the Elevator Contractors Association, EESF, The Elevator Radio Show, EU, Elevator World, IAEC, Merit Elevator Contractors Association of America, NAEC, NAESA International and VFA Interlift, gathered for the BridgeBuilders meeting. All in attendance gave updates on the work of their associations, with additional attention given to agenda items, which included a NAESA International update on the new accreditation process by Dotty Stanlaske, a Global Technical Barrier Free Trade update by Achim Hütter, an EU update by Martin Culp and a request for answers from Robert Merlo on how EESF can better serve the elevator-related groups/organizations.

The atmosphere in the meeting was one of encouragement for greater things to come, both in the economy, EESF safety education and industry events. Following the most successful United yet at a popular location, attendees looked forward to the next United, to be held on September 19-22, 2016, at the Westin, InterContinental, Hyatt Regency and Palais des Congres de Montreal in Montreal, Canada. For regular updates on other upcoming events, visit our online Event Directory (www.elevatorworld.com/directory/event) and see the Calendar section of each magazine.                                                                          

For more photos of United 2012, visit the Online Extras section of www.elevatorworld.com.

Educational Sessions

The majority of educational sessions on the show floor were very well attended, with standing room only. The following are the sessions presented during September 10-13:

  • “Wind Turbine” by John Koshak of Elevator Safety Solutions, Inc.
  • “Residential Elevators: Installation, Maintenance & Troubleshooting” by Kevin Brinkman of ThyssenKrupp Access
  • “How Current Codes Relate to Existing Elevators” moderated by Norm Martin of the State of Ohio
  • “Fire Fighter’s Safety Code/Fire Service Operation” by Jim Runyan of NAESA International
  • “Understanding 8.7 – Alterations” by Rob Kremer of the Technical Standards and Safety Authority
  • “Elevator Modernization: A Team Effort” by Gordon Ernst of Elevator Consulting Services, Inc.
  • “International Building Code (IBC)” by Sheila Swett of Swett & Associates
  • “A18.1: Comparison between 2008 and 2011” by Doug Boydston of Handi-Lift, Inc.
  • “RopeGripper: Installation, Operation & Testing” by Doug Dietrich of Hollister-Whitney
  • “No Load/Alternate Full Load Testing” by Alfons Petry of TÜV SÜD Industry Services
  • “Lose Your Evidence, Lose Your Case” by Guy Gruppie & Mhare Mouradian of Murchison & Cumming, LLP
  • “Destination Dispatch” by Nicholas J. Montesano of DTM Inc.
  • “Mechanical to Electronic Elevator Safety Compliance” by Francisco Ortiz of Elevator Controls Corp.
  • “Periodic and Annual Inspections” by Jonathan Brooks of Wagner Consulting Group, Inc.
  • “Architectural Metal Finishes” by Bruce Kardos of Rimex Metals
  • “Traffic Analysis” by Jay Popp of Lerch Bates Inc.
  • “Integrated Hydraulic Freight Controller” by Steve Romnes of VMI
  • “Proper Wire Rope Applications for Longer Life and Better Ride Quality” by Dr. Wolfram Vogel of PFEIFER DRAKO
  • “Escalators: Changes between 2007 & 2010 Codes” by Richard Glazmann of ThyssenKrupp Elevator
  • “A.D.A.” by John Rearick of Rearick & Co., Inc and James Lawrence of James Lawrence & Associates LLC
  • “Elevators: Preventative Maintenance” by Rob Cuzzi of Van Deusen & Associates
  • “Understanding 8.6 – Maintenance Control Programs and Code for Maintenance, Repair and Replacement Requirements” by Zack McCain of McCain Engineering Associates Inc.

The VIEEW Meets in Atlantic City

by Angela C. Baldwin

Early on the evening of September 13 at United 2012 in Atlantic City, the members of the Vertical Initiative for Elevator and Escalator Women (VIEEW) gathered for their annual meeting. Hosted by Mary Lewis, director of KONE Spares, Americas, and led by elevator consultant and VIEEW founder Martha Hulgan of MMH & Associates LLC, the meeting proved lively, informative and encouraging, despite its timing at the end of the long, productive convention week.

Hulgan opened the meeting by thanking everyone who helped with and attended the first regional VIEEW meeting held at the Elevator Conference of New York (ECNY) Supplier Showcase in April (ELEVATOR WORLD, July 2012). “ECNY welcomed us with open arms and wants us to come back again,” she reported. The group responded in the affirmative when Hulgan asked if VIEEW should prepare to meet during the 2013 ECNY Supplier Showcase.

Hulgan then thanked Lewis for hosting the VIEEW meeting this year. Lewis presented each attendee with a votive holder inspired by famous Finnish sculptor Alvar Aalto and expressed her enthusiasm for hosting the meeting, commenting on the success of the VIEEW as a “great networking organization.”

As the room continued to fill and ladies sipped wine and snacked on fruit and cheese, Hulgan presented the meeting’s talking points, namely a question she received over the course of United for which VIEEW members were uniquely qualified to respond: “How can OEMs draw more women into the industry?” After each attendee introduced herself to the group, she answered the question based on her personal experience and expertise. Answers ranged from ideas on education and recruiting, to flexibility and mentoring, among many others. Hulgan said she would have many worthwhile suggestions to take back to the questioner.

As the meeting drew to a close, Hulgan reminded VIEEW members to continue to give to the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation. The VIEEW’s goal of raising US$3,000 had not  yet been realized, though donations by members had been coming in, and Hulgan thanked the ladies for all they had done so far and would continue to do in the future. All in attendance agreed United and the VIEEW meeting had been a success. Then it was off to the annual Dregs Party!     

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Elevator World | December 2012 Cover