Your author just got back from yet-another wonderful edition of the Elevator Conference of New York’s (ECNY) Supplier Showcase at the lovely Villa Barone Manor in the Bronx. Bobby “Bobby Dee” Defrancesco of Benfield Electric Supply conceived the showcase several decades ago and it’s been going strong, and getting stronger, ever since. There are well over 100 suppliers, thousands of attendees and a significant waiting list of suppliers — not only US-based, but from all over the world.
Silvain Mongrain of Mongrain Vertical Transport always hands out hand-rolled cigars at the showcase, but this year (as he has done on occasion) he offered something very special: cigars being rolled live in person by a professional. Everyone was in high spirits throughout the event, as evidenced by the below picture of the Peelle team.
In the spirit of the holidays, we’d like to share this story, originally submitted by Matthew Reichin, Branch Manager for the Syracuse, NY thyssenkrupp office.
The Syracuse Branch of thyssenkrupp Elevator recently celebrated the holidays with a buffet for nearly thirty team members. This year’s celebration featured the branch’s second annual toy drive to benefit local families in need.
The branch was humbled to hear from Bob Frateschi (L), Gifts in Kind coordinator (United Way of Central New York); and Haider Sakhizada (R), housing coordinator for InterFaith Works of Central New York.
The Gifts In Kind program manages donations of goods from both local and national companies, matching those gifts with member nonprofit agencies that can use them best. This year’s recipient, InterFaith Works of Central New York, addresses the needs of low-income, vulnerable people through education, service and dialogue.
The International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 4 Union Hall is tucked behind a few industrial facilities in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Housed in this building, in a large, open conference room, is the Elevator Museum. It is the shining physical presence of the Elevator Historical Society’s efforts to preserve the history of the elevator and escalator industry.
Your author visited Steve Comley, who is truly taking the museum from good to great. Comley is a longtime elevator man, getting his taste of the industry at an early age, thanks to his father, James, who purchased Embree and White Elevator in Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1972. “I loved the dirty old elevator machine shop,” recalls Comley. “It was fascinating to me as a kid — the noise from the flat-belt pulleys running across the ceiling, the smell of the cutting oils on the machines and the smoke from the welding. They used to cast and completely build elevator machines there.”