NAEC History

As we look forward to our future, it is good to look back at our past to truly understand who we are and where we came from.

1940’s—Informal summer meetings (called “Fish Fries”) brought Montgomery Elevator Company managers and their independent distributors together for an annual weekend of relaxing and casual discussion of their mutual problems. More companies were eventually invited and the gatherings began to grow. This meeting expanded in 1944 when Montgomery invited Security Fire Door, The Peelle Company, and Elevator Supplies Company to attend.

1948—A group of the Montgomery distributors discussed the organization of a cooperative for purchasing guide rails and other materials. Most of the independents involved in this meeting have since been absorbed by major manufacturers.

1950—The distributors formed the National Association of Elevator Contractors during their annual gathering. Charter members included Berman-Kern Elevator Company, Wright & Mack, Hunter-Hayes, Mobile Elevator & Equipment Company and Lamps Elevator Sales & Service. James Bryce was elected to be the first NAEC President.

1953—At the annual convention in Louisville, Kentucky, the Association’s constitution was amended to make component Suppliers eligible for membership. By the end of the year, NAEC had a total of 21 Contractor and 13 Supplier member companies.

1960—The annual convention was held in Denver, Colorado and was attended by 254 members and their wives. At this meeting, the constitution was further amended to increase the Board of Directors from 6 to 12 members, of whom, 3 were to be Supplier Directors to the Board. NAEC’s membership had increased to 62 Contractors and 58 Supplier member companies.

1970—The Association’s first Mid-Year Management Seminar, co-chaired by Bob Jacobs and Herbert Glaser was held in Chicago, Illinois and was attended by 38 members. The Board of Directors accepted the resignation of Executive Director, Vernon Lewark, and Joseph C. Tamsitt was approved to act as Director until a permanent director could be hired.

1974—The Board of Directors appointed Jack Faser as Executive Director and the executive office was moved from College Park, Maryland to Atlanta, Georgia. Membership at this time was 130 Contractors and 70 Supplier member companies. Attendance at the 1974 Convention in San Francisco was 454 members and their wives.

1987—Steve McWilliams was appointed to the Association’s lead staff position, following the unexpected death of Jack Faser.

1989—Convention attendance in Boston, Massachusetts had grown to 1600 and membership included 259 Contractors and 171 Suppliers members.

1990’s—Thanks largely to the efforts of Jack Faser and the volunteer leadership of NAEC, the association grew substantially in both size and stature. With growth, came a need for expanded capabilities and improved communications. New programs were created to ensure that members are informed of the latest advancements in education, technology and core requirements within the industry. In October 1992, NAEC moved into its first permanent headquarters building in Conyers, Georgia. The 3600 square foot facility, built especially for NAEC was designed to house our central operations for years to come. Teresa Shirley was promoted to the position of Executive Director in 1996. Presidents and Ms. Shirley have represented NAEC at Industry events across the globe, increasing the Association’s exposure as an international organization. NAEC proudly hosted its 50th Annual Convention and Exposition in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Over 3,000 Industry representatives attended the celebrations of this milestone event.

2000—At the start of the new millennium — in its 51st year of operations — NAEC conventions and conferences are more popular than even. We continue to improve our services and benefits as we grow in size and influence.

2001—The Education Committee began developing an elevator specific education and certification program (CET™, Certified Elevator Technician). The CET program educates the elevator community on general knowledge, safety regulations and codes, and is designed to increase the number of formally trained technicians performing escalator and elevator work.

2003—An education and certification program specifically designed for the accessibility and residential community was developed, CAT™ (Certified Accessibility and Private Residence Lift Technician). This is currently the only education program available in the United States for the accessibility and residential community.

2005—NAEC partnered with CECA (Canadian Elevator Contractors Association), NAESA (NAESA International), and NAVTP (National Association of Vertical Transportation Professionals) for the first jointly sponsored convention of its kind – United in Toronto 2005. A Joint Leadership Team representing all four organizations contributed equally to the united effort. Build on the foundation of an exceptional trade show and unsurpassed educational programs, the event proved to be the focal point for the North American elevator industry with participation by the global elevator community.

2011—NAEC’s National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards was approved by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship. The nationally recognized training program for the elevator industry included in the standard is the NAEC CET® Education Program. NAEC recognizes the need for structured training programs that includes accountability to maintain the high level of skill and competence demanded in the vertical transportation industry. The guideline was developed by the NAEC Education Committee for NAEC members to utilize in developing their local Apprenticeship Standards. In September, NAEC’s CET Certification Program was approved for ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 Accreditation. ANSI accreditation is recognized both nationally and internationally and has become the hallmark of a quality certification program.

2013—The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship approved the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards for the Accessibility and Private Residence Lift Technician. The apprenticeship training program is a combination of on-the-job training and related classroom instruction in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation.

Today, in its 75th year, NAEC’s membership totals 670. The Association has grown substantially both in stature and number, thanks largely to the committed volunteer leadership of NAEC. During this time, many programs have been formed to insure our members are continually updated on the latest advancements in education, technology and core requirements within our industry.

Current membership statistics as of 01/24/2024:

  • 332 Contractors
  • 54 Associates
  • 283 Suppliers
  • 1 Honorary
  • 670 Total

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