2017 NAN July

12 NORTH AMERICA NEWS / JULY 2017 , UT170008 Metro Elevator - Construction Hoisting Company of the Year USA Metro Elevator, an Indianapolis, Indiana based ConstructionHoist leasing and sales company was recently awarded the designation of ConstructionHoisting Company of the Year for the United States as presented by the Power Industry Network. Metro CEO, Charles Ernstes, II, and Executive Vice President, Roger Brummett were both present for the presentation of the award at Metro Elevators Indianapolis Corporate Headquarters. “This is a significant milestone in our 47-year history, and our founders - my parents Charles and Rita, would have been so proud and honored with this achievement. I am certain they are smiling from heaven,” said Ernstes. EVP, Brummett sees the recognition as a culmination of dreaming big and a fulfilment of a 5-year plan that began in 2011. “We did a lot of soul searching back then on where we had been and where we wanted to go. We analyzed our core competencies, took stock of the things we did well, and painfully admitted the things we were not very good at doing. We had to make some directional changes and cuts, in a then tough economy, that would allow us to focus on our strengths and jettison many of our weaknesses.” These changes resulted in the sale of the company’s passenger elevator sales and service division to ThyssenKrupp, and a significant reduction in employee headcount. Those who remained were all the essential employees in the shop, the field, and in operations who were instrumental to the success of Metro’s Construction Elevator leasing and sales operation. CEO Charles Ernstes, also known as “Elevator Charlie,” is arguably one of the most knowledgeable people on the planet in the rack and pinion elevator world, which is the core technology employed in the construction hoisting industry. A graduate of Purdue University, with a degree in Civil Engineering, Ernstes had held every job inside the company started by his parents in 1970. A “hands on” leader, he had touched every working part of these mechanical marvels beginning as a teenager in the shop, and later leading crews installing construction hoists on major construction projects around the country. After graduating from college, and with his father’s failing health, Charlie took a more active role in the day-to-day operations of the company. After his father’s passing he became President, and several years later, purchased the company from his mother before her passing. With his collective experience in the industry, a dedicated and lean and mean work force, strong technical experts in the shop and in the field, a second to none reputation for performance and reliability in the industry, and a hungry for big success organization, the only thing remaining to be done was to figure out how to differentiate Metro Elevator in a big way from their competition. Executive Vice President, Roger Brummett was having a conversation with an employee who was responsible for painting their fleet of construction hoists, and the employee was complaining about the switching of paint suppliers. In an offhanded comment to the employee, Brummett said, “I don’t care if you paint them pink, just paint the things.” About 30 steps later, Brummett paused and said to himself, “that might not be a bad idea.” Metro Elevator for over 45-years had painted their construction hoists a bright “Flambeau Orange”, and it was a color that while distinguishable, was not necessarily unique in the construction hoist industry. Other suppliers of hoists painted their equipment varying colors of orange, limiting how the color might significantly stand out among other suppliers. Brummett met with Ernstes to discuss the idea of painting the equipment pink, and they collaborated on how to expand on the idea. Due to the color pink being associated with breast cancer, and because both Brummett and his wife, Rachelle had lost their grandmothers to breast cancer, the two men agreed they should explore how painting their elevators pink could somehow evolve into a social impact strategy. A call was made to Susan G. Komen Central Indiana to explore the possibility of some type of relationship with them and to determine their interest. Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other non-profit outside of the federal government, while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Natalie Sutton, the former Executive Director for Komen Central Indiana at the time of Brummett’s inquiry was bewildered as to why anyone would paint an elevator. “When Roger contacted her, she had no