Who is Access Elevator?

About our Wheelchair Lifts, Home Elevators, Stair Lifts such as Savaria and Stannah Stairlifts, Vacuum Elevators, Platform Lifts and More in Erie, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Rochester & Buffalo

Access Elevator delivers highly functioning stair lifts and home elevators to customers throughout Erie, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. With exceptional customer service and easy to use products, Access Elevator is amongst the top home lift suppliers in the industry.


Our Story

Like all things Access, our story is unique.  There is little that is traditional about Access Elevator and Lift, save for the fact that it was born out of a great idea – an idea that has remained the core focus of every decision, innovation and customer product that has followed.

THE IDEA

Access Elevator and Lift is owned, collectively, by a group of the highest volume, seasoned residential elevator companies in the country.  Individually, we are small business owners who believe in the value of a handshake and a promise.  As Access Elevator and Lift, we are the largest co-operative group of elevator contractors in the country, and together we still hold the same values. For years, this select self-chosen peer group met spontaneously at industry tradeshows and functions, finding ourselves gathered in hotel lobbies into the early morning hours, talking about what would make our businesses better.  What would make our customers happier?  What would we do differently if we were the ones building the product, not just selling and installing it?   Like many great ideas, this one grew organically out of those discussions. Surprising us all, it became the obvious alternative to reluctantly accepting the poor quality and poor responsiveness in the market:  let’s build it.

Together, we recognized that we had the horsepower and experience to develop a truly revolutionary product line – one built upon the immediate feedback of the end user:  you, our customer.  We knew from listening to our customers that the car operating panel could be more user-friendly.  So, let’s change it!  The drive mechanism is too noisy, let’s find a quieter one.  There’s new technology that allows an elevator to be powered by solar, let’s build it! Why doesn’t anyone build a home elevator cab with furniture quality craftsmanship? We can and will!

THE PRODUCT

On the other side of the underperforming industry coin were the talented and creative designers who were being confined by the bonds of large manufacturing companies, virtually disconnected from customer feedback and relegated to the task of producing a one- size-fits-all product line.   We recognized their incomparable skill set and ingenuity and began to wonder – what could these specialists create if given both direct customer input anddesign freedom?

The result has been a remarkably innovative product line that remains anchored in the needs of the customer, not the needs of the manufacturer.  The result has been a customer-focused commitment, driven by agile business leadership.  The result has been Access:

[sim-i-tree] The quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other around an axis.

Our axis is you, our customer.

THE PROCESS

Once our business partnership was formed, we met with our engineering and manufacturing partners to create our product line.  Utilizing all of the resources that we had accumulated over the past 35 years of business, including the over one hundred employees in our existing companies, we went to the drawing board.  We started with what was good in the marketplace and focused on how we could make it better. We also looked at what was not good in the marketplace and specifically designed improvements.  We took feedback from several thousand customers, architects, general contractors and homeowners, and incorporated their ideas into our design. Finally, we assembled a team of the most experienced and exacting field technicians, installers and sales personnel, gleaning from them the invaluable and singular input that comes from those who have daily, direct contact with the products.

One of the most unique aspects of Access Elevator and Lift is that we are constantly improving. We are committed to continual improvement of our products as well as our organization.

With this foundation, we created a groundbreaking line of products. A line of residential elevators, vertical wheelchair lifts and LU/LA Elevators, all of which are wholly distinctive and proprietary to Access Elevator and Lift. Individually and as a whole, their thoughtful design elements and engineering are unparalleled in the marketplace.

During this process, we partnered with some of the best specialty manufacturers in our industry. These are companies who share our enthusiasm for innovation and excellence, and who already built the highest quality product in their markets.

Last, we addressed distribution. With the group of industry leaders already assembled via our inventive business model, it was a seamless transition to filling out our map with only the best dealers in the country. As we continue to develop our product offerings, we also continue to establish the remaining markets with like-minded, leading-edge companies.

THE PEOPLE

Business Partners. Friends. Industry Leaders.  Meet some of the faces of Access Elevator and Lift:

Alan Jensen

Home Elevator Professional
HomeLift, Inc. (Tennessee)
26 years in the industry

  • Graduated from North Georgia College in 1983 with BBA in Business Management
  • Started HomeLift, Inc in 1986
  • After 25 years in business, HomeLift Inc. now serves 4 states (TN, KY, MS, AL)
  • Served as Chairman of NAEC Residential Elevator & Accessibility committee

(National Association of Elevator Contractors)

  • Founding member – Peer Group Associates, an industry specific group of elevator contractors
  • Founding member and past chairman of Access Elevator and Lift, LLC.

Don Zimmerman

Home Elevator Professional - Don Zimmerman
Home Elevator of TX (Texas)
35 years in the industry

  • Graduated from Iowa State University in 1977 with BAS in Industrial Administration
  • Founder, President & CEO of Home Elevator of Texas
  • President of AEMA (Accessibility Equipment Manufacturers Association)
  • Sales Manager & Senior Sales Engineer for Montgomery Elevator

Bob Newstrom

Wheelchair Lift Professional
Arrow-Lift (Wisconsin)
13 years in the industry

  • Graduated from Gonzaga University with a BA in Economics and a MBA in Finance
  • Corporate financial planner at NYSE listed company
  • Certified Management Accountant
  • Board of Directors, Bella Elevators, LLC
  • Board of Directors, Boys & Girls Club Foundation of Duluth
  • Head Boys Basketball Coach, Lakeview Christian Academy
  • Founding member and Current Board Chairman of Access Elevator and Lift

Paul Cassano

Home Elevator Professional - Paul Cassano
Abbey Home Elevator of AZ (Arizona)
25 years in the industry

  • CEO of Abbey Home Elevator & California Home Elevator
  • President of Abbey Home Elevator of Arizona
  • State of Arizona – Elevator Code Committee
  • National Sales Manager for National Wheel-O-Vator
  • Regional Sales Manager for ThyssenKrupp Access
  • Developer of “Critical Phase Management” construction management program

Joe Newstrom

Home Elevator Professional - Joe Newstrom
Arrow-Lift (Wisconsin)
10 years in the industry

  • Graduated from Gonzaga University with a BAS in Mechanical Engineering
  • Licensed Professional Engineer (Mechanical – Minnesota)
  • Licensed Elevator Constructor (Minnesota, Wisconsin)
  • Member of AEMA National Board of Directors
  • Member of ASME National Code Committees: A17.1
  • Member of Minnesota State Adoption Committee for ASME A18.1-2011

Brian Nichols

Home Elevator Professional - Brian Nichols
Abbey Home Elevator CA (California)
20 years in the industry

  • President of Abbey Home Elevator & California Home Elevator
  • Served as Chairman of NAEC Residential Elevator & Accessibility committee
    (National Association of Elevator Contractors)
  • Founding member of Peer Group Associates, (an industry focus group of elevator contractors)
  • Board of Directors, Bella Elevators, LLC
  • Founder & President of the Elevator Marketing Group & www.NAERS.com
  • Founding member of Access Elevator and Lift, LLC.
  • Current Managing Partner of Access Elevator and Lift, LLC.

Paul Farnsworth

Home Elevator Professional - Paul Farnswroth
Elevator Service Company (Connecticut)
30 + years in the industry

  • Graduated with Honors from Northeastern University, Boston MA.
  • Fourth Generation elevator contractor
  • Operates the company initially started by his great grandfather in 1895
  • Certified Elevator Inspector (Recognition by ASME and BOCA)
  • 18+ years – State of Connecticut Elevator Licensing Board (longest serving current member)
  • Past Member of the NEII Central Code Committee (Nat’l Elevator Industry, Inc.)
  • Past President of Manufacturers Association of New Haven County

 

Rick Crane

Residential Elevator Professional - Rick Crane
Bella Elevator (Illinois)
12 years in the residential elevator and accessibility equipment industry
22 years in the manufacturing industry

  • Graduated from University of Illinois with a BA and MBA
  • President, Bella Elevator LLC
  • Past President and COO of the Jor-Mac Company
  • Served as Vice-President of Operations for National Wheel-O-Vator

Kevin Heyungs

Residential Elevator Professional - Kevin Heyungs
Bella Elevator (Illinois)
16 years in the residential elevator and accessibility equipment industry

  • United States Marine Corps
  • Elevator Technical Support/Engineering for 10 years at National Wheel-O-Vator
  • Engineering Manager at Bella Elevator LLC