(l-r) Detroit Race for the Cure Director Katrina Studvent, your author, Komen Michigan Executive Director Jennifer Jurgens, The Habitat Co. Vice President of Property Management Ted Verner, Ann Arbor-based developer Dan Ketelaar and Metro Elevator Executive Vice President Roger Brummett
like these were and continue to be an effective means of entertaining customers at events and building and fostering relationships with their corporate guests. However, Brummett and Ernstes wanted to do something more. They wanted to find a way to not only make Metro Elevator synonymous with construction hoists, buck hoists, material lifts and rack-andpinion elevators; they also wanted to be known for making a difference beyond the construction site. The two discussed the idea of a pink elevator and the potential for it to raise awareness and funds on behalf of breast cancer research. Brummett had lost a grandmother to breast cancer at a young age. He saw firsthand the personal and
emotional devastation of the dreaded disease. Both men had friends and relatives who had also been affected. To help find a cure for breast cancer would be a worthy endeavor.
A Serendipitous Partnership For several weeks, the idea churned inside the walls of Metro. Brummett suggested they reach out to the local affiliate office of Susan G. Komen, the world’s foremost breast cancer education and research organization. He was introduced to the local director, Natalie Sutton. Several conversations ensued between them, both by phone and in person. Komen representatives visited Metro Elevator’s shop on the east side of Indianapolis to watch a construction hoist
operate on a test tower. After witnessing Metro’s capabilities and enthusiasm for the idea, Sutton was convinced it was worth pursuing. Sutton began coordinating phone meetings with key thought leaders and managers within Susan G. Komen’s corporate offices in Dallas and with Metro representatives to further vet the idea and determine how to best make it work. Weeks of planning and plotting began to unfold into a strategy. The idea of “Ride the Pink Elevator” began to evolve, but it was not yet fully green-lighted. A serendipitous event, seemingly innocuous at the time, would send everything spiraling into orbit. Sutton told Brummett about an upcoming “Pink Tie Ball” at a conference Continued
The Michigan affiliates of Susan G. Komen are honored to have been chosen as the benefactors from the first ‘Ride the Pink Elevator’ project in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Unique projects like this reach a new audience for us: construction subcontractors (many of whom are male). Breast cancer affects everyone, and thanks to Metro Elevator, we’re getting a whole new group of people educated and aware of how they can help fight breast cancer in their own community. Real men can and do wear pink and help save lives!
March 2015 • ELEVATOR WORLD