The elevator business isn’t something most people think about a lot. In fact, functional elevators are something a lot of people take for granted. We ride elevators up and down with little thought to how they even got where they are. Walter Targonski is a big part of why we don’t have to think about that. Walter is a Bay State Elevator employee, a father, a football and softball official, and an avid hockey fan. In Early July, MadAddie Marketing spoke on the phone with Walter, who works at Bay State.
Bay State is an elevator installation, maintenance, and modernization company based in Springfield Massachusetts. Their elevators can be found in malls, universities, and government buildings all over Southern New England and New York State. Founded in 1908, Bay State has since expanded to have offices in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.
Walter’s dedication to Bay State was immediately evident. When asked how long he’s been working at Bay State, he replied with the exact date he started work there. “I started at Bay State Elevator on December 3, 1984,” adding “I’m an old-timer at fifty-two. So that’s thirty-two years.” Describing his responsibilities there, Walter said “I do all the drafting work. I do all the ordering for engineered and re-engineered elevators. I help troubleshoot any construction issues in the field. There can be any type of issue, like if they built something incorrectly.” He jokingly added, “I don’t go when it’s smooth.” His responsibilities at Bay State are so wide-ranging, there’s no official title on his business card, just his name.
Walter spoke extensively about how the elevator business is constantly evolving. Even when he talked about the biggest challenges at Bay State, he spoke with confidence and expertise, saying that “every new installation is different; you have to meet the needs of the building design and the needs of the building owner, and make sure we get all the proper equipment and all the different type of functions that they need for the elevator to work the way they want to move the people/tenants in the building. It’s always a challenge.” He stressed that he has gained new knowledge, “because there’s always newer technology coming, so you have to keep learning to keep up with the current marketplace. If you’re not learning new technology, you’re actually falling behind the curve.” Speaking more about the importance of innovation and flexibility, he added “we had this one project I was totally against. I thought, no way. It’s called an MRL. I was totally against it, but once I saw it, I wished we could sell them on every job. I love them.”
For Walter, Bay State has proven to be an exceptional place to work. Speaking about Bay State’s unique characteristics, he said “One thing that stands out is that it’s like working with family. I enjoy that. It’s not like other places, where you’re not able to interact with different departments. You interact with everybody, from shipping to service to purchasing.” He added, “Here you work with everybody and you work to get the job done.” When asked about his favorite moment or project, he replied “it’s not a particular project, I actually met my wife here.” Walter met his wife when she was selling service contracts for Bay State, but she left 26 years ago to be a stay-at-home mom.
Regarding his job, he said he was “very, very satisfied.” The only change he might make is “being out in the field, being a construction superintendent, going a little further than what I actually do with construction troubleshooting.” He later added that “as much as people don’t like saying it, we’re a family here.” Based on Walter’s description, a family seems like an apt characterization for Bay State Elevator Company.