Prior to the formulation of the National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities, a group of Chief Elevator Inspectors comprised of Don Wiseman, Michigan; Joe Hilgers, Wisconsin; Clark Gould, Ohio; Charlie Shaw, North Carolina; Eddie Burns, Detroit; and Ray Rodriguez, California, had established a line of communication for exchanging thoughts and ideas on accident prevention, code interpretations, and procedures.

During the 1969 Convention of the National Association of Elevator Contractors held in Miami, FL, an Ad Hoc Committee was formed consisting of Bill Sturgeon of Elevator World: John Miller of John Miller Associates; and Don Wiseman, Chief Elevator Inspector, State of Michigan. This committee formed the first official board of the new organization known as NAESA (National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities). The first officers were Don Wiseman, President; Rick Lawson, Vice President; Ray Rodriguez, Secretary; and Webb Morris, Treasurer. The decision was made that the nucleus of NAESA would be inspectors of enforcing authorities as referred to in the A17.1 Code.

In August 1971, the first full board meeting was held with the following states represented: California, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Utah, Nevada, North Carolina, and Kansas. The elevator industry was represented by advisory members Bob Jacobs of Gust Lagerquist & Sons, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota; "Red" Pickett of the International Union of Elevator Constructors; and Bill Sturgeon of Elevator World.

In November 1972, NAESA presented its first workshop in Phoenix, AZ. There were approximately 30 people in attendance representing enforcing authorities and key industry personnel. This first workshop was a great success. Equally successful workshops have been held each year in places such as Raleigh, NC (1973); Scottsdale, AZ (1978); Chicago, IL (1983); Milwaukee, WI (1988), Reno, NV (1993); Louisville, KY (1998); and San Diego, CA (2003). NAESA International's 37th Annual Workshop will be held in Calgary, Alberta in August of 2008.

Over the years, NAESA has promoted consistency of application of standards and enforcement across the country. In our 30 plus year history we have developed the professional reputation of the elevator safety inspector. This has been accomplished, in part, by the training programs and workshops, we have conducted in which a wide range of inspectors, manufacturers, suppliers, designers, inventors, consultants, and contractors have had the opportunity to present information concerning codes, standards, safety devices, and techniques. In 1987, NAESA was the first of the existing certified organizations to be accredited under the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' QEI program. Today, NAESA is one of two organizations that certify elevator inspectors and currently certifies almost 2200 qualified elevator inspectors.

Of equal importance has been the purpose of engaging in activities and establishing programs to exchange and impart information of common interest. NAESA embraced an "open door " policy from the outset. In recent years, NAESA International, in cooperation with the A17 Committee, became a major contributor to code changes and enhancements.

On April 30, 2004, the Canadian Region was launched making NAESA a truly International organization. NAESA membership is now worldwide, representing the majority of the states and governing bodies in the US and Canada either through individual membership or membership by the governing bodies themselves.

In the future, NAESA will continue to invest in educational programs in an effort to provide first-class training and up to date resources for its members and certified elevator inspectors. NAESA’s motto, In The Public Interest, is something we take seriously and all our resources are dedicated to public safety through industry education.