Michael Liptak the co-founder and driving force behind ALL Erection & Crane Rental in Cleveland, Ohio has died.
He passed away on Saturday June 18th, he was 91.
Liptak started out as a dump truck driver working in a quarry, before starting his own crane rental company in 1964, when he and his wife Marvine, along with brothers Larry and Jake - who died last year - founded ALL Erection in Independence (Cleveland), Ohio with the purchase of a 46 tonne/52.5 ton American #20.
The four built the business up over the years through sheer hard work, determination and commitment, then in 1978 they acquired Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental of Wisconsin. This was followed by the opening of an aerial work platform division in 1980. That same year it moved into West Virginia, buying a branch in Nitro from ACE. The company continued opening new branches and spreading its coverage, moving into Georgia in 1989 and acquiring Jeffers Crane Service in North Western Ohio in 1995. The move into Tennessee came in 1999 when it also acquired a branch in Elkhart, Indiana from Central-Rent-A-Cranes. Further branches were opened in the Carolinas, Alabama and Louisiana, making it the largest privately held crane rental company in North America, with a total of 33 branches across the continent, a fleet of more than 3,500 cranes, and more than 1,500 employees.
In the words of the family’s obituary: “Michael Liptak was a blue collar guy from a blue collar city, and he built his business through sweat, time, and a handshake that was his bond. In the world Mike and his brothers grew up in, nothing came easy, but he wanted to make life a little easier for the working people who relied on heavy lift equipment to do their jobs because he was one of them. Up until his final days, Mike was still involved in the daily life at ALL, visiting branches and offering his advice and expertise. He was well known to weigh in on critical, or even seemingly mundane-business issue, because even if he had handed over the mantle of responsibility, he never stopped carrying the weight of his life’s work.”
Speaking of his father, son Michael L. Liptak, the current chief executive said: “He pushed those around him to be the best they could be. And he could be that type of leader because there wasn't a thing, he hadn't done himself. He drove trucks, operated cranes, fixed cranes when they broke, and saved enough to buy new ones when they were needed. From that foundation, he built everything we know here at ALL.”
“Known to many as Big Mike, he never stopped being excited about the basics of the business, perhaps best characterised by the kid like way he felt compelled to go out and operate any new crane the company acquired. You can't keep an operator out of the seat, and Mike was an operator at heart. From his blue collar beginning to creating a business enterprise, from his charming smile to his ability to raise pulses, Mike was about balance. If you met him in a restaurant, casino, or auction, you felt his warmth and fun and kindness pour over to you. If you met the man who built the business, you know he was tough and strong and took creating an industry from nothing seriously. He was serious, and he challenged others to take this enterprise as seriously, simply because he knew it mattered.”
"Everything Dad did was for the thousands upon thousands for whom he provided jobs over the years," added Michael. "That was never lost on me or the rest of the second and now third generation family working at ALL. We were all lucky to have the shade of his mighty shadow." "Everyone here is treated like family - and many actual families make ALL their life's work. The family feeling extends to our customers and suppliers as well. That all started with Dad. He created a place where everyone was welcome, and the sky was the limit as far as advancement. He's my inspiration, both as a leader and a person. To say he will be missed is a monumental understatement."
He is survived by wife, Marvine, his four children son Michael and daughters Michele, Connie and Vicki, as well as his brother Larry and sister Carol. Along with seven grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
The Family will receive friends at the Vodrazka Funeral Home of Independence, 6505 Brecksville rd., on Tuesday, June 21, from 16:00 to 20:00. The funeral service and interment will be private.