New England Crane School was founded in 2010 by Larry DeBattiste, an NCCCO-certified operator with over 30 years of experience in the heavy construction and marine industries, and his sister Anna DeBattiste, a training professional with over 25 years of experience in training and instructional design. Today the business is managed by Anna, who also occasionally provides written examination services.
NCCCO training and practical testing is conducted by NCCCO-certified operator and NCCER-certified instructor Frank Donahue, a 55-year veteran of the crane industry. Frank was the owner of A1 Crane Service in Dover, New Hampshire from 1996 to 2006, and has also worked for several of northern New England’s largest crane rental services. He has been training and testing crane operators since 2008 and working with New England Crane School since 2011.
Mark is our assistant manager for all NECS operations and delivers NCCER operator training, signal and rigging classes, overhead crane training, and various consulting services. Mark’s background is in facilities management and property maintenance, and he has been working with New England Crane School since 2012.
Heather Chandler provides administrative support to NECS and is a certified NCCER proctor and prior office manager. Though originally from the Upper Valley, she now lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and their hound mix. Heather has experience in education and research and looks forward to meeting new people and encouraging their success.
Olimpia Piccoli, previous office manager and NCCER written examiner, rejoined the team in 2021 and is now our marketing coordinator and a back-up examiner. A native New Yorker, she has been in education for over two decades and loves to help people learn new skills and hone existing ones. Olimpia lives in VT and enjoys yoga, making art and all things outdoors.
Desiree Balch joined NECS in fall of 2022 as the office manager and NCCER written exam proctor. Desiree grew up in the Upper Valley and now lives there with her husband and beautiful little girl. As a daughter of a teacher and a lifetime Girl Scout, Desiree has always been interested in education and helping others learn new skills. She looks forward to supporting people along their journey toward success.
Bob Wheeler joined NECS in the fall of 2022 as an NCCER practical examiner. He spent most of his professional life in the marine business where he started operating cranes in the early 1980s. He ran friction lattice and hydraulic RT cranes lifting boats and stepping masts before transitioning to construction, where he was pounding piles and dredging around the metro New York area well into the late 1990s. He became a marina manager and frequently operated the marina’s barge mounted crane well into the 2010s. Bob now lives in the New Hampshire lakes region with his artist wife Lisa and their dog Maggie.
Our beloved mascot Jave departed this world in 2016, but he is still with us in spirit.