Kerry O’Brien takes on job of NARI president
by Denis Sheahan, Builder & Remodeler Magazine, Vol. 32 No. 5
A lifetime ago, T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating, a full service HVAC company, was started in Queens. Thomas Francis O’Brien and the grandfather of Kerry O’Brien, who is now the president, started it in 1934 in the Great Depression.
Now located in New Hyde Park, today the company has 27 employees, a fleet of 15 vehicles servicing all of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties and revenues of $5 million, according to Kerry who is also the newly elected president of the New York City/Long Island chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
A member of NARI since 1991, O’Brien, 52 years old, views his job as NARI president as a time for growth.
“We are going to be the resource for the contractor,” he said referring to NARI. “We are going to have better strategic alliances and grow with politicians and charities.”
According to O’Brien, the industry will continue to grow using the website to get the message out, reworking the marketing campaign and using home shows and trade shows.
“I’m excited about the future on Long Island and the future of remodeling,” he said.
O’Brien cited the Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park where NARI is redoing 18 rooms for children as an example of the kind of charity work the chapter is involved in.
“We all can get better and I believe in that,” he said. “It’s going to be better for everyone.”
O’Brien holds a bachelors of science in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is a N.Y. State licensed and registered professional engineer. He is the past president of the American Institute of Plant Engineers, the past chairman of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce Environmental Committee, and currently serves on the board of directors for the North Shore Service Group. He has also taught classes in HVAC to home inspectors at Long Island University for more than 20 years.
Kerry co-owns the company with two brothers, Chris and Tom. A third brother is an attorney. Kerry is married and has three children and lives in Huntington.
O’Brien believes that the longevity of his family’s business is due in large part to the fact he and his brothers have never compromised on quality. “We’ve been selling Carrier® equipment since 1955 because we’ve always believed in providing our customers with the best quality products,” Kerry said. “We offered Puron air conditioners long before the push was on for environmentally safer coolant, and we continuously look for new, innovative product offerings.”
T.F. O’Brien has been the proud recipient of the Carrier President’s Award in both 2011 and 2013, honors that the business does not take lightly.