CEO, Victor Salerno was nominated, along with 23 other people and organizations in the Greater Rochester Area, to receive the 2013 Philanthropy Award, presented by the Genesee Valley Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Vic was nominated by Saint John Fisher College for his dedication and generosity as an alumnus, donor, trustee, mentor, and friend.
In an RBJ Special Report, The Giving Drive, by Sheila Livadas, Vic’s nomination was described in a brief article:
St. John Fisher College did not just make a graduate out of Victor Salerno; it also created a lifelong advocate for the institution.
Salerno, a member of the class of 1966, has continued to provide financial support and to encourage others to give back in the 47 years since his graduation. He has motivated others in the business community to recognize St. John Fisher’s value, and through his leadership he helped to secure a $3.5 million contribution to the school.
Salerno, CEO of O’Connell Electric Co. Inc., and his wife, Eileen, donated $2 million to construct a new building for the business school, now called the Victor E. Salerno Center for American Enterprise.
In addition to financial gifts, Salerno frequently gives his time to the college to help develop programs and the institution as a whole.
“On occasion we all need help,” Salerno says. “Believe me, I know that for sure, and people along the way have helped all of us, and you hope it gets carried on into the future.”
Salerno’s generosity has been motivated by the actions of others in the community, he says.
“When we were younger, you never thought you’d be in a position to do things like this, but you see something in the community that other people have done,” he says. “We spread it around but I think the thing that can give you the most bang for your dollar is education. I would encourage anybody locally that has whatever school they attended to give back to them, because they can really impact generations to come.”
The Genesee Valley Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized all of the nominees at a luncheon event on National Philanthropy Day, November 1.
National Philanthropy Day celebrates giving, placing the spotlight on people and organizations driven to contribute to various causes.
O’Connell Electric Company, Inc. was awarded the 2011 Craftsmanship Award by the Syracuse Builders Exchange in recognition of the outstanding electrical craftsmanship performed at Anheuser-Busch Baldwinsville Brewery.
O’Connell Electric Company, Inc. was awarded the 2009 Craftsmanship Award by the Syracuse Builders Exchange in recognition of the outstanding electrical craftsmanship performed at G.A. Braun, Inc.
O’Connell Electric Company, Inc. was awarded the 2004 Craftsmanship Award by the Builders Exchange of Rochester in recognition of the outstanding electrical craftsmanship accomplished on the O’Rorke Bridge (Stutson Street Bridge Replacement) Project.
In 2003, The Associated General Contractors of America awarded O’Connell Electric Company, Inc. the Excellence in Safety Silver Award.
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Rail accounts for 19% of all statewide freight flows in Alabama. The Norfolk Southern Railway is a major U.S. freight railroad company that operates 21,500 route miles of track across 22 eastern states including more than 50% of Alabama’s Class I track.
In tandem with priorities and goals outlined in the Alabama Department of Transportation’s “Alabama Rail Plan”, Norfolk Southern’s modernization and expansion initiatives targeted three vertical lift bridges in Alabama and the Norfolk Southern Lake Pontchartrain Rolling Bascule Bridge in Louisiana, the longest rail bridge in the country at 5.8 miles, for upgrade, rehabilitation, and remote control operation. These four bridges are not only critical to Norfolk Southern’s transportation grid, they are integral to the management of Alabama’s nearly 1500 mile system of navigable inland waterways, part of a network connecting 24 states.
O’Connell Electric is one of a select few electrical contractors in the country qualified to bid on this type of work. Norfolk Southern awarded our Transportation Division contracts totaling $5.9 million to rehabilitate the electrical and operating systems of the four bridges—rail and waterway—and upgrade them for remote control operation from a central site. O’Connell coordinated and supervised all machinery replacements for the bridges including new motors, brakes, span locks, and switches as well as installation of new generator platforms and numerous structural repairs.
Innovative project management and construction measures were key to O’Connell’s success and efficiency across the four remote bridge sites. A combination of well-planned prefabrication measures and deployment of custom fabrication trailers fully outfitted with tools and office communications greatly reduced lost job site time. O’Connell ingenuity was responsible for onsite rigging and hoisting systems as well as machinery and equipment replacement practices that eliminated the need for employing barges and cranes or for necessitating marine and rail traffic interruptions. In one instance we were able to place a 4000-pound 125KW generator through a machine room floor hatch more than 100 feet off the ground and rig it over the top of existing equipment within a one-hour rail traffic window.
When centralization of bridge remote operational systems was changed from Norfolk Southern’s Birmingham control center to the Decatur, Alabama, Norfolk Southern Tennessee River Bridge site, O’Connell designed and implemented all necessary modifications and additions for the site including new buildings and building amenities, service and power generation systems, and expanded electrical and communications infrastructures. Working closely with our IT subcontractor, O’Connell developed data logging systems across the four bridge network with remote access capabilities, via Norfolk Southern’s intranet, allowing instant review of all bridge operational data for diagnosing potential faults and to determine override measures in emergency situations.
Norfolk Southern’s Signals and Communications divisions contracted with O’Connell later in the project to design and construct a series of new signal and communications buildings, electrical and data wiring, and camera, intercom, and antennae systems.
All work for the four bridge project was completed on time and without disruption to marine or rail traffic. O’Connell has also worked on Norfolk Southern projects in Ohio and Chicago.