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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South of Buffalo, New York, on an abandoned Bethlehem Steel plant site, eight 2.5MW Clipper wind turbines are producing power for the New York State Independent System Operator grid. Called “Steel Winds”, it was a $40 million clean energy project developed and owned jointly by BQ Energy and UPC Wind. The wind turbines (the largest manufactured in the U.S.) can produce 57,000 MW-Hours of electricity a year with the power sold both to individual companies and utilities. Steel Winds is said to be the largest U.S. wind farm developed in an urban setting and the first sited on the shores of Lake Erie.
What started as a small condition assessment job on a retired substation by O’Connell’s Technical Services Group led to our getting the complete electrical construction package at Steel Winds, subcontracted from the Tennessee Valley Infrastructure Group. We repaired and modified the existing substation to accept power generated by the wind turbines, installed the underground collection systems and overhead transmission lines, tower wiring and grounding, and ran fiber optics for all data communications. We wrapped up the project where it all began—at the substation—by providing final systems acceptance testing and commissioning. Today, we provide preventative maintenance services to the new site owners.