O’Connell’s reputation as a community-minded company began through Walter Parkes’ leadership in the early 1970s.  Over the past four decades the company and senior management have demonstrated continued commitment in these areas through philanthropy and volunteer support in the communities where we work and live.  Today, our resolve has not diminished.

The Mary Parkes Center

The Mary M. Parkes Center for Asthma, Allergy, and Pulmonary Care was established in 1995 by Walter and Carmina Parkes and family in honor of their daughter, Mary M. Parkes.  Affiliated with the University of Rochester Medical Center, Mary Parkes was the first state-of-the-art asthma facility to be located in the northeastern United States.  The company provides regular support to The Center through volunteerism, financial support, and the donation of electrical construction services.

Mary died in 1991, at the age of 32, as a result of a severe asthma episode.  The Center stands today as a testament to her courage, compassion, and beautiful smile. It is a reminder for all of us to take one breath at a time.

The Parkes Family Foundation

The Walter and Carmina Parkes Family Foundation was established with the purpose of providing supplemental aid to charitable organizations throughout the communities where O’Connell employees work and live.


O’Connell employees have proven to be benevolent as well, donating time, services, and financial contributions to a range of charitable causes throughout the year.  There is broad participation at the annual United Way fund drives, strong support for local Habitat for Humanity projects, and generous donating at the company’s Annual Holiday Party to benefit needy organizations in the Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse areas.

The officer’s of the company volunteer hundreds of hours a year to a variety institutions including The Mary Parkes Asthma Center, Pluta Cancer Center, St. John Fisher College, Rochester Museum & Science Center, Rochester YMCA, The Harley School, University of Rochester Medical Center, and Junior Achievement of Rochester.