Walter T. Parkes
Walter Parkes has nearly 60 years experience in the electrical construction business. Through his extensive industry knowledge, strong leadership, and entrepreneurial vision for future opportunities and growth, Mr. Parkes has helped build O’Connell Electric into the successful organization it is today—one of the largest, highest ranked electrical contractors in the country. He has held the position of Chairman since 2006.
Walter started as a teenager, working the stockroom at T.H. Green, an electrical construction company founded by his grandfather, Thomas Green. Walt worked his way through the ranks to become chief estimator of the company, and in 1968 attempted to buy the business. Outbid by a competitor, Walt turned his sites to O’Connell Electric, which he purchased that same year from John O’Connell. Some years later, O’Connell Electric purchased the assets of T.H. Green.
Today, Mr. Parkes remains highly active in the construction industry as well as in the community. His services include being board member of the Pluta Cancer Center, board member of the Electrical Licensing Board for the City of Rochester, past president of the Rochester Builders Exchange, past president and governor of the Finger Lakes New York Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), past governor of the Northeastern Line Constructors Chapter, former vice president of NECA District 10 where he represented all line contractors within the national association, former chairman of the Electrical Contracting Foundation from 1996 to 1998, and being co-chair for the Council of Industrial Relations.
In recognition of his business achievements and contributions to the community, Mr. Parkes has been honored to receive induction into the Rochester Business Hall of Fame in 2006, the National Electrical Contractors Association’s (NECA) prestigious James H. McGraw award in 1995, the Comstock award in 2005, the Electrical Contracting Foundation Wendt award for exemplary leadership and service, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Rochester Builders Exchange in 2003.
Victor E. Salerno
Vice Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Salerno has served as Chief Executive Officer of O’Connell Electric Company since 2006. Vic is responsible for defining the strategic vision and culture of the organization, managing day-to-day operations, promoting a safe work environment, developing business opportunities, and maintaining company goals.
Vic joined O’Connell in 1971 where he has remained instrumental in the company’s year-over-year growth as well as the expansion of its service offerings. He leads through exhibiting an infectious passion for the business and by demonstrating integrity in all areas of responsibility. Victor excels at fostering strong, trusting partnerships with customers and within the communities where we work and live as well as building strong relationships among our employees.
Previous to joining O’Connell, Vic’ career began with a predecessor firm of Deloitte where he spent five years as an audit, tax and business advisory specialist.
Vic maintains relationships with numerous industry, professional, and management organizations in various capacities including:
- Member and past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of St. John Fisher College and past president of the College’s Alumni Board. He currently Chairs the College’s capital campaign “Fisher Forward”. In May 2016, Vic was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from SJFC.
- Past Chairman of the Board of the Rochester Museum & Science Center.
- Member of the Advisory Board of M&T Bank.
- Treasurer of the Rochester Builders Exchange.
- Board member for Unions and Businesses United in Construction (UNICON).
- Past President of the Rochester Chapter Construction Financial Management Association.
- Trustee of the Pension and Insurance Funds at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 86 – Rochester, NY.
- Past Chairman of the Board for the Community Technology Assessment Advisory Board (CTAAB).
- Past Chairman of the Board of the Center for Governmental Research from February 2018 – February 2020.
April 2012 – Vic received the Beta Gama Sigma (BGS) Business Achievement Award, a global award presented to individuals who have garnered significant success in business and demonstrated generosity through enhancement of a community or educational institution and are viewed as a model of ethical business leadership in their career.
November 2013 – Vic received the Rochester Builders Exchange Lifetime Achievement Award.
October 2017 – Vic was inducted into the Rochester Business Hall of Fame, one of the highest honors as a business leader in the Rochester community.
November 2018 – Vic was honored as the 81st recipient of the Rochester Rotary Award, the oldest, most prestigious civic award in Rochester.
April 2019 – Vic was presented the Distinguished Citizen Award by the Seneca Waterways Council Boy Scouts of America.
February 2020 – Vic received the Robert L. Payton Award for voluntary service from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The award recognizes Vic’s demonstrated leadership in advancement programs, furtherance of the philanthropic tradition, and public articulation of needs, goals and issues in education to the benefit of St. John Fisher College.
Vic graduated with a BBA in accounting from St. John Fisher College and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Over the last several years, Vic has been involved in the efforts to end the Opioid Crisis.
Thomas W. Parkes
President and Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer, Tom Parkes is responsible for all day-to-day operations of O’Connell Electric including estimating, planning, and scheduling support for each division of the company. Tom oversees strategic direction of O’Connell’s premier electrical construction services as well as implementation of sound, consistent project management practices throughout the company.
Mr. Parkes draws on 36-plus years of experience in the electrical construction industry to manage operations at O’Connell. A fourth generation construction professional, Tom worked his way up through the ranks of the company, beginning as an electrician’s apprentice, advancing to journeyman electrician, master electrician, and eventually project manager.
Today, Tom’s responsibilities include all business segments of the company; electrical construction, technical services, renewable energy, substation, power line, transportation, and communications. In addition to his expanding corporate responsibilities and business development efforts, Tom keeps his hand in the ring by managing several key projects and accounts for the company at any given time.
Mr. Parkes’ hands-on design, planning, construction, and management experience spans electrical construction projects of all types and sizes across every industry. Tom demonstrated his proficiency as a project manager across a range of jobs in diverse markets through the 1980s and 90s—industrial plants and manufacturing facilities, military bases, prisons, colleges and universities, hospitals, airports, water treatment plants—from electrical construction work to fire and security systems, to transmission and distribution work. In 1999, Tom managed the $30 million Franklin Correctional Facility project, that required the orchestration of over 150 electricians.
Tom is a trustee of the Apprentice Committee of IBEW Local 1249 and board member of the YMCA.
Susan Parkes McNally
Executive Vice President
Ms. McNally fulfills several key management capacities in her varied roles as Executive Vice President of O’Connell Electric. Susan has more than 35 years of construction accounting experience. She manages all of O’Connell’s HR service provisions, policies, and programs as well as the administration and reception departments. In addition to supporting O’Connell’s corporate strategic initiatives, Susan organizes all corporate events and heads-up the company’s philanthropic initiatives. Her contributions in the accounting department, establishing satellite offices, and audit coordination have been instrumental to the O’Connell Company’s success.
Ms. McNally is a chief proponent of an underlying principle that embodies O’Connell—commitment—commitment to the company’s core corporate values being realized by our employees, customers, vendors, and the community at large. Through Sue’s leadership and support of the Company’s employee wellness initiative, O’Connell was awarded the Rochester Wealth of Health Award for 2010.
Susan is a founding family member and board member of The Mary M. Parkes Center for Asthma, Allergy, and Pulmonary Care as well as the Walter and Carmina Parkes Family Foundation. Sue was recently named to the board of directors for the University of Rochester Medical Center and is serving on their Quality Care Committee. She is also a member of the Harley School Board of Trustees, co-chairs their Committee on Trustees, and serves on the school’s Marketing and Endowment Committee. Sue’s volunteer activities are also extensive. Most notably are her 14 years of service co-chairing the Junior Builders’ Exchange annual golf tournament (which benefits the The Mary Parkes Center) and her contributions as a member of the Construction Financial Management Association.
Ms. McNally earned her degree in Accounting/Business Administration from Monroe Community College.
Joseph R. Pellerite
Executive Vice President of Operations
As Executive Vice President of Operations for O’Connell Electric, Mr. Pellerite supports senior management in corporate and operational responsibilities. He assists the Chief Operating Officer and project managers in the preparation of project estimates and bids and facilitates project completion across all service segments. Joe manages key projects for the company and provides valuable insights on design-build and turnkey projects.
Mr. Pellerite began his career at O’Connell as a project manager in 1973. His proficiency lead to projects of increasing complexity and size and to greater responsibility within the company. Today, Joe’s primary areas of focus revolve around electrical construction, substation, power line, and transportation segments of the business.
Joe has managed some of the company’s most extensive and complex projects. In the mid 80s, Joe managed the US Army’s Fort Drum Expansion Project—one of the Army’s largest construction projects since World War II. At Fort Drum, he lead O’Connell in constructing 78 miles of underground and overhead primary power line across a 500 square mile area. More recently, he headed up O’Connell’s side of a three-way joint venture partnership for Energy East’s Rochester Transmission Project. The three year, $120 million project required O’Connell to build a new substation and switchyard, upgrade nine other substations, and construct 159 linear miles of underground transmission line with an additional 120 miles of overhead.
Mr. Pellerite was a board member and president of the Western New York Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA: Buffalo, New York), and remains active in a variety of business, civic, and professional organizations.
Joe graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology and holds a Master Electrician License for the City of Rochester, New York.
Jeffrey T. Gould
Chief Financial Officer
Jeffrey T. Gould, is Chief Financial Officer of O’Connell Electric Company. He joined O’Connell in 2006 bringing over 20 years of financial experience to the Company. Today, Mr. Gould is responsible for the Company’s accounting, financial reporting, treasury, and general finance activities. He also plays a significant role in the development and implementation of O’Connell’s corporate strategic initiatives.
Mr. Gould began his career with a predecessor firm of Deloitte & Touche LLP. Throughout his nine year tenure, Jeffrey specialized in working for the construction industry, where he served electrical, mechanical, and general contractors. Jeffrey went on to serve in various financial capacities at both public and private companies where he gained increased managerial responsibilities and experience.
Mr. Gould is a board member of Junior Achievement of Rochester, and the Construction Financial Management Association (Rochester Chapter). He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, and Financial Executives International. In May 2009, Jeffrey was nominated and became a finalist for Rochester Business Journal Financial Executive of the Year. Jeff remains active in a variety of civic and professional organizations.
Mr. Gould received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional.
Joseph Turri, Esq
Joe has served as O’Connell’s outside legal counsel for forty years while as a partner at Harris Beach PLLC and upon his retirement in 2018, began his role as the company’s General Counsel based in our Victor Headquarters Office. Joe has also been a member of the company’s board of directors for ten years.
Joe’s career focused on construction law including contract drafting, administration and dispute resolution through arbitration or litigation. He also represented clients in commercial litigation, including employment, partnership and corporate disputes, and in commercial real estate counseling. Joe is experienced in municipal and zoning law, commercial workouts and intra-company litigation. He has represented a broad range of public and private sector employers, owners and contractors, as well as architects, engineers and surety/insurance companies.
Joe has been recognized by the industry leading guide, The Best Lawyers in America, from 2004 to 2018, Lawyer of the year in construction litigation, 2016, Lawyer of The Year in Construction Law, 2015, and Construction Law for Litigation, 2007. He has also been recognized by the prominent rating service, “Super Lawyers,” for Construction Litigation. New York Magazine named Joe among New York State’s “Top Construction Lawyers” for three consecutive years. On the American Registry, he has been cited as America’s Most Honored Professionals from 2011 – 2017. Joe received the Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award for Construction in 2017.
Joe has made considerable contributions to both professional and community organizations throughout his career, including the New York Bar Association where he was a member of the Trial Lawyers Section, Insurance Section (Construction and Surety Division). He also served as a member of the Monroe County Bar Association as a member of the Professional Performance Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the International Law Committee. Joe served as a Harris Beach representative for the National Association of General Contractors and the New York State General Building Contractors Associations. He has lectured extensively to public facility administrators, to other attorneys as faculty for continuing legal education, and to public and private entities, contractor associations and surety groups. He is a former director and member of the Commercial Development Committee for the Rochester Downtown Development Council, served as President and Director of the Thousand Island Park Corporation, and provided volunteer legal services to the Thousand Island Park Landmark Society. Joe was rated AV Preeminent for thirty years, 1986 – 2016, by Martindale-Hubbell, one of the world’s largest legal networks recognized as the gold standard in attorney ratings.
Joe received his Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and his Juris Doctor from Cornell Law School.
January 2020 – Joe was selected by his peers as “Lawyer of the Year” for his work in Construction Law in Rochester. Only a single lawyer in a specific practice area and location is honored with a Lawyer of the Year designation. Additionally, Joe has been recognized for his work in Construction Law and Litigation – Construction by Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer review publication in the legal profession.
March 2020 – Joe received a Corporate Counsel Award from the Rochester Business Journal. The awards are presented to corporate counsel who navigate complicated contract negotiations, defend their companies in high stakes litigation and protect an organization’s most important assets. Attorneys are selected based on the positive impact for a company or organization they serve and who demonstrate exceptional character, integrity and ethics.