243 West State Road 176 | Island Lake, IL 60042 800-355-7061

News

We are beyond excited to be celebrating our 20-year anniversary this month. We want to thank all of our customers and employees who have supported us in our growth thus far. We are honored to have earned your business and loyalty.

We interviewed our founder, Dennis O’Shaughnessy on what has changed over the past 20 years and where the company is going from here.

 

What prompted you to start Mechanical Equipment?

I was working as a Regional Sales Manager for Perma-Pipe (a company which we now represent). It was a great job and I learned a tremendous amount from my supervisor who later became the President of the company. But after twelve years of hotel beds and airplane meals (three and a half million miles), I wanted new challenges.

The company was extremely good to me and I hated to leave but I needed something else. I had done very well for Perma-Pipe and increased sales significantly in my region, so they really didn’t want to lose me either. So, my boss suggested that I become a manufacturer’s representative for their product! I loved the idea of getting back to direct customer sales, rather than management, and it seemed like an ideal solution for both Perma-Pipe and myself. It checked all the boxes I needed to have some new and exciting challenges. I left on the best of terms and will be forever grateful.

 

What’s the most satisfying achievement for Mechanical Equipment in the last 20 years?

I would have to say the positive impact that our company has had on the lives of our employees and our customers. Like most business owners, your colleagues become a personal responsibility for you. I really do feel like the people I work with inside our company, and those that I’ve been fortunate to get to know on a personal level outside the company, are like my work family. I don’t want to let anyone down or disappoint them. Of course, that isn’t always possible, but when it does happen, I can’t help but take it personally, even though I try to tell myself it’s just business. I’m happy that Mechanical Equipment has had a positive effect on their lives, and hopefully they feel like their lives are better for having worked here. I think they’d agree that Mechanical Equipment is a fun place to work!

 

What was a major turning point for the company where you grew, changed direction, or offered new services?

When I started Mechanical Equipment (there was no we then, just me) I only had two lines: Perma-Pipe and Advanced Thermal Systems expansion joints. I had a 10’ x 10’ office that Perma-Pipe let me use in exchange for training my replacement. Unfortunately, my two products were only on a small percentage of all the jobs that bid each year so I needed to find other product lines to represent, so I could generate a more even cashflow. Through help from customer suggestions and other rep firms that I had relationships with from my days at Perma-Pipe, we were able to generate interest from some manufacturers that wanted new or better representation in this marketplace. That was the significant turning point.

Everything changed as we started signing up other products. After we demonstrated that we could be successful with them, other manufacturers took notice and reached out to us to represent them. Our ability to sell a better product and more importantly service our customer’s needs with those products really took the company up to the next several levels. At times, it felt like I was hanging onto the tail of a runaway animal, but it was also very exciting! Now we have offices as well as 6,500 square feet of warehouse with a million dollars’ worth of inventory.

 

How has the industry changed since you started?

This is going to make me sound old but when I started at Perma-Pipe in 1987 the internet and email didn’t exist! Cell phones were just coming into the business world and were super expensive because you paid by the minute, so they were mostly used by upper management. I had a pager and would return calls from the airport when I got off the plane or from my local rep’s office wherever I happened to be that week.

So, most of our communications and business was conducted by phone and then confirmed in a letter that we mailed at the post office and received 3-5 days later. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of advantages with the rapid way that we communicate now, but nobody can deny that business and business relationships have become less personal.

 

Has there been anyone or any company who helped you most along the way?

I definitely need to recognize hundreds of people that made Mechanical Equipment possible. I really don’t want to name people because I’d be afraid that if I left someone out, they’d have hurt feelings. However, I do want to thank a few key people that were responsible making Mechanical Equipment possible.

My former boss Fati Elgendy. Fati took the raw talent in me, and taught me how to be a successful sales person, sales manager, and business man. He also taught me a great deal about life, during many long discussions after hours, and about any subject you could imagine. I learned the most in my professional career from him and I will be eternally grateful to him. Without a doubt, he is the smartest person I have ever spoken to, the finest “pure” salesman that I’ve ever worked with, and he was also the person that came up with the idea of putting me in business as a rep and created a flexible plan to enable my success.

I owe a huge thank you to my late parents, Bernie and Midge O’Shaughnessy. They loaned me money in order to establish credit with factories, banks, etc. I was very confident that I could and would succeed, however nobody provides the unwavering support like a parent. They talked me up when I got down, encouraged me when I got discouraged, and provided constant reinforcement whenever I had doubt. They kept me grounded by always reminding me that life can change on a dime, so never, ever take your good fortune for granted. To this day, I say thank you to every customer, for every order, no matter the amount, I am truly grateful.

Thank you to the factories that we represent. Without their belief and trust in Mechanical Equipment, we’d have a hard time growing the business and in turn our lives. I am humbled that they have allowed us to share their name on our letterhead, and for the support and good fortune they have brought to our company.

Thank you to our customers! None of this is even possible without them! When I first interviewed for my job at Perma-Pipe, I met with the owner of the company, Mr. David Unger. A wonderful, generous and unbelievably kind man that treated me like family. During my interview, he asked me “as a salesman, do you think you represent your company to your customer, or your customer to your company?” After thinking about the question for a moment, I told him that I felt that I represent my customer to the company, because without the customer, the company doesn’t need me! That truly is how I feel and how any successful sales person in any industry feels. Everything starts with a customer! You can’t make a sale, process an order, employ people to support the transaction or create a financial transaction, without a customer!

Finally, thank you from the bottom of my heart, to all of our employees! These people treat Mechanical Equipment as if it was their own company, and frankly, they have made it so. All of them bust their butts’ day in and day out for me and they’re the ones that deserve all of the credit. From estimating (putting out what I believe are the most detailed, complete and consistent quotations in the industry), to the inside sales support staff making sure your orders get shipped correctly and on time, to our inside sales team taking care of all the parts orders, and to the warehouse staying late for last minute emergency orders and deliveries. Everyone that touches a part of our business at Mechanical Equipment, does so with passion, dedication, and pride to do the best they can do every day. I am so fortunate to have assembled such a great team! As Leo Burnett, the founder of the greatest advertising agency in the world once said when he started his business, “Reach for the stars. You may not always catch one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either!”

 

What do you see for the company looking ahead? What should/could customers get excited about?

It’s hard for me to say, simply because even in my wildest imagination, I honestly never dreamed we’d be where we are today! I think the sky is the limit for Mechanical Equipment as long as we stay on our current path, and maintain the positive and grateful attitude we have now. Well known factory names continue to contact us, requesting representation in the Illinois market and that means continued growth. What business doesn’t want positive, controlled growth, right?

But we’re selective. We want to rep the best product lines and in turn do a great job for them. My strategy has always been to have no more than a dozen main product lines, and to become the industry leaders in product and system knowledge for those brands. Hopefully, we will continue to enjoy the relationships that we’ve developed with our customers over the last 20 years and continue to add more customers to the list!

One of our most popular product lines, Taco, is a member of the Hydronic Industry Alliance – Commercial which is a non-profit alliance of hydronic equipment manufacturers and partners operating in North America. The alliance operates under the principle that water is the most efficient and greenest energy transfer medium on the planet, and they serve as a resource within the HVAC and Service Water Heating industry. Their mission is to educate, integrate, and communicate the advantages of Hydronic System Solutions.

As part of that mission, they have launched a new campaign targeting rejecting VRF systems. In an ongoing effort to expose building owners, architects and design teams to the multitude of issues that can arise by choosing to install VRF systems, the Hydronic Industry Alliance has created a website, supported by an advertising campaign in popular industry publications and websites, which highlights the major concerns and presents first-hand experiences of those brave enough to come forward to speak about their poor VRF experiences.

The VRF industry is spending millions of dollars advertising the falsely-claimed superior energy efficiency of their systems. They are changing the business model of how systems get designed and are trying to change codes and safety protocols to allow for even greater amounts of refrigerants to be piped throughout a building.

The Hydronic Industry Alliance wants the design community to think twice before blindly choosing a VRF system over the many other viable HVAC options, like hydronics, that will almost always better meet the design, budget, safety, comfort and performance goals of the building. The hydronics industry deserves a seat at the design table, before an HVAC system type is chosen, to tell why water always wins – for everyone.

In the coming months, we will see additional information, support materials and case studies coming out of the Hydronic Industry Alliance in regards to VRF systems, the benefits of hydronics, and new design tools to make it even easier to choose the right HVAC systems. As we get this information, we will pass it along to you. In the meantime, make sure to visit www.VRFrejected.org to learn the truth about safety, energy costs, efficiency, and the proprietary nature of VRF systems.

While we support our customers with any of their needs, we encourage you to look at alternatives to traditional VFR systems when designing and building your next hydronic system. If you have any questions on this, please give us a call to discuss at 800-355-7061.

You know how every company has a “Go-To Guy”? The one with all of the answers? Well, at Mechanical Equipment our “Go-To Guy” is Dean Powrozek. Have you talked with him lately? You should, because he’s a tremendous resource that’s available to our customers for consultations on projects, products specs, and product recommendations.

How did Dean get to be so knowledgeable?

As Operation Manager for Mechanical Equipment, helping with Inside Sales and Customer Service, Dean draws on his extensive background in the industry. He has done everything from driving a truck to project management to becoming a Vice President of a large Mechanical Contracting company.

In fact, Dean has worked with several well-known companies in the Chicagoland area. He spent 17 years with Wagner Heating & Ventilation, and then he worked for a family owned mechanical contractor, Denning & Simonetti. Following that he was the Vice President and General Manager for International Piping.

Dean decided to retire in 2013 which later became a tremendous opportunity for Mechanical Equipment.

“I made the mistake of retiring in February,” Dean said. “That was a bad time because after sitting around inside for several months I wanted to go back to work.”

Dennis O’Shaughnessy, Mechanical Equipment’s founder, said, “Dean called me and said he was tired of retirement, and would like to come work at Mechanical Equipment. He and I had developed a strong customer / supplier relationship, when I called on him as a customer. I was always impressed with how organized he was, how smoothly his projects went through, and frankly, we also became friends. That was the best part of our working together. I immediately offered him a position here, and because of his knowledge of both the piping side and air side of our business, hiring Dean has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! He handles our inside sales of pumps, and boilers, he runs our warehouse and delivery schedule, he field measures all of our Sterling radiant products like fin-tube, radiant ceiling panels, etc. He can do it all, and he does! Whenever something needs to get done, Dean just picks it up; no questions asked.”

Dennis added, “He can relate to our customers’ needs, because he’s literally been in their same position. He knows the deadlines they face, the angry customers they’re trying to satisfy and the importance of deadlines that many of the contracts have included, so getting equipment on time is his highest priority.

Dean said, “I never thought I would get a charge out of sales but I love the challenge of being able to help our customers and see how much money I can save them at the same time.”

What can you expect when you call Dean?

Answers. He knows the industry, he has a lot of contacts, and he likes being able to help people solve their problems. Dean said, “I know that if I can’t answer a question I can reach out to my contacts in the industry to get answers. I like being able to offer that to our customers.”

You can also expect a quick turnaround on those answers. “When I was a mechanical contractor, if I could make just one phone call to get the pricing and answers I needed so I could move on to the next issue, that was a tremendous help,” he said. “I always had that experience when I called Mechanical Equipment as a customer, so now I strive to provide that level of quick service to Mechanical Equipment’s customers as well.”

Need pricing or have a question on a complex project? Give Dean a call at 800-355-7061 and see why he’ll quickly become your “Go-To Guy.”


We are very happy to introduce the newest member of the Mechanical Equipment team, Chip Heinemann.

Chip has a long history in the commercial HVAC business. He co-founded Eitel Heinemann Mechanical Services (EHMS) in 2004, where he provided strategic planning, construction HVAC sales, and conceptual engineering services.

Over the last 14 years, they built a highly skilled and qualified mechanical contracting company that served the commercial, industrial, healthcare, and institutional industries all across the greater Chicagoland area.

Prior to EHMS, Chip was a Vice President at the V.A. Smith Company for 10 years. He has a BS in Thermal and Environmental Engineering from Southern Illinois University.

While at EHMS, Chip was a frequent customer of Mechanical Equipment. When he decided to transition to the equipment sales side of the industry, it was a no-brainer to invite him to join our team.

Dennis O’Shaughnessy, Mechanical Equipment’s founder, said, “We are thrilled to have Chip join us. He knows our business and the product lines inside and out. We’ve seen his work ethic and drive as he grew his business and knew he would be a great fit with our culture. I also think he’s a tremendous asset to our customers because he can offer firsthand knowledge from the contracting / installation perspective, and consult on projects to solve “real-world” issues that often arise on projects. He brings a lot more to the table than simply selling equipment!”

“After closing my business, I wanted to do something new, while still using my strengths and knowledge of our industry. I’ve known Dennis for a very long time and when he offered me a position, I saw it as an exciting and new opportunity. It will be fun to sit on the other side of the fence as a sales representative,” Chip said. “I know the products because I bought and installed them for so many years, and I bring a unique perspective to the team from having been on the customer side. I’m an engineer and I know how the products that Mechanical Equipment represents are best applied, because I have used them myself on many, many projects in Chicagoland, without any issues! That impressed me.”

Chip will be reaching out to our customers to introduce himself soon, so please help us welcome him on board!

Taco has announced the launch of a new batch of FI and CI pumps that meet DOE 2020 compliance mandates. Below are links to the new data sheets for the FI/CI 1507D, 2506D, & 5009D models. If you have any questions regarding these pumps, please give us a call at 800-355-7061.

1507D Submittal Data Sheets
2506D Submittal Data Sheets
5009D Submittal Data Sheets

At Mechanical Equipment, we make an effort to carry the products that our customers need while at the same time, the products that fit into our complete hydronic package. Since adding boilers to our product list, we felt that the accessory steam and hot water products used with boilers, would also benefit our customers, so we added the Sterling / Sterlco steam specialty product line.

Sterlco Steam Control Products

Sterling / Sterlco manufacturers a very high quality line of steam and hot water accessories such as:

  • High Pressure Thermostatic Traps
  • All sizes and types of F&T Traps
  • All sizes and types of boiler-feed pumps and systems
  • Steam Temperature Control valves
  • Inverted Bucket Traps
  • All sizes and types of condensate pumps and tanks

They are located just outside of Milwaukee, in New Berlin Wisconsin, with over 100 years in business. We’ve sold quite a bit of Sterlco product since we signed them on, and we haven’t had a single issue with any aspect of the product whatsoever!

Sterlco Steam Control Products
Most recently, we were contacted by United Airlines with a request for us to furnish two new Sterlco boiler feed systems at 1,000 gallons each, for better consistency and reliability. They were ecstatic with the results!

The biggest reason we chose to represent Sterlco, was their high quality line of boiler feed and condensate pumps. They are made with a 3450 RPM motor, to assure maximum efficiency while maintaining minimum motor horsepower. Available in a wide range of sizes, they are AMERICAN MADE with options that will meet or exceed your needs.

The new K Series 2’ low NPSH Pump is designed to pump hot condensate up to +212° F, on elevated tank units. If (or more likely “when”) a steam trap fails in the system, this unit continues to operate up to 12° higher than standard units. The added inducer increases vapor pressure and prevents the whole system failing due to pump cavitation. Stainless steel construction on the impeller and inducer, lengthens the life of the pump and offers supreme corrosion resistance. The K Series pump is energy efficient and will reduce total cost as well. It is engineered to fit / retro-fit current Sterlco boiler feed and condensate units, and is also a drop in replacement for other brands as well.

We stock most of these items year-round, so we can get them to you quickly. Give us a call today at 800-355-7061 to learn more about Sterlco’ s Steam Control Systems or any of our other great products.

Our commitment to customer service is one of the main principles of our company’s mission and brand. We are constantly striving to exceed your highest expectations. It’s why we have aligned ourselves with the best mechanical equipment manufacturers, and why we have hired and retained the best service staff.

This year we wanted to take it up a notch and thank our customers for their loyalty and support over the years. On August 17th, we held our first “customer appreciation” golf outing at the beautiful Makray Memorial Golf Course in Barrington. Over 140 of our clients showed up on a day when the weather started out looking a bit ominous. But by the time our BBQ lunch was served (burgers, brats and cold beverages) the sun was shining and the day was off to a perfect start.

The golf was excellent and all of the guests received a goody bag with lots of fun things inside. Our customers enjoyed meeting our team and networking with others. There were contests and prizes galore, including four Hole-in-one contests with a 2017 Ford F150 Pick-Up Truck as the biggest prize available. We had two longest drive contests, two closest to the pin contests, and two longest putt contests. There was a low-score contest and five team events, all overseen and scored by the club professional Don Habjan.

After some of the best golf of the summer, a terrific buffet dinner and desert was served.

If you weren’t able to make the event we hope you can next year but we do want to take the time to say thank you for your support and loyalty. If there is anything that we can help you with, please call us at 800-355-7061.

Mechanical Equipment is offering a 15% discount on our Patterson-Kelley Annual Maintenance Kits (part #BP-0000-0345 ). This special offer will be applied to maintenance kits orders starting October 16th, 2017 through October 31st, 2017.

As we approach winter, the importance of annual maintenance will help ensure optimal performance of your Patterson-Kelley Boilers and frankly, all of your equipment. Annual maintenance work provides your company with additional service revenue, gives you an opportunity to get in front of your customers again, and keeps them happy with superior service.

To learn more about our Patterson-Kelley Annual Maintenance Kits, just contact Dean in our office at 800-355-7061.

We are proud to announce that we are the new Kelvion Heat Exchanger representatives in Chicago and downstate Illinois.

Kelvion has a wide variety of plate and frame heat exchangers, shell and tube heat exchangers, finned tube heat exchangers, modular cooling tower systems, and refrigeration heat exchangers.

As successor to the GEA Heat Exchangers Group, they continue to break new ground, making discerning customers more successful than ever with their integrated heat exchanger solutions.

While our line of Taco Heat Exchangers will continue to be our main offering, we are now able to fill the unique applications that only Kelvion serves, including AHRI certified requirements.

Give us a shot at your next project and let us impress you with the quality and economic solutions that only Mechanical Equipment can offer! Call today at 800-355-7061.


We were thrilled to learn that Mechanical Equipment earned two awards at the Nexus National Sales meeting February 28th, 2017.

Nexus honored us once again with the coveted “Outstanding Achievement Award” for sales in 2016. In addition to that award, we were also chosen to receive the brand new “Pacesetter” award for outstanding leadership and sales in excess of one-million dollars of Nexus Products.

We are honored to represent such a fine product and company. The people at Nexus are friendly, professional and supportive. They truly make our job as a Manufacturer’s Representative easier!

Nexus continues to introduce new products every single year and it’s no surprise they are the number one flow-control valve company in America. They are now owned by Aalberts Industries, which opens the doors to many other new products to serve our industry and most importantly, our customers.

We now offer the new NexLock system of connections for copper and poly piping, rated to 250psi. Push-in and go, it’s as simple as that!

Watch for future additions such as temperature control valves, manifolds for chilled beams, sail panels, etc. and many more. Mechanical Equipment sells more combination coil packs than anyone in Illinois, and we keep a complete inventory for immediate delivery, so give us a call at 800-355-7061 and let us supply your next project.