Joseph R. Valenti, lovingly referred to as Papa Joe, was the father of Valairco’s founder, Richard J. Valenti, and the great uncle of the company’s current owner, Kevin J. McHugh. Joseph was born in 1903, the same year his family immigrated to America. Orphaned at 15, Joseph strived to become a master tool-and-dye mechanic for the sake of his two younger brothers, who he was then responsible for. At the same time, education was very important for Joseph, especially since he was an avid reader from an early age. In 1926, he graduated from Cooper Union and was the first one in his family to graduate from college.
Joseph went on to join Doctor Willis Carrier, when there were fewer than 100 employers of Carrier Corporation, becoming one of the pioneers of the air conditioning industry. He was responsible for developing tables to calculate heating and cooling load requirements commonly used today. He also received accolades for technical development, such as Hot Gas Bypass Control.
In the 1940s, Carrier Corporation divested itself of the engineering and contracting aspect of the air conditioning industry to focus on manufacturing. Joseph joined a company called Buensod-Stacey which was comprised of former engineers who had previously worked for Carrier. At Buensod-Stacey, he was a project engineer for many highly technical projects in the textile industry, major corporate headquarters, and hospitals.
In September of 1968, at the age of 65, Joseph retired from Buensod-Stacey and joined his son at Valairco. He worked full time for 10 years and then part-time, never completely retiring until he passed away at the age of 106 in 2009. It’s Joseph’s spirit and philosophy that nothing is impossible that permeates Valairco to this day.
Richard J. Valenti
Valairco founder Richard J. Valenti started his career in the HVAC industry in 1959 when he joined his father at Buensod-Stacey. Richard initially did testing and balancing of heating and air conditioning systems and project management for the company, and later as Northeast Regional Manager of manufactured products.
In 1963, Richard graduated from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark College of Engineering. Through the Trane dealer development product, he founded Valairco in 1968. The company was established to provide residential and small commercial service and installations in the Central New Jersey area.
The Valairco startup was very successful and achieved several awards including Outstanding Dealer and Recognition for Providing Superior Service and Value to its developing customer base. Some of the company’s well-known projects include indoor climate control for Autoland, Home Depot, Lord and Taylor, and Ikea, as well as a number of special temperature and humidity control laboratories to the pharmaceutical industry.
Kevin J. McHugh
In his teenage years, Valairco owner Kevin McHugh spent his summer vacations working on installation crews for Valairco. He later went on to work for Cushman-Wakefield in various high-rise buildings in New York City, gaining him valuable experience in the heating and air conditioning field.
In 1988, as Valairco was aggressively focusing on the homeowner segment of the industry, Kevin rejoined the company with a strong interest in the residential marketplace. He pursued a number of certificate courses and training sessions with other residentially oriented providers. Over the years, Kevin established a number of programs dedicated to homeowner sales and served as Residential Service Manager and Operations Manager.
In 2017, Kevin purchased Valairco with Richard handling the marketing side of the business as a part-time employee. The company is now almost exclusively dedicated to being the premier heating and air conditioning provider to homeowners throughout Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Berkeley Heights, Basking Ridge, Somerset, Westfield and surrounding areas.
In 2018, Valairco celebrated its 50th anniversary. To mark this incredible milestone, Kevin and Richard established the Valairco Cares program. Every 3 months, Valairco donates $500 to charities or non-profits that are nominated by its customers or the general public.
For more information about the Valairco Cares program or our variety of top-quality HVAC services in Somerset County, contact us at (855) 661-3300!
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