BROADVIEW, Ill. — The Unified Group became a woman-owned organization in the mechanical contracting industry with its recent purchase by Janet Kelleher.
Kelleher’s career with The Unified Group spans 14 years. Since 2015, she’s served as executive director under founder and former owner Tim Smerz. In addition to familiarizing herself with her expanded responsibilities, Kelleher has spent time during the transition in ownership adding to her staff to better serve the organization’s growing membership.
“When I first took over as executive director, I had six members. On top of that, I didn’t have any experience in recruiting or sales,” Kelleher said. “My biggest accomplishment so far has been listening to the advice of my executive committee and growing the organization to the 29 contractors we have today.”
Her executive committee includes Bobby Grimes of A&G Services, Paul Gosserand of CMC Corporate Solutions, James Sandoval of J&J Air Conditioning, and Brian Martinenza, Jr. of Service Unlimited Inc. Smerz will continue to stay involved with the group in an advisory capacity.
“These owners have been incredibly supportive with the change in ownership,” Kelleher said. “They’ve been instrumental in both guiding the direction of the group and to me personally because I know I always have someone to call if I need advice or help.”
“As a member-driven organization, we want to make sure we always offer value to our members and their employees,” Smerz said. “Jan is willing and eager to take on that challenge and is going to do a great job moving the association forward.”
Kelleher’s goals for the future of the association include growing membership to 35-40 contractors, adding more member-facilitated educational programming, and increasing the number of purchasing partners so members see more savings. She also plans to attend the Women in HVACR annual conference later this year to network with other women leaders and seek out additional opportunities for improving The Unified Group and its member experience.