Meet James Barry, TACCA's 2020 President
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Posted by: Devorah Jakubowsky
Meet James Barry, 2020 President
Curious about our new president? We were, too. Let's find out more about James Barry with Doctor Cool Professor Heat in League City.
TACCA: Tell us about the Barry Family.
JB: Been married to Shalli Barry for over 27 years and we have two daughters (Kiley and Maggie). We recently became grandparents 9 months ago to our grandson Grey. Kiley has a degree in marketing and sales from Texas State and she works with the company Doctor Cool & Professor Heat. Maggie just graduated from UTMB as a registered nurse and will be starting her career at a local hospital.
TACCA: What started your pathway to become a licensed contractor?
JB: My mom and dad started Doctor Cool & Professor Heat in 1979 (I was 9 years old). I started working with my dad during the summers and really enjoyed the challenges in this industry. I also got to spend a lot of time with my dad while he mentored and taught me important life skills. I took the state test at 24 years old and passed it on the first try.
TACCA: Your company, Doctor Cool & Professor Heat, has received BBB awards 14 years in a row, as well as other industry recognitions. How would you explain your success to other HVAC contractors?
JB: Our success has been in our company culture and principles (core values). We adopted Ron Smith’s win win, win principle and we have never had to question how the company would respond to any issues. The entire team has been empowered to make decisions and do what is best for the customer/client at all times, even if the company receives a little less. Treat everyone how you would like your mother to be treated. We put customer service as our #1 priority; do what you say you’re going to do and follow through. You really have to get your team to care as much as you do.
TACCA: What is unique about the Houston area and how does that influence how your company serves the area?
JB: Houston is a large city with a lot of competition and you have a large area to cover. We focus on our service area and stick to the map so that we are not wasting time in traffic.
TACCA: As a career HVAC contractor, what are the biggest challenges that you face today that you never expected to encounter early on in your career?
JB: Great question. I actually never thought I would be where I am now. I find that what I am now is more of a motivational position. I spend a lot of time on our team keeping them all focused. I learn the personal side of all the teams and work at knowing about their families. I am always available for them to talk or mentor if needed. Our people are one of the most important assets in our organization.
TACCA: How are you positioning your company for succession planning and what are your thoughts about enticing the younger generation to choose a trade vs. college?
JB: We are in the second generation of ownership with my dad still around to consult when and as needed. Kiley has come on board and is working on taking the state test to continue the company if that’s what she wants to do in the future. I would like to see her take the company to the next level (and we already see her changes as positive).
We talk to the local schools, FFAs about the potential in our industry. I have also shown some W2s of our team members to the schools and they are amazed at what you can earn in our industry.
TACCA: Tell us about some of the ways that Doctor Cool and Professor Heat engages in the community.
JB: We host a school supply drive annually. Our team was so grateful to be able to help students in need every year.
Around the fall time, (October and November) team members and our Cool Club customers start collecting nonperishable items for our Thanksgiving food drive! We then donate the collected items to a local food pantry in Galveston County.
During the Christmas season, Doctor Cool & Professor Heat goes all out during the holidays. This is our favorite time of the year. This past year we adopted over 50 foster children from a local family agency. After all that shopping, we still managed to donate more toys to the Dickinson Police Department Blue Santa program.
We own a pink service van in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. This van is part of our service fleet and a portion of revenue generated by the pink van is donated to the MD Anderson Breast Cancer Center for those that cannot afford help. We also have a purple van representing Alzheimer's that donates monthly to the Alzheimer’s Houston chapter.
TACCA: What makes TACCA membership valuable to you as a contractor?
JB: The most valuable part of TACCA is the friendships that I have built with other contractors. We openly help each other and exchange our ideas.
TACCA: What objectives do you hope to see TACCA accomplish in your years as President?
JB: I would like to see us grow membership and start getting some of the younger generation into our association. I feel like we need to connect with more interactive communication to entice them with the benefits and knowledge that can be shared.
TACCA: Complete the sentence: My year as president will be successful if …
JB: If we can get growth and excitement into the chapters that are struggling.