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Meet Tim O’Leary of O’Leary Welding Corporation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tim O’Leary.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Tim. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My father, Ed O’Leary, started O’Leary Welding right out of high school in 1982. He is still the President of the company and still very involved as well as my mother, Karen O’Leary, who has been working with him for 30 plus years as the company Treasurer. I have always told people that I grew up in the shop and learned to weld as I learned to walk, a bit of an exaggeration, but the business has been as much a part of our family life as any other aspect for my whole life.

Throughout my high school and hockey playing years at Mount Saint Charles Academy in Woonsocket, RI I worked part-time welding and fabricating for the company in the evenings and occasional weekend. I went to work full time after graduating in 2006 and have had few breaks since, other than time spent training with the Rhode Island Army National Guard. I am in my 10th year of service with the National Guard as an Infantry Officer and I am currently assigned as the Senior Platoon Training Officer for the Officer Candidate School at Camp Varnum in Narragansett, RI. I also attended night school at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI in that time and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management in 2017.

Early in my career, I ran the work crew and job sites as a working foreman for many years before becoming a project manager in the last few years and now the vice president of operations. I spend most of my time now going to site pre-construction meetings, reading prints and bidding on jobs, preparing logistically for upcoming projects and managing ongoing projects. I still try to sneak in some time fabricating and working on job sites when I’m not overloaded with paperwork. I am also the company safety officer with OSHA training.

In January of this year, I started OLeary Industrial Products, a separate but intertwined business. The new company does retail sales of a product line I have developed over the last few years fabricated here in the US by the steel shop at O’Leary Welding Corp. The product line is comprised of high-quality tools, work gear and commercial vehicle accessories geared towards commercial and industrial enterprises and those consumers seeking high-quality commercial grade products. The line is sold exclusively, for now, on Amazon.

In summary, I work three jobs, own a company and I have just been accepted into the Emerging Leaders Program with the Small Business Administration at WPI. They refer to the program as a “street-wise” MBA. My wife of three years, Jenna, and I live in Westford, MA and spend any “free” time with our families either on Lake Winnepesauke or the beach in Gloucester, MA.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Time has always been a challenge, in that there is never enough. There were a few points in the last two years, in particular, after working a 10-12 hour day in Boston, then driving to Providence to attend night class to drive back to Westford for a few hours sleep to do it all over again that I really had to question my sanity. And, God bless my wife for putting up with my crazy schedule.

I will say, however, that it’s tough to imagine it being any other way. I have a younger sister, Jenn, and brother, Scott. Growing up, my parents were always running the three of us around to different rinks all over New England to play hockey while keeping the business going and making us to do homework, etc. Life has almost always been hectic, but I love it, and I’m grateful to have had great mentors in my parents to show me how to hold it all together and keep seeking improvement.

Fortunately in the business today, we have a phenomenal team. My parents and I get along and work well together in collectively making decisions for the future of the company. Similarly, I have a great crew headed by my foreman, Kyle Couture, who I can rely on to make sure jobs go according to plan, meet customer expectations and stay on schedule. We are fortunate to have the people we do in our company today.

O’Leary Welding Corporation – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We celebrated 35 years in 2017 serving the needs of many different industries in metals fabrication, equipment repair, structural steel/miscellaneous metals installation, and mobile crane service. Approximately 75% of our work comes from repeat customers, some of whom we have retained for over 20 years.

Our Facility:
Our fabrication shop is 8,000 sf and houses a large stock inventory, machinery, tools and our mobile equipment. We stock most common sizes of sheet plate, angle, flat stock, pipe, square and rectangle tube in mild steel, stainless and aluminum. The shop equipment includes the following: large capacity hydraulic shear, hydraulic press brake steel bender, hydraulic tube bender, hydraulic ironworker, 5-ton bridge crane, drill press, sheet metal roller, multiple welding machines with various capabilities.

We have thousands of tools ranging from common hand, pneumatic, electric, hydraulic and motor driven tools. For mobile equipment we currently have; two full-service trucks set on 1 ½ ton frames complete with diesel driven welder/generators, cutting gas tanks and many tools, a 1 ½ ton flatbed truck, and a 45-ton boom truck complete with personnel basket, skid pan, and a wide variety of rigging gear.

Our Personnel:
Each of our crew members is OSHA10 certified and possess commercial driver’s physicals at a minimum. Additionally, members of our crew possess the following licenses and certifications: Class 1B hoisting hydraulics license (MA & RI), Class A Commercial Drivers license, rigging certification, crane signal person certification, OSHA 30 safety certification, multiple welding certifications (many processes and positions), DOD secret security clearance, specialty tool certifications.

Customers We Serve:
Power generation facilities, production/manufacturing facilities, construction equipment/ commercial truck repair and modification, antenna and tower industry, commercial roofing contractors, general contractors, government agencies, utilities contractors and suppliers.

Our Philosophy:
To provide our customers with the greatest quality solutions in the time frame required by using innovative techniques while working efficiently and most importantly safely.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
In my college application essay, I wrote about the first job I ever took over and managed at 16 when I was working part-time. I was sent by my father with another welder to work installing a small access platform at a production facility in Milford, MA. The other welder, tasked as the lead on the job, was in his twenties and much more experienced than I, however, at the first issue, we experienced he was ready to give up.

I took control of the job from there and got it done with the approval of my father and more importantly then, the customer. That job made me realize a few things; you always have a chance to succeed if you never stop trying, you have to be prepared and have a plan to take control in any situation, at the end of the day you have to win if you want to succeed. I am most proud of being able to continue to build our company on the principles instilled in me by my parents and reinforced by the situations I have been exposed to.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Ed O’Leary

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  1. Erin O’Leary

    April 3, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    Great article!

  2. Dave D

    April 5, 2018 at 12:20 am

    Great story – keep up the good work Tim!

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