BARRY R. BURNETT
Co-founder, business coach, visionary
APRIL 25, 1951 - November 9, 2018
Barry Burnett was recognized nationally as one of the HVAC industry's premier business management training and consulting icons. He built a highly profitable and fast-growing HVAC business from scratch to $15 million in annual revenues, back when the average HVAC system cost $2,500. Contracting Business magazine awarded Barry's company, B & B Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., 1989's Residential Contractor of the Year.
Barry held every conceivable role in the HVAC industry:
- Business owner
- Sales manager and CEO of a large wholesale distribution company
- Business consultant, trainer, and business profitability coach
He co-founded Business Development Resources, Inc. with Bruce Wiseman. Barry trained tens of thousands of business owners on HVAC-specific business management concepts to help contractors and dealers drive profit and growth in their businesses and better serve their customers, communities, and employees.
Ever the analytic visionary, Barry developed dozens of HVAC-specific business concepts into actionable tools and easily followed processes. He challenged, stretched, and reshaped what HVAC business owners thought they knew about running a business. He exposed "old-school" beliefs and techniques for what they are and convinced thousands of dealers to shed their old habits through real-life stories, sound logic, and communication clarity. Barry built confidence and convinced his audiences to seek new knowledge, skills, tools, and inspiration. He showed them the actionable and successful approaches required to succeed in various economic realities and how better to address consumers' mentality and value systems.
Barry was a self-made millionaire by age 28 as the business owner of his company, B & B Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. He had a strong passion for the HVAC industry, particularly for business owners. He knew how hard it is to succeed and worked hard to show business owners a sustainable path to prosperity and success. Through his vision, inspiration, training, and tools, thousands of HVAC business owners all over North America have created considerable personal wealth and a lifestyle many never thought possible.
Barry founded B & B Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. in Redmond, Washington, in 1977. By 1991, B & B Heating & Air attained annual sales of $15,000,000+. Barry served on the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA) board in 1989 and was featured in Master Builders, Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration (ACHR) News, and Contracting Business. Dealers, distributors, manufacturers, and many others sought his council regularly.
From 1994 to 1996, Barry was the Trane Sales Manager for Gensco Distribution in Tacoma, Washington. As sales manager for Trane Equipment, Barry devised a training model for dealers to show them how to grow and provide the needed tools. He leveraged the brand to increase Trane equipment sales to dealers, taking considerable market share from competing HVAC equipment manufacturers. His success resulted in his promotion to CEO of Gensco from 1996 to 1998. Through Barry's Dealer Growth initiatives, Gensco became one of the fastest-growing Trane distributors in the country, enjoying the highest "upsell" business mix in the nation.
In 1998, Barry joined Business Development Resources, Inc. (BDR) as a partner and co-founder. He was BDR's training visionary and lead program architect, writing most of BDR's 20+ HVAC-specific business management training programs. Barry was a nationally recognized and highly requested industry trainer and motivational speaker. He conducted many keynote speeches and led 40 – 50 HVAC training classes annually throughout North America. Dealers and contractors recognized Barry as the genuine article.
Sadly, in November 2018, Barry passed away. Having touched the lives of many throughout our industry and beyond, he was a success as a father, friend, mentor, and business owner. His knowledge and experiences were the bedrock on which BDR was built.
Barry's passion in everything he did was something to be marveled at. He felt he hadn't done his job if he couldn't get you excited about your potential and the possibilities for your business. As a trainer, coach, and mentor, he put his heart and soul into elevating our industry. He and BDR have positively impacted the success of thousands of companies and individuals over the last 40+ years.
Barry considered BDR's clients and internal team members his extended family. At different times, he laughed, cried, hugged, fished, rode Harleys, and, most importantly, celebrated with each of us. We treasure our time with him and will miss his presence every day.
One of our clients shared a quote from the Scottish poet Thomas Campbell: "To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die." Barry will remain alive in our hearts and be a part of BDR forever.
As a united family, we celebrate the life of the man who meant so much to each of us in true Barry fashion: WAHOO!
remembering barry through his words
Barry's knowledge and sayings motivated BDR team members to work hard and stay grounded. His passion helped build BDR into the industry leader it is today. We treasure the time spent with him by remembering his many "Barry-isms" that helped build BDR's foundation.
Below is a selection of our favorite Barry-isms.
leadership & management
- It's not a manager's job to do it, but to know that it is done.
- Assume the risk for your team.
- Think about what could go wrong and plan around it.
- Have you made the perfect communication?
- Put your armor on every day.
- Make a decision (If it's the wrong one, forgive yourself).
- Stay the course.
- Don't let anyone shake your belief.
- Manage to what's possible.
- Leverage your results to Prime.
- Sell up, manage labor.
- A person only has so much essence - use it wisely.
- When I started in business, I knew one thing: work hard. That's what I did. I worked more hours, and I worked more days. It was when there were no more hours and no more days that I realized I had to become a business person.
- Don't kid yourself in business.
- You can't eat an ego.
- It is the precious few, not the trivial many.
- Celebrate with the entire team.
- Find someone doing something right and reward them.