Barry Burnett

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.

Barry Burnett

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.


Co-founder, business coach, visionary

APRIL 25, 1951 - November 9, 2018

To all BDR Family members:

With extremely heavy hearts, we announce Barry Burnett's passing. Barry 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.

The passion that Barry exhibited in everything he did was something to be marveled at. If he couldn't get you excited about your potential and the possibilities for your business, he felt he hadn't done his job. 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 as his extended family. At different times, he laughed, cried, hugged, fished, rode Harleys, and, most importantly, celebrated with each of us. We treasure the time we spent with him and will miss his presence every day.

One of our clients shared a quote with us this weekend that felt appropriate for this difficult period. It is from the Scottish poet Thomas Campbell: "To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die." Barry will always remain alive in our hearts and forever be a part of BDR. As a united family, we celebrate the life of the man who meant so much to each of us in true Barry fashion: WAHOO!

BDR and the Burnett family encourage those who would like to Honor Barry's memory to make donations in his name to the Wounded Warrior Project.

A True Visionary

Barry Burnett has been recognized on a national scale 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. "Residential Contractor of the Year" in 1989.

Barry held every conceivable role in the HVAC industry: employee, business owner, sales manager & CEO of a large wholesale distribution company, business consultant, trainer, and business profitability coach. He co-founded Business Development Resources. Barry trained 10's-of-thousands of business owners on HVAC-specific business management concepts to help contractors and dealers drive profit and growth in their business and to better serve their customers, communities, and employees.

Ever the analytic visionary, Barry developed dozens of HVAC-specific business concepts into actionable tools and processes that are easily followed. 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 the mentality and value systems of consumers.

Barry was a self-made millionaire by age 28 as the business owner of his company, B & B Heating and Air. He had a strong passion for the HVAC industry and for HVAC business owners in particular. 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 joined BDR as a partner and co-founder in 1998. He was BDR's training visionary, programs architect, and lead trainer and wrote most of BDR's 20+ HVAC-specific business management training class programs. He was a nationally recognized and highly requested Industry Trainer & Motivational Speaker. Dealers and contractors recognized Barry as the genuine article. He conducted many keynote speaking addresses and led 40 – 50 HVAC training classes annually throughout North America.

From 1994 to 1996, Barry was the Trane Sales Manager for Gensco Distribution in Tacoma, Washington. The genesis of BDR's business model was developed by Barry while at Gensco. As sales manager for Trane Equipment, Barry devised a training model for dealers to show them how to grow and provide the tools they needed. He leveraged "Brand" to grow 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.

Barry founded B & B Heating and Air Conditioning in Redmond, Washington in 1977. By 1991, B & B Heating & Air attained annual sales of $15,000,000+. In 1988, Contracting Business named B&B Residential Contractor of the Year. Barry served on the board of SMACNA in 1989 and has been featured in "Master Builders," "Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration News," and "Contracting Business." His council is sought from dealers, distributors, and manufacturers alike.

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.
  • Wahoo!