If Nik Wallenda had a say in naming ENR New York’s specialty contractor of the year, we think he’d agree with our pick.
That is, if the aerialist who’s made a living walking death-defying high wires across gorges like Niagara Falls were asked to vote in this year’s competition, it’s likely he would have endorsed O’Connell Electric Co., which he’s crossed paths with before. 
But, daredevil exploits aside, it takes a lot to impress ENR editors. They chose O’Connell based on several other factors including its ability to stay on point through a still-tough economy. O’Connell increased 2013 regional revenue 2.5% to $121 million while staying true to off-balance-sheet efforts including community outreach.
The firm moved up two notches to sixth place in this year’s top-specialty contractor ranking. Victor Salerno, CEO of the Victor, N.Y.-based firm, attributes the increase mostly to organic growth but also to increases in all of its market segments including power and higher education.
More details about O’Connell and its latest projects will be highlighted in ENR New York’s September 22/29 issue, which will also include our annual subcontractor ranking by regional revenue.
As for Wallenda, you can buy a T-shirt commemorating his 2013 walk across the Grand Canyon or his 2012 trek across Niagara Falls at his website. Wallenda was the first to make those crossings on a wire, and O’Connell installed the wires for both.