HVAC Insider Names Kevin McNamara “Man of the Year”
Kevin McNamara richly deserves the honor of being Man of the Year for the HVAC Insider. His history, successes and goals have been focused on helping the HVAC contractors of America find new and better ways to service their customers with superior products.
LG is a global leader in the industry and has introduced many innovative products and solutions to help contractors provide better service and better products to their customers.
Efficiency is key with LG. McNamara joined LG following a successful career in our industry with the best corporations and quality equipment.
Your HVAC Insider is the contractors newspaper for America. We are proud to salute a man who is truly a part of your team.
HVAC Insider “Man of the Year” Kevin McNamara:
Every day is new. Kevin McNamara found that Korean proverb on his first trip to LG Electronics’ headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. The sign now sits on his desk in Dallas as a daily reminder of the opportunities that lie ahead.
In his role as senior vice president at LG Electronics USA, and head of LG’s U.S. air conditioning technologies division, McNamara has built a dynamic team that is having significant and sustained impact on the U.S. HVAC industry. His leadership in creating a strategy focused on tailoring business plans to individual markets has been key to the skyrocketing growth trajectory for LG’s industry-leading variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology in the United States. VRF technology continues to gain attention and traction as it minimizes efficiency losses, provides sustainable energy savings and offers some of the lowest life cycle cost of any system on the market today.
McNamara started his career with Honeywell more than 30 years ago, after earning his bachelor’s degree in Business at Niagara University in New York. Since then, he’s held positions with a variety of U.S. manufacturers, including York, Trane, Carrier and McQuay. His business-to-business (B2B) career has spanned all aspects of management with a strong focus on employee engagement and delivering a superior customer experience.
He reflects that as part of his career progression, he’s been fortunate to have worked with respected companies who at the time were doing innovative and creative things, offering him a wealth of experience. Throughout his decades-long career, rather than finding himself singularly focused in one area, he’s had the opportunity to be involved in every single facet of the HVAC business – from service and equipment, to controls and construction – something he describes as invaluable.
Since January 2011, McNamara has been overseeing LG’s fast-growing commercial, light commercial and residential air conditioning business in the United States. He is a member of the LG Global Advisory Board and, reflecting his important role in growing the U.S. air conditioning business, he was named LG Electronics “2015 B2B Person of the Year.”
Asked about McNamara, William Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics North America said, “LG is very fortunate to have such a talented U.S. HVAC management team in place, especially with someone as experienced as Kevin at the helm. He’s a great leader and motivator to his team, and I can’t overstate his major contributions to the industry and our company as VRF technology takes hold in the United States.”
Under McNamara’s stewardship, LG’s U.S. air conditioning technologies division has flourished, reporting more than 30 percent growth each year since he took command seven years ago. He attributes much of this success to his broader team that he describes as disciplined, focused and with a grit and vigor to drive the business forward and accomplish great things.
According to McNamara, “You’ve got to be structured, disciplined, have a plan, have the right people in a place and a culture in the organization to keep you on task, and to focus on the 20 Mile March.” It’s all about the 20 Mile March, he notes, referring to the philosophy of being extremely disciplined described in the book, The Great Choice by Jim Collins. McNamara adheres to this practice of consistently hitting prescribed targets, day after day, year after year, regardless of the prevailing conditions. It’s about getting up every day and taking the little, non-exciting, but very essential, steps towards attainable goals and doing so with fierce consistency and stanch determination.
It’s somewhat ironic, as he is honored as Man of the Year for his leadership at LG, that when the opportunity with LG first presented itself, McNamara wasn’t immediately convinced it was right for him. At the time, LG was known as a leading multi-billion-dollar player in the global air conditioning market, manufacturing both commercial and residential air conditioners and providing total sustainability and building management solutions. In the U.S. market, however, their presence wasn’t yet established beyond LG’s long-time leadership in room air conditioners. After ongoing conversations with LG’s senior leadership team, he realized this presented a defining moment in his career – that he could build LG’s U.S. HVAC business from the ground up, and would have strong support from management to be a disruptive force in the staid industry.
Having already worked for many of the American manufacturers and seeing technology change slowly over time, he felt the LG opportunity was unique and very different. This was the chance to lead innovation in a market that was ripe for change – and just he couldn’t pass up such an opportunity.
His charge was to establish LG as a significant player in the industry with the aspirations to further expand the brand’s impact in the U.S. market. Recruiting, retaining and investing in great people has been a consistent mantra of McNamara’s during his LG tenure. He is quick to deflect attention from himself and applaud this team along with the “great industry partners in the channel and applied reps who support LG in so many ways.”
While his extended LG and industry family gets a lot of his attention, when McNamara finds himself with some downtime, it’s oftentimes spent on travel, enjoying fine wines (a good Cab is his favorite), getting in rounds of golf whenever possible and soaking up precious moments with friends and family.
He’s immensely proud of the fact that LG brings to market new and innovative products that are based on direct feedback from customers and partners – introducing new products twice as fast as other HVAC manufacturers. Looking ahead, McNamara’s not resting on his laurels. “I’m excited to come to work every day for a great company that’s truly making a difference in the industry,” said McNamara, who is especially proud that LG also is now positioned as a formidable competitor in the controls business.
His vision today remains the same as it did he took the reins of the LG U.S. air conditioning business – to continue to challenge the status quo; to find new and innovative ways to heat and cool homes, buildings and facilities; and to be an ethical competitor – all while doing the right thing for people along the way.
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