By: Edwin Warfield, Publisher, CityBiz
After beginning his career as a degreed sales engineer for the Trane Company, Joe Sbarra founded Gil-Bar Industries with his partner John Gill in July of 1986. The company had a family feel from the start: working out of the basement of a residential home in Brooklyn, the city where Joe was born and raised. In fact, the company’s first employee was Joe’s mom, who did everything from answering the phone to cooking meals for clients and factory visitors.
As Gil-Bar grew, Joe built and preserved a company culture that extends the values of family to every individual within the firm, and to every client the firm serves. These values are reflected in the way Gil-Bar cares deeply about every single project and all of the people who come together to make it work. They’re reflected in the way Gil-Bar protects everyone associated with the firm by insisting on excellence and taking responsibility for finding solutions where everyone wins.
As Joe says: “In order to maintain a great working relationship with our clients, we have to be friends with them. We have to have their backs.”
This philosophy has allowed Joe and John to attract and retain the “cream of the crop” in the HVAC industry, now including 24 degreed sales engineers and 22 inside engineering support staff. Today, Gil-Bar offers the strongest solution-based HVAC engineering team in the tri state area and is widely regarded as the nation’s premier engineering rep force.
“We’re entering our 35th year of providing expert guidance to our clients and we’re proud of the projects we’ve built together. We’ve become the largest solution-based HVAC company in the industry, proving ourselves with over 2000 clients daily across multiple market segments. But as we’ve grown, our philosophy and focus have never changed: we build working relationships as a family. We work together to find the best solutions, always. There is no project or problem too big or too small for Gil-Bar. We will figure it out.”
Connect with Joseph on LinkedIn
Founding | You founded Gil-Bar in a basement in Brooklyn in 1986. Please tell us about the launch of Gil-Bar.
Introduction | Can you provide a snapshot of Gil-Bar today? How many locations, employees…?
Timeline | What are some of the key milestones since 1986?
Partner | Tell me about the role of your other partners and their part in Gil-Bar’s growth”
Private Equity|When did you decide to pursue private equity? Tell us about the Intermediate Capital Group.
Merger | Last November, Gil-Bar Solutions merged with HC Nye. Tell us about the merger and the results to date.
Growth | What are the growth plans for Gil-Bar?