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Kirk York, McElroy’s commercial-construction plumber/pipefitter, celebrates 20 years with McElroy’s on May 12, 2024.


Construction Kirk York: 20 Years of Trusted Proficiency

May 13, 2024

“Kirk York would help anybody any way he can – whether they’re a customer, a co-worker or just someone broken down by the road,” said Phil Harper, McElroy’s commercial construction project supervisor. “Kirk’s a green-bleeding McElroy’s company man who gladly offers his time and knowledge to help union apprentices and journeymen to learn, grow and succeed!” On May 12, 2024, Kirk York, commercial construction plumber/pipefitter, celebrates his 20th anniversary with McElroy’s. Beyond being highly knowledgeable, Kirk is extremely reliable. Everyone around him knows he’ll do what it takes to get things done. We’re glad to honor Kirk for 20 excellent years with McElroy’s!

From Farm to HVAC

Kirk grew up on a farm in Coldwater, in south-central Kansas. His father, Mike, mother, Debbie, and brother, Justin, still raise wheat, milo and cattle there. Kirk was active in high school sports and originally studied to be an athletic trainer, but decided he’d prefer a job working with his hands. A good friend suggested the HVAC trade, so Kirk moved to Topeka, got a job at Orscheln Farm & Home and began studying Electrical/Heating & Air at Kaw Valley Vo Tech. Taking a full plate of classes, he graduated in a year.

Kirk York works on servicing a residential furnace in 2018.The Salsbury Family

“McElroy’s had a spot open in the residential HVAC department. I had my education, but no field experience, and I’m grateful that Greg Hunsicker took a chance and hired me,” Kirk said. Kirk started helping with residential HVAC installations. Then he moved into service under the tutelage of Phil Salsbury, a veteran McElroy’s residential HVAC technician. “Phil had already been in the business about 20 years and I was just a rookie, but we became good friends – both at work and after hours.” One evening, Kirk and Phil were playing cards in Phil’s garage when Phil’s wife, Brenda, and daughter, Lindsey, came home from a Kansas Quarter Horse banquet. Kirk and Lindsey began dating, and soon Kirk’s mentor became his father-in-law.

Residential Service

Kirk’s HVAC knowledge grew as he specialized in residential service, and he thrived on the variety. “I liked going to a different home every day, showing up to solve a problem,” Kirk said. “You never knew what challenge you might be walking into, but it was great to make people happy.” Kirk enjoyed getting to know regular customers and their families on a personal level, and also enjoyed the fresh “Thank You” cookies! Familiar customers often trusted Kirk with their garage door and security codes so he could fix their systems even when the homeowners were at work or on vacation.

Kirk York, McElroy’s commercial-construction plumber/pipefitter, makes adjustments to a commercial HVAC system.Friendly Loyalty

“Kirk behaves like he grew up in the 1950s. He has a deep loyalty and trustworthiness you don’t see much today,” said McElroy’s residential HVAC technician Blake Schwartz. “When I started at McElroy’s, I trained with Kirk. He’s great with people. Questions never bother him, and he clearly explains both what he’s doing and why! Even when I was making calls on my own, Kirk would help when needed. He’d come out in the middle of the night to walk me through a tough challenge. You can count on Kirk to see a thing through, staying until it’s done right.”

Teacher for the Union

Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Local 441 recognized Kirk’s technical and communications skills and asked him to teach classes for union members. “It’s a five-week course, two evenings a week. We cover information to help technicians prepare for their journeyman and master license tests,” Kirk said. “I’ve done it at least three times, and Preston Bond and Phil Harper were in my first class.” They’re both McElroy’s commercial construction project supervisors now.

HVAC Controls

In times when residential work was slow, Kirk began helping with HVAC system controls on McElroy’s commercial side. In 2019 he was offered a full-time position for that work. “I liked residential, and I’m not naturally fond of taking chances,” Kirk said, “so I asked my father-in-law what he would do. Phil said he would have taken that McElroy’s commercial-construction plumber/pipefitter, Kirk York, fine tunes components of a commercial HVAC system.opportunity if he’d had it. I trusted his advice and made the switch.” Most commercial construction technicians stay on a jobsite for most of the project. Because Kirk’s specialty is installing controls and doing system start-ups he gets to work on a wide variety of jobs at key points. “I’ve worked in Bramlage Coliseum, Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium, the new Washburn Law building and many other exciting places.”

Family Tradition

“At every level of his 20-year career with McElroy’s Kirk has learned quickly and earned the trust of his customers and teammates,” said Greg Hunsicker, leader of the McElroy’s residential HVAC team. “He has always promoted McElroy’s and been quick to share his knowledge with less experienced technicians as they grow in this trade. Kirk was mentored by one of the best – his father-in-law, Phil, who recently retired after 40 continuous years with McElroy’s. We have high hopes that Kirk will follow that family tradition with another 20 himself!”

Home Life

Kirk and Lindsey have two children: 9-year-old Harrison and 3-year-old Hazel. Lindsey is still active in the Kansas Amateur Quarter Horse Association. She has worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas for 15 years and is the assistant supervisor for membership. Kirk is Kirk York holds his son, Harrison, who is wearing his “Dress Like Dad Day” McElroy’s “uniform.”assistant coach for Harrison’s baseball team, the Topeka Rookies, for whom Harrison is a pitcher and third baseman. “The Salsbury side of the family is very into watersports, so we spend a lot of our summers at the lake,” Kirk said. “We also frequently get back to Coldwater to enjoy time with my parents and brother, aunts, uncles and cousins.”

More Milestones

“I really appreciate the family aspect at McElroy’s,” Kirk said. “People know your name and care about you personally. When Harrison had a Dress Like Dad Day at school, he wanted Lindsey to make a McElroy’s work shirt for him -- so she did. He wants to work at McElroy’s some day like his dad and grandpa.” We at McElroy’s are confident that Kirk and Lindsey will pass down their time-proven values and both Harrison and Hazel will be wonderful people we’d love to have on our team. In the meantime, we’re pleased and proud to honor Kirk for his 20th McElroy’s anniversary, and we look forward to celebrating many more milestones with him in the future!

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