About the O’Connell Store Fixtures Team
Beyond our unique approach to doing business, our talented team of installers is what allows us to shine as an organization. We work with only the best carpenters and fitters in the business. Their quality ensures we continue to deliver excellence.
As Steve says, “Good enough isn’t good enough. There is only one right way!”
Steve O’Connell, Founder
Steve O’Connell was born September 27th, 1947 in London, England. He emigrated to Canada at a very young age and was raised in the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. As a young man, Steve trained for years as a metallurgist. During this time, he got his first job in the store fixtures industry, working on the weekends as a part-time installer.
Steve began to work as a full-time installer in 1974. After 10 years in the business, Steve moved up through positions in sales, design, and management at a store fixtures company—before he decided to launch O’Connell with Paula in 1984.
When starting O’Connell, Steve felt it was important to cultivate an atmosphere of mutual respect and build a relationship with his clients. He’d watched his previous boss mishandle too many situations to go the same route. Steve understood that his team had to do more than just install equipment to the highest standards—they had to make it their job to understand the concerns of their clients and maintain a positive spirit. This was what created O’Connell’s unique approach to the store fixture business.
With over 40 years of industry experience under his belt, Steve continues to own and operate O’Connell Store Fixtures.
Paula O’Connell, Founder
Born in Brantford in 1951 and raised in Hamilton, Paula brought a varied background of design, accounting and network marketing to the store fixture business. Paula has developed (and maintained) an active interest in sewing from an early age onwards. She is also a trained accountant with years of experience in the industry, working for the St. Catharines Credit Bureau, Bell Canada and others.
Paula’s passion for design offers her an additional perspective on her work in the store fixture business. As a fashion designer, she has created a wide range of products from bridal gowns to custom skiwear & outerwear. She has won several international design competitions, been published nationally, and continues an active engagement in the industry. She brings this same passion and insight to her work with O’Connell.
At O’Connell, Paula is an equal partner with Steve and continues to play a major role in the company. Her financial background allows to handle that side of the business, while her marketing experience ensures that your store will have all the tools that it needs to succeed. Like Steve, Paula believes in doings things the right way—and she has consistently shown her ability to do so, across a range of industries.
John Cloke, Design & Project Manager
John Cloke has been working with O’Connell Store Fixtures since August 1992. He brings a strong sales background and exceptional project management skills to the team, as well as an in-depth understanding of store design and merchandising. John’s primary focus is the functionality of the space—whether it is retail customer flow, dispensary workflow, custom compounding or medical suites. John excels at translating your needs into a clear and innovative design.
Prior to working with O’Connell, John served as Executive Vice President and then President at Cloke and Son Ltd. between 1977 and 1991—a leader in the office product industry. During this time, John was responsible for overseeing the development of systems contracting and computerized inventory control, designing one of the first fully automated office supply warehouses in the industry using leading edge robotic technology.
He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and enjoys skiing, sailing, paddling, and curling in his free time.
O’Connell Store Fixtures was founded in 1984 by Steve and Paula O’Connell, as a store fixture company with a specific focus on pharmacies. Over the years, they have grown to become an industry leader, working with major players such as I.D.A. Stores, Guardian Drugs, Pharmasave, Pharmachoice as well as thousands of Independents .
In 30+ years in the business, O’Connell has grown from a “mom and pop” operation to a thriving company with a large network of contracted installers and salesmen.. We continue to complete between 35-50 projects annually and business is still growing year-by-year.
Steve and Paula are both innovators and stress the importance of doing things the right way. During their careers, they have helped develop pharmacies with walk-in clinics, as well as launching prototypes for free-standing pharmacy kiosks in grocery stores.
They were also contracted by Health Canada to create a manual of “Pharmacy Room Specifications for First Nations and Inuit Health Branch Treatment Facilities.” Besides this, they have mentored many other individuals working in the pharmacy store fixtures business and continue to set the gold standard for the industry—thanks to superior service and unmatched expertise.