SMT, PCB Electronics Industry News

The Electronics Industry Loses a Consummate Professional

Sep 26, 2009

Barry O’Brien died on Sunday, September 20, 2009 while bike riding. Barry covered the Ohio territory for Horizon Sales, a manufacturer’s representative corporation supplying machinery and supplies to the electronics industry.

Barry began his career with MidWest Circuit Products, a supplier to the PCB fab industry, in the mid-1980s. He started his own manufacturers’ representative firm, Foundation Technologies, in 1992. He merged his firm with Horizon Sales in 2001 where he was responsible for coverage throughout Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. In this role, he was instrumental in opening new accounts for Juki Automation Systems, Seika Machinery, Indium Corporation and many other key companies.

Having been a part of the industry for more than 25 years, Barry worked with numerous people, touching most of them and leaving a lasting mark.

Here, members of the industry share their thoughts and memories of Barry, in remembrance of a true industry authority:

“Barry was one of the finest individuals that I had the pleasure of knowing. When I called him, I always looked forward to hearing his Irish voice say, “O’Brien here.”  He will be missed by all who knew him.”

- Vern Emery, Partner, Horizon Sales.

“Barry was a person that people loved to talk to because they knew he was always interested in, and on top of, what was happening in our industry, and they knew they could count on him to help them keep current with the technology and processes that were happening to help them continue moving forward.”

-Dave Trail, Principal, Horizon Sales

“I worked with Barry over the last 25 years, first when he was a sales representative for Zevatech, and the last 10 years when he represented Juki as part of Horizon Sales. Barry served his customer base in the Ohio area well, with a philosophy of honesty and hard work. We at Juki will miss Barry, and send our deepest condolences to his family.”

- Bob Black, President, Juki

“Barry was a great sales representative for our McDry, Sawa and Sayaka products. Mostly, he was a good guy and great friend that I have known for 10 years. Barry was more than a business associate; he was someone that you could talk to about anything because he was interested in so many topics. I will miss Barry’s wit, intelligence, stories, and indignation when wrong was perpetrated, as well as his empathy and support when I asked business-related questions or shared struggles. Mostly, I will miss his character, which shined through each exchange I had with him.”

-Michelle Ogihara, Sales & Marketing Manager, Seika Machinery Inc.

Barry had a rapport with his customers like no other. I will miss our car conversations of music and wine during business travels the last several years. Challenged with questions on either, he knew it all! I will miss him from a business aspect and certainly as a friend.

- Delia Lara, Midwest Regional Sales Manager, Indium Corp.

Barry was born on April 7, 1953 and went to St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio where he played basketball. He attended Ohio University and earned a graduate degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is survived by his wife Jan and his 13-year-old daughter Kirin. 

Visitation will be held on Friday, September 25, 2009 from 4-8 p.m. at the Joseph C. Schulte & Mahon Murphy Funeral Home, 5252 Mayfield Rd. Lyndhurst, OH 44124; Tel. 440-442-0000. A graveside service will take place Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 11 a.m. at Lake View Cemetery (at the Mayfield Rd. gate), and an Irish wake will immediately follow the service at the Beachland Ballroom, 15711 Waterloo, Cleveland, OH 44110.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to:

St. Ignatius High School

General Scholarship Fund

1911 West 30th St.

Cleveland, OH 44113


Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Education Department

1100 Rock & Roll Blvd.

Cleveland, OH 44114


Murphy Irish Arts Center

24000 Mercantile Rd.

Beachwood, OH 44122

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