"You have been a good friend for a long time and we have been through a lot. You have served your members well and really helped move a lot of important pieces of legislation helping the fire service and labor. Your work really has made a difference in people's lives, not just for the firefighter, but for their families and communities. Enjoy the days ahead and I look forward to seeing you soon."
"Kevin and I have known each other for more than two decades and he’s always been an honest and effective advocate for firefighters. Kevin is well regarded by Democrats and Republicans alike and that’s a testament to the hard work he’s put in and the relationships he’s developed over the years. I wish him well as he begins this next chapter of his career."
House Democratic leader
"Kevin and I both learned the art of politics in the streets and political clubs of East Baltimore. He brought those skills to Washington and has used them effectively to fight for fire fighters and other working families. It has been a true pleasure working with Kevin both legislatively and politically over the years. I wish him much success in his future endeavors, and thank his lovely family for sharing him with us."
Chief Executive Officer University of Maryland Medical System
"Kevin has been a valued member of corporate board for almost a decade. His ability to understand complex issues and fashion solutions has helped UMMS expand our footprint in the state and improve our delivery of services."
William "Shorty" Byson
Chief, Miami-Dade Fire Department and President Metropolitan Association of Fire Chiefs
"As a past Fire Chief and Metro Chiefs' President, I have seen first hand what Kevin puts out for our industry. In one word; Outstanding!"
Executive Director, Fraternal Order of Police
"Kevin O'Connor has time and again proven to be one of this country's most knowledgeable and passionate advocates for the public safety community. On issues ranging from reform of the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Programs to the protection of basic due process rights, Kevin has always played a key role."
Edwin F. Hale
Chairman and CEO, Baltimore Blast Past Chairman and CEO, Baltimore Bancorp and First Mariner Bank
"Kevin has been a trusted friend and confidante for over 20 years. His service and insight on the board while we were growing First Mariner Bank was invaluable. In recent years, he’s helped me expand indoor soccer and boost the Baltimore Blast, the sport’s oldest and most successful franchise. Our trip to Israel to bolster economic development in Maryland was like no other. We were a great cheerleading and promotional team—me the CEO business guy and Kevin the union thug. But, it worked!"
Former President, Service Workers International Union (SEIU)
"Kevin O’Connor is a brilliant strategist how understands how to find principled as well as practical solutions amongst diverse interests. He is thoughtful, patient and creative while remaining laser focused. His relationships and knowledge are broad and deep which makes him one of the rare few who is recognized as an honest broker and true problem solver."
President and Chief Executive Officer Republican Main Street Partnership
"I've known Kevin O'Connor for a decade, and I've been deeply impressed by the wonderful job he has done through the years at building relationships between the unions and members of the Republican Main Street Partnership. He's one of the great bridge-builders in Washington, and he is well liked and well regarded by everyone on Capitol Hill."
Robert L. Ehrlich
Former Governor of Maryland, in an email upon learning of the founding of O’Connor CARES
"You have traveled a long and successful path since our early days in the Maryland General Assembly. You have always been able to get things done. Kendel and I could not be more excited for this new chapter in your career. We know you will enjoy great success."
Former Governor of Maryland and Past Chair of the Democratic Governors Association
"I've known Kevin O'Connor for over 35 years. His understanding of firefighting, emergency management, labor/management relations, and the latest emerging trends and technologies for First-Responders is second to none. "
Executive Director County Executives of America
"Having started his career in local government, Kevin knows how all the pieces---politics, revenue, work force and community pressures and needs--fit together. His impressive record and achievements demonstrates that he can get things done with Republican, Democrat and non-partisan controlled local government structures. It's been a pleasure collaborating with him over the years."
R. David Paulison
Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
"When I headed FEMA, I could always rely on Kevin for appropriate counsel and support. As two former fire fighters, we knew what needed to be done for those impacted by disasters and for the men and women responding in harm’s way. From increasing grant funding for SAFER and AFG to improving USAR response capabilities to working on communications, wild land, EMS and other response issues, we partnered to improve the fire service and the federal government’s preparedness and response to any and all disasters."
Scott W. Reed
Senior Political Strategist, US Chamber of Commerce
"While Kevin and I may differ on our partisan politics, our work as advocates for public safety was always bi-partisan. Our success allocating broadband spectrum for our first responders is one of my proudest victorys and we surprised a lot of folks working so well together...."
Congressman , Co-chair of the Congressional Fire Caucus
"I've been proud to call Kevin a good friend for many years. From his time as a firefighter in Baltimore to representing thousands of firefighters through the International Association of Fire Fighters, Kevin has dedicated his career to helping those who put their lives on the line to serve their communities. As co-chair of the Congressional Fire Caucus, I was pleased to award Kevin with the Mason Langford Lifetime Achievement Award for his years of service to the fire services community in 2010. I'm honored to call him a friend."
Attorney General State of California
"During my tenure on Ways and Means, I worked closely with Kevin on a myriad of issues including tax policy, health care, pension governance and Social Security. His knowledge was thorough and advocacy tenacious."