Orion EMS Founder Gerard O’Brien: ‘Houston’s Resiliency Makes Us the Unique City We Are’

Todd Parker
Orion EMS Founder Gerard O’Brien: ‘Houston’s Resiliency Makes Us the Unique City We Are’

Gerard O’Brien, President/CEO & Founder, ORION EMS

WHAT'S THE SECRET to running a successful business in these times? As an EMS company, our business plan remains the same throughout any health crisis. Even with a global pandemic, this is what we have trained for, which allows us to provide safe and reliable medical transports without interruption. ORION’s primary “secret” is a highly trained and highly committed management team that strategically adapts to any situation.


What’s unique about your approach? I founded ORION because of my sincere belief in a mission of being the best and most capable medical transport organization serving our community. A key component of fulfilling this vision each day is empowerment of my management team to mold their departments and develop a service-focused culture of achievement. I hired each of them because of their elite training and skills, and I trust them implicitly to make decisions that make tangible impacts for ORION and our community.

What’s most special about your team? One of my proudest achievements with ORION is developing and leading an entirely homegrown management team of the best EMS leaders in Houston. Each of them is a tenured employee who has advanced, with distinction, through the company. They have functioned as a cohesive, impactful unit for the bulk of their careers here at ORION.

Describe your inspiration for success. Across the Houston business landscape, there are so many inspirational success stories of other business owners, and I humbly include ORION in that group. What unites each of us is the commitment to being true stewards of our community — a commitment that did not waver over the last two years. The diversity of these leaders coming together for the people of Houston shows the resiliency that makes us the unique city we are.

What have you learned about your business and community? So often, one hears about a “return to normalcy” following this pandemic. However, we must acknowledge that many aspects of the previous two years are, indeed, “normalcy” for this country now. However, the people of the city of Houston, along with ORION and so many other businesses, have refused to be overcome by fear. Rather than wait for normalcy, we have rallied together — fortified by our resiliency — to continue to forge our community legacy of overcoming any challenge.

What’s most exciting about 2022? ORION has earned new contracts with more hospitals, which has us on track for incredible success this year. As President of the Texas Ambulance Association, I am excited to advocate for my peers across the state, share their successes, and refine industry-wide practices that highlight the thousands of dedicated EMS professionals serving Houston, and all of Texas, on the frontlines.

With Expertise in Blondes, Extensions and More, the Janelle Alexis Team Is a Go-To Salon

YOU CAN'T LIMIT Janelle to one title – Hairdresser. Her career and business has been established and built on a strong foundation. Using her two business degrees + one more in-process, this enables Janelle and the team to deliver not only a customer-focused experience, but a foundationally solid business. There is much more than meets the eye, and in sharing a little bit about Janelle, she was not only an international hair extension educator for over 14 years, but brings extensive expertise to blondes. She rounds this out with her previously launched namesake cosmetic line, which is a perfect complement to her belief that “Beauty is our Business”.

Keep ReadingShow less

AS WE PRODUCE our second annual “Cool 100” list, we’re reminded of our thoughts as we debuted this feature last year. We acknowledged that deciding who and what is cool is not only a moving target but also entirely subjective. And that attempting to “rank” the coolest people in Houston is a fool’s errand, one that will leave us immediately open to criticism. “You think she is cooler than him? You included this person?! You left off that one!?"

Keep ReadingShow less
People + Places

Chicken and waffles at Buffalo Grille

THE ADAIR FAMILY is no stranger to longstanding, family-run restaurants. Run by siblings Nick Adair and Katie Barnhart, the Adair Concepts umbrella includes Skeeter's Mesquite Grille and Los Tios, plus a number of unique concepts like Adair Kitchen, Bebidas and Eloise Nichols. And now, the beloved breakfast destination Buffalo Grille, with locations in West U and on Voss, is part of the hospitality group.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food