About Us - NFI Certified Staff

 NFI Certified Staff

Harnessing the beauty and warmth of fire for the home is not a do-it-yourself project or something you should trust to the lowest bidder. Both for safety and performance, hearth and fireplace products require considerable technical knowledge and skill in their designing and installation.

An  indication of competence is an individual’s training and testing. In the hearth products industry, the National Fireplace Institute® is the independent, nonprofit certification agency that produces professional training materials and conducts nationwide testing of technical knowledge and skills.

NFI Certification means that an individual has passed a rigorous examination based on a training manual that has been reviewed by industry experts. Certification may be earned by hearth industry professionals in three hearth specialties:
• NFI Gas Specialist
• NFI Woodburning Specialist
• NFI Pellet Specialist

At  Hearth & Home, we believe it is important for our installation team as well as our sales staff and management to continue their education in the hearth industry. We are proud to have the most NFI Certified Hearth Specialists on staff in all of Illinois!

Our dedication to these industry standards means that you can rest assured knowing that your fireplace or stove will be properly installed and held to the highest safety standards.

Visit our Showroom or Contact Us for more information.

 
 
Robert (Pat) O'Donnell

Owner and President: Having been in the industry for 30+ years, Pat still has taken time out of his busy schedule to keep current on his NFI Certification.

***NFI Gas - Expiration: 8/31/19

***NFI Wood - Expiration: 8/31/19

 
 
Mary O'Donnell Schappert

Store Owner and Manager of the Patio Furniture Division: Mary has over 25 years of experience in the Hearth, Patio and BBQ industry. In her free time she enjoys reading Casual Living Magazine and coming in to the store to catch up on work.

***NFI Gas - Expiration 3/1/18

 
 
Ryan O'Donnell

The 3rd Generation at Hearth & Home, Ryan is both NFI Certified and recently became the first Certified Chimney Sweep in Hearth & Home history!

***NFI Gas - Expiration: 7/31/19

***NFI Wood - Expiration: 7/31/19

***Chimney Safety Institute of America - Expiration: 8/2019

 
 
Ed Schappert

Ed has over 15 years of experience in the Hearth, Patio and BBQ industry. In his free time he enjoys watching his twin boys play ice hockey and riding his Can-Am Spyder.

***NFI Gas - Expiration 4/1/18

 
 
George Z.

Lead Installer: George is in his ninth year here at Hearth & Home. When he's not climbing chimneys, he can be found at the CCC playing goalie for a renowned hockey team or playing with his two little granddaughters.

***NFI Gas - Expiration 5/31/17

 
 
Peter O.

Installer: With teammate Geo Z., makes up the other half of what many consider to be the premier fireplace installation team in the world. If he's not studying his NFI manual for fun, he can be found wandering the streets explaining to people why he believes hockey is way better than soccer.

***NFI Gas - Expiration 8/31/19

 
 
Jim P.
Installer/Service Technician: At age 35 and already a grizzled veteran of the fireplace and patio industry, Jim officially became certified by the NFI in March of 2014. In his spare time he enjoys rollerblading, computer games and watching the Blackhawks.

***NFI Gas - Expiration 3/31/17
 
 
Bernie A.

Fireplace/Patio Sales: Bernie has been in the hearth and patio industry for 25+ years. He is an avid sailor and enjoys long walks by the lake.

***NFI Gas - Expiration 3/31/17