Meet our executives and leadership team


For over 20 years, Valley Fire has enjoyed steady growth under the guidance and leadership of the current executive team. Please take a minute to meet our leaders:

Tom Hartel

Tom Hartel – President

Mr. Hartel has served as President of Valley Fire Protection Systems since 1995. Prior to joining Valley, Mr. Hartel was Treasurer with K & S Automatic Sprinklers, Inc., located in Bellwood, Illinois.

Mr. Hartel graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.B.A. in Business Administration, where he majored in Finance. He also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business with specializations in Finance and Accounting. As a young man, Tom earned the rank of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 13, Northern Illinois Chapter.

Tom plays a leadership role in numerous industry trade associations, and BOMA/Suburban Chicago named him “Associate of the Year” in December 2005. Tom’s grandfather Harry Hartel began his fire protection career in the early 1900s with Grinnell Fire Protection in San Francisco. Tom’s father Frank Hartel entered the industry in the early 1950s after having served in the Korean War.

Mr. Hartel is active with several charitable organizations. He and his family reside in the Western Suburbs of Chicago.

John G. Flynn

John G. Flynn – Senior Vice President

Mr. Flynn has served as Vice President of Valley Fire Protection Systems since 1988. Prior to joining Valley, Mr. Flynn was Vice President with Chicago Sprinklers Corporation which was located in Carol Stream, IL and then purchased by K & S Automatic Sprinklers, Inc.

Mr. Flynn entered the Fire Sprinkler Industry as an apprentice with Sprinkler Fitters Local Union 281 in 1972 and is a member in good standing.

Mr. Flynn is active with several charitable organizations, and resides in the Western Suburbs of Chicago with his wife. They have two children and three grandchildren.

Departmental Managers

Jeff Fuka

Jeff Fuka – Plumbing Division Manager

Mr. Fuka came to us in 2017 with 18 years of union plumbing experience. The knowledge and expertise he acquired since his graduation from the apprenticeship program in 2004 has made him the perfect fit to run one of Valley’s fastest growing divisions.

Jeff expanded our service area to include Kane County as he and his family took up residence in the Northwest Suburbs. When they are not spending their weekends boating on Lake Michigan, Jeff and his wife are home playing dress up with their 3-year-old and newborn baby girls.

Mr. Fuka and his staff are focused on customer satisfaction and retention because he knows firsthand that the plumber-client relationship thrives on trust and reliability. Jeff is a trusted problem solver; he stays up-to-date with current plumbing codes and the latest technologies and products.

Steve Ekberg

Steve Ekberg – Construction Superintendent

Steve Ekberg started in the fire sprinkler industry as a pipe fitter back in 1985, joining Valley in 1997. He has been instrumental in maintaining high-quality installation standards while also getting the work done safely and on-schedule. As Construction Superintendent, he manages 40 field employees.

Dave Sobota

Dave Sobota

Vice President – Sales

Matt Clegg

Matt Clegg

Vice President – Engineering

Best in class value

Our clients are willing to go on the record about the professionalism and expertise that we bring to each project.

Trusted life safety

We don’t only design, install and repair fire protection systems, but also by providing a range of trusted and reliable protection systems.

Highest standards

We take pride in performing with expertise, integrity, and accountability. Our technicians and skilled labor employees are professionally trained, appropriately licensed and certified, and always adhere to state, local and national requirements.

Records in the industry

We are proud of the prestigious awards we have received and trusted certifications we have earned by providing industry-leading fire protection and plumbing system services to a full range of facilities.

Fast & reliable emergency service

Licensed plumbers and certified technicians will immediately resolve even the most unforeseen emergencies 24/7/365. We can quickly recover fire and life safety systems while minimizing damage to physical assets.