When Dana Spears founded Cornerstone Pros in 2006, the company began as a small family business with just six employees. Today, 14 years later, it is still a family business, but now employs over 65 local residents who provide air conditioning, electrical and plumbing services to households in Pasco, Hillsborough and Hernando counties.
“Being bigger doesn’t mean we have lost the family values our company was founded on,” said Dana Spears, Cornerstone’s president. “It’s actually the reason we have grown so quickly, because family values allow us to retain and attract highly skilled workers who are dedicated to our customers.”
There is a misconception that because their overhead is greater, a big company charges more for their services than a small company.
“But, being bigger actually keeps our rates more affordable because we have low employee turnover and more buying power with our suppliers,” explains Spears. “It also allows us to offer our people year-around work, top pay and employee benefits that smaller operations often cannot afford.”
Spears and her husband, James, are hands-on business owners, and are joined by several members of their family in the daily operation of their business.
All of Cornerstone’s technicians are specialists who have specific training in their field. “This means our A/C guys are experts at air conditioning, and do not go out on plumbing and electrical calls,” said Dana. “We have certified plumbers and electricians for those calls.”
Cornerstone Pros hires people who are genuine, honest, trustworthy, clean-cut, and live their lives with good ethics and morals.
“Our employees live in our service area, and are very committed to their family and community,” said Dana. “Most have been with us for over five years, and we have techs who have worked here for all 14 years. In the trade industry, this kind of longevity is almost unheard of.”
Spears recognizes that providing excellent customer service begins with excellent employees.
“We’ve been successful because we’ve built our business on reputation and trust,” said Spears. “Our motto is to go above and beyond customer expectations, and every one of our employees strives to make that happen every day.”
Dana also attributes Cornerstone’s success to being a woman-owned business.
“Women understand that nothing is more important than being customer-centered. It’s the little things that we do in the first 30 seconds that sets the tone for exceeding customer expectations,” said Dana.
“When people call, they assume we have the technical expertise to solve their problem,” she continues. “What they remember is how they felt when they first talked to our customer service rep, or first meet our technician at their door. It’s the kind, helpful voice, the clean uniform and shoe covers, the tech who focuses on them and not their phone, that sets us apart.”
Every Cornerstone employee is trained to the company’s high customer service standards.
“As a mom and wife, I know how it feels to allow someone into your home,” Dana explains. “When we send a tech to a customer’s home, I feel just like I am sending them to my own home. Over two-thirds of our calls come from the woman in the family, and as a woman, I fully understand her concerns and expectations when she allows someone into her home.”
The Spears family has deep roots in the local community. James grew up in Tampa, and Dana graduated from Land O’ Lakes High School, as did three daughters and a son, all who now work for the company. The Spears’ youngest is a second grader at Land O’ Lakes Christian School.
The family’s connection to the community also is very strong. Cornerstone Pros supports Oasis Pregnancy Center, sports programs at Land O’Lakes High School, the American Cancer Society, Operation Stand Down to support homeless veterans, Tighten The Drag Foundation fishing tournaments to benefit spinal cord research, and fundraisers for Xavier Johnson, a former Sunlake High football player who was injured.
“We want to give back to our community, which has done so much to support our business over the years,” said Dana. “This is who we are.”
Cornerstone Pros was founded in 2006 as an air conditioning service company. It moved to its 4-acre site on Land O’ Lakes Boulevard in 2011, and the following year added plumbing services. In 2014, it expanded again with electrical services.
In 2018, Cornerstone Pros built a 6,000-square-foot warehouse next to its headquarters on U.S. 41, to store air conditioning units of all sizes, and stock high-demand service items for its air conditioning, electrical and plumbing operations. It also stocks tankless hot water systems, and portable and permanent generators, including whole-house systems by Generac.
Phones are answered 24/7, and technicians are available around the clock, including weekends and holidays. Call at (813) 949-4445, anytime day or night. For more information, visit their website at CornerstonePros.com.
Published October 28, 2020