November 29th, 2021
How important are a company’s values to its growth and success? What can a business owner do to ensure their team buys in to the company culture and lives those values daily? And how can you take them even further and affect a community in need?
Listen as our guest, Stacey Pearson, shares with us how he perpetuates the company values his family created, and how his business relationships help provide for the unique foundation he and his sister started in honor of their older brother.
Stacey Pearson joined the family business, Pearson Air Construction, in 2000 and purchased it from his uncle in 2012. In 2008, Stacey and his sister, Leslie, started The Gregg Pearson Foundation in honor of their older brother who died in 2003 after an 11-year struggle with brain cancer. The Foundation helps cancer patients with financial needs other than medical, like house, utility, and car payments, as well as provide spiritual and emotional support to impacted families and friends. Stacey’s role as the foundation’s President focuses on fundraising, event planning, and the ministry’s purpose. Stacey has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Management from Abilene Christian University. He and his wife, Paige, a photographer, have three children and live in Trophy Club, Texas.
By Jeff Holler
One of the things I admire most about Stacey Pearson is his commitment to his company’s values and how he keeps them top of mind for everyone.
Pearson Air Construction’s values are right on their website:
• Uncompromised honesty
• Discipline integrity
• Unequaled value
• Godly generosity
“Number one, you’ve got to put those values out there,” Stacey insists. “We have them written on our walls in our office. It does make a difference when our entire team sees it every day, and then we constantly model that.”
Living up to these values is the primary way Pearson Air stands out in a highly competitive market. It’s their key to enjoying so much repeat business.
Honesty & Integrity
“We work in an industry that is known as being cut throat and back-stabbing, and that’s not the way we operate. The construction world is known for talking a big game, but not following through and not meeting deadlines. So, when we say we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it.
“We’re not perfect, so part of that is communicating. If we make a mistake, we own up to it and then make it right.”
“Value is a good price with a good standing behind it, meaning we’re going to make sure that that price is worth something, it’s not just a starting price and we’re going to add to it as the job goes along.
“Most of our jobs take 12 to 14 months to complete. Along the way there’s a lot of things that can go right or wrong. Now we could just back charge for all kinds of things along the way to make up for lost margin. We don’t operate that way. We make sure that the price we give you is the price we stick with all the way through the job unless there’s specific scope changes. We’re very rarely the lowest price, but we maintain the value of our bid all the way through, and that makes a difference.
Generosity and a Committed Team
These values at Pearson Air aren’t just for customers. They apply to the company’s relationship with their team of employees.
“Keeping top notch employees happy is about more than just compensation,” Stacey shares.
“I’m thankful that the culture that dad built from day one has been a model of sustainability. We have people that have bought into this culture and been with us for 20 plus years, and so that tells a huge story. It shows that something’s working right. Paying them what they need to make as things keep getting more expensive is a commitment. But that’s one way area where I really just have to pray and trust the Lord on it.”
The other aspect of maintaining a committed team is including them in major decisions.
“I’m the sole owner, but one of the things my dad instilled in me from day one is, ‘don’t be autonomous.’ Make sure your high-level people buy into what you’re doing before you announce that you’re doing it.
“I have a leadership team of five individuals, and I want them to feel comfortable disagreeing with me. It’s very open and we meet on a regular basis to talk about all the big issues.”
A Peer Group of Other Business Owners
Another element that Stacey credits for his success is the C12 Group, which forms peer-to-peer groups consisting of 12 business leaders who serve as a kind of board of advisors for each other.
“It has helped us in living through our business for God’s purposes every single day, doing things for a bigger purpose, not just to make a good net profit. We want to make an impact in the world for Christ, and we can use our business to do that. I think God calls us to be in our business and be leaders for him because that’s our mission field, really.”
The Gregg Pearson Foundation (www.greggpearson.org)
One of the examples of living for a bigger purpose is the foundation that Stacey and his sister Leslie started in 2008 in honor of their older brother who died in 2003 after an 11-year struggle with brain cancer.
This unusual foundation is unique in four ways.
First, it helps cancer patients with financial needs OTHER than medical, like housing, utility and car payments, as well as provide spiritual and emotional support to impacted families and friends.
Secondly is how it is funded.
“We have a unique way of raising money. We have such good vendor relationships with those we buy product from. They give us a rebate back for what we buy percentage-wise for the whole year. And that money they give directly to the foundation, not to my air conditioning business. There are lots of rebates out there in the industry, but most of them go back to the company that purchases the product. We make it go back to the foundation, and the vendor gets the tax write-off.”
Third, that means fundraising with no overhead.
“100% of the money that we raise can go directly to the grants we provide, so we’re a completely overhead-free organization. In a given year we will raise $300k to $400k in different ways and it all goes out to the people we serve.”
Finally, the Foundation makes their giving a personal act, rather than just mailing out checks.
I invite you to listen in to the full interview to hear Stacey share:
• The unique way that the Foundation delivers grants to individuals.
• How to keep a charitable foundation simple, follow your heart, and maintain the focus on a relatable cause.
• What fuels Stacey and sustains his purpose.
• The culture his father instilled in the company to encourage strong families and a strong business.