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Imagine a handyman with heart, and Stephen Corrie fits the bill. As a proud community member, father, and scholar in his spare time, Corrie has been impacting families and helping them when they need help the most for over 20 years. His numerous volunteer, philanthropic, and leadership positions have earned him a well-known name in his county. As a contributor to the overall economy, he employs over eight full-time employees throughout the year through his contracting business. He is proud to provide full benefits to each and every one of his employees as well as their families.
Corrie has a long and impressive history of awards, degrees, entrepreneurial efforts, and guest spots on public radio. He was an excellent student and now serves as a community leader who offers construction, repair, green renovation, and energy solutions through his well-known contracting business. As a world-conscious entrepreneur, he actively donates a portion of his salary to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America every year. He does his best to reduce his business’ carbon footprint through innovative practices like solar energy and green certified technologies.
Impacted most by the example and lives of his family members, Corrie has always strived to emulate his father’s example of care, fairness, quality, and sacrifice in both business and personal conduct. Stephen Corrie has carried that legacy forward and is now considered one of the most generous, hardworking business owners in the country. His awards, and his impact, tell this story well.
As a young boy, Stephen Corrie watched his father sculpt beautiful figures out of wood, ice, and stone. As a carpenter with a large family, Corrie’s father was always helping sisters, cousins, parents, and friends with fixes around the house – often for free or for a few baked goods that he would later give his kids. Watching his father’s actions impacted Stephen and encouraged him to develop a love for building as well as a heart for others. In 1985, Stephen decided to enter college and began as a double major in history and engineering. Later, he would add two minors to his degree – one in business management and another in architecture.
Throughout college, Corrie studied hard and used his time off to volunteer with a local homeless shelter. Aside from serving meals, Corrie managed to fix many of the structural issues that he found wrong with the shelter’s main building. He made friends with the residents of the shelter and often spent time teaching them about carpentry in the hopes that one day they could use it to get a job. When he wasn’t volunteering, Corrie was organizing study groups and tutoring his classmates. Although learning was always something that intrigued him and came easily, Corrie was recognized as one of the hardest working people in his class when he graduated with a GPA of 3.97.
After graduating and meeting the love of his life at a church picnic, Stephen Corrie started his own contracting business and continued his habit of volunteering within his new community. Corrie’s business quickly became recognized as one that residents could trust, and he began getting more calls than he himself could handle. As a result, he hired his first staff member only a few months after opening the doors of his business. By 1996, he was employing four employees full time and six others part-time. Business was booming, and Corrie believed that keeping prices fair was a big reason why. He vowed to always keep his father’s spirit alive by helping all who needed him regardless of how much they could pay.
In 1997, Corrie and his wife had their first child. A softball pitcher from the start, Stephen Corrie’s daughter began playing in little league with boys twice her age before she even entered kindergarten. Because the community did not have a softball team for girls, Corrie decided to start one. In addition to his full-time work as a father and business owner, the only girls’ softball team in town now had a coach with another fun and rewarding responsibility on his hands. Throughout his years as a team coach, Corrie started to notice that the stadium the children played in needed repairs. He became famous for coaching the girls throughout practice while fixing fences, bleachers, and signage. This habit earned him the nickname “Coach Carpenter” or simply “Coach Carp” to his players. His ability to multitask and do so many things well at once tended to astound onlookers.
When he recognized that children performed better in school and seemed to be healthier when they played sports, Corrie stepped up to the plate again and decided to contribute to another organization. In 2003, he became a faithful donor to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and has written them a check each year ever since. The Clubs provide opportunities for children to learn about health, safety, dating, internet use, character, etc. and provide each one of the children who participate with a mentor as well.
Despite his numerous activities in the community through church, coaching, and work, Stephen Corrie couldn’t help feeling that there were still more ways he could help the world. He decided in 2005 that he would expand his shop’s offerings to include electrical and HVAC repair. By hiring two specialized technicians and implementing the training he received during his undergraduate career in engineering, he cemented his reputation and legacy in the community forever. The ten employees of his repair service are known for their quick response times, reliable service, fair prices, and quality workmanship. In 2007, his company was presented with the coveted Community Leadership through Better Business award, something that Corrie keeps proudly displayed in his office to this day.
For the past six years, Stephen Corrie has continued his stellar business practices and progress. When green technologies became more desirable, he added several environmentally friendly technologies and options to his list of services. Use of solar panels, energy star rated appliances and windows, and thoughtful building practices are part of what earned Corrie a Green Business certification from the local Chamber of Commerce in 2011. This, in addition to his expanded offerings, was just the way Corrie was looking to better his community at home and around the world.
In his spare time, Stephen Corrie enjoys reading about historical figures and events. When he’s not being called Coach Carp, he’s likely to be called “Dr. Corrie” by those who listen to his weekly history talks on the radio. As a regular guest star on a local public radio program, “Dr. Corrie” provides historical contexts for political, cultural, and other events of the day. Although he is careful to ensure that people understand he’s not really a doctor, Corrie enjoys this nickname and sees it as a great compliment from already informed radio listeners across the county. His degree in history is still being used today, as well as his other certifications and degrees from college. Like his green energy commitment, Corrie is still making sure that nothing goes to waste.
In 2012, Stephen Corrie decided to take time off from his business to spend more time with his parents, who were in need of greater care. Although he still works far more than most individuals do on average, (50 or more hours a week) he is happy to be able to spend this time with his mother and father who spent so much of their lives taking care of him. Corrie is happy, he says, to be in a position where he can afford to take some time each day to visit and take care of his parents. He enjoys their company, and continues to learn from his dad, the original Corrie family carpenter who taught him so much about life, love, and service.
Stephen Corrie plans to grow his business and to continue to provide excellent services to the members of the four surrounding counties local to his shop. As an experienced carpenter, he enjoys mentoring young workers and being able to pay great wages to his carpenters, drivers, and techs. Corrie’s wife has been an invaluable partner to Stephen and has helped him with the business’s finances and payroll for over 2 decades, but he is excited that she has agreed to retire at the end of this year and focus more time on relaxing and painting, her favorite activity.
Corrie ended his radio guest presenting gig last year and plans to spend that time putting his knowledge and observations into a book. Because this is something that he, his father, and his mother enjoy working on, he is looking forward to evenings and weekends spent on the porch writing and talking with his parents. Continuing the family tradition, Corrie’s daughter was accepted early to a college architecture program and plans to join the family business once she graduates. Stephen Corrie takes his responsibilities as a father, husband, son, and community leader seriously and says he will continue to search for ways to be of service as long as he’s able.
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