DJ Colbert started his journey into the trades and business when he was 17 years old. At this young age, he took over his father's construction company and proceeded to run this for the next few years. It was during this time he started to learn how to run a business. After a few years, DJ had an epiphany that then shaped the next thirty years of his life. He wanted to get into the mechanical and plumbing side of the building trades. He made the tough decision of closing his business down and had the opportunity to work for The House Doctor. This is where he spent the next ten years of his life. He learned the ins and outs of heating, cooling, and plumbing. He learned how to service furnaces and central A/C, and to run large commercial projects.
After 10 years, DJ had an opportunity to go to work for a large builder as a project manager in Massena. He worked there for five years. During this time, he said he learned a great deal about business. It was during this time he decided to start his own company.
DJ started working out of the basement of his home in a small room. He built and assembled a small team to start designing and installing. On a Sunday after a church meal with friends, the name "Cornerstone" was suggested. Since Jesus is the Cornerstone of our lives, and heating and plumbing is the modern-day cornerstone of a home, He knew this name was the perfect fit. He never wanted Cornerstone to be named, "DJ's Heating and Plumbing" or anything associated with his name as he dreamed of having a multigenerational business that would outlive him. This dream has come to pass as it is a full second-generation business with multiple children working here. It's not just DJ's children, but other team members children also work here alongside their fathers.
Early on, DJ decided that Cornerstone would be a different kind of HVAC and Plumbing business. He strove to have professionalism of utmost importance. Respect to customers, clients, and team members was expected by everyone wearing the Cornerstone uniform. DJ also had fun at work and absolutely loved what he did. If asked about his dreams for Cornerstone he would say, his team members have taken it far past where he ever dreamed it would go, and he was excited for where it was headed. He loved helping and serving people any chance he had. Cornerstone was one of his ways of blessing and helping anybody he possibly could. Many times, out of his own pocket, and most times nobody ever knew or will know about it.
DJ had big dreams for business, and this followed as he opened a Properties division which is bigger now than ever, a construction division, and a sheet metal manufacturing division. It was the family of companies as he put it. Most of these companies have been reconsolidated into Cornerstone Services and Cornerstone Properties.
The team and the people are what make Cornerstone. DJ was passionate about all people. He often believed in people when they didn't believe in themselves. He would lead and work with people on how to be better communicators, leaders, followers, or just how to be a better person. He always acknowledged that the relationships he had with people are why he was successful in business. He was a larger than life figure. DJ was excited about the business!
Even though he knew his time with us here was growing short, he never stopped believing or trusting in God. He never stopped dreaming about all that Cornerstone would accomplish whether he was here physically or not. He was our founder, leader, friend, brother, father, and husband. We will never forget him and what he did for us all. His ideas and principles will always be our foundation and we will carry on his legacy.