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Get to Know Our President, Frank!
At Cornerstone Homes connections and getting to know each other are top on our list. We strive to make sure our communities are designed to give our homeowners opportunities to connect with neighbors and friends. Likewise, getting to know each and every one of you throughout the buying process gives us the opportunity to know your desires, likes and dreams for your next stage of life. And we work hard to make those dreams a reality! As a smaller, and close-knit company, you will have to opportunity to meet most of our staff along the way. As an ongoing blog series to give you a more in-depth glimpse of who we are, our President, Frank, recently sat down with us and shared his thoughts and a few tidbits of what makes him tick! Here we go Frank.
Why did you join Cornerstone Homes?
After leaving D.R. Horton where I had had a long and wonderful career, I was looking to start over in Richmond, Virginia. My wife, Kate, was born and raised in Richmond and she was anxious to return to live near her parents and sister. I found out about the opportunity at Cornerstone Homes through a friend from Northern Virginia who thought I would be interested in pursuing it. I followed up with Roger and we hit it off immediately. It has been a great opportunity for me and I love what we’re doing at Cornerstone Homes.
What drew you to the active adult demographic? How are Cornerstone Homes buyers different than first-time buyers?
To be honest, I didn’t know anything about the active adult buyer and I wasn’t looking for an opportunity to serve this demographic. Now that I am here at Cornerstone Homes, I see that it was fortuitous that this is the niche we serve. It’s a growing market and I have been able to learn a lot from Roger, who has focused solely on the active adult market from the inception of Cornerstone Homes.
Surprisingly, these buyers are very similar to millennials. Both groups represent a large segment of the population. Both are interested in health and well-being, and both are looking for smaller, more feature-filled homes to meet their housing needs. The major difference is that active adults are less interested in schools and more interested in single-level living.
What’s the biggest challenge of the construction industry today? What do you love most about it?
The biggest challenge in home building today is the lack of people entering the trades. Everyone has bought into the narrative that they need a college degree. I don’t think that’s true and I don’t think college is right for every person. I’m working with our local Home Builder’s Association on a Workforce Development Committee where we’re trying to show high school students the many opportunities in the construction trades.
The Richmond Home Builders Association is hosting a trade show for over 1,000 local high school students from 6 surrounding counties to show them that a solid middle-class lifestyle is available working in our industry. On top of that, there is no student debt to deal with. I'm excited to be a part of this event.
Your homes are built as “forever” homes. What and why is that important to active adults?
Moving is not fun and boomers have more than likely dealt with their parents getting old and having to move. What they learned in that process is that they don’t want to be a burden to their family when the time comes and they want to enjoy themselves. We see that many of our buyers want to downsize and declutter their lives. They also want to own a home where they can reconnect with people their own age that may share their same interests. The homes are “forever” because our buyers want a home that works for them today and in the future as their needs change.
Where did you grow up and tell us about your family!
I am the middle child in a large family with 7 kids; 4 sisters and 2 brothers. I grew up in Middleburg, Virginia in Loudoun County. Loudoun County was very rural in the 70s and I enjoyed outdoor farm work and working on cars. After high school, I left for Charlottesville, Virginia to study at the University of Virginia.
I met my wife, Kate, while we were both studying business at The McIntire School of Commerce at UVA. I remain a huge UVA fan and supporter. I have season tickets to both football and basketball, so I get to Charlottesville often. Kate and I have 3 kids: Frank, Jr., who works in accounting at Dominion Energy in Richmond, McCreagh, who works at Silverlake, a technology hedge fund in New York City, and Gray, a student at Virginia Tech.
How do you spend your free time? What do you do to relax?
Kate and I have a house at Wintergreen and we like to go there as often as we can to enjoy all the seasons in the mountains. I also like to ride my bike and shoot skeet or sporting clays.
What do you wish other people knew about Cornerstone Homes?
I wish everyone knew how hard all my associates at Cornerstone Homes work to create the best active adult communities. They’re not just building homes but creating communities where our homeowners can reach their goal of reconnecting with others their own age and with their own interests.
If you weren't the president of Cornerstone Homes, what would you be doing instead?
I don’t know. I can’t see myself retired. There is too much more that I feel I can do in this industry. I’m excited about what we are building here at Cornerstone Homes and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Tell us about someone who has influenced your decision to work with active adults, or someone you admire.
I didn’t have anyone that influenced me to work with active adults. It was just a fortunate accident which I am grateful for. The person that I most admire is my father. He was a great man that embodied the code: Duty, Honor, Country. He was a West Point graduate, decorated career infantry officer, civilian defense intelligence officer, deputy director of the CIA, and first director of the department that is now the National Reconnaissance Office. He was a humble man with much to be proud of, but you wouldn’t learn that from him.
What’s your favorite snack?
What’s your favorite place of all the places you’ve traveled?
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
What’s your favorite book and why?
1984 by George Orwell. The insights in this book on what the government will do to control the population are masterful and are becoming timelier. The only thing Orwell got wrong was the year in the title.
If your life was a movie, what would your theme song be?
The Climb by Miley Cyrus.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I would like to be able to fly.
Frank’s leadership on a day to day basis for Cornerstone Homes makes a significant impact on what we do to build the home you deserve. The incredible team that he has built is united in spirit with a common goal. And his infectious laugh keeps us all smiling and remembering that it’s the little things in life that matter.
We hope you enjoy getting to know us at Cornerstone Homes a little better as much as we enjoy getting to know you!