Making it in Big Sky: Cornerstone Management Services
By Mira Brody CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGIST
BIG SKY – Owner Andy Dreisbach likens his business, Cornerstone Management Services, to Big Sky—both have adapted over the years in response to incredible growth. What began as Keystone Carpentry in Pennsylvania in 1985 is today CMS, after Dreisbach arrived in the area in 2002. Since then, he’s been working with local residents, businesses and the fluctuating economy to meet the housing development needs of the area.
Apart from simply running a business, Dreisbach is proud to work alongside Montana State University students to refine the services CMS provides and has partnered with national and international roofing manufacturers to test new products that are becoming the future of building codes. From his home base here in Big Sky, Dreisbach’s collaborative work has drawn attention across the globe.
This series is part of a paid partnership with the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce. The following answers have been edited for brevity.
Explore Big Sky: Tell me about the history of Cornerstone Management Services, when did you start that business?
Andy Dreisbach: Cornerstone Management Services was started as Keystone Carpentry in Pennsylvania in 1985, which later become Quintessential Carpentry located in Colorado in 1992. In 1999, after a move to Idaho, Quintessential Carpentry become Cornerstone Management Services later moving to Big Sky in 2002 thus finding the CMS family’s final resting place.
EBS: How has it grown with the community over the years?
A.D.: CMS is very similar to Big Sky in that they both have had incredible growth over the last 20 years. Even during economic setbacks, CMS continued to grow by working with the local community to help in the maintenance and upkeep. In the slow years, we worked with [local] HOAs to achieve creative funding options to increase property values even when the economy didn’t substantiate that. As Big Sky has grown we have been fortunate enough to work with many community members to better understand our unique environment and create better practices.
Big Sky is a very special place, and it is easy to be bitter with change. But it’s like I told my kids don’t let the change that is happening change who you are, if you do then we have become just like the places our new neighbors have moved here from. Remind them why Big Sky is so special.Andy Dreisbach, Cornerstone Management Services, owner & founder
EBS: Tell me about the different services offered at Cornerstone Management Services?
A.D.: We primarily concentrate on exterior envelope scopes of work from roofing to below-grade waterproofing. Recently we have taken on a unique role in our industry. We prefer to take a preemptive approach to projects lending our experience and partnerships with the Montana State University Engineering Department to evaluate the success of our services prior to setting foot on the job. We have participated in several research and development programs of our own which have gained national recognition. We have several patents in process and are currently partnered with a large national roofing manufacturer testing for UL status [a manufacture’s rating related to roof durability under certain conditions] which would change the Wildland Urban Interface building code requirements and Energy Star ratings with the largest roofing manufacturers in the world. We are beyond humbled by both the local and international partnerships that have shown interest in our work, from local homeowners to Fortune 500 companies.
EBS: How big is your team?
A.D.: We have 22 full-time team members and up to 118 teammates on our installation teams that we have consistently grown with over the years.
EBS: What do you think the best part of working at Cornerstone Management Services is?
A.D.: I was challenged a few years ago by David Dexter when he saw what I was doing and said, “We could change the building industry,” so we have now taken a more forward-thinking approach and ask ourselves everyday of how we can do better and be better and the entire team has adapted this philosophy of how to make the world better one project at a time. The days go by quickly here.
EBS: What is your favorite thing to do in Big Sky when you’re not working?
A.D.: Well for that 31 hours a week that I’m not working I really enjoy my family and sharing my love of the mountains with them whether skiing, rafting, mountain biking or just being. They are the reason I do what I do.
EBS: What is the best business advice you have ever received?
A.D.: I was struggling years ago trying to get everything just right before I launched my business and a dear mentor told me, “You can prep all you want but when you get thrown in the deep end with the sharks your still gonna have to swim like hell, so jump in and start swimming.” There are never problems just challenges.
EBS: Anything else you would like to tell the Big Sky community?
A.D.: It has been an honor that you all have embraced me and my family and allowed us to raise our family here. Big Sky is a very special place, and it is easy to be bitter with change. But it’s like I told my kids don’t let the change that is happening change who you are, if you do then we have become just like the places our new neighbors have moved here from. Remind them why Big Sky is so special. Don’t let them change what makes this a community and not just another resort.